October 24, 2012

VOICES OF IP: IP Delivers Creative Designs, With a Side of Fun


Guest Post by Lolita Healy

I got my first copyright at age 12, so saying that I’ve been designing since I was a child wouldn’t be a stretch in any sense. The decade following college, I spent time working in sales and marketing (specifically, beauty and fashion), but I knew something was missing. I wanted a brand of my own. After getting married and having my first child, I went back to my first love, art and design. This required me to develop new designs and rely heavily upon my marketing skills to launch a licensed product line.

In the beginning, I worked 18-hour days over 3 years, even with small little girls, painting and selling my glassware at shows until I became licensed. The hard work eventually paid off- my brand, Lolita®, is the gift industry’s leading design brand for lifestyle products for every occasion. What began as a single glass collection has expanded into a collection of products, infused with fun and not short on intellectual property (IP), amounting to over 700 copyrights and 20 trademarks all over the world.

Since 2004, I’ve sold over 14 million products around the U.S., Canada, Australia, and across Europe. Throughout the whole process, I’ve found that intellectual property is the heart of my business, it allows my original designs to be protected and remain original, helps me keep my 6 full-time staff employed, and deters copycats.

Just think about it: I almost single-handedly created an entire genre of hand painted glassware, which hadn’t existed before me. While I’ve encountered many companies out there doing similar ventures, my interest in maintaining the integrity of my copyrights and trademarks makes others hesitate to copy my designs directly. After all, the consumer considers my products to be collectible, knowing there is “only one Lolita!”

I’ve found that it is essential for entrepreneurs to understand and know their rights! Trademark, patent, and copyright your creations to protect the time and investment you poured into your fledgling businesses. There are also some great books out there on intellectual property and I would encourage creators and innovators to equip themselves with knowledge on IP.

Understanding the difference between the types of IP and what to copyright versus what to trademark, understanding the classes of trademarks, trademark searches…it’s all so important! It is the backbone of your company and your brand. Even if it is just a dream at this point, do not hesitate to protect your creativity.

My company, brand, creations: it’s all about fun and celebrations. Each design represents a personality, celebration or occasion and has a certain sassiness, which people love!

For Lolita®, IP delivers fun with an emphasis on absolutely the most original and creative designs to be found anywhere. The brand is constantly evolving and growing, with a focus on functionality in the home with a flair for fashion, high design, humor and all-out good times.

For more information on Lolita’s creations, please visit www.DesignsByLolita.com.

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