Lately, the debate about patents and intellectual property has become quite heated. Some professionals are considered forerunners in a specific field, to the point that their ideas become part of that field vocabulary, and then they see those ideas and methods stolen and used in a totally unfair competition.
For those who believe in competition on merit, the time has come to protect their creations. And the question is: what does being forerunners really implies?
“It’s simply the nature of such a company as Biancalani: to always look for new devices, new machinery, new approaches. We consider it as part of our job to support and try to inspire our clients. They know it and sort of expect it from us. We had a Research and Development department when there was still no name for it. Thankfully, my father thought about patenting his ideas when patents were hardly understood or taken into consideration. I have to say it’s a tough part of our job, but we couldn’t be more proud of it. After all this time, the issue of intellectual property has become and still is, in fact, an issue” says Rossano Biancalani, CEO of the company.
Being forerunners in the mechano-textile field obviously means many things. First of all, R&D is fundamental and not an easy concept as it may seem. There are costs, difficulties and also risks, because reaching the finish line holding the perfect product in your hands could take more time than expected. “An important percentage of the company’s budget is always dedicated to R&D,” says Maurizio Toccafondi, head of the same office.
“Sometimes, when we see our machinery is being somehow copied, I ask myself why we keep on doing this. But Biancalani will never stop looking for better and better ideas and solutions, so patents are the key”.
It was at the beginning of 80s when Mr. Fiorenzo Biancalani started patenting his ideas, surely having a hint of their originality. He was proven right, as those ideas have been successful indeed. The policy of Biancalani has never changed since its origins, since patenting AIRO® concept in 1985. And that concept has become part of the textile vocabulary, describing a process, not only a specific machinery.
“That has been very rewarding,” adds Rossano Biancalani “and since then we have always enriched our machinery with details that made them no ordinary finishing machines. Patents really support our work, our company. For us, looking forward and come up with innovations will always be the right path to follow. It will always be preferable to be copied than to copy”.
Biancalani is keeping on patenting their machinery in any possible way: national and international patents are active in Europe and all over the world, particularly in those Countries where the textile and mechano-textile industry are more developed. Companies that keep on doing research are essential to fuel industries and business evolution. To be protected against theft of intellectual property is a right we should all fight for.