|"All is Vanity" by Charles Allan Gilbert|
"Just after the funeral director had left the house, my mum and I rang company after company, reliving my grandma’s loss with each call. In the end it took us over six hours on the phone, and a further 8 weeks of emails and letters to sort out her affairs. It was an upsetting, stressful and time-consuming task."
The British government already runs a one-stop notification service for most government accounts called "Tell Us Once". Julie and her family used that service for their grandmother's government accounts and wondered why nothing similar existed for banks, utilities, insurers, pension and other service providers. So they set out to create "a simple, secure service, to notify all companies of a loved one’s death and keep updated on account progress in a single place." Settld does not charge grieving families for its service. It draws its revenues from service providers and partners.
KoffinGina Czarnecki spoke about Koffin. Her company is based in Liverpool and makes three types of coffins which range in price from £250 to £400. They may not be quite as elaborate as some of the coffins made in Ghana where funerals seem to be more exuberant, but they are less alarming in appearance, stack more easily and are far less polluting than the traditional design. According to Koffin's Mission Statement:
"One cremation of a ‘traditional’ coffin made of bonded MDF or particleboard produces the same NOx emissions as an average car driving 2,280 miles. Liverpool cremates 4,300 people a year which is equivalent to 9,804,000 car miles. Globally there are 35 million coffins sold every year."
Koffin's products are made out of lignin which is biodegradable and readily combustible.
We also heard briefly from Rob Brooks who runs another service that alleviates bereavement called Death and Disease. Simon Briton of specialist tax advisors Quaintify R & D and Mags Bradshaw of marketing consultancy, Red Button Marketing.
Other Events in Northeast England
Also announced at Rise and Design were York Design Week between 20 and 26 Oct and Northumbrian Water's Innovation Festival. There is a lot going on in Northeast England and I shall publish another article on these and other events shortly.
As this is an intellectual property publication, I should say that all the businesses discussed in this article had brands that could be registered as trade marks. Bereavement services have databases the design of which is protected by copyright and the contents by database right. The coffins designed in Ghana and possibly even those designed in Liverpool might be protected by design registration. Designers in Liverpool might also think about unregistered design rights and supplementary unregistered designs. The Ghanian coffins are almost certainly protected by copyright as works of artistic craftsmanship. So, too, might any surface decoration on the Liverpool coffins. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that artistic and literary copyrights subsist for the life of the author plus 70 years,
If you want to learn more about Rise and Design and Design Network North, you need to contact Terry McStea. Should you wish to discuss anything else, call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.