March 20, 2011

Filing registered designs for Jellypods

Posted in Design, Frequent Flyer, News, Registered Designs, Trademarks, Uncategorized at 9:13 am by Kilo

This week we spent a little money (about $500) on registering the core design of Jellypods with a European Registered Community Design, also known as an RCD.

This registration, which was granted in just 3 days and is now in force, covers the look and feel of the design in 27 European countries with just one application.

A similar, but slightly more involved process existing in the USA and other major markets, and those are also in progress right now. This is a fairly simple thing to do; all you need are some good sketches of the product from a range of angles.

We’ve written 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 is the Poachpod by Fusionbrands, who have successfully defended their designs against knockoffs both in the UK and USA. It’s encouraging that these protections can be granted very rapidly, as a real utility patent can take years to be granted, leaving an inventor at the mercy of copycats.

What is fascinating about the Jellypods story is the range of new things we are learning from day to day, with the trademarking and design registration process being just one example.


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.

April 10, 2010

Designing the logo

Posted in Branding, Design, Trademarks at 9:31 am by Kilo

With a nice shiny new name and web domain now up and running, and a few basic product sketches already churning through the CAD machine (more about that soon), our thoughts turned to branding.

We are very lucky at Jellypods to live in the internet age and have some good friends around the planet who are helping out with all kinds of stuff, from website design to computer modeling of the product to design of the molds. But the root of everything is the nice logo created for us by the design team at Fathom in the UK.

It’s sometimes really amazing how a few words and a rough sketch in Powerpoint can be turned into something quite literally iconic. We had some vague ideas that we wanted the cute little jelly in the logo somehow, and also that we wanted to mimic the shape of the Jellypod in the ‘squircle’ shape. We were also quite keen to have a standard Windows/Mac font like Eurostile to avoid compatibility issues. The rough sketch we sent across in the brief looked like this:-

After a short iteration process that threw up a range of ideas, the design guys at Fathom took those thoughts and merged them into a much more cohesive little unit that also delivered the iconic symbol we had been searching for. It’s so nice we will be using it as part of every product, embossed into the side of each Jellypod. So thanks a lot to Nigel, Giles and the rest of the team in Poole for a great job on creating our first – and probably most important – bit of serious identity.

How the name happened

Posted in Marketing, Trademarks, Web at 9:17 am by Kilo

Once we had made some decisions on the type of material to be used in the Jellypods, we tried to find a name that fit the way they would appear or feel.

We played around with all kinds of words over a couple of days – pod, pack, case, bag, podule, gel, pax – and had a couple of nice words like Gelpod, Gelpack running around our heads. Then just as we were about to settle for less, our little daughter held up a yellow jellyfish bath toy and beamed at us.

If there is such a thing as a eureka moment, that was one of them – ka-pow! A jellypod! Jellypods! What a great fit – it tells you exactly what it is and by the way sounds pretty nice tripping off the tongue.

A quick Google told us the domain name was free and that the category was pretty much unknown on the internet – something like 2,000 hits and nothing coherent. Bingo. The web address was registered soon thereafter, and email addresses were up and running not long after that.

The link to jellyfish was also instrumental in several other signature design feature – more on those in another entry.