Protecting Your IP Is Important for Small Businesses – Just Ask the Creator of the beautyblender
When you start a business, there are many important things on your mind. You need to make sure you develop a client base, hire the right people, and cultivate a good work environment. What you may not consider, however, is your intellectual property. Chances are high that your brand and your products should be protected, either by trademark or copyright. This is particularly important – if you don’t protect your IP, others can copy your ideas and pass them off as their own. This was the case recently with Avon, the well-known beauty shop, and Rea.deeming Beauty, Inc., the creator of the beautyblender.
The beautyblender is one of the most trendy and successful beauty products out right now. It is a hot pink sponge that is used to blend liquid makeup, and it can be seen featured in many YouTube tutorials and in magazines. Due to its popularity, however, it has been copied by many other companies, and the counterfeits can be found for sale all over the internet. Recently, Avon came out with a similar product that was also hot pink and named “Beauty Blender.”
The original beautyblender was introduced by Rea Ann Silva, the president and CEO of Rea.deeming Beauty, Inc. in 2003. Since then, she and her team have constantly been on the lookout for the knockoffs. She recognized the value behind policing her IP, and has definitely seen the benefits. When she found Avon’s product, she made sure that the blenders were copies, and quickly accused the company of trademark infringement. Even though it was a major company she was up against, she knew that she had to protect the value of her hard work and her brand as a whole.
Her vigilance paid off this spring, when Avon settled with her, agreeing to assume liability for copying the beautyblender, to refrain from copying in the future, and pay a large monetary damage to cover lost sales and attorneys’ fees and costs. This goes to show the effects protecting your IP can have; even when you face a major opponent, in the end they may be violating your rights, and you will prevail.