Many people in the creative arts have heard about Bleeding Art Industries. From creating mind-blowing special effects to designing and manufacturing props, prosthetics and creatures, to content creation, the Calgary-based company is a full-service effects shop and studio.
Intellectual property (IP) has always been a key component of Bleeding Art Industries' strategic planning, according to the company's co-owner and vice president, Becky Scott. The company has registered several trademarks and copyrights.
The name Bleeding Art Industries was registered as a trademark in 2005. Later, in 2007, the company began to manufacture its own artificial blood and other special effects makeup. As the company expanded its special effects assets, it registered a trademark for Unreel Snow, a fake snow product that is used for film productions.
In 2010, the company registered copyright for its award-winning short film, Skeleton Girl. The film led Bleeding Art Industries to the pinnacle of content creation and broke new ground for Canada's short-film industry by becoming the first stereoscopic 3D stop-motion animated short film. It was premiered in New York and won the "Best First 3D Film" award at Be Film The Underground Film Festival. Since then, Skeleton Girl has been screened at movie festivals around the world.
"Owning our own IP is part and parcel with running a professional world-class company," says Scott.
Making profits by owning IP
Owning IP is important because, as Scott describes, "the company can take its own unique creative content, like Skeleton Girl, to wherever it wants in the world. The company can continuously monetize the properties it owns."
Bleeding Art Industries has been protecting most of its IP since its establishment. At the beginning, IP was seen as insurance more than potential financial return. The value of owning IP becomes crucial as the company's reputation grows or if the company is merged or sold.
"We are in it for the long game and know that allocating even minimal resources towards protecting our own IP is a prudent investment," says Scott.
In 2017, the company partnered with the National Research Council Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program and received funding to hire an engineering intern so that it could better protect and grow some of the IP it owns through research and development.
Building a better future with IP in mind
Scott says the company has become much more focused and strategic as to where it invests its energy. For example, the company has increased its number of IP ownerships for products, creative content and characters. Moreover, it has expanded outside the film industry, and has improved its digital presence on its e-commerce store and on social media. It also partners with other businesses that can help the company fill in the gaps where it doesn't have the resources.
"Owning our IP is at the forefront, no matter what area of business we are talking about—be it product development, creature design or character and series development and production," says Scott.
What we can learn from Bleeding Art Industries' success:
- start thinking about IP from the beginning as a way to add value to your company
- recognize ways to increase your brand recognition by leveraging IP
- monitor the exploitation of your IP by others and implement proper paperwork to protect it
- protecting your IP is an important business practice for any growth-oriented professional company
Consult our IP experts on how to develop an IP strategy for success.