Matt Round, chief creative officer at tangerine, talks
about the important of safeguarding a unique idea to protect market
share and brand value. Matt was part of the team that created the
world's first fully flat bed in British Airways' business
class; a design idea that was protected since its take-off. This is
IP on a large scale.
Dan Smith: Hi I am Dan Smith, a Director in
the IP Team at Gowling WLG, and today I am joined by Matt Round,
Chief Creative Officer at tangerine, and the creative mind behind
two generations of British Airways' iconic Club World. So Matt,
what is the value to you in protecting innovation?
Matt Round: Innovation is
tremendously valuable. It creates something that is utterly unique
and you are doing that for a client, in our case, we are doing it
for clients and for big businesses and big brands and when you get
to creating something that is totally unique, that creates a
proposition for them in the market that other people cannot copy if
it is well protected and by protecting something as an idea, you
are protecting market share and you are protecting value for that
brand and that is why it is so important.
Dan: Yes have you got a particular example of
that, a particular project in mind?
Matt: I think the best example that tangerine
can talk about that is our work for British Airways. Back in 1998
we created the world's first fully flat bed in business class
and that idea came about from thinking about the space in a
fundamentally different way and it paired seats facing forwards and
aft and thought about using the width of the plane instead of the
length of the plane. As a consequence of that, British Airways were
able to offer a completely flat bed in the same space that
competitors were offering reclining chairs so it was a very strong
customer proposition, but from the business there was also a strong
business case behind it because they did not have to surrender any
seats in order to deliver the fully flat bed. That idea has been
protected and has prevented other people from copying it. It has
been a leader in the market and a vanguard that has actually
changed customer expectations in that industry.
Dan: What advice would you give to designers
starting out about IP protection?
Matt: IP is a challenging subject for designers
starting out and obviously for a young designer, protecting it is
one thing, having the financial muscle to defend it is a hugely
different issue but I think as a young designer you have to
remember that if you are creating good ideas, they are hugely
valuable and you should do everything you can possible to protect
it as far as you can.
Dan: Thanks Matt. You have been involved in
some great projects and it is great to hear your thoughts on
Matt: Great. Thank you.
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Trading under your name is an appealing idea, especially in the fashion world where designers frequently use their own names as brands (think Hugo Boss, Donatella Versace, and Tom Ford, to name but a few).
1.The trade mark shall not entitle the proprietor to prohibit its use in relation to goods which have been put on the market in the Community under that trade mark by the proprietor or with his consent.
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