January 9, 2011

Crocs and design patents

Posted in Airlines, Business model, Competition, Luggage, Registered Designs, Trademarks at 10:00 am by Kilo

It’s not widely known, but even if your product is not technically novel, you can register the design – the look and feel – of the product with a special kind of patent or registered design, depending on which part of the world you live in.

And those design patents give you rights to protect you if someone copies your design. There are many examples of companies defending their rights in court using those designs as the basis – Crocs, for example, have successfully prosecuted cases against 11 other companies copying their designs.

Since this process costs nothing more than a few hundred dollars you can imagine we will be registering the final Jellypods designs (and Jellyshells, a new set of ideas) fairly soon.

Incidentally, the Crocs story is one of those stories that is almost too good to be true: 3 guys on a boat sell 1,000 boat shoes at a boating show and within 3 years sales are north of $100m and they have sold more than 6 million pairs of what some people call the ugliest shoes ever invented. Two years later they have raised $208M in an IPO and have sold 50 million pairs.

We’d be happy with a much, much smaller hit, but we do believe that Jellypods is opening a new category in the luggage market in the way Crocs did in footwear, and Jellypods have that slightly quirky design appeal that makes them a polarizing product – you’ll either love them or hate them.


1 Comment »

  1. […] before about how these kinds of simple protections, which are much simpler than utility patents, can help defend the value being created by a novel design. Another good example if the Poachpod by Fusionbrands, who have successfully defended their designs […]

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