IP protection




Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?
The piezo effect is widely used nowadays. There are a certain number of inventions relating generally to the detection of fault and failure conditions in vehicle tires and particularly to the detection of overheating, inadequate inflation, and excessive deflation in pneumatic tires for both on and off road vehicles. Such devices yield a hazard indicating signal whenever excessive temperature, inadequate inflation, or rapid deflation of the pneumatic tire leads to a potential failure in a tire. A piezoelectric crystal is coupled to the support member and an expansible temperature sensitive pellet is coupled to the piezo crystal. The combined dimensions of the piezo crystal and the expansible pellet along a line parallel to a radius of the tire are such that the surface of the pellet is a predetermined distance from the inside surface of the tire tread. The output signal of the piezo crystal is used to actuate a spark gap so that an electrical spark exists across the gap when the piezo crystal is compressed.

However due to the very low electrical potential produced by the piezo crystal these are not meant as a reliable and industrially useful power source.

Besides abovementioned, this research claims, that with specific connecting and proper numbers and positioning of the piezo crystals in the tire, can generate industrially significant amount of electricity.




What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to?  How was it addressed before?
The project helps facing one of the greatest and most important needs in the modern times – to face the challenge of the constant and ongoing environmental pollution, due to exaggerate use of fossil fuels. Finding reliable power source for limitless power generation while on the move, thus helping lowering the fuel consumption is a strong advantage. All advantages of the system have direct impact on this goal – direct production of electricity from the inexhaustible power source, simplified manufacturing of the construction, minimum raw materials and wide spreading among the million of vehicles worldwide.



What is the potential for further research?
The mathematical model should prove or deny the usefulness and efficiency of the idea. After that a test model must be manufactured. Further research can be focused on improving the characteristics of the proposed construction.








What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (patent, license, trademark etc.)
The IP research, held with the WIPO registration system, revealed multiple worldwide granted for analogical and similar devices. Completely analogical designs were also found, however emphasizing on the use of the piezo crystals as a sensor of different type, for close monitoring and detection of current and abnormal “on road” conditions. Therefore the proposed IP protection could be as industrial design or as utility model, based on the differences in the use and construction, compared to the rivals. Besides this, the researcher could apply for granting an international trade mark.




What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?
In order to apply for IP protection in the means of utility model the company must prepare first the mathematical model and calculations with a description, clearly stating the differences and strong sides of its technical decision, compared to those of the competitors.

It is advisable also to be filled an application for trade mark protection in the Bulgarian Patent Office. In case of positive development the company could receive an EC IP registration, which could be extended into worldwide one at the next stage.  The approximate costs for the first stage IP protection for the European union are 7000 EUR.



What is you overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?
The idea is at a very “raw” stage of development. There are many ideas, designs and working prototypes, most of them registered by the Patent Offices thorough the world. To summarize – the idea will face a severe competition by many similar projects and designs. The most important step is to complete reliable and correct calculation proving the industrial effectiveness of the idea.


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