Protecting intellectual property (IP) – from logos to ecobreakthroughs with the power to change the world – is a critical part of growing an international business says Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), the world’s largest support network for SMEs.
Branding a toilet tissue product with the word ‘cheeky’ will inevitably prompt a wry smile
from British shoppers. But for Chinese entrepreneur Julie Chen, the pun was a complete accident – and proved how critical intellectual property guidance can be. Julie worked with Enterprise Europe Network
adviser, Heather Benham, who helped Cheeky Panda protect its name across Europe.
Julie was keen to expand the Cheeky Panda brand into European markets. It was essential that Julie had the intellectual property rights in place to protect the company during this expansion.
Chen said “It’s very important for us to protect our brand in the UK and internationally. We’re the only brand across Europe allowed to use the Cheeky Panda name and no competitors can steal our brand identity.”
Julie got in touch with the Enterprise Europe Network and was introduced to Heather
Benham. Heather helped Julie secure the intellectual property rights that were so essential to the growth into new markets.
The process typically takes a few months and usually costs less than £1,000 for protection
across the EU’s 28 member states.
For Julie Chen, trademarking Cheeky Panda in the UK and across Europe proved pivotal. The company launched in 2016 and already ranks among Amazon’s top-selling wellbeing brands and is stocked in more than 100 organic and natural stores across the UK.
Chen is now on a European drive, starting with a partnership with Belgium headquartered bio-market supermarket Bio-Planet.