7 May 2018

Drilling: a practical example of a thorough IP strategy

Boorwerk, an innovative family business from Almere, is a global player in the field of hole saws and competes with major international concerns. To be able to do this, it is essential that Boorwerk protects its innovative concepts through the use of patents. By continuing to innovate, and by pursuing an active strategy in terms of protecting its intellectual property, it is able to keep the competition at bay.

In order for a professional to drill a hole larger than the tip of a regular drill, a hole saw can be used. These hole saws do not turn all the material cut out from the hole into sawdust but instead leave a nice round disc. When making larger holes, this makes hole sawing a lot more energy efficient than traditionally drilling the same diameter.

The need to keep their competition at bay was clear when a Taiwanese company offered hole sawing at a large European trade fair using a background technology that was virtually identical to the products patented by Boorwerk. Boorwerk started legal proceedings and in the first instance, and also on appeal, the finding was upheld by the judge.

On the basis of the verdict and the confirmed ruling on the interpretation of the patent and its scope, a German producer is now being approached for counterfeiting. Preparations are also being made to contact a Chinese producer who tried to sell copies on the market in March 2018 on another stock exchange. It is expected that the threat posed by the patent and the rulings will suffice to deter the producers of the recently discovered counterfeit and prevent further counterfeiting.

In addition to writing the patents, Arnold & Siedsma advises its client Boorwerk on how to implement a good IE strategy that achieves the maximum return from the innovations the company has developed.

The consideration of whether the process costs outweigh the subsequent benefits resulting from an active IP strategy is one that every company must undertake. Arnold & Siedsma is happy to assist its clients with its expertise in this area.