on 06-05-2017 10:26 AM
We were lucky enough to be invited to Exclusive Virgin Media Business Launch Event with Richard Branson last week and got the chance to ask the man himself a question...."How is our money best spent. If someone blatantly steals your idea and then starts taking market share from you, how do you prot t yourself? What if the person you are dealing with has deeper pockets than you?
Here's a little back ground:
Some people plan, coordinate and finely tune their strategy before starting their business.
If I'm honest, we never even intended to make Glitter Lips in to a business as such.
Running our hair and beauty salon in Lincoln, we became increasingly aware of the amount of salons opening up.
We knew we needed to have the competitive edge over other salons and the
introduction of a product no-one else had seemed like a great way to increase footfall AND more exposure for our business in an already saturated market.
Glitter Lips was born over a glass of wine and a mutual love of all things glitter,
We never intended for it to ever be sold outside of our salon, but demand was so great and Christmas sales were so healthy that we had no choice.
When we realised we would be hitting the open market with our Glitter Lips product, we knew we had to protect our idea.
We spent a lot of money on testing, legal advice on patents and trademarking.
We were first to market and had a serious amount of traction.
Our product had been worn by celebrities and featured in the likes of Vogue, Grazia and Hello to name but a few.
Glitter hit the catwalks in a big way and business rocketed.
We had over 750 stockists and were doing really well, but off the back off our success and hard work, people started piggy backing our idea.
Large retailers who we had sent samples to, copy cats who had seen us at exhibitions and the ones that hurt the most...stockists who had become friends- all saw our idea and tried to replicate it (some very badly I hasten to add)
Now the quandary we are in is this...
Do we spend tens of thousands of pounds in legal action everything time someone copies us?
They are after all stealing sales from us.
It would send out a very strong message that we won't tolerate this kind of behaviour and make people think twice about trying to copy, but it is costly and takes a lot of time and energy to chase these people..
Do we use the money we would have spent on legal proceedings, on advertising and marketing our brand to rise above the copy cats and win by succeeding.
Do we channel all the energy and frustration in to building and improving our brand to come out on top? Or is that like lying down and rolling over?
Advice, personal experience or any input would be gratefully received.
06-05-2017 01:05 PM - edited 06-05-2017 01:06 PM
Although I have no experience with this, if you know your idea is being stolen and you have a patent on it and you know you would win if you sued them, I would look at getting some possible free legal advice before proceeding and see what they say first.
It may not be quite the same but I found one company and one ebay store using my business name which has been trademarked and rather than look into the legal side of this, I decided to send them a professional message and it was only due to the fact that they was unaware of my business and the name being tradmarked that they kindly apologised and changed their name.
It was easier than I expected so if Glitterlips has a patent on it, you could contact them and mention this and if they fail to listen or stop using your idea, you could then mention court proceedings but again, I have no experience but I'm sure you could seek some free legal advice.
Tweet & Follow: @FigurelandUK
Call During Opening Hours Mon-Fri 9am - 5.30pm
Tel: 01895 349595