– Aaron Keller, Managing Principal, Capsule

A few weeks back Mr. Baird and I dusted off an old presentation and gave it a fresh voice to a fresh set of faces. The crowd was likely one of the largest we’ve presented to and certainly had the lead for the greatest number of designers in the audience.

We talked about the intersection of design and the law, which isn’t something new to us and certainly to any regular reader of this blog. But, to this audience, the subject matter hit home and led to a fair number of head down scribbling in the audience. Or, perhaps head down naps, sometimes its hard to see the difference. Whatever the case, our post presentation question line was long, which is always an indication of less napping and more scribbling.

Whatever the case, Steve talked about Copyright, Trademark and Patents, always infusing thoughtful advice on things to avoid. He seems to know the hot buttons because the wide eyes coming from the audience when he talks about avoiding the “d” word (descriptive) were saucer-like as always. For some reason, this piece runs counter intuitive and there are so many brand names which have made this mistake, sometimes means a bit of worry that the wrong advice might have been given in the past.

My role in these presentations has become more clear as we’ve advanced our presentations together over a period of five years: entertainer. Yes, I am the one with color commentary and Steve is the one with big words and practical advice. My role is to give the audience a smile and perhaps a chuckle while Steve’s role is to make them think and sometimes even panic. It works well for us.

Here are the five points the audience likely gathered from our presentation:

1. We destroy the value of brands by killing meaning: toilets by Jacuzzi.

2. Differences in copyright, trademark and patent law: all Intellectual Property (IP).

3. How to design and protect a strong Trademark.

4. Don’t describe your offering if you’re looking for a Trademark.

5. The importance of knowing other disciplines, like your friendly IP lawyer.

The results seemed to work all around – our friends at The Dieline were pleased with the presentation, the audience cheered, and we walked off the stage without getting hit by tomatoes or other rotten food items.

So, if you know of other audiences who would benefit from this presentation, please make contact with us. The road show has a fresh coat of paint and we’ve added a new car smell hanging from the windshield.

Thank you for reading.