Tuesday Jul 25, 2023

ZipString’s Austin Hillam on How to Protect Your Inventions and Keep Innovation Going

In this episode, Branddy speaks to Austin Hillam, Co-Founder at ZipString, a handheld physics toy developer and manufacturer. They talk about the creation of ZipString, how quickly counterfeits and scams popped up, and the efforts they've spent combating those companies. They also discuss the impact of counterfeits that go beyond just monetary, best practices for keeping your IP safe around the world, and advice for founders, including to find knowledgeable partners early.

Topics discussed:

  • How Austin and his co-founder created ZipString, how it gained in popularity after a viral video, and their experience getting a deal on Shark Tank. 
  • How counterfeits and scams started popping up three months after their viral video, and what actions they took to get them taken down.
  • The various ways counterfeits and scams hurt the company, from taking market share, to misrepresenting the brand, to taking away time spent on innovation.
  • Lessons learned from taking down thousands of fake listings, including why you should go after their assets, the need to register your IP around the world, and how you can fast track the patent process.
  • How ZipString has adapted their approach to IP in order to keep their innovation engine running.
  • Why finding great partnerships in the beginning is crucial, and other pieces of advice for innovators and start-ups.

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