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Gems TV designs jewellery and sells its products on home shopping TV and internet channels using a unique falling price, reverse auction system.
The company approached us to carry out a due diligence exercise to ensure that the system would not infringe any existing patents and could not be copied or patented by competitors.
Our research led to the discovery of a complete family of patent cases owned by a competitor. We checked whether the cases were in force, established how close to grant they were and how narrowly or widely they were defined. Once the analysis was complete, we were able to issue a ‘freedom to practice’ opinion, suggesting that there appeared to be no infringement.
We were then able to make recommendations on minor design changes to the selling system in order to further reduce the threat of infringement, strengthen the ‘opinion’, and successfully apply for the grant of a patent. A patent watch was also established to monitor external activity that might affect the business and the IPO process.
The IPO went ahead successfully and generated sufficient funds to enable the company to launch in the US and several other countries.