Inhibit Coatings

Case studies

Ideas come in all shapes and sizes. It is likely that no matter your business or industry, intellectual property (IP) will help you along your journey. Find out more about how these New Zealand companies have leveraged IP to get to where they are today.

Inhibit Coatings

Patents Trade marks

Inhibit Coatings world leading antimicrobial technology has been shown to kill a large number of bacteria and viruses. Find out how Eldon knew patents and a trade mark were going to be a vital part of his business success. 

Credit: Mark Tantrum Photography Ltd.
Duration: 3:11

As the video begins we see a man with a red beard walking across a courtyard. He’s surrounded by large glass buildings. There’s a red speech bubble element at the top left of the video with the words “Dream it. Do it. Own it.” We see the man sitting in front of a large screen showing an image of a person working in a lab. We hear him speaking “Looking into your IP a whole lot earlier is one of the key pieces. As soon as you knew that you were doing something that was provably different to everybody else by having that IP protection, that was a massive boost of, I'm Eldon Tate from Inhibit Coatings.”

We alternate seeing Eldon speaking with shots of him wearing safety glasses holding a container of a substance in a lab, and shots of others working with liquids, as he continues speaking “I'm one of the co founders, we're an antimicrobial coatings company. We make antibacterial and antiviral additives for paints and coatings, and we're using them in high hygiene applications to keep people safe.”

We see shots of buckets and other containers with Inhibit Coatings branding on it, as Eldon continues speaking “So places like food processing plants and hospitals to try to stop dangerous contamination from bacteria and viruses.

We see Eldon speaking again and close ups of people manipulating liquids over surfaces in a lab and measuring precise amounts as he continues “We came up with a unique way of making silver nanocomposites we have a cool technology where we can take a plastic or resin and functionalize it was silver nanoparticles the way that we do, it means that we bind the silver to the resin so it never washes out. So these composites stay antibacterial, and antiviral for the lifetime of the product. What we've been able to do is scale up that technology, and we're now incorporating it into paints and coatings for things like textiles, wall paints for hospitals, and also flooring systems for dairy processing plants.” We’ve seen shots of precise amounts of brown liquid being measured into containers, and various surfaces that have been treated with their product including wood, fabrics, and plastic chips that will be used to manufacture products.

We see a person painting a coating on to a piece of wood to treat it and a branded container of liquid on top of treated products

We see Eldon and a colleague in a lab, a person opening a metal container, a liquid being dispensed across a surface to treat it, and a brown liquid being mixed into a white liquid as Eldon continues speaking. “We really sort of have three key pieces of IP that we use within our strategy. So we have the patents, which is kind of to explicitly  protect our  processes and product characteristics. We've got the trade mark side of things, which is protecting the brand that we’ve been developing over the last few years. And then really another key piece is trade secrets. So this is other developments that we’ve been able to have in house that aren’t necessarily protectable from a patent perspective. But we make sure that we’re taking steps to protect those internally, by controlling that information and really trying to build a strong trade secret around it as well.”

We see footage of Eldon speaking with a colleague in a lab as he continues speaking “Having the strong patent for us has gotten us a huge amount of interest from both industry partners, but also with other end users. By building that reputation, we all of a sudden realized that we did actually have a brand. So in order to protect that we went down the trade mark route.”

We see a person lifting an Inhibit Coating branded bucket on to a bench as we hear Eldon continue speaking. “When it comes to patents and patent protection, it’s really important to make sure that you’re protecting that information. And you need to keep it confidential, right up until you have that formal protection or otherwise, you’re at risk of losing priority date but also you’re risking its novelty as well, which will mean that you don’t have the chance to protect that invention in the future.”

We see footage of Eldon walking between buildings then working with a colleague in a lab, as we hear him continue speaking. “At every single stage of our company's growth everybody's always looked at what the IP we have and how we are bringing that to market and just how well we're protected. Investors always love to talk about that defensible moat, part of that is having actual protected IP, for us that's been patents. If I was thinking about advice, that I would have appreciated, looking into your IP a whole lot earlier is one of the key pieces. There were a lot of aspects of our invention that we initially thought were unprotectable, but by getting that advice, we were able to find that we were actually doing something pretty novel and unique.”

We see Eldon and a colleague walking down a corridor, and further footage of him working in a lab with colleagues, as we hear him continue speaking. “Our immediate next steps are getting our products out there and use that scale. We've been working on some really exciting projects across a couple of really cool industries, medical devices, paints and coatings and textiles. We really see us being able to include this technology into a wide range of high impact applications. And we really want to focus on that public health aspect.”

We see a large Inhibit Coatings branded container being placed on a lab bench by a person who is out of shot, and a red speech bubble graphic over the top left of the video with the words “Own your killer idea”. The video fades to the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand logo, and then the video ends.

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