By Melvice Mesode Ntungwe, Hague Development and Promotion Section, Hague Registry, WIPO
“Is there a way to do this without keys?”
This simple question sparked a vision to create a solution to manage access without keys anytime/anywhere with safety, convenience, and peace of mind.
igloocompany Pte Ltd (iglooco) is a Singapore based smart access solutions company that was established in 2015 by Anthony Chow and Kelvin Ho. The company provides innovative products and services that enable secure access to entrances without the need for traditional keys. With their cutting edge technology, iglooco offers a range of hardware and software solutions to address the challenges associated with access control.
Headquartered in Singapore, iglooco has expanded its reach with 13 regional offices worldwide. Their vision is to become a leading company in the smart access solutions industry, empowering the growth of a sustainable digital economy.
The inspiration for iglooco came from the personal experiences of its founders. Both Anthony Chow and Kelvin Ho were Airbnb hosts in Singapore who faced the increasing need to securely hand over keys to their guests. The traditional approach of physically delivering and collecting keys proved to be time consuming, burdensome and costly. Recognizing the limitations of this method, the founders realized it was not a viable long term business strategy.
This challenge not only resonated with the founders but also with many other Airbnb hosts and real estate agents who faced similar concerns in granting and limiting access to properties. The global health crisis in 2020 further reiterated the urgency for contact less solutions that could be used in everyday scenarios.
Since launching their inaugural product, the ambitious entrepreneurs have successfully expanded their portfolio of companies to include igloohome and iglooworks under the umbrella company iglooco. Their products have also expanded from just a smart key box to padlocks, deadbolts, mortise locks and many other smart access platforms.
The company’s commitment to excellence in design has garnered international acclaim, with their products receiving prestigious recognition. Notably the Padlock 2 was honored as a recipient of the IF Design Award in 2019 and 2023. In addition to this distinction iglooco’s products have been recognized with several other esteemed accolades, such as the CES Innovation Award, the DFA Design for Asia Award, the Design Concept Award and the Property Guru Tech Innovation Award.
These accolades validate the company’s dedication to not only provide secure and convenient smart access solutions but also deliver products that exhibit outstanding design craftsmanship. Through their continuous pursuit of excellence, iglooco has positioned itself as a leader in the industry, setting new standards for innovation and design within the smart access solutions market.
The ingenuity of igloo products and the company’s global vision influenced their decision to seek intellectual property protection for their designs using the Hague System.
Registering their designs internationally ensures that they increase their pool of intangible assets, develop their brand identity and protect the company’s rights against potential infringers. With such a strategy, the company can entice potential investors and are able to focus their resources into developing more innovative products.
There are other benefits to the Hague System which the company is taking advantage of.
Through a single application that can include multiple designs, iglooco found the Hague System to be an extremely beneficial channel through which the company could obtain protection for their designs in their target markets.
When iglooco filed their Hague System applications they did not shy away from designating a target market simply because it conducted substantive examination such as the USA and Japan.
The company was able to obtain protection through the Hague System for three of their registrations without any refusal on their first attempt. This is evidence that it is possible to meet the requirements of a wide range of national offices in one application.
As the iglooco portfolio of designs increases the company can continue to leverage the benefits of the Hague System to stay ahead of its competitors in the growing “smart city” industry.
WIPO’s Hague System provides a unique international mechanism for securing and managing design rights simultaneously in multiple countries or regions through one application, in one language with one set of fees.
If you would be interested in sharing your own Designs in Action story, illustrating how you've leveraged the Hague System to secure international design protection, we would love to hear from you – Contact Hague!
(July 20, 2023)