A PURE idea
When Berit Wattne Andsem took over as CEO in the PURE Water Company one of the first things she did was to take stock of what the company possessed and what it did not. Regular property was one thing, but what about intellectual property? She was particularly concerned with the company’s brand: a specially designed bottle with the word ‘pure’ engraved on it.
Published 15. October 2013
That bottle and the word ‘pure’ was the core idea and what the PURE Water Company had based its existence and growth on. Yet the bottle was not protected as a registered trademark. Neither was the word ‘pure’. Wattne Andsem contacted Bryn Aarflot to get a review – and a tedious process began. But let’s wind back the clock to when the story of the PURE Water Company started, fifteen years earlier.
In the late 1990s, in a café in London, Olav Eidsæther is having a meal. With the food he is served a bottle of Perrier water. The water is lukewarm and the price is ridiculous. Eidsæther looks at the bottle. He notices that the design is excellent. The water is tasty as well, only this bottle is lukewarm. ‘I could ask for ice cubes’, he thinks to himself, ‘but that would incur adding chlorine to the taste’. He starts mulling over how far that bottle had traveled to reach his table, and he thinks about the environment. He concludes that it must be possible to do this better and cheaper and more eco friendly without losing the pleasant experience of great design. Later that same year he founds the PURE Water Company. Today it is a Norwegian company based in Norway, with three daughter companies in Sweden and Great Britain.
Berit Wattne Andsem explains Eidsæther’s simple idea: – He thought that the water that had travelled through half of Europe might just as well come from the tap. He realised that the design was important, and that he would have to offer the customers a branded, eco friendly and quality assured water. In the beginning the product was targeted at restaurants, but restaurants come and go and long term is always important. Today we mainly serve clients in the business sector.
– The idea was always to make PURE a strong brand.
In 2012 the PURE Water Company covered practically all new buildings in Oslo and Akershus county, including the Barcode project in Bjørvika.
The principle is simple, Wattne Andsem explains. The regular municipal tap water is purified further to reach the same quality as the bottled water that is sold over the counters. The PURE Water Company has another competitive advantage as well: Other traders deliver single purifying units to each individual tap tower. We deliver large machines that serve multiple tap towers. The Statoil building in Fornebu has a capacity of 2500 people. We have installed eight machines in the basement that serve 60 tap towers. The whole building needs only eight aerating containers, and that saves a lot of driving in and out and a lot of space as well, Wattne Andsem continues.
She says that the customers are very keen on design. And since water is water (at least visually) the bottle and the name constitute the individual businesses visual trademark. The bottle is designed by Scandinavian Design Group and it has won the prestigious Grand Clio Award.
– The idea was always to make PURE a strong brand. To make it become associated with something clean and elegant and the bottle is supposed to be elegant as well. It was therefore important to us to ensure registered trademark rights to the bottle and the name. When I contacted Bryn Aarflot, we were advised on what to protect and how.
In hindsight I see that the help and the advice we got from Bryn Aarflot has been absolutely invaluable.
I did not know anything about registered trademarks myself. It is a complex field, and in hindsight I see that the help and the advice we got from Bryn Aarflot has been absolutely invaluable. The whole process was taken care of in a very competent and highly professional manner. Our application was initially refused by the NIPO, but Bryn Aarflot did not succumb, and in the end they managed to win through. Today the bottle with the word ‘pure’ on it is protected as a registered trademark in Norway and that is something we are extremely pleased with. Bryn Aarflot really did a fabulous job for us, Berit Wattne Andsem concludes.