Source Wikipedia William Frost
Wales can claim to have invented one of the world's first flying machines years before the Wright Brothers. Wiliam Frost of Saundersfoot filed an application for a patent for the following invention on 25 Oct 1894:
"The flying machine is propelled into the air by two reversible fans revolving horizontally. When sufficient height is gained, wings are spread and tilted by, means of a lever, causing the machine to float onward and downward. When low enough the lever is reversed causing it to rise upward & onward. When required to stop it the wings are tilted so as to hold against the wind or air and lowered by the reversible fans. The steering is done by a helm. fitted to front of machine."Nowadays, aerospace is an important sector of the Welsh economy - one of several that are developing impressive new products and processes that require legal protection.
According to the Intellectual Property Office's Facts and Figures 2018, some 351 patent applications were filed from Wales in 2018 which was 2.7% of the UK total placing Wales 10th in the UK's nations and regions behind London with 2,625, Southeast England (1,944), Eastern England (1,811), Southwest England (1,312), the West Midlands (977), Northwest England (956), Scotland (756), Yorkshire and the Humber (693) and the East Midlands (486). However, Wales was ahead of Northeast England (279) and Northern Ireland (143). That was 8% fewer than the number of applications made the previous year which was more than the UK trend that was down from 13,286 to 12,843. On the other hand, Wales bucked the trend in the number of grants which was 114 in 2018 - up from 109 in 2017. The number of grants for the UK was 3,001 in 2018 down from 3,260 the year before.
There was an increase in the number of trade mark registration applications from Wales (1,809 in 2018 up from 1,700 in 2017) which was in line with the UK as a whole (66,875 in 2018 and 63,097 in 2017). As in patents, Wales trailed all other nations and regions except Northeast England and Northern Ireland in trade mark applications. There was also an increase in the number of grants to applicants in Wales (from 2,274 in 2017 to 3,159 in 2018) in line the rest of the UK (113,334 in 2017 to 122,165 in 2018).
Wales was ahead of the East Midlands, Northeast England, Northern Ireland and Scotland in the number of design registration applications in 2018 (1,965 in 2018 compared to 634 in 2017). That was also roughly in line with the UK as a whole which made 14,797 applications in 2017 and 20,984 in 2018. There was also a similar increase in the number of grants up from 541 in 2017 to 939 in 2018.
Tomorrow I shall be speaking to Welsh entrepreneurs, inventors and creatives at the Menai Science Park (M-SParc) about patent, trade mark and design searches and how to read patents between 13:30 and 14:30. We have had such a brig response that we have had to move the meeting from the boardroom to the training room but I am sure we could still take in a few more. This link will take you to the Eventbrite page where you can register for the talk.
Anyone wishing to discuss this article or IP generally may call me on 020 7404 5252 during normal office hours or send me a message through my contact page.