Polymer Sustainability

Improving the sustainability of polymer production, processing, (re)use and recycling requires continual innovation.

At Abel + Imray, our patent attorneys are using their technical expertise in chemistry, biology and engineering to help innovative companies like you to protect their new and improved feedstock sources, polymer materials, processes, catalysts and equipment in the UK, Europe and around the world. And the intellectual property (IP) is not only in the technology – to be successful in this growing and competitive field, many innovators need a strong brand to tell their story. Your Abel + Imray trade mark attorneys can help you find a name and logo that is distinctive, and then protect it from misuse by others.

Protecting inventions

When it comes to polymer technology, inventions can take a number of forms. A polymer, or polymer composition may be unique, or perhaps the invention lies in a new way of making a previously known polymer, or even in the method and equipment for processing or recycling it. Polymer structures are complex, and cannot be defined by a simple chemical formula. Their value often lies in their rheology, mechanical properties, or environmental acceptability. Our experienced multi-disciplinary team of attorneys will work with you to understand the technical detail and identify what may be patentable.

Polymer formulations can be difficult for competitors to analyse and reverse engineer. Sometimes it can be better not to put such details in the public domain in a patent application. We can help you decide what information may be best retained as a trade secret, and for how long.

IP strategy

Your IP strategy should align with your commercial objectives. In the polymer industry, new products and processes can be capital intensive and have long lead times. For early stage companies, this may be reflected in a focus on rapid proof of concept, followed by licensing out of IP or perhaps acquisition. Alternatively, the goal may be steady growth and in-house commercialisation. Seeking IP protection, and checking for freedom to operate in major industrial economies worldwide may be more appropriate for the first model, but funds may be better spent elsewhere for the second.

We work with companies ranging from new start-ups to established global giants, and we bring that range of experience to all our work. We also have attorneys who have spent time working in the in-house departments of chemical companies, giving them a valuable insights into management of IP portfolios.

"Tom is absolutely part of the [Recycling Technologies] family and has been very helpful in the development so far. Tom makes things very seamless, as he understands our process and understands where we are novel."

Marvine Besong, Technical Director, Recycling Technologies Ltd

Our expertise

Our attorneys have technical expertise in chemical engineering (including batch and continuous polymerisation reactor technology), homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, and polymer characterisation (for example through rheological and chemical analysis), customer applications, and end-of-life and recycling. This range of expertise allows us to understand inventions, and find the most effective way to protect them.

By taking the time to dig into the detail of the technology, we have been able to craft patent applications focused on the core aspects of an invention while remaining flexible enough to adapt to changes in product and process design during development and scale-up. We are also experts in helping our clients fight off competitor challenges to their patents and we understand that success is best achieved by making your patent application robust right from the start.

Working with us

Polymer technology underpins many technological advances, from providing high performance, light weight packaging to sterile, durable components. Now, attention has turned to reducing the environmental footprint and developing a circular economy. If your innovations are giving you a commercial edge, let us take care of your intellectual property so that you can focus on your innovations and your business success.

If you are looking to develop a long term relationship with a European IP firm who specialise in polymer sustainability, please contact Jim Denness or Tom Turner to discuss your requirements and innovations.

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Jim Denness Partner

+44(0) 1225 469914

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Tom Turner Partner

+44(0) 2920 894200

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