Today is World Intellectual Property Day

26 April is World Intellectual Property Day! This year we are shining the spotlight on entrepreneurs who focus their efforts on working for a better world. We asked three such entrepreneurs how their trademark registration helps them to succeed in doing just that.

How do you see the ‘mission’, or ‘social message’ of your company?

Portret van een vrouwMariska Kloppenburg, owner of Bijzonder Jij:
"Bijzonder Jij feels a responsibility to contribute to stimulating equal opportunities in education and strives to ensure that education is both accessible and available to everyone. We can provide you with remedial teaching or coaching with a special education expert or, as a school, you can call on our services for educational advice and support. At Bijzonder Jij we believe every child has the right to a fair chance of a good future."

Vrouw met grote bos bloemenElynne Bierman, owner of Reflower: 
"We offer a circular solution by renting out artificial flowers on a subscription basis. Our customers are given an attractive vase with beautiful lasting flowers that they can enjoy for a while. When they are tired of looking at the flowers, we come along to change them for others from our lasting flower library. Customers choose their flowers themselves. It means that buying fresh cut flowers, which often has a negative impact on the climate, happens less frequently."

portret of a manTibbe Verschaffel, Co-Founder & Captain of Planet B:
"We develop products that are as healthy as possible, something we see in a very wide sense: healthy for people, for animals and for the planet. Our aim is to turn the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) world upside down. Currently, a handful of big players dominate the scene (for example, P&G, Unilever, Nestlé, Coca Cola...). They want to generate as big a margin as possible, as much profit as possible, and are not looking at health."

How did registering your trademark contribute to the success of your business?

Abstract logo met lichtgroene achtergrondMariska Kloppenburg, Bijzonder Jij: 
"I had a trademark office register my brand name. Bijzonder Jij is registered as a word mark. Our logo is also registered as a figurative mark. Registration has increased the strength and reliability of our brand." 

Elynne Bierman, Reflower: 
"The brand Reflower has been registered, which inspires confidence, for both the customers and suppliers, as well as our media partners."

Tibbe Verschaffel, Planet B: 
"We have successfully registered Planet B, WONDR care, Klaaar, Bambooze and Kiko, both in the Benelux and in Europe. Registering our trademarks has given us a strong legal position if anyone should try and imitate or copy what we are doing."

Do you have an example of where your trademark registration played a crucial role?

Mariska Kloppenburg, Bijzonder Jij: 
"We feel that protecting our trademark is really important. In line with our mission we make study material available as worksheets that can be downloaded free of charge from the website, so we have also safeguarded the copyright on our materials. I believe our trademark registration definitely adds value in relation to quality guarantee, because people cannot just steal our ideas and run off with them. Thankfully, it has not happened yet but, if necessary, we can take action if others infringe on our protected name or logo." 

Elynne Bierman, Reflower:
"No, not yet. The idea has actually already been copied a few times by competitors, but you can't stop that with registratering your name. I do like knowing I’m in a stronger position to take action against competitors who want to hijack my name though."

Vrouw naast stelling met veel bloemen

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