Seven solutions developed as part of project of improved fins for swimming and diving have just been covered by patent protection. These are the fastest awarded patents the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland in the history of inventions at the University of Silesia in Katowice.
This type of fins is intended for sport swimming, rehabilitation swimming and diving. More information about these solutions can be found in the article entitled „Udoskonalone płetwy do pływania. Wynalazek naukowców z UŚ i AWF Katowice” (Improved fins for swimming. An invention of scientists from the University of Silesia in Katowice and University of Physical Education in Katowice).
The authors of the invention are scientists who represent the University of Silesia in Katowice and University of Physical Education in Katowice. The fins have specially designed shape and can be made of materials with antifungal and antibacterial properties, which has also become protected. Moreover, they have an original appearance, protected by the certificate awarded by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
This patent protection was awarded in the record-breaking time of six months from the submission of patent application at the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland. Therefore, we requested a comment from Mariusz Grzesiczak, Patent Attorney at the University of Silesia.
Yesterday you communicated the last of seven decisions of the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland on the protection of solutions as part of design of fins for swimming and diving. Only half a year has passed since the date of submitting the patent applications. How long does it usually take to have them considered by the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland?
The procedure of reviewing patent applications usually lasts 2–3 years. In the case of the fins, we submitted requests for accelerating the procedure due to the great interest of the manufacturers of equipment for swimming and diving.
However, even with such requests you usually wait for at least one year for the decision of the patent office. In this case, though, we obtained the patents already after approximately six months. I have never had or heard about such a situation in my career as a patent attorney. This probably proves that the inventions are absolutely innnovative and the expert at the Patent Office had no doubt about it, but also that the descriptive documentation of the inventions was carefully prepared, because the expert did not want any corrections or supplements, and issued the decision to grant the patents right away, without any additional correspondence. This is not very frequent either.
Can the pandemic situation affect the duration of procedure for considering patent applications?
I haven’t noticed any changes in the operation of the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland. Both patent attorneys and Patent Office experts need IT equipment to perform their work, which is why they can work remotely during pandemic without any obstacles. According to the information that I get, I know that many experts are working remotely. I work in turns – sometimes at home, sometimes in the office, but during the pandemic I did not experience any slowdown at work. On the contrary, I am in full swing, right about to finish approximately 30 new patent descriptions. Taking into consideration the fact that it’s only May, we can also talk about the record-breaking achievement.
Let us go back to the design of fins. Why do we talk about as many as seven patents in this case, since the project concerns one object – improved equipment for swimming and diving?
Although all inventions concern fins, however, particular solutions differ between one another with technical details, either structural, or related to the materials that they are made of.
This mixture of various technical features showed that there were seven varieties (variants) of the fin – each of them has partly similar, partly different qualities and properties.
Thank you for the interview.