G7th Limited

Combating capo copies with a global IP portfolio

G7th is an innovative, British designer of capos — clamp contraptions that can be applied over the strings of an instrument to instantly increase pitch above its basic tuning. Capos are especially popular among acoustic guitar players.

Case Study

Case Type

Securing global IP portfolio

Action

Navigating patent examination

Outcome

Patent and design protection

Jonathan Higgs

By Jonathan Higgs

Senior Patent Attorney

Issue:

Capos had existed for decades yet, before G7th, there were few true advances in functionality. G7th’s vision was to develop a series of capo designs that served basic, mid-range and luxury ends of the market, dependent on their complexity and the features they possessed. We’ve worked with G7th for over twenty years to help protect its uniquely functioning products.

G7th needed a portfolio of IP rights to form the backbone of its business and enable it to thrive in a competitive market.

Action:

We helped to identify and exploit the unique functional mechanisms of each capo by drafting patents for filing in key strategic jurisdictions. The technology is now a surprisingly crowded field where there are often only subtle differences in configuration. We’ve helped G7th to navigate through the chaos to procure a valuable portfolio of patents and registered designs that protect the functional and aesthetic aspects of its products, while the company’s brand is secured worldwide by way of registered trade marks.

The original, flagship capos are continually being improved, and G7th also prides itself on driving new design ideas forward such as the ART (Adaptive Radius Technology) feature. This reconfigures the shape of the capo’s string pad depending on the curve of the fingerboard to apply even pressure to the strings.

We usually become involved very early on in such developments — around the prototype stage — in order to deeply understand the capo’s new functional mechanisms and accurately prepare a patent specification for filing.

Outcome:

G7th’s accumulated IP protection has been stringently tested through enforcement, both locally and in China, where fast-moving manufacturing facilities are renowned for making copycat products. G7th has had success in combating copies at their source in China via seizure of goods and action at prominent industry exhibitions.

Not only does G7th enforce the IP it has invested in, but as a company undertaking research and development in the UK, its financial position is optimised by use of special tax rules. The Patent Box rules allow lower corporation tax to be payable on profits from patented articles (sold anywhere in the world) that were designed in the UK — thereby encouraging research and development activities to be kept local.

Need help to protect your unique innovations with patents?

Get in touch with Jonathan Higgs at jgh@udl.co.uk.

01908 666 645

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