Appleyard Lees Growth Fund gives seal of approval to polythene bag innovators
Joint inventors Simon Page and Kevin Winters are not short of innovative ideas, but protecting inventions carries a cost as the Blackpool pair found out.
Keen fisherman Kevin found it frustrating that his sheet for recording his catch of the day was often soaked and so he came up with a simple yet highly effective way of solving this problem.
Kevin and friend Simon, now co-directors of Writecover, designed a protective bag which would not only protect the paper, but could also enable the user to write inside the Writecover without causing any damage from water or other substances.
Kevin and Simon explained: “We knew there must be a way of preventing weather conditions affecting important paperwork; not just while taking part in outdoor pursuits, but also for regular use by outdoor/factory/warehouse staff who need to complete paperwork. We believe it is incredibly useful for a variety of environments, protecting their work from any dirt, oil, grease, water etc.
“We designed the Writecover - a sealable polythene bag, big enough to hold an A4 writing pad, which has a mitt/glove attached to the bottom of the bag and is securely sealed inside the cover. This means that the user can insert their hand into it and write onto whatever paperwork they have in there.
“It’s a simple idea, but one which works extremely well.”
Writecover approached patent and trademark attorneys Appleyard Lees to protect the intellectual property for its new design. During the process, they also developed another product (an innovative evidence bag) which they were keen to protect.
The evidence bag is a product which is aimed at organisations/industries such as the police and security services and is designed similarly to the Writecover. The bag has several tamper-evident seals ensuring that evidence can be collected using the mitt and sealed in the bag without fear of contamination.
Confident they had a strong idea and target market, the Writecover directors approached Appleyard Lees partner David Clark to ensure their second invention was protected.
Simon and Kevin continued: “We were confident this invention would be sought after by the emergency services, but weren’t sure how we could fund the second patent application and that’s when we found out about the Growth Fund.
“If we hadn't secured financial support for the additional patent application, we would have been delayed taking our new invention to market.”
Appleyard Lees launched a £50,000 Growth Fund earlier this year to offer financial support to those with winning ideas, a strategic approach and a track record for innovation.
As well as offering assistance in creating and managing a portfolio, IP experts at Appleyard Lees also guide those successful in their application through the patent landscaping process and due diligence.
For Writecover, the financial help offered by the fund paid for 50% of its second patent application, meaning the inventors could bring an additional product to market.
David Clark said: “We launched the Growth Fund to promote innovation and to help clients by offering our technical and legal expertise, at a discounted rate, to help them protect and nurture their intellectual property. Simon and Kevin had a great proposition with Writecover and having discussed their long-term approach and the work they were already doing to secure contracts with key targets, we were keen to support the patent process for the Evidence Bag through our Growth Fund.
“We’re dedicated to helping turn ideas into a commercial reality and supporting inventors to bring their products to market.”
Writecover has partnered with IRTR, International Rubber and Tyre Recycling Specialist, to market its products to a global audience.