A rather busy year!
In my opinion, since 1996, some major US companies have been using my technology without a license. My US patents didn't get granted until 2000 and after that, for contractual reasons, I couldn't do anything about the possible infringements until this year. Finally, I pluck up my courage and decide to enforce my rights and take action, in Wisconsin, against Playtex Products Inc and Gerber Products Company.
Meanwhile, life in the UK continues -
I am invited to be on the panel of entrepreneurs at a British Library female entrepreneurs’ event. The aim of the event is to inspire budding female entrepreneurs and to encourage them to use the Library's newly opened Business & Intellectual Property Centre. The Centre contains a wealth of information (mainly free) to support entrepreneurs from initial spark of inspiration through to successfully launching a new business.
In December, Playtex settle out of court but the case against Gerber goes all the way.
Numerous speaking engagements, press and tv interviews, posh dinners and receptions. The Glugs project goes from strength to strength. We team up with Professor Mary Rudolf and Glugs are used to support the Henry initiative. Endorsed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Henry and the Glugs are introduced to SureStart nurseries.
By February, I have put together a management team to buy the V&A business from the administrator. I decide not to be part of the new business but, instead, to grant a license to the new company, Amadeus Associates International. I invest in their business to help them get started but remain independent, to follow my own dream. I believe that to succeed in today’s world a business must invent and innovate. My dream is to build a business based on intellectual property. With strategic partner, Paul Bottomley (a design engineer), in November I set up Anywayup LLP, in order to bring together all my developing ideas and create a cohesive product range under my own ‘Anywayup’ brand. Finally, I am in control of my own brand and my destiny!
I sit on the Judging Panels of the 7th British Female Inventor & Innovator of the Year Award at The Guildhall in London and participate in the IKB awards, presenting the prizes at the Natural History Museum.
Some great media coverage too...