BellaMoon

3 min read

BellaMoon

Co. Down, Northern Ireland | Started trading in 2016

BellaMoon is a multi-functional pregnancy, breastfeeding and infant support pillow. It supports all breastfeeding positions and is uniquely designed for mothers who like to lie on their side to feed their babies laterally.

About the company

Website: www.bellamoon.co

Twitter: @BellaMoonCo

Instagram: bellamoon.co

Interesting facts: Irene has so far funded her business by entering multiple competitions to raise funds – including the Santander Entrepreneurship Awards. She has just secured £250,000 investment from a private investment fund.

Number of employees: 1

Year business started: 2016

Number of years as a Santander customer: 1.5 years

Lightbulb moment

  • Irene had her first baby and wanted a product that would allow her to breastfeed her baby on her side whilst removing the fear of rolling over on her baby, and providing more comfort to her aching back, neck and hips.

Why a patent?

  • To protect the design features of the product.
  • The patent process began with Invest Northern Ireland, who offered matched funding and put Irene in touch with a patent lawyer.
  • Although the patent has not yet been approved, ‘patent pending’ still offers protection and gives over a year before more money needs to be spent on advancing the process.
  • Irene currently sells the product in the UK and Ireland and hopes that the patent will help to move into Europe and the US soon. Once secured, the product will be patented in over 150 countries globally.

Advice for people or businesses looking to file a patent?

  • Investigate whether patents are the best solution as it may be better (and cheaper) to go down the trademark route which still offers protection.
  • Find out what funding is available as there are many different grants and help for entrepreneurs.
  • Spend time validating the product and market before spending too much money on a patent – use non-disclosure agreements and surveys to gain honest feedback.
  • Hire a patent lawyer who will be able to file paperwork and advise on the best protection for product or idea.
  • Do not waste the one-year protection offered by filing a UK patent and waiting for a decision – use this time to research the market.

Timescale

  • Irene started the process in early 2017 and launched the product online in October 2018. She has a Worldwide PCT patent pending and is going through the process to approve her patent.

Issues securing a patent?

  • There was no issue with the patent process to date, however securing funding and raising capital for patenting a product has been challenging as it is an expensive process. She also secured a trademark for her brand BellaMoon in the UK, Ireland, EU and USA.