Protecting Sally The Seahorse
Blogged by Jayne Kirkham
Introduced by Marion Edwards, VP Production, HIT Entertainment
John Collins, Managing Director, John Collins Consultancy Ltd
Lisa Logan, Partner, Gately UK
Linda Sullivan, Director, Cavendish Corporate Finance
Produced by Rebecca Fox, Animator and Storyteller
Sally the Seahorse was so well protected that I never saw her. She’d gone by the time I arrived. But if her owner followed the useful advice given by John, Lisa and Linda she’d not only be protected but nurtured and well on her way to fortune, fame and general IP heaven.
Some questions to ask of your own IP once you’ve developed it and while you’re developing it too.
Why have you done it?
Where would it work best?
Who is your audience? And be specific.
Is it unique? Really?
What gap in the market does it fill?
Can you pitch it in 20 words? 10 words? 5 words?
Where does it sit amongst your competitors? Anyone vying for the same pocket money as you is a competitor so don’t think just about your sector.
Where will it be in 2 years?
Know your market.
Copyright is pretty simple – if you’ve written it down, you own the copyright. But can you prove a paper trail? Pay attention to detail.
But here’s a useful little tool – the Law of Confidence. If you have your discussions, and any correspondence ‘in confidence’, you are protected. Few people will sign Non-Disclosure Agreements, and as long as you’ve either marked emails ‘in confidence’ or made it clear the conversation is confidential, you’re protected.
What about online? The basic laws of copyright apply but you have also made it very public. Hmmmm. What about Piracy? What about subconscious copying?
If you think someone has nicked your idea subconsciously, three elements have to be obvious:
1 – you have to prove the perpetrators have a degree of familiarity with your property.
2- Your property has to have some memorable qualities
3 – There must be a striking degree of objective similarity.
There was common sense talk about choosing partners and investors: in our world make sure you’re working with specialists who understand our world. The Digital World is generating much excitement with investors – they’re all looking for the next big Moshi Monster. But of course, given the advice at the beginning, not literally the next big Moshi Monster because that wouldn’t be unique or fill a gap in the market. Duh. But you know what I mean, on the next big Sally The Seahorse. Or has that been done already? Somewhere in my subconscious….
John Collins Consultancy Ltd
Media and Digital Technology
Animator and Storyteller