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We were introduced to Paul Wojcik of local company, Advanced Ventilation Systems Limited (AVS) in the middle of 2014. AVS design, manufacture and supply louvres to the window and construction industries.

AVS are locally based and Paul was able to visit us with a sample of his invention, a modified louvre. The modification provides a new water channel at the back of the louvre and into its frame so that in periods of exceptional rain and wind even the water that penetrates to the back of the louvre can drain away through this new channel, not entering the building protected by the louvre.

Paul’s market is predominantly in the UK and a patent would both protect him from competition and also provide a useful additional PR slant to his louvre business. We talked through the protection options and decided against trade marks or registered designs and decided to focus on patent protection. An application was initially filed in August 2014 followed by a subsequent, updated UK patent application in July 2015.

With technical input from Paul, Schlich drafted and filed the patent application and then got to grips with the objections raised by the UK Examiner. An earlier US patent was cited as relating to the same invention.

A key feature, carefully described by Paul and captured in the claims of the patent, is that water reaching through to the back of the frame of the louvre can drain through the louvre frame and discharge into a glazing channel. Paul and AVS had even carried out comparative testing showing significant improvements in preventing water ingress into a building protected by the new louvres.

We were therefore able to dismiss the challenge based on the US prior art by pointing out that its louvres were vertically orientated, not horizontally, and did not provide the water barrier that Paul had built into his improved louvres, and proved with his data.

Paul and AVS are now proud owners of GB patent 2529553, which if renewed will take the patent protection until July 2035.

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