Innovation fellow Neil Higgins has a clutch of patents to his name, and everything that comes out of his lab is patent-protected, he says. "We like to color outside of the box here, so we don't constrain ourselves to developing things that can only be produced commercially using equipment we already have. Initially products could be toll-processed before we decide whether to do it ourselves."
"We've applied for around 40 patents in the last decade and been granted around 20, so two a year seems to be the rate. They have recently really tightened up the patent examination process, which has become a lot more demanding, but it does mean that the quality of the patents now granted is better and that fewer frivolous patents are granted."