Company: Mak Marine, Ross-on-Wye
IP Company: Withers and Rogers
Purpose: Building a strong and defensible worldwide brand
"The Fillip grant has enabled Mak Marine to underpin core IP Values" Simon McLoughlin, MD Mak Marine
Determination, resilience and drive are prerequisites for business success, 3 attributes brothers Simon & Andrew McLoughlin have in abundance.
Encompassing the fun factor of Personal Water Craft (PWC), the go anywhere ability of the Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) with smooth, efficient ride and above all simplicity of use – key criterion which formed the design brief for c-fury® a new breed of family sports boat.
From the start it was clear, a different approach to the hull design was required, a catamaran with hydrofoil assistance offered a potential solution. Initial discussion with hydrodynamics experts in the field indicated the brief was tough – undeterred Simon and Andy developed the design and the control systems such that after four years of detailed engineering and development c-fury® surpasses all original expectations.
The technological inventions which underpin c-fury® have now been covered by two UK and international patent applications, protecting important aspects of the unique stability and control systems. The heart of c-fury® is a novel hull system, Smooth-Glide which delivers efficiency increases of up to 40% over typical monohulls, resulting in better performance for less power, hence less fuel – reducing running costs and the environmental footprint.
This case study demonstrates the IP protection which builds a strong brand. Simon and Andrew had the right engineering and design skills to ensure their invention would be attractive to the rapidly growing marine leisure market, but realised they needed professional skills and expertise in drawing up the specification for patenting, applying for global coverage of the trademark and registering their design, particularly abroad, hence they applied for a Fillip grant to underpin the core IP value of their product c-fury®.
The grants enabled the trademark to be filed in 45 countries, using the attorneys global network of agents this was a task which would have taken years of the brothers time, time they admit was much better spent on designing, re-designing, building and optimising the craft for maximum performance. Simon was keen to highlight that they knew their limitations and respected the professional service the attorneys provided in protecting their IP.
After demonstrating the boats sleek high quality features and capability Simon commented "The Fillip grant has enabled MakMarine to under pin core IP value, which is crucial as we move towards raising investment, particularly in the current global economic climate. Knowing the protection was in place meant we could concentrate on building the business, and gives us the confidence to negotiate with prospective manufacturers and buyers around the world. We know our limitations and focussed on the boat, leaving the attorneys to demonstrate their professional skills and expertise in protecting our IP, and giving us security to commence building a new brand for international markets."
He added "Our relationship with our patent attorney has been an excellent one, based on trust we were confident that all the formalities and foreign protocols had been dealt with in the most cost effective and efficient manner. As the business moves rapidly forward more patents, trade marks and registered designs will follow - everyone in the small leisure craft market will know that c-fury® has many qualities and technological achievements, but above all it stands for fun. However, in the real world, should copying be detected we will be in a very strong position to enforce our IP rights, something which wouldn't have been possible without the Fillip grant support".