IDEASMITE Spread, or they might not!

Some ideas just pop. Others just fizz out.

Some ideas just pop. Others just fizz out.

This weeks episode of The Common Creative is Creative Fermentation. Chef Garry Flynn shares a story of his entrepreneurial adventure in making Elderflower Presse (soft drink). The thing about Garry’s story was that it, in the end, it was one tiny element blocked the soured the project.

Ideas often need times to incubate, but sometimes when you are brewing up a new project, fermentation can have unwanted consequences, as Garry found out.

I know from bitter experience that the best-laid plans, both literally (given a career as an architect that is not to be unexpected), and metaphorically, can become unstuck due to unforeseen circumstances.

On the theme of fermentation, over the last 10 years, I have been lucky enough to work with Newstead Brewing Co’. One of the co-founders, MC, a chef, was experimenting with making a yeast spread using the spent yeast from the beer fermentation process.

Around the same time, I had an idea for a breakfast masterclass series called IDEASMITE. MC agreed to make me some spread so I could have a physical product to go with my masterclass and workshop series.

The idea behind the word was that the mite had multiple meanings, giving a sense of possibility, strength, as well as a microscopic scale:

Small but powerful ideas with loads of potential.

Thinking this was a winner, I applied for a trademark under section 41 for workshops and seminars, as well as class 30 for yeast spreads.

Long story short, my application was opposed by the most iconic mite brand in the land. Maybe they too saw the potential in the idea, but spreading the love they were not. I was quite surprised but they threw all their might behind it. I fought the good fight, but in the end, I was spread just to thinly.

After 3 years of battling with their lawyers via the opposition process at IP Australia, like the key ingredient of a yeast spread, I too was spent. I finally came to a settlement where I withdrew my application for the yeast spread Trade Mark, but keep the Trade Mark for masterclasses. I surrendered.

Towards the end of the negotiations, I offered to transfer all the IP to them on the basis that they run a national ideas completion around good old Aussie ingenuity. The competition was to encourage our young minds to be clever, original and inventive and to be promoted by IDEASMITE Spread Jars in supermarkets across Australia. Sadly they declined, but I have left the lid ajar for them to take up the idea in the future. I live in hope.

With the best of intentions, not all projects work out the way we envisage. In the end, MC couldn’t produce a yeast spread that didn’t taste like a pale ale. While it was popular with breakfast beer drinkers, that seemed to be a very limited market. But along the way, I learnt a lot about the trademarks.

To toast my partial success, I am hosting a free online breakfast IDEASMITE masterclass at 7.00 am (Brisbane Time) Thursday 29th October 2020. Come along and kick some ideas around and join a discussion about the pros and cons of Intellectual Property.

Grab your ticket here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ideasmite-spread-tickets-125843307721

or just join my mailing list https://www.paulfairweather.com/subscribe

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