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?
There are similar light-emitting art pieces but they are not based on optic fibers. They are mainly based on phosphorous paints or organic LED – there is a wide variety of such products on the market. Browsing the internet did not result in finding any other similar product where the lighting effect is based on combining paper with optic fibers in order to emit light and create a decorative value.




What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to?  How was it addressed before?
Since this is the field of art and design, it does not address a particular gap. It is simply a new way of making light-emitting drawings, paintings, and other kinds of decorations.

The novelty consists in combining optic fibers with paper. The optic fibers are integrated into the paper without applying ay glue. The researcher claims that at present there is scarce research, if any at all, on combing optic fibers with a light source for interior design such as light wallpapers for instance. This on the one had, has aesthetic features, on the other hand it is a solution for emitting light from flat objects such as drawings, wallpapers, etc. Thus far optic fibers have been used mainly for making lamps, which is quite widely spread, and for incorporating them into art work pieces.




What is the potential for further research?
Further research could be made on how to isolate the LEDs from any external influence. This would allow for integrating the LEDs in the very process of making the paper layer. Whereas now it is integrated in between the two paper layers only after the paper is recycled, dried out, etc. If the LEDs can be integrated during the paper production process, this would lead to a more stable product, and perhaps a thinner product.




What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (patent, license, trademark etc.)
Thus far the resarcher has undertaken no steps towards IPR protection.

The present technology of producing the product could be IPR-protected as a utility model. If further research is poerformed on finding a way to isolate the LED sources of light and have them integrated into the paper during the paper production process, then it would be more appropriate to protect this technology by a patent.




What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?
No steps have been undertaken by the researcher to secure IPR protection. A first step would be to protect the present technology as a utility model. This is expected to cost up to 700-800 EUR.

A patent protection would cost about 1500 EUR – it is reasonable only in case of R&D results for integrating the LEDs into the paper while it is being produced from the paper pulp.

It is recommended to protect the product for the territory of Bulgaria, as a first step. Protection on foreign markets could be justifiable only after the national market is fully deployed and going on new markets is needed.



What is you overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?
In its present form the R&D result is mature and may be applied into practice. Further researcher could optimize the product by providing a solution on integrating the LEDs into the paper while it is being produced from the paper pulp. This would improve a number of characteristics of the product and bring it to a new quality level – decrease the thickness of the product, increase the products stability, etc.




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