Lesson 2: IP in Crowdfunding Campaigns
Crowdfunding campaigns are becoming increasingly popular as a method of financing start-ups. While they are a great way for
start-ups to come to market, they also pose unique legal challenges, particularly in the context of IP.
ANDREW GARDNER: POLAR PEN
You have already been introduced to Andrew Gardner and his popular product, the POLAR Pen. You know how Andrew developed this product and you have been introduced to some of the forms of IP that he used to protect his innovative product.
We will now look more closely at Andrew’s case as an example of some of the issues start-ups can encounter in launching a global crowdfunding campaign.
From an IP perspective, what was Andrew’s biggest problem once he launched his Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign?
Counterfeits: Almost immediately after he launched his campaign, counterfeits of his pens were being sold out of Asia. This had two results:
- It reduced his own sales (because the counterfeits are being purchased in place of his authentic product).
- It tarnished his brand image (because of the poor quality of the counterfeit goods).
Let’s hear from Andrew about this in a bit more detail: