https://ipo.blog.gov.uk/2016/09/29/lewi-george-and-designer-dog-breeds/

Lewi, George and designer dog breeds

Following the loss of the family dog, I was ready to find a new puppy. But I was having trouble deciding on which breed.

The last time I picked a puppy (some 12 odd years ago) you either had a pedigree or a cross breed. My Lewi had a Labrador dad and Cocker Spaniel mum so to me he was cross. How things have changed with the popularity of the designer breed!

As I started my search for the newest member of our family I came across designer dogs including:

  • sprockers (Spaniel and a Cocker Spaniel)
  • puggles (Pug and a Beagle)
  • labradoodles (Labrador and a Poodle)

So I didn’t realise but my Lewi in designer dog breed terms would have been ‘Labracocker’.

My Lewi was a Labrador and a Cocker Spaniel.
Lewi was a Labrador and a Cocker Spaniel.

This increase in designer dog breeds reminded me of my first few weeks working in the IPO. A customer phoned to tell me he had invented a new dog breed and asked could he patent it. This sounded a reasonable idea but I soon learned that certain inventions are excluded from being patented. You can’t patent a new breed of dog, but you might be able to protect a new type of plant though with plant breeders rights.

The new pup

My new family member wasn’t a designer breed. I chose a Cocker Spaniel (and after no one liked my choice of names) the family named him George.

I picked the quiet timid one in the litter, yeah right. I’m sure this was just a show so I would pick him. Let’s just say he isn’t quiet or timid any more.

George my new addition
My new addition George.

A trip to the pet store

Right, now to think of what I needed to buy at the store. A basket? A squeaky toy? What else do dogs need? It’s no wonder pet owners spend around 4.6 billion on their pets a year (source: The Telegraph).

I was faced with a massive range of pet products. My favourites were a water bowl he could top up himself and goggles for when your dog sticks his head out of the car window. I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of all the outfits.

Squeak squeak

Even the squeaky toy aisle was confusing. After George had destroyed Lewi's Christmas fluffy penguin and reindeer, then a ball or three (and a real bee, ouch!)...I had to do some research.

Eventually I purchased some from a range called ‘Kong’. The company has a range of built to last patented dog toys (exactly what I needed). Some of the range have patented dental ridges designed to clean teeth (handy when his razor sharp puppy teeth come out).

I bought a Goodie Bone (a chewy bone), a Safe Stix (a flexible stick) and a Wubba (an octopus like squeaky thing). He loves them and even after a few days they are still in one piece!

George and his Kong Wubba
George and his Kong Wubba.

Inventing a dog thing

It sounds an easy way to make money from pet inventions but actually, patents can be expensive and difficult to get. If you do have an invention in mind, you should check if a patent is right for your business before you apply.

You may find that you need to protect the appearance, so a registered design is what’s needed. To protect your brand you would need a trade mark. Our IP Equip toolkit will help you understand the different IP areas.

It’s a bit like going back to school. Speaking of which I’m taking George to puppy school next week.

If I can get him off the PlayStation that is...

My dog, wearing headphones and 'holding' a Playstation controller
Stop playing, it's time for puppy school.

…wish me luck!

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9 comments

  1. S. Carson

    yep, he'll have you (and yours) trained in no time.......

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  2. Tessa Richardson

    He is gorgeous. Mind you I am bias....I have a Lewi ( Louis) - a rescue black cocker, and my Nell (springer) - a great chewer...omg she chews - speaker cables, kitchen utensils and a near death experience with some cling film. Hope you have insurance. Have fun, nice to know there are dog lovers at the IPO!

    Link to this comment Reply
    • Andrew Rees

      Yes plenty of dog lovers at the IPO. Cling film oh no doesn't sound good. George's current favorite is 'socks'...

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      • amanda gamblin

        plenty to choose from when you join the charity groups especially the London Based Companies like Dogs Trust

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  3. Daisy

    Adorable! Cockers are the best (watch out for mats behind his ears).

    Link to this comment Reply
    • Andrew Rees

      I see what you mean about matted fur, half the contents of the field gets stuck to him!

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  4. Vera Jenkins

    Lovely dog he will make a really nice new family member

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