The week of 18-24 February is Engineers Week in the United States – one of the largest STEM events in the United States. Although I am writing this article from the UK, the creativity and hard work of engineers has an effect which extends far beyond the borders of any one country and is something […]
Consumer Products & Manufacturing
Our team will take a holistic view in order to protect and maintain your market edge.
We will work with you to identify the key features of your invention, the story behind them and the right forms of IP protection for them.
In the crowded market of consumer products innovation is often in incremental steps rather than revolutionary. Nevertheless, commercially valuable IP protection can be obtained for small enhancements and improvements, providing applications are carefully drafted.
It can be damaging to a company’s reputation and sales to have to recall a product from the market. Therefore advice on how to avoid infringing competitors’ IP is also critical.
Consumer Products & Manufacturing team
Our clients in this sector include: a market-leading international tobacco company, a global leader in labelling materials and solutions, a premium cookware manufacturer, a leading global provider of packaging and authentication solutions in the health and personal care, consumer and specialist packaging sectors; and a UK based company specialising in pet training accessories.
We have devised various filing programmes for our clients comprising a mixture of patents, utility, models and designs. Our strong international experience means that we can advise you on what geographical scope of protection is realistic within your budget and on the forms of protection and jurisdictions that are likely to provide the best return on investment. Utility models, for example, can be a cost effective method of protecting innovative products in certain European countries despite their shorter lifespan compared to patents.
We have an excellent track record in persuading IP offices that small enhancements and improvements are worthy of protection. We work with you to identify the key features of your invention, the story behind them and the right forms of IP protection for them, taking a holistic view in order to protect and maintain your market edge.
We often advise our clients at the design stage of a product. Our attorneys will get involved in brainstorming, design-around, and strategy meetings. ‘What are the best options?’ and ‘Are we going to run into trouble if we do this?’ are common questions. This initial investment ensures that you can maximise the effectiveness of your product development and IP capture processes.
We also have extensive experience in patent landscaping and Freedom to Operate (FTO) searches and assessments, which can be invaluable when developing a new product line.
We recently conducted an FTO assessment for a new consumer electronics system for a multinational company. This covered a range of different technical areas and required our team to identify and analyse over 6000 patent publications as well as coordinating FTO searches and assessments by attorneys in five other major jurisdictions. We pulled together a large team of attorneys for this effort, completing the exercise in just a few months. The results of the searches and our analysis allowed the in-house legal team to identify potential risks and take steps to mitigate them.
In situations where counterfeiting and enforcement are a concern your strategy may require granted patents by the time of product launch. In such circumstances we have accelerated prosecution of clients’ applications in key markets and first launch countries using, for example, Patent Prosecution Highways (PPH).