Eco-Design & Intellectual Property Rights


Individually or in groups of two you are required to analyse a new concept of your choosing and investigate its viability in terms of its novelty, feasibility and marketability. Furthermore you are required to define an Intellectual Property Protection Plan. Several ideas are offered below but you may develop your own idea.

Investigation possibilities include:

Mini Wind Turbines mounted at the central reservation of motorways

Energy storage system for the mini wind turbines

Micro Wind turbines located within vehicle wheel arches

Windscreen wash rainwater replenishment system

Safety ignition of Barbecue charcoal

3D parking of bicycles

It is suggested that you put yourself in the position of either a lone inventor with little technical experience OR as part of an in-house company team where all the development expertise can be gleaned from company staff. The investigation is expected to take the following route:

1. Investigate the market to establish similar competition or better methods of accomplishing the same function.

2. Interrogate the patents data base (through the University Library or “Summon”) to establish the existence or non-existence of prior art.

3. Interrogate the Registry of Designs (Library)

4. Define a market or markets and determine the probable market value per annum

5. Take decisions on viability and whether to invest in formal IP protection based on probable cost of protection and possible profit from the estimated market value. Justify your decisions.

Whether the decision in part 5 positive or negative, you are required to create an Intellectual Property Protection Plan linked to the appropriate stage of development of the device or system.

6. Estimate the costs of IP Protection (Note! An overview will receive minimum marks. A full cost analysis will receive high marks)

7. Define each element of the IP Protection Plan using a flow chart and giving examples where appropriate.

8. Demonstrate and evaluate the application and use of digital forms of copyright (eg performance rights etc

9. A detailed discussion of the overall process and likely success or failure of the individual case should be included.

Report Requirements

You are required to present a formal report with appropriate sketches and references, explaining each of the above points and the decisions taken.

Word Count:

The word count limit for this assignment is 4000 words. Within the report the following items will be excluded from the word count:

Title page

Contents page

List of symbols used, list of figures, list of tables (if present)

Words within equations

Words within figures, including the figure title.

Words within tables, including the table title.


Note that figure and table titles should be brief and should not include any information not already present in the main text.

Skills: Concept Design, Design, Market Research, Mechanical Engineering, Patents

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