Collapsible Watering Can Proposal, Full of Holes
3 March 2015 by Ashton Carter
For even the most hardened of viewers of the popular BBC television programme ‘Dragons Den’, the fundamental flaws in the business plan proposed by ‘Colapz’ for their collapsible watering can, would have brought a grimace to their faces.
Whilst it was agreed amongst the dragons that the idea was a good one and marketable in today’s trades and industries, it soon transpired that the business partners had a previous equity partner who retained the Colapz intellectual property rights in the product in question, which he acquired as part of a buyout settlement deal with the continuing business partners.
As a result, whilst the idea itself was a hit, the fact that technically, the business partners pitching the deal did not own the product or its fundamental idea, immediately led to each dragon declaring themselves ‘out’.
Without the intellectual property rights in the idea and the product, there was no way for the business partners to prove they owned it, were responsible for its invention or were entitled to manufacture it, despite their previous success in selling over 65,000 units through their own website and worldwide distributors.
Since filming the show back in 2014, the business partners have spoken with their estranged former equity partner and ensured that the intellectual property rights in the product have been acquired and registered in their own company name.
As a result, the pair have gone on to tally up a further 125,000 units-worth of orders since the show, with that number ever increasing. Furthermore, investment has been free-flowing in to the Colapz business, ensuring that it will be able to expand its reach for the collapsible watering can and even develop further ideas and products.
However, had their former equity partner not wished to relinquish the product intellectual property rights that he retained, this would have inevitably seen Colapz descend in to the ‘failed-ideas’ doldrums along with so many other budding entrepreneurs.
The situation only highlights how important it is to ensure that you secure any new product, idea or invention formally, so that you can be sure that you retain the exclusive right to said product and can prevent others from using the idea.
Intellectual property rights securing new ideas and products are becoming increasingly important in an ever-changing and highly-competitive market. Whilst some may see the registration of such intellectual property rights as too expensive, it is now proving to be a highly important and essential expense to incur at the outset.
If you would like any advice as to your intellectual property rights, as well as details for potential registration of trademarks, designs or any other form of intellectual property rights, please contact our Corporate Commercial Department here at Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP. On 01245 584515 or [email protected].
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