Case study

Intellectual Property: BundleBean

Every great invention starts with a need. For Emily Goodall, the need to make life easier for many people drove her to create BundleBean.

Picture of Emily

Background

Designed to protect babies and young children in all weathers, BundleBean is an innovative range of travel products.

When I became a parent, I wanted to limit the amount of stuff I needed to carry around with me. I didn’t want to carry a blanket, rain cover, changing mat etc. I wanted just one accessory that could do lots of different jobs and would keep the baby warm and dry.

Picture of Bundle bean buggy

That is exactly what makes BundleBean unique. Not only is it multifunctional, but its clever adjusting system means you can use one product for every situation at every age. It can replace a variety of blankets and covers for travelling equipment, as well as transform into a picnic rug or play mat.

Protecting her IP

At the time of conception, there was no product like this on the market and Emily saw a great deal of potential in the idea. This meant that while there would be a huge number of potential customers, there would also be many competitors looking to take a slice of her potential success. So how did she minimise this risk?

People advised me to seek IP protection due to the innovative nature of the product. We were the first people in the market so IP protection gave us a hold over it and made it hard for anyone else to duplicate our products.

Emily currently has a registered trade mark on the BundleBean name and holds a registered design for the product. This protects the shape, size, fleece lining, positioning of the features and waterproof textile which together make the product unique. A registered design can often be a more suitable IP right for a product than patent protection.

I was advised that a registered design would be more valuable than any other form of IP. This would protect the look and feel of the BundleBean and make it hard for anyone else to replicate the product.

Picture of Emily's BundleBean buggy.

Protection against copycats is one of the main benefits of holding a registered design. But what other benefits does this IP right offer the business?

It’s reassuring to know that your identity is safe with protected IP. It’s also encouraging for retailers, distributors and investors to know you’re protected. They don’t want to invest their time and money into something that could be easily replicated.

But Emily is keen to point out that once your design is registered, it can still attract unwanted attention. Design infringement is something that still occurs. Luckily the design of the BundleBean hasn’t been copied. But what would happen if she did find somebody trying to pass off another product as a genuine BundleBean?

As long as a product doesn’t look like a BundleBean then it would be ok. If someone produced a product that was similar but didn’t step on my toes, I could use that to my advantage to boost the BundleBean brand. It shows there is a need out there for it. But if they used my name or a version of my product, it would be a different matter. Copying has happened to people I know and it can be a very costly action.

If you do see someone trading with your products and you know they are counterfeit, seek advice straight away before taking any legal action.

Advice

From her experiences, Emily has a wealth of knowledge that she wants to share with others.

Get lots of IP advice from professionals, she stresses. A professional will advise you on what is best for your business. They could stop you from spending a lot of money on things that aren’t relevant or won’t protect your product or company.

It’s also important not to speak to anyone without a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDAs) in place. This means all discussions must be confidential and information can’t be shared with anyone else. I spoke to many people in the industry before protecting my IP and made them all sign NDAs as an extra layer of security.

With two highly successful products already on the market, what does the future hold for BundleBean?

I’m planning on expanding the company worldwide. I’m also adding to my range and applying for more registered designs for more products.

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Published 4 February 2015
Last updated 4 February 2015 + show all updates
  1. First published.