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New on Technical Textiles

Industry to be urged to protect its ideas

Our Editors often use this space to laud the industry’s capacity for innovation and problem-solving. Next month, during the International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating, one of the speakers will ask if the industry is doing enough to protect its investment in that innovation.

In Berlin, Patent Attorney Deborah Maxwell will liken the failure of a business to consider protecting its intellectual property to its owners deliberately leaving the doors open each night, exposing the enterprise’s most valuable assets to theft. Lengthy and expensive commitments to research and development (R&D) can be instantly undermined if, once a product is brought to market, a company’s competitors are free to learn from and copy the innovation.

Smart socks are just one of the garments that are being developed at the UK’s Nottingham Trent University using a patented invention—a flexible, washable yarn embedded with microelectronic devices. The Siren Smart Sock System works by measuring temperature with thermistors that are less than a third of a millimetre long and aims to give an early warning of the onset of diabetic foot ulcers.

Patent protection itself can be a lengthy and expensive process, but this does not justify an unconsidered dismissal of its merits, even by small and medium enterprises (SMEs), she will argue. In certain cases, the continual development of products and services is a valid alternative strategy, particularly in a fast-moving market such as technical textiles, but a complete analysis of the costs and benefits of protecting intellectual property needs to be made on a case-by-case basis, including considering the other forms of protection (often simpler and cheaper) that can be applied, as well as a proper assessment of the longevity of the underlying concept.

Further, she will describe how the rights themselves can be used to generate revenue for a business and even attract investment.

Those joining us from 8–9 November can learn more during the presentation and by talking to Deborah and her colleague at the event, and to get a fuller justification for learning more about the advantages of protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) read her introductory article, Protecting cutting-edge ideas and maximizing their benefits, on this site (to be followed by two more over the coming months).

To find out more about the complete range of topics relating to the coating and laminating industry to be discussed next month, check out the complete programme here.

Delegate Registration for International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating conference


International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating, Berlin, Germany, 8-9 November 2017

Now in its 26th year, we are pleased to announce that the next International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating will be held in Berlin, Germany at the Novotel Am Tiergarten 8-9 November 2017, in the heart of the country's capital city. 

For full information on the Conference Programme and Speakers, please visit the conference website at www.technical-textiles.online/TCL

Click here to purchase your Delegate place or Event Sponsorship. 

To download the conference brochure and booking form, click on the image below.  

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Available now for immediate download in PDF format, or ensure your printed copy by ordering today. Click here for full information on the report and to order.


Measured in terms of use and production, the global fibres market in 2016 reached 100 Mt for the first time. However, at a meeting announcing these landmark figures, senior industry observers focused on the challenges facing fibre manufacturers, particularly those in Europe. Adrian Wilson reports.

By 2021, the composites industry could be generating 32 kt of carbon fibre waste a year, and re-using this material is both an environmental and an economic necessity.  When UK-based carbon fibre recycler ELG Carbon Fibre (ELG-CF) opened the doors to its factory in Coseley in June 2017, James Bakewell went along to find out how textile technologies are being used to make this happen. 

John McCurry reports that demand for fabrics providing cooling effects has led to the foundation of a great many companies in the USA eager to fulfil the market’s needs. Together with some longer-term players, they have an abundance of new technologies to choose from and commercialize in order to provide such functionality.

From a bicycle lock made from textiles to an intelligent knee brace, the breadth of innovation on display at Techtextil was staggering. Editor Nick Butler focuses on eight of the innovations, each of which won special recognition at the event held on 9–12 May 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany.