A recent UK survey by Shelter has reported over 300,000 people as homeless. Bristol-based charity called BillyChip has been formed to support the homeless nationally.
Many homeless persons seeking support in the street are not given money to buy food and drink when they are most in need. Potential givers feel concerned that money may be wasted on inappropriate purchases by street sleepers. To reduce this risk and encourage more street donations Billy Chip has designed coin tokens for local retailers which the public can give to the homeless to exchange for safe food and drink.
The token ceramic coins have been designed by the charity family founders in honour of Billy Abernethy-Hope who lost his life in a tragic accident
The tokens have a financial value below the cost to manufacture. This creates a risk of copycats stealing the design and reselling lower cost tokens for personal profit. This would undermine the public reputation of the charity and consequently lead to lost retail clients and reduced public support.
Consultations with a specialist advisor in trademark and design protection took place. The charity learned that registering a trademark and design with the Intellectual Property Office would deter copycats and give the charity the protection of civil and criminal legal authorities. They found registrations would also enhance their public reputation with their retailers and donors.
Their IP advisor donated pro bono time to search and register their brand name and unique designs. The searches were important to ensure there were no others trading with similar names and designs in the same sector. The applications were published online before registration to help identify possible infringement issues in advance of completion. This process identified a financial services company based in Germany using the trademarked name Billie. BillyChip’s IP advisor Clive Bonny is also a certified mediator for accelerated dispute resolution. Bonny liaised direct with the IP representatives of Billie using the principles of mediation to ensure no adversarial action and no extra costs for BillyChip. All objections from Billie were resolved within one day of starting discussions online. The registrations were duly completed
Clive Bonny says “When I first saw Billy Chip on morning TV explaining their mission I contacted them within 24 hours to donate my support time. My own home and workplace in Brighton has a big challenge managing homeless persons and Billy Chip has great potential to help vulnerable people nationally. I was also delighted to mediate and avert adversarial legal problems with a potential objector. Billy Chip’s IP registrations last up to 10 years and can be renewed so this protects their supply chain continuity and reputation for life.”
For more information contact
Jon Hope firstname.lastname@example.org 07557 674925
OR for advice
Clive Bonny Clive@consult-smp.com 07973 799153