John Groppoli, one of 4 directors of the Dome Group of Companies, the aroma of
freshly ground coffee beans is the smell of intellectual property.
Group have developed a comprehensive IP strategy that flows into almost every
aspect of day-to-day business.
aggressive approach to IP is rare throughout Australian industry and, in fact,
was not a feature of their early days in business. It wasn't until Groppoli,
also a partner in the high profile firm of Deacons Graham and James, was
appointed a director, that IP gained its current prominence in business
According to Groppoli,
whatever reasons, there is this myth that "intellectual property is patents", or
"intellectual property is high tech", so most business operators are very
removed from the concept of intellectual property and intellectual property
rights. They just don't see it as relevant to their operations."
board of directors of Dome, the first step was to identify their IP assets, then
take the necessary steps to protect and manage those assets. Their strategy
registering trademarks in Australia
with IP Australia and overseas for nation-wide monopolies in specific goods
and services classes;
registering their business name in each Australian state and territory. This
move saves on inadvertent infringement and the subsequent cost of following
up on infringement;
acknowledging trade secrets.
These are protected through confidentiality agreements with franchisees and
employee agreements, and stipulate the consequences of abusing this
placing copyright notices on all
written material, including press releases, marketing materials, training
manuals and so on. Also formal, written assignment of copyright to Dome, for
logos, press releases and ads created externally;
active and regular monitoring of abuse of their intellectual property in the
marketplace, including searches of IP Australia's registered trade marks
database, state business and national company names registers, new telephone
listings and the Internet. When breeches are found, a letter is immediately
sent to the infringing part from John Groppoli;
protecting their franchise image, which includes a style guide for ways
franchisees can use their registered trade marks. Franchisee contracts also
contain clauses prohibiting the use of the Dome name in franchisee company
names. This includes the production of Dome Cafes in kit form for overseas
franchisees to ensure the integrity of the Dome "look".
case study has been compiled by