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  #1  
Old October 20, 2011, 04:25 PM
RickC RickC is offline
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Default Exclusive Rights

Has anyone on this forum obtained or tried to obtain the Exclusive Rights for any type of Consumer product? Exlusive Rights meaning a new marketing method for an existing product that the manufacturer isn't currently using?

How about the rights or idea for a new product by bringing two manufacturers together who have existing products that could be combined for something new? Like chocolate and peanut butter?

I ask this because, for quite some time, I have been combining two food items (each are well known and a healthy snack). I can't figure out why I cannot find these two great foods together in a can or bag.

This is definitely a Joe Cossman type of idea and I was wondering if anyone has taken this route to create a toll booth position?

Last edited by Dien Rice : October 20, 2011 at 04:36 PM.
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  #2  
Old October 21, 2011, 12:19 AM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Default Re: Exclusive Rights

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickC View Post
Has anyone on this forum obtained or tried to obtain the Exclusive Rights for any type of Consumer product? Exlusive Rights meaning a new marketing method for an existing product that the manufacturer isn't currently using?

How about the rights or idea for a new product by bringing two manufacturers together who have existing products that could be combined for something new? Like chocolate and peanut butter?

I ask this because, for quite some time, I have been combining two food items (each are well known and a healthy snack). I can't figure out why I cannot find these two great foods together in a can or bag.

This is definitely a Joe Cossman type of idea and I was wondering if anyone has taken this route to create a toll booth position?
Hi Rick,

I think the question would be, how would you protect your idea, to stop others from copying it?

I'm not sure an idea like that is easily protectable. So, it could be a good idea - but if you can't protect it, it makes it hard to make big money over the long term with it.

One way to protect it could be through a trademark, perhaps. Then you wouldn't be protecting the idea itself, but if the trademark became associated with the idea, it would be a kind of protection.

For example, you mentioned peanut butter and chocolate. There is no protection on that idea - anyone in the world can create a peanut butter and chocolate product without restriction. However, when you think "peanut butter and chocolate" - many people think "Reese's peanut butter cups" and associate the idea with a protected trademark. While you can create a peanut butter and chocolate product, you are not allowed to legally call your product "Reese's peanut butter cups"!

Anyway, some things are inherently easier to get a "toll position" in than others. This one seems a bit difficult to me, especially if you are not the manufacturer yourself.

If you manufactured it yourself, you could create a trademark, and associate your idea with the trademark. However, that doesn't always work to exclude others. (For example, note that Gatorade, which invented "sports drinks", was successfully copied by the Coca-Cola company with their "copy-cat" product "Powerade". The trademark "Gatorade" is still powerful, but it didn't stop a very powerful competitor from copying them, and taking a large chunk of their market.)

Best wishes,

Dien
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  #3  
Old October 21, 2011, 12:21 AM
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Bozo Bozo is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Carlsbad, New Mexico
Posts: 202
Default Re: Exclusive Rights

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickC View Post
Has anyone on this forum obtained or tried to obtain the Exclusive Rights for any type of Consumer product? Exlusive Rights meaning a new marketing method for an existing product that the manufacturer isn't currently using?

How about the rights or idea for a new product by bringing two manufacturers together who have existing products that could be combined for something new? Like chocolate and peanut butter?

I ask this because, for quite some time, I have been combining two food items (each are well known and a healthy snack). I can't figure out why I cannot find these two great foods together in a can or bag.

This is definitely a Joe Cossman type of idea and I was wondering if anyone has taken this route to create a toll booth position?

There was a story in our local news about a hometown boy making good. He created a new energy drink and started a company to produce it.

http://cowboyupenergy.net/ryan.html

Who would have thought there was room in the energy drink market?

That would be similar to your idea, I think.
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  #4  
Old October 21, 2011, 12:31 AM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Default Re: Exclusive Rights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozo View Post
There was a story in our local news about a hometown boy making good. He created a new energy drink and started a company to produce it.

http://cowboyupenergy.net/ryan.html

Who would have thought there was room in the energy drink market?

That would be similar to your idea, I think.
Thanks Bozo,

Another story on its way to big success is by "old-time" (yet still young) Sowpubber, Erik Lukas, co-founder of the beverage company "Bean & Body"...

http://www.beanandbody.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGYHQmhJr_k&t=1m3s

(You can find his old posts on Sowpub... Erik was a very early internet marketing success, having sold a lot of copies of an ebook he wrote when he was just in his teens, back in the 1990s!)

Bean & Body drinks are available at Whole Foods stores, mostly in Chicago, though they are expanding nationwide.

They're delicious (I've drunk 'em all), plus good for you, too!

Best wishes

Dien
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  #5  
Old October 21, 2011, 10:20 AM
RickC RickC is offline
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Posts: 67
Default Re: Exlusive Rights

Thanks Dien and Bozo. I have read of others getting exclusive rights with different marketing methods that are not being utilized by a manufacturer, and was curious about an "Idea"

Lets pretend of life before Reeces Peanut Butter Cup. You had Chocolate and Peanut Butter. What if someone discovered that these two ingredients went well together for a new product. Now we just need to get each manufacturer together to create it...but it IS my idea.

Perhaps one way to prove the idea is actually yours and you thought of it first is to write the whole concept down on paper and then mail it to yourself. That way you have a date of when your idea was thought of and you are protecting it. Should the concept actually become reality, then perhaps your "idea" would then translate into receiving part of the profits from the new product each time it is sold.

Hope I'm not sounding foolish. There are currently two items I eat every day that I combine together myself, thinking "I wish these things were packaged together so it would be easier. Each item is a healthy item, too.

Thanks for your input!
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  #6  
Old October 21, 2011, 04:46 PM
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Bozo Bozo is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Carlsbad, New Mexico
Posts: 202
Default Re: Exlusive Rights

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickC View Post
Thanks Dien and Bozo. I have read of others getting exclusive rights with different marketing methods that are not being utilized by a manufacturer, and was curious about an "Idea"

Lets pretend of life before Reeces Peanut Butter Cup. You had Chocolate and Peanut Butter. What if someone discovered that these two ingredients went well together for a new product. Now we just need to get each manufacturer together to create it...but it IS my idea.

Perhaps one way to prove the idea is actually yours and you thought of it first is to write the whole concept down on paper and then mail it to yourself. That way you have a date of when your idea was thought of and you are protecting it. Should the concept actually become reality, then perhaps your "idea" would then translate into receiving part of the profits from the new product each time it is sold.

Hope I'm not sounding foolish. There are currently two items I eat every day that I combine together myself, thinking "I wish these things were packaged together so it would be easier. Each item is a healthy item, too.

Thanks for your input!

I understand exactly what you are saying here, as I am involved in the very beginnings of such a project with a crazy lady. Her biggest and first concern is that some scoundrel will rip off her idea, and so she insists on non-compete agreements all around.

My thoughts on that are that, besides being a whack job, she is being unrealistic. She is expecting to reap 80% of such an arrangement when the reality is that she will smack a home run with 1%.

I've seen this come up over and over with other people. They have a great idea and think that it's worth big bucks just because they thought it up. The reality is that ideas are a dime a dozen. It's action and production that have value. In her mind, she wants someone to build a prototype from her idea, produce and then market the thing and give her big bucks.

What usually happens is that the idea dies on the vine because of the paranoia. Nobody wants to placate a whack job except maybe a doctor of some type, so in the end nothing happens.

The thing to do, I think, is to prototype your idea and then present it to someone reputable who has the resources to see it through. Don't worry about Bozo, or other regular folks, ripping you off because we don't have the resources or even the desire to do so.

The link I posted earlier, about the energy drink, shows one solution. You get the funding and go into production yourself. Another solution is to license it to someone and take your small percentage while you go on to something else. The most common solution is to hide your idea away in a box and do nothing.

You might want to take a look at what's available here on sowpub regarding toll positions. Also there is some good information available about licensing.
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  #7  
Old October 21, 2011, 09:21 PM
RickC RickC is offline
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Default Re: Exclusive Rights

Thanks Bozo. The woman you are referring to is unrealistic and greedy. One percent of something is better than eighty percent of nothing. Paranoia can be a horrible thing.
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  #8  
Old October 21, 2011, 10:41 PM
Bill Bill is offline
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Posts: 157
Default Re: Exlusive Rights

Like Dien said earlier, anyone can sell chocolate and peanut butter together. The same would be true of the 2 foods you are combining. You can't patent a recipe, so there would be no way to protect your idea from being copied.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickC View Post
Thanks Dien and Bozo. I have read of others getting exclusive rights with different marketing methods that are not being utilized by a manufacturer, and was curious about an "Idea"

Lets pretend of life before Reeces Peanut Butter Cup. You had Chocolate and Peanut Butter. What if someone discovered that these two ingredients went well together for a new product. Now we just need to get each manufacturer together to create it...but it IS my idea.

Perhaps one way to prove the idea is actually yours and you thought of it first is to write the whole concept down on paper and then mail it to yourself. That way you have a date of when your idea was thought of and you are protecting it. Should the concept actually become reality, then perhaps your "idea" would then translate into receiving part of the profits from the new product each time it is sold.

Hope I'm not sounding foolish. There are currently two items I eat every day that I combine together myself, thinking "I wish these things were packaged together so it would be easier. Each item is a healthy item, too.

Thanks for your input!
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  #9  
Old October 22, 2011, 02:57 AM
Phil Phil is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,857
Default Very Quietly! ... Trade Secret, Protecting IP in Novel Food Ingredients & Derived...

Derived products! ...

Common Sense... Very Privately, Carefully and Smartly Communicated with a few little ''Twists'' here and there, Only where and when Necessary! ...

Quick research... (Quickly copy and pasted)... With a few Particular thoughts & comments! ... Might just Give you some {Food for Thought} without releasing Too Many details...

[Think]... Less is More! ...

Meaning...

The Notion that Simplicity and Clarity Lead to Good Design...

Origin..

This is a 19th century Proverbial phrase. It is first found in print in Andrea Del Sarto, 1855, a poem by Robert Browning:

Who strive - you don't know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) - so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia...

Keep as a trade secret?

Trade secrets are commonly used in the food industry to protect ingredients, compositions, formulas, and methods of manufacture or processes. The use of trade secrets may be applicable where the product/process does not meet certain patentability criteria. An essential requirement of trade secret protection is that total secrecy is maintained. This requires that people inside the organisation do not divulge sensitive information to anyone external...

Protecting IP in novel food ingredients & derived products
http://www.jaws.co.nz/news/2011/10/1...-products.aspx

Phil

Last edited by Phil : October 22, 2011 at 03:36 AM. Reason: additional info...
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  #10  
Old October 22, 2011, 06:53 AM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
Onwards and upwards!
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,522
Default Re: Very Quietly! ... Trade Secret, Protecting IP in Novel Food Ingredients & Derived...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil View Post
Derived products! ...

Common Sense... Very Privately, Carefully and Smartly Communicated with a few little ''Twists'' here and there, Only where and when Necessary! ...

Quick research... (Quickly copy and pasted)... With a few Particular thoughts & comments! ... Might just Give you some {Food for Thought} without releasing Too Many details...

[Think]... Less is More! ...

Meaning...

The Notion that Simplicity and Clarity Lead to Good Design...

Origin..

This is a 19th century Proverbial phrase. It is first found in print in Andrea Del Sarto, 1855, a poem by Robert Browning:

Who strive - you don't know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) - so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia...

Keep as a trade secret?

Trade secrets are commonly used in the food industry to protect ingredients, compositions, formulas, and methods of manufacture or processes. The use of trade secrets may be applicable where the product/process does not meet certain patentability criteria. An essential requirement of trade secret protection is that total secrecy is maintained. This requires that people inside the organisation do not divulge sensitive information to anyone external...

Protecting IP in novel food ingredients & derived products
http://www.jaws.co.nz/news/2011/10/1...-products.aspx
Hi Phil,

Excellent post...!

Of course, you can also protect anything through a "secret formula" - as long as it is not too easy for others to "figure" the formula out.

A couple famous examples are the formula for Coca-Cola, and KFC's "11 secret herbs and spices"...

As you point out, it's not only secret ingredients which can protect something, but "secret processes" as well. You may know the ingredients for a recipe, but if you don't know exactly what to do, and in what order, you probably still can't "exactly" reproduce the final result... (And the more complicated the ingredients or the processes are, the harder it would be to figure out...)

As the article you linked to showed, you can get a patent on food items. Here's another useful link on this topic...

Can I patent a food recipe?
http://store.inventorprise.com/conte...es.php?id=1049

One potential problem with food patents (and patenting any kind of formula) is that it may be possible for someone to slightly modify the recipe, and produce something very similar, without violating the patent.

That's why some things are often better as "secret formulas" (like the secret recipe for Coca-Cola") than as patents. If it is patented, it is also public, so you are revealing to the world exactly how you created that product.

If someone can then just modify it slightly to come up with a new product that is not covered by your patent, then by revealing your ingredients or your processes, your patent may have actually helped the competition, rather than hindered them!

Why all this focus on protection? Can't you be successful without it?

Yes, you can - at least for a time. But if you are very successful - others will notice. And - if you have no protection - they will copy you, and compete with you. If you get a competitor with "deep pockets" or an already well-established position, they could even end up driving you out of business.

It's happened many times...

One last thing is that for a patent to be accepted, it must be "useful, novel and non-obvious."

Something which is too simple might be judged to not be sufficiently "novel" or perhaps be too "obvious" to be granted a patent. So that is another thing to think about.

Some business ideas are easier to "protect" than others...

For example, let's say you open a Lithuanian restaurant in your town, and let's say it is the only restaurant in town which sells Lithuanian food. People may flock to your restaurant, because they are curious and want to try Lithuanian food - and once they try it, they love it!

What's to stop 10 other people from copying your idea? The answer is... nothing. If your restaurant is very successful, pretty soon you could have 10 other Lithuanian restaurants in town, all competing with you. You can't protect the "concept" of a restaurant serving traditional Lithuanian food!

However, if you give your Lithuanian restaurant a distinctive and unique look and feel, you may be able to protect its "trade dress" - which is similar to a trademark, but for the "look and feel" of an establishment. So - the food itself (if it is traditional Lithuanian food) may not be protectable, but a unique "look and feel" (i.e. "trade dress") of the restaurant can be protected.

Of course, the name can also be trademarked as well. If you create any special logos for your restaurant, that could be trademarked as well.

Any "fun" and unique names for menu items (e.g. "Bubbling Birzai Castle Borscht") could possiby be trademarked too.

I think it pays to become familiar with this stuff, and to think about how you can protect your idea. If you can't protect your idea one way or another... you should probably either figure out a way to protect it, or think of another idea...

Okay, I've gone on long enough on this rant for now...

Best wishes,

Dien

Last edited by Dien Rice : October 22, 2011 at 07:15 AM.
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