Skip to main content

Dragons' Den IP Blog - Series 21 Episode 13

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Business, International, IP, Licensing, Patents, Trade marks, Trade secrets

Trade secrets, patents and licensing - this episode of Dragons’ Den certainly didn’t hold back when it came to intellectual property (IP). From investments that left Peter Jones experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out) to pods that had the Dragons sleeping on the job, this episode certainly had me excited to get writing. 

Steven Bartlett and Peter Jones take a nap on business Remy's relaxing pods.

Manicures that stick 

First into the Den was businesswoman Gina asking for £100,000 in return for a 4% stake in her business, Glaize.  

Gina was quick to tell the Dragons about her patent pending technology that is used to create stick on gel covers made to fit your unique nail size and shape. They are even delivered straight to your door. 

Sara Davies knows that intellectual property is an important part of running a successful business and protecting its innovations from competitors. 

This business will live or die on its intellectual property, so I just need to understand how watertight it is versus the competition that is out there.

  "I’m not a patent expert that's why I have the lawyers", Gina explained.

Gina clearly understands the importance of using a professional to help her with the process of applying for a patent to streamline the process. Most people would not buy a home without the help of a professional, and yet obtaining a patent can be just as complex, especially if you get your application wrong at the start. 

Did you know?

Only regulated representatives that are legally qualified are allowed to call themselves a patent attorney or patent agent. Check out our free guidance page to find the correct IP advisor to help you protect your IP (Link): Seeking intellectual property advice - GOV.UK (

Businesswoman Gina pitches the Dragons her company, Glaize.

Back to the Den, Gina receives four identical offers of half the money she asked for in return for 4% of the company. 

After what Peter Jones describes as a ‘nail biting’ visit to the wall, Gina thanks all the Dragons for their offers and asks Sara and Deborah Meaden if they will both invest the full amount for 3% each. The Dragons negotiate with the perfectly manicured entrepreneur for £50,000 each in return for 8% of the stake divided between them. 

A surreal moment, Gina agrees, departing the Den having secured a deal with a formidable duo of Dragons. 

Reading the Facts

Founder and director Stevie Keen enters the Dragons’ domain eager to get an investment of £75,000 in return for 10% of his company, Audio Mag Media. 

The business specialises in accessible and inclusive content for all children in the shape of an innovative magazine called Fact Factory that gives readers of all abilities the opportunity to read, read along or listen. 

Founder and director Stevie Keen presenting business Audio Mag Media.

The businessman explained to the Dragons how he has a licensing deal signed with Japanese tech firm, Gridmark International. Gridmark owns all the rights to a special pen that is used to interact with the magazine. The pen scans stickers in the magazine and reads the content out loud, as demonstrated by Stevie’s young helper, Laurel, in the Den. Laurel also made the point that the stickers were easy to locate on the page due to being designed with a raised surface. The agreement with Gridmark allows Audio Mag Media to use the invention without infringing on the tech company’s IP. 

Why choose licensing?

Having a license can be a great way for a business to save time or access expertise that it does not have in-house. A business may get its products or services to market more quickly by acquiring a licence to use existing IP, instead of re-inventing the wheel.   

The Dragons remained unconvinced about the licensing route for this product, however, due to lack of exclusivity with the licensing agreement. This means that there is a possibility for a competitor to also license the pen and use it in the same way it is used for Fact Factory magazine. 

While all five Dragons are inspired by the entrepreneur's passion for his business, they all agree that ultimately the business is not investable. 

Hydrating fur babies 

Next up to face the Dragons is husband and wife team Louise and Ian Toal, with their functional smoothie hydrating drink for dogs, Furr Boost. The dog-loving duo were seeking a £50,000 investment in return for a 10% equity stake in their company. 

Husband and wife duo Ian and Louise Toal, with their functional smoothie hydrating drink for dogs, Furr Boost.

The product was created after the pair’s fur baby Phoebe fell ill at 18 months old. Working alongside the pup's vet, Louise set out to change Phoebe’s diet. In the summer months Phoebe, a beagle, was refusing to drink, so Louise created some appetising flavoured drinks which helped to hydrate her. 

The couple's recipe for dog smoothie drinks could be protected by a trade secret – but that’s providing that they can keep it a secret. The business should ensure that anyone involved – suppliers, manufacturers, employees – sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Our free guidance page on NDAs can help you find out more (link): Non-disclosure agreements - GOV.UK (

After a ‘talk to the wall’ and negotiation with retail expert Touker Suleyman, the team leave the Den all waggy tailed with an investment of £50,000 in exchange for 30% equity. 

Don’t wake the Dragon

Unpicking all that IP certainly left me craving a rest. Thankfully, the last entrepreneur into the Den had the solution. Remy is the brainchild of businessman Abeer Iqbal He has reinvented the bean bag so that it uniquely suits all body types by providing back support in any position. 

Our ‘Search for a trade mark’ tool shows that Abeer has wisely protected his branding by using trade marks. You can find Remy’s trade marks here (link): Search for a trade mark - Intellectual Property Office ( 

Unfortunately, Abeer left the Den empty handed. Despite the business failing to impress the Dragons the entrepreneur did win them over and left them wishing he had another business to invest in. 

Businessman Abeer Iqbal pitches his business Remy.

If our Dragon’s Den blog has inspired you to kick back, relax and read more about the innovative inventions that the Dragons’ Den entrepreneurs have protected with IP, then subscribe to our Dragons' Den IP blog (link): Subscribe - Dragons' Den: the Intellectual Property blog  



The purpose of the IPO's Dragons' Den IP blog is to help identify the IP in entrepreneurs’ pitches and highlight how IP works, or could work, in the real-life examples featured. IPO’s authorship of this blog does not constitute its endorsement or sponsorship of any products, individuals or businesses referenced within it. 

Sharing and comments

Share this page

Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person

By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information.