World Intellectual Property Day 2019- Innovation in Sports

AA Thornton celebrates World Intellectual Property Day 2019


Hiplok speak to AA Thornton about how they use innovation, creativity and IP to support the development of sport to mark World Intellectual Property Day

The drive to test our abilities, the thrill of competition, and the awe we experience in watching ordinary people achieving extraordinary feats, have fuelled our fascination with sports for thousands of years.

This year’s World Intellectual Property Day campaign – Reach for Gold takes a closer look inside the world of sports. It explores how innovation, creativity and the IP rights that encourage and protect them support the development of sport and its enjoyment around the world.

We saw this as an opportunity to ask our own clients who operate in the sports industry how they use intellectual property to foster the development of new technologies, materials, and equipment to help improve athletic performance and engage fans worldwide.

Hiplok design innovative security locks for cyclists. They also happen to be the designers of the world’s first wearable bike lock.

Founders John Abrahams and Ben Smith describe themselves as product designers by trade and cyclists by heart and wanted to protect what they love by bringing their design expertise and rider experience to deliver innovative, quality, bicycle locks which not only protect your bike but protect the joy of riding.

Since the launch of the Hiplok ORIGINAL in 2011, the pair have continued to lead on innovation, designing and building quality security products which riders around the world trust in.

Hiplok Co-Founder John Abrahams on the importance of protecting his IP

“Having a strong IP portfolio is critical to our business as it helps protect both our brand and our ideas. But it’s not enough to just have the protection on paper. Having the right partners such as AA Thornton to help manage and enforce this is vitally important, especially for a small business with limited specialist resources in house.

We have invested heavily over the years in trademarks and patents in regions that aligned with our current routes to markets in the UK, Europe and the US. But we are also allowing for growth in other regions such as Asia and South America where we are starting to grow the brand. It’s a big investment for a small business but the benefits to the brand make it worthwhile. The increasing threat of copyright theft globally makes it more important to protect what we create. Whilst we are still a small business, we operate globally.

Every product we sell has been developed by us from the ground up. Hiplok is founded by two product designers who still work on all the creative aspects of each product. We work in conjunction with our engineering team based in China where the products are manufactured and assembled. It’s our unique products that stand us apart from our competitors.

We have worked hard and invested a great deal in getting these products right and avoided copying products already in the market place. Our loyal customers know that the products they buy from us are not available anywhere else. To protect this investment and enable future growth requires intellectual property protection to be a key part of our company strategy.

We are also cyclists by heart and enabling more people to cycle remains an important reason as to why we do what we do. If we are not designing new products then we are often out riding!”


If you have any queries regarding this topic, or perhaps have an invention or brand of your own you’d like to speak to us about, please contact a member of our team.

Read our other World IP Day 2019 article here.

You can also download the PDF version of this article below.


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