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Dragons' Den Series 15: Episode 9

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Business, Copyright, Trade marks

‘Twas the night after Christmas, and all through the den, not a person was stirring, not even Evan. The Dragons were sat on their chairs with flare, in hopes that a worthy investment soon would be there.

Dragon in the Den.

Would the Dragons be feeling particularly charitable this evening or would we see more of a resemblance to one Ebenezer Scrooge?


Fittingly for the festive season, first into the Den was greeting card tycoon Andrew Pearce. After a nervous start, Andrew quickly recovered to provide a confident and convincing pitch for his card company ‘thortful’ before bravely asking the Dragons’ for an £80,000 investment for 5% of the business.

What impressed me most about the pitch was Andrew’s acknowledgement of creator rights. He explained how ‘thortful’ allows its customers to create and upload their own content to the online marketplace and will then pay said creator 50p for every one of their cards sold. These rights are known as royalties which fall under the category of copyright.

Copyright protects your work and stops others from using it without your permission. You get copyright protection automatically, meaning that you don’t have to apply or pay a fee. You automatically get copyright protection when you create:

  • original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including illustration and photography
  • original non-literary written work, such as software, web content and databases
  • sound and music recordings
  • film and television recordings
  • broadcasts
  • the layout of published editions of written, dramatic and musical works

You can mark your work with the copyright symbol (©), your name and the year of creation but whether you mark the work or not doesn’t affect the level of protection you have, it simply makes others aware that you are willing to take action if your work is infringed. Check out our IP Basics video below for more information:

I wasn’t the only person impressed by Andrew’s pitch, especially as the Dragons listened intently to his previous profits of over 20 million pounds from the sale of 2 hugely successful businesses meaning he really knows his stuff.

After being rejected by Peter, Deborah and Touker, the multimillionaire received the gift of gold from Tej and Jenny whose joint offer was accepted for a collective 16% of the business, it’s safe to say that Andrew left the Den filled with Christmas cheer.

Mo Bro’s

For a while, it seemed like nobody could follow the success of Andrew Pearce, until the delightful Dattani brothers appeared from behind those steel lift doors. Christmas is typically a time to spend with family, so my spirits were certainly lifted when brothers Keval, Kunal and Savan entered the Den together to pitch their family run business ‘Mo Bro’s’.

Their business venture began 3 years ago when they decided to take part in ‘Movember’ before realising that beard growth is not as easy as it seems and therefore adopting the nicknames Unruly, Scratchy and Patchy (self-explanatory I hope). This spurred them on to create high quality grooming products at low prices – something I think a particular Mr. S Claus would take interest in.

According to a recent interview with the Telegraph, the brothers admitted to saving money wherever possible, including their trade mark, which they achieved after a competition to see which brother could come up with the best design. Without enough money for a Photoshop licence, they used the free and very basic graphics editor, Microsoft Paint and the logo remains the same to this day.

After a quick search of the IPO’s trade mark register, an application to register the name ‘Mo Bro’s’ was filed on 5th October 2015. A trade mark can best be described as a badge of origin; it distinguishes the product or service of one business from another and could come in the form of a word, phrase, picture, shape or colour. I’ve included a video to explain trade marks in more detail below:

The brothers were eager to obtain an investment of £150,000 in exchange for 5% of the business, and with a wink of Peter’s eye and a twist of Tej’s head, soon the brothers knew they had nothing to dread. They proudly left the Den with both Dragons on board for £75,000 each and 20% between them.

And that was that - the Dragons sprang to their sleighs, and to the team gave a whistle, before flying away like the down of a thistle. But Evan heard them exclaim, as they flew out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

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