The Beauty of Creativity and Intellectual Property: Bobbi Brown Speaks out on World IP Day

This week, people around the globe will celebrate World Intellectual Property (IP) Day. The event will center on the theme Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity, and after three decades in business, I have come to learn that creativity and business are inseparable.

I have also learned that intellectual property – whether it takes the form of a patent, trademark, or copyright – is borne out of imagination and inspiration, and the company I founded, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, is no exception. That’s why I came to Washington, DC last month, sharing my personal experience building a creative global brand at a time when global threats to IP are ever-increasing.

When I moved to New York City in the 1980s, fashion centered around contoured faces and overdrawn lips, but I was seeking a style that allowed the beauty of real women to shine through. No acid orange or neon pink, just gorgeous, wearable colors. But, when the products I envisioned for my clients simply didn’t exist, I did the only thing I could think of – I made my own.

As a makeup artist and businesswoman, creativity is at the heart of my work, from mastering the perfect color in product development to pushing the envelope in creative marketing. For nearly 30 years, I have dedicated my life to empowering women with the tools to express themselves, and those products, brands, and ideas all have value. When the first 10 shades of lipstick debuted, I hoped to sell 100 in the first month. Instead, I sold 100 on the first day.

I have watched the global marketplace evolve and expand. Now, with my new company, Beauty Evolution, we are focused on modern lifestyle and wellness. I am interacting with women at all stages of their lives—true beauty is authentic. In the global marketplace, consumers should trust their instincts. That’s why a brand is so important. The trademark or brand is its most valuable asset — its integrity, its recognition, and its promise of quality to the consumer. I am proud to unveil my new wellness products with the promise of authenticity and quality.

While people may not be mulling over IP when they grab their favorite blush or bronzer, the truth is that intellectual property protections ensure our makeup and medicine are safe and effective. They also ensure that our toys, books, music, movies, and apps are authentic and reliable. But most critically, these protections ensure that America is fostering our most creative minds to find solutions that make life safer, easier, and more fun.

That’s exactly the message I delivered in person to other global business leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Brand Council’s meeting in our nation’s capital.

Truly, creative women are driving forces behind all sectors of intellectual property from art to artificial intelligence. And, we have more reason than ever to take pride in our products and our ideas that help to better people’s lives around the world. This week, we’ll have the international community behind us for World IP Day – celebrating our achievements and helping to cultivate the right environment for all of us to grow.

Bobbi Brown is the founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and CEO of Beauty Evolution. Ms. Brown spoke last month to business leaders on the importance of brand protection at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Brand Council Board Meeting, affiliated with the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) in Washington, D.C.

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