Many elements of package design can be protected with intellectual property law. Do-it-yourself designs need not apply.
Together with do-it-yourself logos, they rarely qualify as great IP or easily stand up to legal attack in our experience.
So if IP law thinks they are rubbish why invest in them?
Waves are a common and useful metaphor for change, including for technological change.
Long-term waves in IT history, as observed by Brenda Laurel, are discussed in Structured networks and the next internet wave.
Carlton United's new branding for Pure Blonde is likely to help it in any future trade mark protection or related legal action.
The new bottle and label design makes three changes. It has an embossed Pure Blonde crest in the glass, giving it a separate status as a brand. It has a central label which emphasises the word "Pure", having taken the crest out. It has a longer neck label that connotes premium and emphasises the word "Premium".
Through rebranding Carlton not only keeps its product's identity fresh and contemporary, it also strengthens its legal rights to protect its intellectual property.
When we last wrote about Pure Blonde in "Trade mark law strategy kept simple for blondes". On the right is the bottle with its original labels. The emphasis there too was on clever tactics with intellectual property, specifically, use of scope creep in the trade mark strategy for Pure Blonde.
In 2007 we extended an invitation to readers to call for a conversation on 10 possible topics. Happily some took up the offer.
The nature of the questions kept them relevant. So for 2012 we repeat them and our invitation.
If you want to discuss the 10 topics below call us whether you are a client, collaborator or a stranger. We're proposing an open conversation to exchange thoughts, play cards and see where that might lead.
A business journalist asked me today: "What role can directors play to secure their organisation's intellectual property".
Nice question. But I'd like to answer a better question.
It's this: "What role can directors play to build and protect an intellectual property business and its future?"
Under law in Australia and most countries whether A is B’s employee or, alternatively an independent contractor, is critical for ownership and protection of intellectual property. And that's just the beginning.
In Australia, if A is an employee numerous legal consequences follow. Superannuation must be paid, income tax must be taken out, and workers compensation insurance put in place.
To answer the question of whether A is an employee involves considering layers of law, facts and circumstances. There are variations for employees working in the private or public sector, under awards or enterprise agreements, or Common Law contracts and so forth.
Investment to create wealth through ownership of a brand is wasted if there is ignorance of intellectual property law ("IP"), IP search procedure, and IP protection tasks.
This is illustrated by probably the most common of all IP risks - legal issues arising from poorly selected brands and poor product identification.
Consider this scenario - Company A names a product and releases it . Assume the product name has IP rights. Some time later Company B launches a product with a similar name and for the same market.
It's produced by Chalk Hill Winery in McLaren Vale.
* [VIDEO] Picking a trade mark
Can a person be legally an "employee" if he or she works casual or part-time for multiple businesses? What makes a person an employee and not an independent contractor?
In law the short answer is many factors. There are major financial and legal consequences. Employers have statutory obligations and employees have statutory entitlements, eg to superannuation payments.
The employees or contractors question arose in a 2011 court case involving the Australian Tax Office - On Call Interpreters and Translators Agency Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation (No 3)  FCA 366.
Every start-up operates in its own unique circumstances. It has its own mix of products, people, markets and operating methods. It has its own vision of its past, present and future. Differentiation moves markets.
Every start-up seeking funding or raising post-establishment capital also requires a customised pitch. It pitches its circumstances and vision to raise funds. Information moves markets.
Sharing information on differentiation brings together start-up entrepreneurs and founders with investors. Collaboration supported by documentation moves markets.
Differentiation, information and documentation have grown trade since ancient times.
This article is a "how to" checklist for start-ups and investors seeking to get together.