During the Spring break, the Year 10s were invited to spend the day at Kilburn & Strode, a patent and trademark law firm for intellectual property.

The students were challenged to think about how similar products must create ways to make their product unique from the competition. This involved some necessary taste tests of different chocolate bars and thinking about how food companies might want to seek a patent for their recipes so no other company can copy them. Unfortunately though, companies are only ever able to protect their idea/ invention for 20 years, as with every filed patent, companies must disclose how their invention works. So after 20 years anyone can copy the recipe- this means that companies need to keep innovating to stay ahead of the curve! Did you know? Coca-Cola have never filed a patent for their recipe as they don’t want their secret let out!

We were lucky enough to hear from one of the managing partners at the firm, Nick Shipp, who talked about his education and how he got to be in his job. He set the scene for an activity, where students had the difficult task of writing a patent application for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The students worked in teams with some of the technical assistants at the firm to try to come up with ways to describe the aircraft wings in order to write a patent for the design. It was a tough task but the students were able to come up with some creative answers.

In the afternoon, the students were tasked with inventing their own innovative technology for Snapchat. There were some amazing ideas, from being able to use a filter to detect your mood to how to use the app to make payments.

There was a great opportunity for the students to chat to the attorneys and associates and ask lots of questions about their work. We also got to hear from GG alumnus Gagan who spoke about his own work experience at Kilburn & Strode.

Thanks to all the staff at Kilburn & Strode for such an interesting day.