Case study

Protecting innovation to support expansion

Adamson Jones

Adamson Jones obtains patent and trade mark protection to prevent Aburnet’s technology being used by third parties, thus protecting and strengthening the company’s position in the marketplace.

About Aburnet

Aburnet Ltd is a family business based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, owned and run by Richard Burnet. Aburnet are specialists in providing solutions for hair containment, with particular expertise in reducing hair contamination in industrial settings. The firm started in 1898 producing simple hairnets, but has grown far beyond these beginnings. Aburnet now manufactures and supplies a range of hair containment products across the UK and overseas, and is continually innovating to improve the products they offer. Their focus is on improving hair hygiene by providing effective and affordable hair containment solutions using specially developed fabrics and manufacturing methods.

A competitive industry

Aburnet Ltd operate in a competitive field, in which it is important to be at the forefront of new developments. Aburnet led the way with their HairTite® hairnet, a hairnet using patented ‘fold and hold’ hair containment technology. The HairTite® hairnet is now being used widely in the food industry to prevent hair contamination of pre-prepared food, reducing consumer complaints by 80%. For an innovative product such as this, patent protection acts as a defensive measure to protect their position in the marketplace and to prevent their technology being used by third parties. The HairTite® hairnet is currently protected by patents in the UK, France and Germany, and has a patent pending in the US. It is also trade mark protected.

Supporting expansion

We work with Aburnet to provide advice and support across a range of areas including patentability advice, patent and trade mark protection, and freedom-to-operate advice. Over the last decade we have helped Aburnet to obtain patent protection for a number of their products, and to actively manage their growing patent portfolio across Europe and the US. This has included obtaining patent protection for their new Tek-Chef hat, an innovative bespoke printed hat suitable for front of house service and other customer facing roles. The Tek-Chef and KleenCap both use technical HairBarrier® fabric, which was developed in-house. We have also obtained trade mark protection for several Aburnet products, protecting their product names and branding.

Protecting innovation

The team at Adamson Jones has worked closely with Aburnet Ltd to provide ongoing advice and assistance regarding a broad range of issues including patent protection, trade mark protection, infringement and freedom-to-operate advice. Clear communication and our ability to understand the technical concepts quickly has been key to ensuring that Aburnet’s IP is relevant to the company’s objectives and
changing markets.

  1. Site visits to ensure a thorough understanding of the manufacturing processes
  2. Patentability searches and advice
  3. Manage a growing patent portfolio across Europe and the US

The outcome

Since 2000, Adamson Jones has secured 9 granted patents for Aburnet across the US and Europe, with further patent applications currently pending. Aburnet is a growing company, continually looking for new avenues in which their expertise in textile development and printing can be utilised. Our continuing relationship enables us to provide ongoing advice for the management of their expanding patent portfolio, ensuring that their new developments are protected, and supporting the continual expansion of the business. Through working with Adamson Jones, Aburnet has been able to build and protect an effective portfolio of patents, giving them a clear competitive advantage and helping them grow their business by over 400 per cent.

By working with Adamson Jones we have been educated to understand the patentability of inventions, in turn guiding our product design and allowing us to make better strategic decisions. Their advice has proven reliable and effective and is always clear to follow.
Richard Burnet, Managing Director