“Speak to the IP guys” – how bike trailer and lifestyle brand kkdu plum used IP to go from idea to a new business
16 August 2017
16 August 2017
For entrepreneur Haydn Sharratt, it was a visit to Griffith Hack principal Nick Hunter that gave him the confidence to pursue an idea that had been bubbling away at the back of his mind for several years.
“If you’ve got an idea, the first thing you should do is speak to the IP guys,” is his advice to fellow aspiring entrepreneurs. “Otherwise you could end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on your idea with no protection behind it.”
Three years after meeting Nick and with a provisional patent, confidentiality agreements, trade marks and design registrations in place, Haydn has launched his kkdu plum bike trailers and lifestyle brand to the world.
The idea for the bike trailer came to Haydn, who’s also a veterinarian, while packing the car for a family trip to the beach and thinking “why can’t we use our bikes to get there”.
The key to what makes Haydn’s bike trailer unique is the hitch mechanism that attaches the trailer to a bike rack. This mechanism, which enables quick and easy attachment, as well as smooth movement when turning corners, has now been protected with a provisional patent.
“The hitch is simple, practical and effective, which makes it easy to copy and, therefore, critical to protect,” says Nick.
“But it was clear that Haydn is selling more than a hitch, he is selling a lifestyle choice, so the hitch was only one aspect that was important to protect. It was clear that the success of Haydn’s business would rely on the unique product design and brand which he developed to communicate the lifestyle choice to prospective customers.”
Haydn has also registered the design of his trailers, which are striking in appearance and would be obvious if copied, and protected the kkdu plum name with trade marks not just for the trailers but for future expansion plans.
Trade mark attorney Simon Gapes says Haydn had a few trade marks he was thinking of adopting and was conscious of protecting the trade marks he would adopt as early as possible.
“This allowed us to work with Haydn to secure and protect his key trade marks in markets of interest well before he began to invest in marketing and branding,” Simon says.
“Haydn settled on the trade mark kkdu plum, which provides a catchy and vibrant reference to his goods and their Australian story. Taking action to select and protect trade marks early allowed Haydn to protect this trade marks internationally with minimal fuss and cost.”
Haydn’s IP strategy has been built around achieving the greatest protection but in the most cost effective way.
For example, he has not tried to claim IP protection for everything, everywhere. He’s focused on the key elements that make the trailer and company unique in the Australian and international markets he is targeting.
As a result, every dollar spent in the start-up is with a purpose.
kkdu plum has already captured significant attention for its looks and design. It won silver at the 2016 The Design 100 awards in New York, was shortlisted in the recent Good Design Awards Australia, and was a finalist in the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards.