News and musings from the coLAB news desk.
Firstly there seemed to be some confusion over the theme of ‘Innovation’, and this has perhaps led to the view that you should only enter if your idea can compete with the ‘elite’. This is certainly not the case, in fact if this award attracts only professional designers it will have been a failure. We want to see how you have identified a problem and how you have managed to solve it. It might have been something your created on the fly in a moment of desperation or you may have worked on it for months.
Secondly there were concerns over the terms and conditions of entry. Our primary aim was to warn people that when their idea enters public knowledge they lose their chance to register it for a patent or design protection. You may not even be interested in making money from your idea, you probably just want to share it with like minded people, but this put a lot of people on the back foot. If this has made people think twice before entering their idea it can only be a good thing, everyone will have different skills and motives.
There were also concerns that upon entering you indemnify Alpkit from any third party claims. So what did we mean by this? When you enter this award your idea will appear in public and to the best of your knowledge it is your own work. If someone challenges your design saying they did it first we cannot validate every entrants claim on an idea, it will be up to you to prove you did it first (if that is important to you). It may be the case you developed your idea at the same time without any knowledge of the other persons designs, this happens quite often.. for example both Newton and Leibniz are credited as inventing calculus. We recommend you always have some sort of timeline with your designs. This may be conversations with friends in the pub, dated drawings you sent yourself in the post or time stamped emails to friends.
If you believe you have an award winning idea that you are convinced by, you are on the verge of giving up your day job and flirting with business angels you should probably be looking at non-disclosure agreements, talking to patent agents and this award is probably not for you.
Ultimately the award aims to do nothing more than encourage design thinking and to put the creative public on centre stage at the Outdoors Show in 2008.