World Intellectual Property Day 2022: ‘IP and youth’ with EZ-Charge

To celebrate World Intellectual Property Day 2022, Mathys & Squire has collaborated with three SME leaders on a series of articles, exploring innovation and the impact IP has had on each business.

To kick off the series, we interviewed Phil Shadbolt, CEO of EZ-Charge, an Oxfordshire-based renewable energy solutions company that specialises in electric vehicle (EV) charging technologies.

1. How is your idea/invention creating a better future?

EZ-Charge focuses on renewable energy solutions, and we have developed an EV charging point. Our invention will help support the transition to EVs, as well as reduce the level of carbon emissions produced.

2. What were the challenges you or your team faced when growing your business?

We had several problems along the way, including delays in receiving signed legal contracts from local authorities and shortages of components required. We also had a partner step away from our projects, but we have managed to overcome all these issues. Despite a few hurdles along the way, we are proud to announce that we are now installing 250 EV charge points throughout Oxfordshire.

3. What role does IP play in protecting your invention and supporting your business objectives?

IP helps us to protect our invention from being copied and monetised by competitors. Having IP rights also portrays our technology as highly innovative to the public, including investors, which is crucial as it shows a promise of a satisfactory return on investment in the future.

4. What advice would you give to your younger self to better navigate your journey?

Don’t worry so much! I would also tell myself to continue working hard, as I truly believe that hard work will help you overcome any obstacles, so never give up!

5. What forward-looking plans do you have to ensure an even better future for your business and/or the wider society?

EZ-Charge is now looking to pursue a global licensing model to help us expand our presence. Looking at our research, we anticipate the expansion to cover Austria, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. We hope to license out our IP to local companies, to enable them to roll out the installation of EV charging points, just as successfully as we have in the UK. This will help us to reinforce our efforts in making the future better and greener.

6. What activities do you carry out to ensure your business keeps innovating?

Our main focus is innovation, however, with research and development (R&D) being so expensive, we are adapting our business model to allow us to benefit from grant funding, which helps to support the R&D department. This also ensures that we plan accordingly and have strategic milestones in place to keep us on track and to deliver the highest quality products. We typically work collaboratively with local authorities and universities which helps us to broaden our horizons and consider all aspects of innovation and alternative avenues for product development.

Mathys & Squire recognises the invaluable contribution inventors and innovative businesses offer to building a better future, and we are also aware of some of the challenges they might face. In an effort to help entrepreneurs, startups and scaleup businesses protect their inventions, we launched the Scaleup Quarter, a microsite with resources and a tailored offering for SMEs.

For more information, contact a member of our team.