Our services are centred around intellectual property that can be registered. We protect innovation, design, and branding across all sectors of industry, and at all stages in the supply chain.

For each IP right we offer services covering strategic advice, pre-registration searches, registrations and renewals, oppositions and dispute resolution. We handle work throughout the world, working with local colleagues in over 100 countries.


Our attorneys specialise in one or more sectors of industry, which enables them to provide quality advice with a commercial focus.

Our patent specialists have detailed understanding of the background technology, which ensures that your patent applications are prepared with the correct scope, reducing the likelihood of challenges from third parties and objections from the patent office.

They also advise whether other forms of protection would be more appropriate. Our brand specialists work with brand managers for leading brands and their advice is commercially focussed making sure that you get the best value from your budget.

Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstration programme – a new funding competition aiming to make HGVs green


We have previously reported on a number of funding competitions by Innovate UK, and earlier this week they – together with the Department for Transport (DfT) – opened applications for a new funding competition: The Zero Emission Road Freight (ZERFT) Demonstration programme.

Like previous funding competitions, ZERFT can be seen as part of the UK government’s broader Road to Zero Strategy which seeks to reduce vehicle emissions to zero by 2050.  Previous funding competitions, such as the Automotive Transformation Fund, focussed on cars and other smaller vehicles. The ZERFT Demonstration programme, on the other hand, seeks to eliminate emissions from the largest road going heavy goods vehicle (HGVs).

The ZERFT Demonstration programme offers “a share of up to £140 million” to UK registered organisations across three different strands:

As the name suggests, the competition aims to “kick-start the deployment of long haul zero emission HGVs, with a multi-year combined demonstration of 40-44t battery electric trucks and hydrogen fuel cell trucks”.

Although there are still some new hydrogen fuel cell cars coming onto the market, mainly in Asia, it appears clear that battery electric vehicles will dominate worldwide electric car sales for the foreseeable future. And with new battery technologies being developed rapidly and nearing market-readiness (read more on this here), this dominance is unlikely to decrease.

However, there have long been questions over how best to electrify trucks and other heavy duty vehicles. Options include batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, or combinations of fuel cells and batteries. The potential advantages of hydrogen for long haul HGVs was one of the topics discussed at our Automotive Round Table last year (read more on this here), and most of the experts appeared to believe that hydrogen is likely to play an important role in this area. These potential heavy duty applications may be one reason why (green) hydrogen generation and hydrogen storage have seen a steady increase in patenting activity in the last decade.

The ZERFT programme is intended to support the UK “government’s commitment to end sales of all new, non-zero emission HGVs by 2040 and enable continued cross border freight”. The funding competition will close on 12 October 2022, and is expected to fund up to 5 demonstrations. “Projects that include multiple vehicle and infrastructure suppliers and that demonstrate a wide range of duty cycles with multiple freight operators” will have the best chances of receiving funding.

This new funding competition is fairly narrow in scope, as the proposals must focus on long-haul articulated goods vehicles. The competition has some further vehicle-specific and infrastructure-specific requirements (see here), as well as some eligibility criteria (see here) for businesses to consider before applying. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the project work must be carried out in the UK, results must be intended for exploitation in the UK, and applicants must be UK registered businesses or research and technology organisations.

At Reddie & Grose, we have worked with many inventors and innovative companies in low and no emission technologies. In particular, we have extensive experience supporting businesses with drafting and prosecuting patent applications, conducting freedom-to-operate analyses, and other intellectual property advice in fields related to the electrification of heavy goods vehicles, including batteries, fuel cells, and electric motors. If you would like to find out how to protect your innovations in this or related technical fields, and how this may add value to your business, please do get in touch with us.

This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.

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