What an amazing journey you’ve been on so far! Throughout all of your different creative pursuits, what was it that ultimately galvanised you to take that leap, and begin your own biz?
My stint on the Great Australian Bake Off in 2016 really tickled my creative funny bone. I came back to my job at the time with a feeling of wanting more than a run of the mill 9-5 job. I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do, but just had a nagging feeling that there had to be more for me. Then after being told to “be more generic”, that sealed the deal. It was a sign that I wasn’t where I should be or deserved to be. I needed to do something I was passionate about, that was creative and importantly, allowed me to be myself. This is what Girl Friday IP is all about. (And to me being generic means sitting still – which doesn’t sit well with me. Pun intended)!
You are known and recognised for your creative and unique voice, taking a typically ‘boring’ legal-based subject matter and making it interesting and fun!- Where does the inspiration for this come from?
It all comes back to being super passionate about IP and being myself. No one likes legalese – me included!
No one will remember legal speak but everyone will remember a story. Storytelling is the most effective way to engage people – regardless of what industry you’re in.
“Boring” is just a matter of perception. I think the more “boring” a topic may be, the more fun you’ll have challenging people’s perceptions. Oh and I get to be really punny. Who doesn’t love a good pun?
Haha- we definitely do! Ok, so let’s get back to the basics, for those reading along who may not be aware-what exactly is intellectual property and how can I establish if something is ‘my’ intellectual property?
IP is where creativity and the law come to play. Most people think that IP is about protecting an “idea”. IP is the result of creative thinking but an idea or concept alone cannot be protected.
It’s the expression of the idea and concept can be protected through various IP rights. For example, different branding assets like a brand name, a logo, even a tagline, may be protected under trade mark registrations. On the other hand, an original artistic work such as a photograph, may be protected under copyright. Depending on the nature of your business, you may have many different IP assets. Identifying what the different IP assets are can then help you identify what may be protected. Then there’s people like me who can help you work out what the best protection strategy might be for your needs.
What are the costs involved in protecting my intellectual property and is it worth it?
The costs associated with IP protection really vary depending on the type of IP protection you need. People always ask if it’s really worth spending money on protecting IP. The better way to think of IP protection is: it’s an investment. Like anything else that you may have invested in for your business, for example, branding, product development etc, IP protection is something else worth considering investing in. It’s a commercial decision at the end of the day; if it’s important to your business then it’s worth investing in.
You’ve taken the legal world of IP and turned it on it’s head. What’s your advice for others who are wanting to ‘break out’ of the stereotypes of their own industry?
I think to break out of a mould or stereotype, you really have to look outside your industry. When you look to peers or competitors within your space, there’s a real risk of being influenced by them, even without you realising it. When you look for inspiration anywhere and everywhere else, you’re opening up options and ideas that are genuinely different and may not have been done before within your industry. Sounds like a cliche to think outside the box – so just bloody get rid of it altogether. Why be boxed in from the get go?
For those now thinking I’ve already started a business and haven’t trademarked my IP- is it too late?
It’s always good to have a think about IP protection early on in any business journey. With trade mark registration, it is possible to apply to register your brand name or logo after you have launched your business and started using it. But it’s always recommended that you do some homework before you run off and start using a name. It’s not just about whether you can register your own brand name – the important question to ask is whether you can actually use it. With other forms of IP protection such as patent and design protection – definitely have a chat about IP protection before you launch anything publicly. Otherwise you might find that IP protection boat has sailed.
Now that we’ve found out a bit about you, where can we learn more about Girl Friday IP?
Anyone looking to be GFFs (Girl Friday Friends), you’ll find Girl Friday IP on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @girlfridayip and for more detailed info, entertaining (and educational) blog posts, and handy enquiry forms, drop by and take a scroll on the website www.girlfridayip.com
And lastly, what’s your business and life motto?
Live, work and play with purpose. And puns.