The international patent filing is related to US Patent 8,574,704 granted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by the US Patent Office.
Commercial in one year
Dave Smith, CEO, LiquiGlide, told FoodProductionDaily, the product isn’t quite two years old, but ‘we’re taking a deliberate, methodical approach to protecting our intellectual property’.
It expects to see its first coatings commercialized over the next year in production processes and consumer packaged goods applications. The first products with LiquiGlide coatings will be toothpaste and mayonnaise.
“From better packaging for consumer goods, to applications in aviation, oil and gas and high-tech medical equipment, we custom develop slippery surfaces for any viscous liquid,” said Smith.
“Currently we’re predominantly working with consumer packaged goods companies as that’s where we received the most initial interest, but we’re exploring strategic partnerships in many other fields.
“We feel a real sense of urgency to bringing our coatings into the various industries where they can make a difference.”
Trapping liquid in a matrix
MIT holds two patents for the technology with more than a dozen pending, and LiquiGlide is the sole commercial entity with exclusive licensing rights.
The ’704 patent was originally granted in November 2013, and describes the company’s method for creating wet slippery surfaces by trapping liquids in a solid matrix – reducing friction for viscous liquids moving across treated surfaces.
In addition to the liquid-impregnated surfaces patent, MIT has been granted US Patent 8,535,779 for self-lubricating surfaces for food packaging and food processing equipment, for sticky foods like peanut butter and mayonnaise.
As part of LiquiGlide’s international patent strategy, the company filed an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), in relation to the ’779 patent to protect its IP in 148 countries.
As a result of that application, the European Patent Office (EPO) acting as the International Searching Authority (ISA) has conducted a patent search and issued an International Search Report (ISR), which did not identify any references that would preclude patentability of LiquiGlide’s non-toxic coating technology.
“The length of the process varies across countries, from six months to several years,” added Smith.
“In the meantime, we will continue to develop and license our technology across industries. As more of our US patents are approved, we’ll continue to file them internationally.
“Given the patents we’ve already been granted in the US, we’re confident and excited about applications abroad and across industries.
“In the next five years, LiquiGlide will have an impact on industries around the world, eliminating waste for manufacturers and customers, and enabling further uses of viscous liquids.”