Saturday, 28 January 2017

From Newton to Darwin

Jane Lambert

Last year Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership celebrated the inventions and innovations that had taken place in its area over the centuries by publishing a list of some of the greatest under the hashtag #100innovativedays. The list started with Sir Isaac Newton's Discoveries and ended with Darwin with Charles Babbage's analytical engine, the discovery of DNA, Europe's first test tube foal and the Sangar Institute.

With one of the world's great research universities in its area, major scientific discoveries are to be expected but not all the inventions and innovations listed come out of Cambridge University.  The Joyner Bolt, for example, was designed in Wicken, near Ely, by a chartered surveyor and carpenter. It is described as "a revolutionary new task specific spiked timber fixing for joining timber to timber or timber to metal." It was invented in response to problems constantly experienced with coach bolts and threaded rods.

Autoglym car wax is another development that was developed outside the universities,  It was created in Welwyn Garden City in 1965 (see a Passion for Perfection on Autoglym's website).  The company went on to develop other car care products which are now exported around the world. Probably just the sort of business that the green paper, Buiding our Industrial Strategy, would have had in mind when it mentioned (see "Harnessing the Potential of the UK's Home Grown Inventors" - The Government's Proposed Industrial Strategy 24 Jan 2017 Inventors Club).

Accounting for 1,977 of the UK's 14,870 patent applications (see page 5 of the IPO's Facts and figures Patent, trade mark, design and hearing administrative data 2014 and 2015 calendar years) the East of England is one of the most innovative regions of the UK trailing only London and the South East in the number of UK patent applications.

Should anyone in the region require some initial advice on the legal protection of his or her new product or brand or wish to be signposted to some of the resources available in the East of England and elsewhere in the UK I shall be very glad to give him or her up to 30 minutes of my time free of charge (see Immediate IP First Aid Nationwide 25 Jan 2017 Inventors' Club). If you want to take advantage of this service, call me on 01603 343030 or 020 7404 5252 during office hours to or send me a message through my contact form.

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