It’s finally here! Please help support our crowd-funding project by going either to www.indiegogo.com and search for “chocolate” or go directly to our project by going to this shortcut: www.emoc.info Lots of great tasting chocolate awaits you! Also, keep your eyes and ears peeled for our weekly surprise awards. Our first one will be announced sometime next week.
Now that we have our funding project launch in site (Next Friday / September 27th), we have an exciting announcement to share with all of you. But to keep things interesting, we will be making the announcement sometime early next week (before we launch). Believe me you’ll want to hear about this.
Due to problems and technical issues dealing with Kickstarter, we felt, even at this late moment in our ramp up to launch time, it was in our best interest to switch gears and launch our fundraising project on Indiegogo. Indiegogo is a similar crowd-sourced funding platform. They are almost as popular now as Kickstarter, and they are more startup business friendly. We are in the process of changing all our information to reflect this move, and believe me it’s no small task. Thankfully I have some great people helping me accomplish this who has been amazing helping me get us up to speed for our launch.
Indiegogo has the same type of “fixed” funding, where it’s “all or nothing”, meaning if we don’t reach our funding goal we get nothing and you contribute nothing. However, they offer an additional funding model that Kickstarter does not. Specifically, it’s called a “flexible” platform. While the “fixed” platform is a “all or nothing” this one allows the project creator to collect whatever they raise even if they don’t make their funding goal. The cost to do this type of platform is a bit higher with a higher commission to Indiegogo if we don’t make our goal, and the big question is what do we do with the money if we don’t make our funding goal. Well, we thought about it, and at first we were concerned that if we didn’t meet our funding goal we wouldn’t be able to do what we needed with the money and we wanted to make sure we could fulfill the rewards (perks) for backers. Well, the good news is two-fold. Because of the way we calculated the cost of the rewards vs. the contributions, and that fact that we already have the mold of our mascot manufactured we will be able to fulfill the rewards (perks) even with less than our funding goal. Also, even if we don’t make our funding goal, we still will be able to find ways to use whatever funds we receive to get us closer to clearing our first stage of the business.
We are really excited. This is a big milestone. We just produced our first piece of chocolate in our first design (our mascot). This is just a sample mold sent from the manufacturer of the equipment we will be purchasing. The mascot mold will be used to fulfill the rewards to our Kickstarter backers. This is a big milestone for us, as it demonstrates our process from concept to design to production to final product. This mold will also be used for marketing and advertising in the future after our doors are officially open for business.
We are very excited. We just got a test done of our mascot as a chocolate mold. It’s very exciting to see it go all the way from a 2d graphic, to 3d model, then to a negative chocolate mold in polycarbonate.
Below are photos of a “positive” done of the mascot in wax, and then a “negative” of the mascot in polycarbonate material:
Note: the .avi of the 3d mascot turntable is not the final design of the mascot. We had to make a few modifications for manufacturing. But it’s pretty close.
Our trademark has been approved! It’s official! We now own the rights to the name: “Everything’s Made of Chocolate”. This now means that we can now publish and print our name with legal support. It also means we can officially used the “registered” symbol ( ® ). This means that our company is a “registered” trademark and is legally projected. The other symbol (™) means that the name is a unique name or phrase that I’m using in my business, however, and that’s a BIG however, it is not a registered mark, and therefore does not have the same legal protection as a “registered” mark has.
Our copyright application has been approved! Our logo design is now protected and ready to use. One more intellectual property thing checked off our list.
People ask me often why I don’t trademark my logo, and instead copyright it. Well it’s pretty simple, and great advise from my trademark attorney (yes there are attorneys that specialize is trademarks). If you trademark a graphic, you are trademarking that specific design/symbol. If you try to alter it in any way. Say, down the road, you want to do a holiday themed version of your company logo, or you decide it’s time for an update/redesign.
Once you alter the logo, it is no longer protected under the trademark that it was originally registered for. It was recommended to me that the best course of action is to trademark the name itself, and not the logo. So, I can then change the logo as often as I want and the registered trademark will remain protected.
Therefore a cheap and better alternative would be to copyright the logo design separately. Copyrights are intended for original pieces of art. That can include: Music, poetry, graphic design, logos, books etc. You get the idea.
Copyrights have a few advantages over trademarks that make them a very appealing alternative to filing a trademark. To start, copyrights are VERY cheap. Yes VERY cheap. They are about $35. No search is needed before filing, and you don’t need an attorney.
In fact, you don’t even need Legal Zoom either. I like Legal Zoom. It’s a great alternative to sometimes very pricing attorney fees, but when it comes to filing a copyright, the process is so simple and straight forward you’d be a fool to spend the additional cost to go through Legal Zoom. Legal Zoom wants almost 2x the cost of doing it yourself.
All you need to do is go to the U.S. copyright office website, create a login, follow the directions and upload your material. If you opt for the online application process you can get your certificate in as quickly as 90 days! If you file the copyright application through snail mail it could take (I believe) up to 6 months.
Obviously Copyrights are not the answer to everything. You cannot use them for anything other than creative works of art, but they work well for my scenario with my logo and company and should be considered when starting a new business.
Our logo, collateral and blog designs have been completed. Check them out. We are hoping that having a mascot will help reinforce our brand and help us stand out a bit more in a sea of advertising and marketing.
Almost a year to the day that we filed the provisional patent application for my new invention, we just filed the non-provisional application. The difference is that this one is for the actual patent, as opposed to just a filing date. This should take anywhere from 18 to 24 months to complete. Kind of annoying it takes that long, but we don’t have much choice. Unless our invention is something that is related to the environment, we are out of luck. Just like the trademark process, the patent application also has to go through a “publishing” phase. This phase is where the public can see the application, and if they find the invention infringes on something they have done, contest it etc.