This is a good and bad year.
Anywayup LLP does great work developing new intellectual property. Our strategy is to start BIG. I already have experience of what happens if you are the little guy with commercially valuable IPR (your ideas get pinched by the big boys and you end up spending your life in court enforcing your patent rights) and I don’t want to repeat that journey.
We decide that our best route to market is to establish a distribution partner who was a strong global player in an allied field but who now wants to enter the nursery market. We find a US company who had a 95% market share in plastic tableware. They love our brand concept and our product range. We spend a year in negotiation but finally walk away from the table. How frustrating is that! On the up side, Colin Jones comes on board. He leaves a global company at director level to join us, because he sees our potential.
The Gerber case goes to appeal in Washington but results in a stale mate – my patent is declared valid but not infringed. However, since the validity of my patent is now public knowledge, other US companies contact me requesting licenses, which is a great outcome!
During the year I am invited to be a non-executive member of British Library’s Business and IP Centre Project Board.
My speaking and presenting engagements include:
Medical Futures - Giving mini symposia and sitting on Panel of ‘Dragon Den’ x 2 sesssions
Brussels EUWIIN launch event
Ideas 21 Event in Manchester - ‘Surviving the Patent System’
The Oxford Zuleka club
Keynote speaker at Denton Wilde Sapte seminar - The Value of Intellectual Property’ A Podcast is recorded of the event.
University College London's entrepreneurship programmes. This event forms part of a series of enterprise presentations to both postgraduate and undergraduate student. I am invited to be guest speaker by former patent judge Hugh Laddie.
Walthamstow School for Girls, to celebrate International Women's Day
Simfonec's Professional Skills Workshops (PSP) - I'm invited to present a lecture on bringing ideas to market for academics at City University and Cass Business School as well as staff from partner universities. This is an interactive series of workshops designed to enhance participants' skills portfolio, build confidence and expand professional network.
Key Note speaker Fillip IP Forum event
Bournemouth Design Festival
Design in Plastics Award Ceremony
Guest speaker at Enterprise 100 at London Business School. Invited to be honorary member. Enterprise 100 was launched in 1999 as the London Business School Entrepreneurs Club, operating within the School’s Foundation for Entrepreneurial Management (FEM) which has played an integral role in establishing the School as a centre of entrepreneurial excellence. The Club was set up to extend the School’s association through the FEM to some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, which it continues to do very successfully some 6 years on.
A masterclass at Bournemouth University.
I attend the DTI dinner at The Mansion House and a big 'doo' at the Horticultural Halls during Enterprise Week. I am also a VIP guest at the Launch of Wallace and Grommit’s ‘Cracking Ideas’ Award Ceremony. (The on-line resource can be found at www.crackingideas.com and the Teachers'zone features me and the Anywayup Cup as an example of a success story - as part of the "one-Hour Innovation" exercise.)
On the PR side of things, I am interviewed for BBC Radio Scotland (you can listen to it on the web at www.bbc.co.uk/radioscotland); I am featured on the Design Council website – ‘About Design’; interviewed by Eddie O'Gorman for Radio Ulster and also by presenter Ronnie Barbour of BBC 3 Counties Radio. The Design Council publication ‘Ten Lessons from Successful Inventions' features my story.
I sit on judging panel of DBA Design Effectiveness Awards and the Anywayup cup goes on permanent display at British Library Business and IP Centre.
I am voted on to the top ten within the Science & Innovation category of Courvoisier ‘The Future 500’ list, sponsored by The Observer newspaper. This contains 500 individuals from across the UK who represent personal success and achievement within 10 industry / business categories.