A few years ago, Beate Schürle moved from Germany to Ticino to manage the international jewellery sector of a well-known fashion brand. However, it wasn’t long before she knew that she wanted to have her own brand. She wanted to build an international business based on a concept she created herself. “I wanted to use my experience to create something that doesn't exist in the jewellery market, nor in the market for dogs, and if possible, to have it patented,” she says. Her background as a jewellery expert and dog owner (her dog's name is Maya) naturally set the direction – she was going to combine the world of exclusive high-quality jewellery with that of our canine companions.
A luxury invention for your four-legged friend
Beate Schürle has an idea for a unique jewellery product and wants to launch a new brand. But is her innovation novel and can it be patented? Thanks to an Assisted Patent Search, she gets the answers she needs to pursue her plan to make luxury items for dogs, our faithful four-legged companions.
The end products are dog collars and leashes made from high-quality Italian calfskin. What makes them special? The integrated gold, diamond and sapphire jewels can be transferred to other leather accessories as desired. The idea is based on the concept developed by the luxury watch industry whereby worn leather watch straps are replaced on request so that the valuable watch can shine like new. In addition, the jewels can also be used in a matching bracelet for the dog owner. “With my concept, I want to underline, celebrate and forever capture the love between humans and animals in a stylish and elegant way.”
Beate Schürle protected the trade mark Mayadoro (Swissreg trade mark number 750131) and spent two years perfecting the collar until she was happy with it. With an invention, the aim is to create something unique, which therefore has a higher chance of being patented. She wanted to get clarification so she applied for an Assisted Patent Search with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI). This search enables SMEs, researchers and individual inventors to find out where they stand with their idea. Over four hours, a patent expert worked meticulously with Beate Schürle to determine whether her invention was novel and could be patented. “I was impressed by how precisely the expert studied the existing inventions,” recalls Beate Schürle. Finding answers among millions of patents is almost like an art form.
The conclusion after four hours – her innovation could potentially be patented. Beate Schürle was relieved – “I wanted a market niche and a unique selling point. The search gave me greater confidence that I was creating something new,” says the entrepreneur. After the search, she said she was amazed that no one had ever thought of the same idea.
She pressed ahead with her luxury dog collar project and hired a patent attorney, who she found through the IPI’s IP advisory network. “I can only recommend consulting an expert. Filing a patent for an invention is a complex process and I could never have written the patent specification on my own. Every word counts and you only get one shot at it,” says the entrepreneur.
In addition to its protective function, a patent is also a marketing tool. “It helps to underline that my innovation is something special and unique,” Beate Schürle emphasises. In addition, a patent also represents an exclusive asset for potential investors. “The best invention is of no use if it’s not protected. That’s always an important factor for investors.”
The company founder also offers consulting services to start-ups in Ticino and she now wants to pass on to them the experience she has gained in protecting innovations. “My path has given me a completely different perspective on the topic of IP rights,” says the businesswoman. At the beginning of the journey, however, it’s about something completely different: “If you have an idea that you believe in, above all else, you need passion,” says Beate Schürle. The road can be rocky so it takes a lot of perseverance and an absolute belief that it will end in success.
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Innovativen KMUs, Startups, Einzelerfindern und öffentlichen Forschungseinrichtungen bietet das Eidgenössische Institut für Geistiges Eigentum (IGE) Begleitete Patentrecherchen an. Ein Patentexperte gibt Auskunft zum Patentwesen und recherchiert gemeinsam mit Ihnen in verschiedenen Datenbanken. Mit der Begleiteten Patentrecherche erhalten Sie einen ersten Überblick zum Stand der Technik und Sie können einschätzen, ob Ihre Idee neu ist. Das Resultat ist die ideale Basis für die weiteren Schritte, wie z.B. eine Patentanmeldung oder Gespräche mit Investoren.
Weitere Informationen: Begleitete Patentrecherchen