My Story: 2000-2004

 
2000

My USA patents are finally granted.

I am named British Female Inventor of the Year at an event organised by the Professional Family Women's Network and sponsored by the Patent Office and Fair Play, London. Jackel International abandons its appeal and an out of court settlement is reached, paying costs and damages to me and V&A.


The Anywayup Cup is awarded a Gold Medal at the Salon International des Inventions in Geneva and wins a Horner's Award for innovative use of plastics, sponsored by the British Plastics Federation.

The Anywayup Cup is honoured twice over at the UK's top design industry awards. It wins best "Product - Consumer" sponsored by Nokia and the overall 3M Award for Innovation categories at the Design Effectiveness Awards 2000, organised by the Design Business Association. It is voted by consumers' winner of the Tommy Award for Most Parent Friendly Innovative Product, sponsored by St Thomas' Hospital.

2001
I am guest speaker at the EU Commission's EU Summit in Sweden, in March 2001. The European Patent Office invite me to speak at their two major annual events, PATLIB 2001 and PATINNOVA 2001, to relate my life as an independent entrepreneur and myexperiences as a private inventor.

I am appointed member of the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents (CIPA) Disciplinary Board as well as part of the Intellectual Property Strategic Information Technology Advisory Committee (IPSITAC), within the Patent Office.

Following a review by the Standing Advisory Committee of Industrial Property (SACIP) presented in Parliament in April 2000, I am appointed to the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee, tasked with providing long term strategic advice to the Government and Patent Office on Intellectual Property matters.

I am invited to judge the International Design Effectiveness Awards (IDEAs) 2001 as well as the Tomorrows World Awards 2001.

The Anywayup Cup is voted winner of the Tommy Award for Most Parent Friendly Innovative Product for the second year running.
2002

I am invited to become a member of the Advisory Council for the European Commission's 'Information Society Technologies Programme'.

Confident of high-level support, I decide to launch an online intellectual property rights discussion forum called MakeSparksFly.com in collaboration with online comms specialists, ://CORPORACT. It is funded through a combination of commercial sponsorship and personal investment.

The forum is designed to increase awareness and promote evolution of the intellectual property system across the UK and beyond through widespread dialogue. The first live online debate entitled: "Are Patents Worthwhile for an Inventor?" is a resounding success and attracts inventors, entrepreneurs, representatives from commercial organisations, business advisors, IP experts, lawyers, insurance professionals, funding bodies, media and IP awareness groups, political (UK/EU level) and academics.

I embark on a public relations campaign to promote the importance of IP using high profile speaker platforms and media channels including TV, press and radio discussing topics such as 'Imitation or Innovation'.  

Guest appearances include:

  • Lecturing at Bournemouth University's Masterclass Series.
  • Addressing the Danish Presidency Conference on Growth Prosperity and Patents.
  • Speaking at the ERA Technology Conference on Innovation in Action, the Innovation Festival 2002 in Rotterdam, the 'Innovative Women in Design and Innovation' conference and at the 'Innovention 2002 Exhibition'.
I am awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Design and made an Honorary Fellow of Bournemouth University.

Work continues with the CIPA disciplinary board, PRISM, IPAC and the IP Court Users Committee-Litigation Sub Group.
2003

I am recognised by HM Queen Elizabeth as a ‘Pioneer to the Life of the Nation’ - a great honour.

MakeSparksFly.com holds it latest forum entitled 'Music Piracy - Victimless Crime Or Outright Theft?'.  It is moderated by Ruth Soedentorp, Professor of Intellectual Property Education at Bournemouth University. The forum attracts high profile speakers from the music industry: musicians, entertainment lawyers, record company executives, entertainment accountants and peer-to-peer network operators.

I am nominated for a Special Recognition Award from the Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network (GWIIN) and receive a 'Special Achievement Award' from the Suffolk Branch of the Institute of Directors for "market leading innovation...legal success against the odds to maintain patent rights...and campaigning to help others in this [same infringed] situation."

2004
I am shortlisted as a finalist of the prestigious Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award - nominated by Dawn Gibbins MBE, Chairman of Flowcrete Group plc, winner of the previous year's award.

Speaking engagements relating to my campaign for IPR reform include:
  • Keynote speaker at the official launch of 'Valuing Intellectual Property in Japan, Britain and the United States' The book is edited by Dr. Ruth Taplin, with contributions from the foremost authorities in the field from Britain, Japan and the United States. It assesses the process of valuation of Intellectual Property and how we can calculate it in all its different forms from a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Women Mean Business, (part of the Sunday Times UK Business Week). Participants at the Women Mean Business event held at the QE11 Conference Centre, London, include some of the UK’s most inspirational business women,
  • IP Advisory Committee of the BioIndustry Association seminar. The title of the seminar is "How to make your IP work for you - cost effective approaches to enforcing your IPR".
  • Participating in a debate in the Dana Centre at South Kensington to decide on the greatest British invention.

 

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