zaterdag 31 januari 2015

Vision, Focus and IP, a powerful mix

I would like to share the following fascinating story with you. It is about a person who has a very clear vision and focus, and I am proud to cooperate with him and be part of his amazing journey. This person is named Antoon Buitenhuis, founder and managing director of the limited liability company Siron. To my opinion, Antoon's mission or better yet, Siron's mission may best be described as: "saving lives".

Dry Deluge Testing

Antoon and his small team have developed two technologies that will safe many lives, and he is now slowly starting to earn money with both of them. The first technology, for which the first patent applications originate form 2012, concerns dry testing of open fire extinguishing systems. This technology avoids system corrosion and blockage.

One of the very first real life tests on an offshore gas production platform.
For this technology, Antoon developed a high performance smoke generator and special dedicated smoke precursors, such that tests can be performed in all circumstances, even with the harsh conditions in offshore oil and gas facilities. This has been quite a daunting challenge, and numerous tests have been performed in smoke distribution, specific smoke density, sufficient flow, sufficient pressure drop etc. etc.

Most of the tests I have taken part of, and we had definitively fun calibrating our volume flow measurement devices, by driving around with it in a car, while checking speed on a GPS locator. Also our numerous, quite unconventional smoke density measurements took some attention, since cautious neighbors more than once thought that Siron's premises took fire.

Now that the first real life tests have proven invariably superior to conventional seawater testing on several off shore production platforms, the offshore world is rapidly switching from conventional seawater testing to Antoon's technology. This technology has even proven to be so revolutionizing, that regulatory authorities are considering to prescribe his method as mandatory testing. For this, regulatory bodies around the globe are now scrutinizing this game changing invention.

In the early days, like most entrepreneurs, Antoon had too little resources to finance his patent protection. Since I was so convinced about this technology, we agreed that I would write the first patent applications, and be paid for it, after Siron became successful in licensing the technology. Well, it has proven to a good investment and the right strategy. Now, four years down the road, clients are lining up for a license, of which the underlying technology is considered patentable by the relevant patent authorities.

Domestic Sprinkler

The second technology, in which I was involved primarily for the patenting part, is the domestic low pressure sprinkler. This technology, Siron developed in cooperation with BAM, a Dutch construction company and Jomos, a Swiss Sprinkler manufacturer. Here, Antoon and his partners developed a new Sprinkler head, that is specifically adapted for low pressure water lines.

This invention is a ingenious combination on on the one hand specifically adapted sprinkler heads and on the other hand a specifically designed grid of sprinkler heads. Also this technology is now considered patentable by the relevant patent authorities, and is likely to be licensed out soon.

First domestic Sprinklers, in the corporate identity colors of BAM
While the dry deluge testing will definitively save offshore workers lives sooner or later, the domestic sprinkler will safe even many more, one day maybe even yours or mine!

Besides these in house developed products, Antoon has licensed in some technologies from foreign IP holders. One further remarkable product concerns compressed-air foam, a specific relatively dense and sticky foam that builds a covering blanket over many surfaces. This blanket can virtually suffocate any fire and is typically suited for chemical industries. Also this technology will safe lives.

Compressed-air generated foam, building a covering blanket on all surfaces at MSD, Oss
Behind these products is a truly remarkable person, someone who strongly disagrees with me about his mission, a person who is humble in his being, and extremely dedicated in the progression of his company. Antoon for sure is going to be extraordinary successful with all of these ground breaking technologies. Why? because he understood and applied the powerful mix of vision, focus and IP.

Hendrik de Lange

zondag 25 januari 2015

Double Dutch, why to file two instead of one Dutch patent application

Sometimes it is essential to get a patent, published together with a positive written opinion, given out by the Dutch Patent Authority.

One of the reasons is the innovation box. Dutch tax inspectors are now studying in detail your written opinions and are likely not to accept the reduced tax regime under the innovation box, if the written opinion is negative about the patentability of the invention.

And believe me, most written opinions are negative.....

How to repair this? 

Well there is nothing to do to repair this negative opinion in the same patent application. This is because the written opinion is only an opinion, not an appealable decision. 

So how to cope with this unfavorable situation of having filed a patent application and having received a negative written opinion? 

Well by filing a second application, with much more restricted claims, such that it is almost impossible for the patent examiner in question to issue a negative written opinion on this second patent application. 

Are you interested in how to strategically best cope with this issue and get the exact details on how to deal with it, please send me an email, I will be happy to advice you. 

Thank you for reading my blog, 

Hendrik de Lange