In his last three decades as an AFL football trainer Ray Spiteri, Head Trainer with Carlton Football Club, has seen many players immobilised by blisters. He says, 'the problem is particularly bad when heavy fitness drills begin in the first weeks of the football season'.
Blisters cause far greater problems in society than just slowing down a few football players or serving as a reminder that you participated in some recreational activity on the weekend. Blisters on the hands and feet can lead to serious accidents in physical occupations such as the construction industry and the military.
Throughout his 30 year career, Ray says that he tried every blister cure on the market and few had much effect until now. His product is very simple. Essentially it is an adhesive fabric that acts like a second skin, preventing rubbing, which in turn prevents blisters.
Ray said that there are a number of patches and tapes on the market but all of them have their problems. 'What we needed was a thin fabric tape that would stay on for a few days yet could be removed without tearing the skin off and we needed to have it pre-cut into specific shapes that would stay on and cover the most commonly affected areas'.
After considerable research, Mr Spiteri discovered the right combination of tape and adhesive and found a company that could manufacture it for him. He believed with the expenses and effort that it would all be for nothing if he couldn't protect it. After consulting an intellectual property (IP) attorney, he discovered that he could register his designs for the patches and thereby protect the product idea.
Registering his designs
Ray registered his designs and trade marked the brand Blisterproof in each of the regions that he will sell his products: Australia, USA, China and Europe.
This has been Ray's first foray into innovation and he says if he was doing it all again, he'd probably register the designs earlier and have brought out a consumer pack first rather than starting with the bulk packs for sporting clubs and organisations like the army.
Mr Spiteri's laid back demeanour is reflected in his attitude to the project, 'even if nothing else comes of it, what I've learnt has been well worth it' he stated. I've been learning every step along the way and this concept has taken me on a fascinating journey of personal development.'
'This is a product that has been born out of necessity. The beauty of it is that it actually works. You put it on to prevent the blister, and it works. There is nothing like it in the market,' he stated with quiet satisfaction.
Registering your IP
- Have you developed a brand? Protect it with a registered trade mark. You can learn about trade marks, search for existing trade marks and apply for a trade mark.
- Protect the way your product works with a patent. Learn about the benefits of patents, search for existing patents and get an idea of how much a patent may cost.
- Protect the way your product looks with a design. You can learn about designs, search for existing designs and apply.
- Understand your commercialisation options to monetise your IP.
- If you’re an entrepreneur or start-up our IP – your business edge magazine helps steer you through how protecting your IP can help grow your business.
- We understand the IP system can be complex so we’ve put together the basics for patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights.