The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

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.

Article is continued below

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.

About the Author: Tina Aldatz Norris

Tina Aldatz Norris founded Foot Petals in January 2001. As an 11 year Fashion Industry veteran, Tina noticed there was something lacking in the marketplace for stylish women that enjoy wearing high heels, but still want to be comfortable. In [...]

Lineage2, Aion, Blade And Soul