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Turning ideas into reality: is your product worth a patent?
DIP Winner Receives Patent

British Plastics & Rubber’s April issue has published a news piece about Alex Bordino, the winner of the 2015 Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition receiving the patent for his product and is now in the process of approaching manufacturers for production.

Quoting from the article:

Alexander Bordino, a third year BSc Product Design student at Nottingham Trent University, revealed the news during an address at the Knowledge Transfer Network's (KTN) recent plastics design workshop.

Bordino redesigned the internal gear pump mechanism inside whipped-style ice cream machines, which was previously made of metal. He was praised for his ingenuity in reducing the number of parts required to make it, producing something which was light and durable, antimicrobial and which would provide cost savings for manufacturers.

At the KTN workshop he talked about the challenges he faced when seeking a new and innovative design for the DIP competition and how polymers provided a myriad of opportunities and design advantages.

"I would not have been able to do this had it not been for the opportunities presented by competitions such as Design Innovation in Plastics. It opened my eyes to the many ways in which plastics can be used, and we all realised that it can provide great career opportunities along the way. The industry needs young people because they are the innovators of the future."

Bordino is currently on a 12-month industrial placement, after which he is due to spend a week with competition sponsors, Covestro, to meet some of the people behind its polymer innovations, and to talk about the development of his own product. Following this visit he has also won an industrial placement with PriestmanGoode, a leading design agency specialising in aviation, transport and product design.

Polymer products are used in many areas of modern life: they are helping to solve many of the challenges of our time, so we are absolutely delighted that Alex has developed his enthusiasm for high-tech polymers through his design creativity, and that he is making progress with his pump,” said Head of Covestro, UK, Seamus Gillan.

Covestro recently announced it will sponsor the DIP competition, along with other industry partners, once again in 2016.

In addition, Alastair Swanwick, Managing Director of Innovate Design, a leading Invention Development Company, who offers a work placement to a finalist and who is also a member of the DIP Organising Committee states:

“If the DIP finalists believe that their ideas may be novel and patentable then there is a link to the Intellectual Property Office https://www.ipo.gov.uk/p-apply-before.htm  where they can apply for a first filing and there is no need to pay any fees at this point. This will give them ‘patent pending’ status and they are now able to make public disclosure. If they intend to commercialise their new product ideas, then they may wish to formalise the application and request the official search and examination but they have up to 12 months from first filing to do this. A patent attorney’s help to formalise the application is advisable if they take it that far.
They needn’t worry about registering their designs at this point, in the UK you have up to 12 months to retrospectively register a design, giving them time to work out if it will reach the market”

He added that the DIP website has a section on IP guidance notes in the resources area at www.designinnovationplastics.org/competitions/resources.htm