Being a female inventor and innovator is great. You can build the right idea from scratch and achieve both commercial and financial success, way beyond the limits achievable in a conventional career. No glass ceilings here. You can rise as high as you dare to dream. As women, we are well equipped to do this. We have practical common sense, intuition, creative flair, drive and determination. However, there is an additional important characteristic required that is not normally associated with women. It is courage.
By protecting my non-spill cup idea with patents and insurance, I was able to enforce my rights and secure my position as market leader, reaping the reward for all the years hard work! Insurance is costly, but for me it was essential.
Sadly, the way that most patent systems currently operate, litigation forms a major part of the small inventor’s life, sapping both resources and creative energy that should be put to better use. Until the system is improved, home-trade and industry will continue to suffer.
One thing that has repeatedly amazed me through my public speaking has been the lack of knowledge and real understanding of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) matters amongst SMEs.
I have long held the belief that investment in design is essential for the commercial success of a product.
The experience we had with the Haberman Feeder was a great learning curve for what came next. I knew the Anywayup Cup would be much more commercial, so I spent a lot more on IP rights, registering patents in all my strategic markets. We have had to take infringers to court in the UK, Europe and USA but, fortunately my patents have held up. I would have lost everything if I had allowed people to continue infringing. Whoever it was who said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery should be shot.