Sir Richard Arkwright
Artist Mather Brown
Source Wikipedia

Jane Lambert

21 Jan 2017

This picture of Sir Richard Arkwright appears for a reason. He was a prolific inventor and spectacularly successful entrepreneur. Many have described him as the father of the industrial revolution. This resource is for those who would follow in his footsteps. It contains articles, case notes, precedents and presentations on intellectual property and other legal issues.

Like Thomas Eddison in the USA, Sir Richard was what we would nowadays call a "private inventor".  He was a barber by trade not a member of a research and development team. He learnt about organic fibres though making wigs and he transferred the knowledge that he gained in that trade to textiles. Individual inventors tend to be overlooked - often disparaged and occasionally badly exploited - in this country but other countries regard them as an important resource. The KIPA (Korea Invention Promotion Association) has a campaign slogan: "One Korean, one invention." If the UK is to retain its high standard of living in an increasingly competitive world, we must do the same.

The KIPA is a national initiative that works closely with Korean Intellectual Property Office, the Korea Institute of Patent Information, the Korea Group of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association and other official bodies. It supplies a wide range of services at national and local level. We have nothing quite like that in the UK but this Inventors Club is a start.

About 10 years ago I helped to form inventors clubs in Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield and supported the ones in Manchester and Burnley. Through those clubs we brought inventors together and introduced them to professional advisers through talks to monthly meetings and other events.  These were based on the Patent Information Units at the Central Libraries of the four major cities which were already offering patent searches and IP clinics. I hope to use the connections and experience I gained through setting up and running those clubs here.