By Jessica VannBritWeek San Francisco which celebrates creativity and innovation between the UK and the US was last month. There were different events being held in honor of all things British, ranging from the UKTI Innovation Awards to design discussions, balls, fashion shows, etc.We were excited to participate in BritWeek San Francisco as a sponsor for the Design Event, From Idea to Innovation to Market put on through the British American Business Council (BABC) in conjunction with the Royal Society of Arts, Squire Patton Bogs, UK Trade & Investment, and 20/20 Productions on June 19th.Big ideas can start anywhere, but where do you go from there? How do you get it from your head to a tangible product? How do you protect it? How do you get funded & manufactured? How do you launch it?  These are usually the questions one asks oneself after they have had their light bulb moment.  These questions were the topic of discussion at the event and there were some interesting insights from the panel of speakers.The panel consisted of our very own Product Designer, Andrew Gordon along with Django Andrews from Squire Patton Boggs, Bob Christopher from US MAC, and Marc Shillum from Matternet.  The discussion was led by Liza Evans of Liza Evans Design; to read the bios of the above panel and moderator.Here are some takeaways from the event.Andrew Gordon, Innovate Product Design

  • Almost every project without exception will need to have been designed and developed before protecting or approaching industry. Design work can add value and credibility to your project, and make your presentation more professional.
  • Sometimes, through design, further intellectual property can be created which can strengthen your patent application. By designing the product you will have the relevant patent drawings in the correct format to submit with your application and help to define the novel features of the design.
  • Companies will expect a certain level of development to have been completed before even considering your idea – this is particularly the case if you are looking to license.

Django Andrews, Squire Patton Bogg

  • There are many different types of protection available: utility patent, design patent, plant patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets.
  • It can take 4+ years from filling of a provisional application to an issued US utility patent and can cost anywhere from $10k to $15k just for drafting and filing.
  • It can take 7+ years from filing of a provisional application to an issued foreign patent and can cost around $5k for drafting and filing for each application.

Bob Christopher, US MAC

  • The maker economy (consumer innovation), where people are creating new and exciting products are out performing venture capitalist’s ability to understand and value it (the product).  Meaning the venture capitalist’s are finding it hard to understand what these new products and innovations do.
  • When investors are looking to invest they are keen to see if you have any product validation, which you can get through pre-sales or crowdfunding i.e. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc.
  • There are different companies out there also known as accelerators that step in and help start-ups get investment. Now some want an equity stake in the company, others are looking for partnership or only do a certain amount of investments per year.  Some examples are Bolt, Highway 1, Lemnos Labs and Flextronics ix.

Marc Shillum, Matternet

  • In general terms, the product we purchased (i.e. iPhone) is an ongoing service relationship with a company (i.e. Apple) that is delivered through software that we have little control over.
  • Brands, Products & Services have become so entwined that it doesn’t make sense to have them in different departments or to talk about them separately.  The best products, brands and services are solutions that create a level of coherency in the end user experience.
  • In general terms any service equals a product. Any brand equals a service.  The product (i.e. iPhone) equals the brand (everyone knows iPhones are Apple).  The brand plus the product and service equals the consumer experience. Marketing is generated by the experience of the consumer with a promise from the company.

If you would like to watch and listen to the panelist, please click here.If you would like to download the PowerPoint presentation that was used during the event, please click here.

The material in this website is commercially focused and generalized information and opinion about successfully working within the existing legal framework of Intellectual Property, patents and patent law; and should in no way be viewed or construed as legal advice. Advisors at Innovate are not and will not be lawyers unless this is specifically stated.