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Blog | A patent can also be useful as assembly instructions | EP&C


kerstverlichtingIt is about time to start taking down the Christmas decorations again. This time it's more of a pity than usual because we decided to get an innovative brand-new Christmas tree illumination for our front door at home and it took quite a bit of time for us to figure out how to put it up and connect it. If you have ever tried to put together flatpack furniture with assembly instructions that only contain illustrations and no text you will probably understand how frustrating this can be. The set of lights also came with that type of series of illustrations and we had a hard time figuring them out.

Ah, 'Patented'

Fortunately, the packaging caught my eye. It had 'patented' printed on the side. So there was a patent! This turned out to be the Christmas lights' salvation as they were about to end up in the bin. Patents not only contain legally well-thought-out claims, but also include several diagrams and a diagrammatic description to illustrate, by means of at least one example, how the invention for which protection is sought works. A brief search for the patent led to the international patent publication WO2014189365A1 in the name of the Dutch company Hemsson.

Assembly tips from the patent

The patent publication provided us with the following illustrations:

Beeld 1 Blog Hoe een octrooi mijn kerstverlichting reddeBeeld 2 Blog Hoe een octrooi mijn kerstverlichting redde

These, together with the diagrammatic description, proved to be perfect assembly instructions. In no time whatsoever, the bag full of loose parts became a coherent whole and a beautiful Christmas tree illumination emerged. You can see the end result here:

Voordeur kerstverlichting

 Beautiful invention and exclusively protected

By the way, the patent protection for this invention had also been put together well. The secret behind its success turned out to be the mounting system with bands, elastics and in-feed guides, and this is exclusively protected by the patent not only for a 2D version on a door, but also for 3D versions for around a flagpole, for example. It has proved to be a well-patentable invention. And the inventor now makes money from it every year.  

I suppose it is a professional idiosyncrasy, but I have often been able to use patents as a source of information when something has had to be repaired or maintained in and around the house. Who knows, maybe this example will inspire you. So I wish you an innovative 2023 with lots of great inventions!