This transcript is for the video Dream Shield - Patents.
Chris Trewin: It's the difference between you making a few dollars of your blood sweat and tears, or someone else making money off your blood sweat and tears.
Alison Page: In my work on ABCs "New Inventors" I've seen a lot of great inventions. Some will make it others wont. And quite often it's because they didn't protect their inventions. The best way to protect an invention is through a Patent. It's not easy to get a Patent, you have to come up with something that is truly inventive, new and useful. Chris Trewin is an aboriginal inventor who's come up with an amazing new way to solve an old problem.
Chris Trewin: My background is um, I'm an electrician by trade and a hopeless daydreamer. A couple years ago we started out with an idea that I had and um, and basically it has progressed fairly rapidly. We’ve got a product available for sale.
The way I guess, I initially came across, the problem was highlighted to me was the fact that I was working out on a remote mine site at the time. The environmental conditions are a major concern if you're the unfortunate individual that has to be out there doing the work. The process between doing something as simple as changing a light bulb can you know can completely blow out of all proportion. Purely because the risks associated with accidental electrocution, working at heights. All these different types of issues can, um, there is a potential for serious injury or death. I guess after doing that for 12 months or so I decided there had to be a better way to do it. I went through and came up with a series of sketches of solutions that I sort of cooked up in my own head. I started up with a heap of different ideas and gradually whittled them down to a couple of viable options and then basically at that stage I'd decided it was time to get some professional input on it. Connect solves the issue/issues around repairing light fittings. Basically by completely eliminating the hazardous aspects of it, we're taking away all the skills that are required normally to be able to perform that type of work. And taking it from being performed in the field to a more controlled environment where it's a bit safer. If you've got a great idea for product or a service, make sure you protect it. Patent protection was essential because while I had the idea and the experience for the design I can't draw, I can't draw a thing. So I do enlist the help of people who could, you know....get quotes from manufacturing, get prototypes made you need the protection there. Um, because if it is truly a good idea and you’re not protected, I mean someone could basically pick it up and walk away with it and there is nothing you could do. The way I look at it is essentially if you're a small start up you don’t have the millions of dollars that the big guys do. You don't have the marketing, you don't have the RND. I mean you're essentially David and Goliath type scenario. Where as I guess the one thing they don't have is your ideas, your visions, you know....that is yours. No amount of bricks and mortar and fancy lawyers and that can take that away from you if you've protected yourself.
Alison Page: What an amazing story, perseverance and hard work are important but so is protecting you're IP.
For more information on Patents call IP Australia, a local business advisor or a Patent attorney.