Aquaporin is globally recognised for its unique, highly innovative membrane systems for water purification and power generation. Mewburn Ellis has been working for Aquaporin since 2007. Over the years we have helped them to secure a multi-jurisdiction patent portfolio.
Aquaporin recently won the European Patent Office ‘Inventor of the Year’ award in the SME category for 2014. Its VP of Intellectual Property, Marianne Spanget Larsen, cited the company’s patent strategy as being crucial to its success.
“Aquaporin has continuously implemented a patent strategy that advances the strategic business goals of the company. Aquaporin’s valuation is based on the company’s patents, and today this fact has been acknowledged by the European Patent Office.” Marianne Spanget Larsen
Simon Kiddle, a Mewburn Ellis partner, has played a key part in helping Aquaporin build a multi-jurisdiction patent portfolio, with 16 patent families filed worldwide and a total of approximately 120 applications and key patents granted.
Aquaporin’s technology is being developed by researchers at the Department of Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), in collaboration with the Nanyang Technical University in Singapore. At Mewburn Ellis, we are used to working with collaborative research teams across the globe.
Even NASA has sought Aquaporin’s proprietary technology. Michael Flynn, Head of the Advanced Human Support Technology Research Group at NASA Ames, commented that he was “very excited” by the Aquaporin Inside Forward Osmosis membrane. This statement came after scientists from Aquaporin had visited NASA Ames laboratories in California for four days of testing of their Inside™ technology for water purification applications in space.
In November 2014 Aquaporin announced an extremely significant, US$10m joint venture with Poten Environment, a China-based environmental protection company, and Heilongjiang Interchina Water Treatment. Its objectives are to develop biomimetic membrane technologies, and then manufacture and sell these membrane products and water treatment systems in the Chinese market.
The protection afforded by Aquaporin’s global patent portfolio was a crucial factor in procuring this hugely important deal. In addition to helping secure these patents, Mewburn Ellis advised Aquaporin on how to maximise the IP arising from this collaboration.
At Mewburn Ellis we provide Aquaporin with a wide range of IP services beyond drafting and prosecution of patent applications. We are actively engaged in portfolio management and support services, including due diligence and third party advice, training for scientists and legal training for their in-house counsel. Over the years our relationship with Aquaporin has deepened. Today we enjoy our role as an integral part of Aquaporin’s IP team. We are delighted to be able to help in the continuing growth of this exciting and innovative organisation.