Developments to agricultural machinery span the millennia, from the first tools of man to the beasts of modern farm equipment. And quite beastly these are now! See the wonderful example of a super-sized John Deere below, which, despite its large size, amazingly is still small compared to the "Big Bud"!
With the growth of such machinery, new challenges arise, such as new requirements for access routes, changes to the supply or service machinery, and opportunities for larger and wider soil interface machines, such as ploughs and drills. These changes thus allow each new piece of equipment to generate a wide range of opportunities across a broad spectrum of businesses.
However, making equipment larger is not the only route forwards. Many manufacturers are also working on smaller or more precise equipment: particularly self driving machines, intelligent spraying equipment for improved pesticide economy, or automated harvesting equipment, and even electric or methane powered machinery to help reduce the reliance on diesel or in an attempt to close the loop towards a carbon neutral farming cycle. These too can generate many opportunities across a broad spectrum of businesses, as they can also generate a need for alternative supply or service machinery, new skills in robotics and electronics, and many other support roles.
Important for all of these developments is appropriate IP planning. At a most fundamental level there will be the need to consider filing all relevant patent, design and trademark applications, but additionally there can be a need to identify what the competition are doing, or to identify what has already been done, including the IP they have obtained. This is to ensure that problems down the line from third party rights can be anticipated or designed around. Our agritech team at Marks & Clerk are proud to be involved in many of the mainstream and support sectors of the agritech industry, both in respect of the machinery and electronics involved, and in respect of the biological and agrichemical products used. We would be pleased to discuss how we can assist you with maximising the effectiveness of your IP planning.