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IP case study: Developing an IP strategy for Wootzano

UK startup Wootzano develops robots that feel and sense like humans do, using a patent-pending electronic skin called ‘Wootzkin’. The technology was developed by the founder, Dr Atif Syed, in 2013 for use in targeted drug delivery. However, it soon became apparent that the skin could be used to solve many of the problems facing roboticists trying to develop robots capable of performing dexterous tasks such as grasping objects. This led Dr Syed to found Wootzano, and he has since received over £1.2m in InnovateUK grant funding to help commercialise this technology.

While a stretchable electronic skin can find many applications, one that is experiencing a lot of interest in the UK due to Brexit and Covid-19 is that of robotic fruit and vegetable picking, which is one of the most complex tasks a robot has to do. Wootzano’s electronic skin is not only fully compliant but has one of the most sensitive force/pressure sensing technologies together with temperature and humidity sensing. The ‘skin’ is draped and fitted onto various robotic hands and grippers

Mathys & Squire has helped develop and implement an IP strategy for Wootzano to help protect their R&D investments and secure their market position. Patents have been filed for the technology that underpins the electronic skin and some of the future commercial applications of that technology. Our team has also advised on issues of ownership and helped advise the team at Wootzano with a number of IP agreements. By working closely with Dr Syed and Wootzano’s technical teams, we make sure that we know and understand exactly what is going on commercially – this helps us to act like an in-house legal team for the Wootzano business.

For more information about Wootzano, click here to visit their website.