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Padlocking your brand

So you’ve built a great brand, reputation and following for your product or service – how do you keep it secure?

All design is covered in the UK under copyright law, however this only covers and protects your logo etc in terms of being copied or adapted by other designers within the UK. Intellectual Property (IP) is a minefield these days with so much information being available in the public domain – and a more laid-back attitude that has arisen from an increase in designers that have not come into the industry through the traditional path. For this reason, more and more businesses are looking for additional ways to secure their IP. There are a number of ways you can do this, and the ideal solution will depend on your product/service and what you are looking to protect.

We would always advise you to get advice from an IP law Professional. We have previously used Harrison Clark Rickerbys for a recent client.

Copyright

Copyright is what protects an individual design and its designer. For instance, your brochure would be copyright to the original designer or agency that created it for you under the majority of circumstances.

All designs are automatically covered by copyright within the UK, although we would always advise keeping all proof of your designs, time and date stamped and mailed to yourself unopened until the occasion arises. Proof can start right from the client briefing stage, so be sure to document and identify any files you are provided with as well as your initial sketches and any prototypes. The copyright will remain with the designer unless agreed by a legal agreement (either through employment contract or through the client agreement). Kissed Off only release copyright under very specific circumstances (and this is covered under our terms and conditions), and then it has to be issued in a certain way. We take copyright very seriously both on behalf of our design work and on our client’s behalf.

Trademark

Trademark protects you from others using your logo to promote their own services and other nefarious purposes.

To apply for a trademark, you have to go through the IPO – we would recommend using an excellent IP legal service to do this in the most cost effective and secure manner. Mistakes in trademarks applications can be costly. The IPO only deals directly with UK trademarks, and for global coverage you would need to apply to each country individually. There is a period of public consultation and you should allow 3 months for the whole process as well as considering whether to trademark your name and/or your logo.

Patent

Patent protects an individual product or product element and it must be proved to be unique from other products already on the market.

A patent is on the design of a product as a tangible item. It must be unique to other items already on the market – whether they are patented or not. For instance, you couldn’t patent a victoria sponge as the recipe is widespread and has historical usage. A patent application requires technical drawings that prove the design belongs to you, and can also include a product sample. There is also an application form for you to describe what makes your design unique. This will prevent others from creating the product the same as yours, but may not stop people from finding an alternative solution to the same problem. We would advise taking legal advice before starting and during your application.

What else can I do to protect my brand?

We would also advise our clients to get accounts started on all social media as soon as they have decided on a name for their product or brand. You can also work towards getting authenticated status for many platforms.

We also advise to do regular Google image checks for any images that are exclusively their copyright to check for any abuse on other websites and social media.

This guidance is offered for information only, and not intended as legal advice. We would always advise that a client seeks qualified legal counsel.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… #CookerySOS

#CookerySOS Xmas Book

Following on from the success of #CookerySOS, we’ve created a special limited edition to help you get through the Christmas cooking easily and affordably!

We travelled up very early only a couple of Sunday’s ago to catch up with John, drop off some more books (as he had sold out) and to photograph “a couple of dishes” for the download. What followed was a feast for the senses! We started with the Orange Carrots and Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese. In between shots we were trying to convince Stanley the Santa hat was a good look – he didn’t really buy it! The Cranberry Sausages are also another of my favourites from when we went up to Blackpool to photograph these great dishes in the #CookerySOS Christmas kitchen. The cover shot with Stanley the Ice Cold Pooch was just the icing on the Christmas Cake! What you can’t tell from the cover pic is how quickly Stanley could use his paw to get his Santa hat back off! Then it was onwards to an afternoon of sweet delights!

The #CookerySOS Christmas download takes you from defrosting a turkey through to party nibbles and all points in-between. My personal favourite are the Marzipan Snowballs that are so easy and yet so amazing fresh and christmassy I fell in love with them at first bite! It also has really helpful conversion tables and tips for each recipe to take the stress out of Christmas cooking!

We’ve included lots of help for those who may not have cooked a Christmas dinner before – making this book ideal for students, new carers and even new parents! I can’t wait to be curled up with my mug of Festive Latte (or as some would say a bucket)… and now with a Marzipan Snowball with raspberries! A real treat for Santa this Christmas!

My kitchen will certainly be smelling festive this Christmas!

Download your copy today for a £5 donation!

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Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel! A look at designing for a mobile audience.

Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image

Following a seminar event I attended yesterday, I did some blogging on the fly with Adobe Slate .

Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image
Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image

When technology advances the temptation is to make it imitate that which went before. With advances in mobile technology, an example for our industry is eBooks that “flip” pages and essentially imitate its traditional equivalent. However, by seeking to emulate the traditional equivalents, we are missing opportunities to create new immersive experiences that make the most of the platforms we are viewing the content upon. Those who have read my blog posts will recognise my synergy with this view as well as seeing how our approach to projects differ to those who seek to create digital literature simply by turning it into a PDF (either with or without page flip) rather than making the most of its capabilities.

I found the event stimulating and challenging, and following having attended we will now make our site responsive but not focus as strongly on mobile content and instead focus on creating an app that will blend the best bits of this blog along with some unique content such as covering the events we attend and industry news. To view the original post click on the image to the left to find out why an app really is the way to go for your mobile audience.

I hope you find this blog post as interesting as I found the event, while challenging your preconceptions about tablet and smartphone use.

Coincidentally, the blog post was written on the move using my mobile device. I could have logged in to WordPress to do this, but I found using the Adobe Slate app more convenient and easier to use with the intermittent signal you get while out and about travelling. This proving many of the points we discussed at the event, and I can’t wait to discuss the available options with both existing and new clients soon!