Patents, Trademarks and Knock Offs
Many people believe that you must get a patent before you launch a product. I say…forget it. UNLESS you are actually inventing something. Which is extremely rare, given that in this day and age, almost everything has been “invented”. Ask yourself…Am I merely “re-inventing“?
I did not invent insoles. I came up with an original design. Just like a million other designers out there that eventually get “knocked off” everyday…Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Coach. Yes, it is illegal, but do I really want to spend all of my hard earned working capital on lawyers fighting for something that is already done? Frankly, NO.
I am in business to do business. Think about UGG boots, everybody knocked them off, but they are doing better than ever -Simply because they are the best.
Don’t waste time. Because you have a patent pending, waiting for legal validation- seriously, it doesn’t mean much when it comes to fashion.
You can spend too much time worrying about all the little details , and next thing you know someone else has just shipped your idea.
Trademarks however are something all togeher different, this protects your “brand name” or product name(s) which I feel is very important. I’ll bet Coca-Cola agrees.
Also, don’t be deterred if your product gets knocked off- eventually it will. If this is a product you believe in ; GET INTO THE MARKET– be the best, and be first.
Great retailers like Nordstrom have a “no knock off” policy- if you are their original supplier, they often won’t carry a similar product. Think about Foot Petals, I didn’t invent insoles I just did it in a ‘better way’, Spanx didn’t invent pantyhose, she just did it in a “better way”.
It’s all about establishing yourself as a brand and creating a customer following.