Learning by example
AJ Park’s Anton Blijlevens highlights two export stories, and the lessons they deliver: • The AirNZ Skycouch patent is now licensed to China Airlines and other airlines around the world. Air New Zealand collects royalties for this IP. Exporting IP has zero export cost and a zero carbon footprint! • Glass Vice Products now exports to the US and elsewhere. A small but growing company with limited budget, its strategic spend on patent protection and IP strategy advice has been vital to prevent copy products competing with them.
Blijlevens also has advice for start-ups. “The only thing they own is their IP. They do not own any plant, equipment or property – so they need to be very careful as to how they protect their IP.
“They must have an IP strategy right from the start. All new ideas start off life as a trade secret. This is a form of IP right. At some stage, before the trade secret becomes public information, a decision needs to be made if conversion to other forms of IP protection is vital to the survival of the business.”