The Company’s management believe that there is a significant value in having critical additional patents granted in the Company’s name with a long life and on a global basis. Not only will it provide leverage when negotiating global licensing agreements but also add to the overall value of the business and its technology. The 2016 design review has been transformational for the Company as it created new and valuable intellectual property, restarting the clock in terms of patent life.

Aqualiner is a technology licensing company and therefore its direct and indirect ownership of intellectual property is critical to obtaining financial value. Being able to expand and extend the life of its existing intellectual property portfolio while obtaining direct ownership of new patents should provide substantial commercial, competitive and corporate benefits. 

Patents 

Aqualiner has been granted exclusive worldwide (excluding Scandinavia) rights for the use of the two patents covering the lining process and related equipment. The patents cover the original applications of the original Aqualiner prototype, but additional patent(s) protection is being sought as the design and applications develop.  This gives additional protection and life to the ongoing product development plan. 

The main patent is a specific patent and covers the pipe lining method and the ‘pig’ in more detail – EP 1 322 882 Lining Ducts (Pipe Pig). This patent details methods that define hot gas heating of the thermoplastic composite.  The apparatus comprises a robotic device (commonly known as a pig) which is moved though the thermoplastic composite liner.  This pig may be either pulled through the pipe using a winch through the nose or may be pushed through the pipe using an inflated bag fed with compressed air.  This bag may also be used consolidate the fibre reinforced thermoplastic composite. The patent has 24 claims. 

A further patent (EP 1 625 323) Pipe pig Passive Heating – strengthens the patented position of the Aqualiner system. This patent relates to apparatus (heat shield) for lining ducts with fibre reinforced thermoplastic composite materials. The heat shield allows for the hot air to pass through the material melting it away from the pipe wall. This shield enables the controlled heating of thermoplastic composite and allows the Aqualiner system to move forward as a product. 

Patent life to be extended through equipment enhancements 

During 2016, the Company started to make applications for patents covering the new inventions. The first patent application (1616384.2) filed in September 2016 covers the unique internal design of the heated Pig that melts the material in the pipe. Aqualiner received confirmation from UK Patent Office of the grant of its Patent Number GB2554431 in July 18. It has an expiry date of September 2036. The Company has filed an application under the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) making it possible to seek patent protection in over 150 global territories. A second patent application (1802664.1) covers the design necessary to achieve even air flow and temperature as it exits the heated pig. This patent was filed in February 2018 in September and confirmation was received from the UK patent office that they had also no objection. The application covers the design necessary to achieve even air flow and temperature as it exits the heated pig. When granted it will have an expiry date of February 2038. Both these patents are seen to be a significant enhancement to the Company’s Intellectual Property and essential design for commercially deployable product and equipment. 

Trademarks 

Aqualiner has a trademark: Melt in Place Pipe (MIPP) – This is a term that has evolved due to the main sewer rehabilitation process used in Sewer is Cured in Place Pipe “CIPP”. Aqualiner intend to market the melting aspect as opposed to a chemical process