From prototype to comprehensive patent portfolio
iLOQ’s founder, Mika Pukari, worked as an entrepreneur for ten years, running a locksmith business in Oulu. During this time, he saw first-hand the problems associated with mechanical locking – excess admin and costs and compromised security.
In the late 1990s, the first digital lock solutions began to enter the market. However, they all needed batteries or a power source to function. Finding an external source of power in, for example, remote infrastructure sites was either difficult or expensive, and the problem with batteries was that they were costly to buy, required regular maintenance to replace them and created a stockpile of unrecyclable waste. Mika Pukari started thinking about whether it would be possible to develop a fully programmable lock cylinder that didn’t need any kind of power source.
Research, in collaboration with the University of Oulu, confirmed that the amount of kinetic energy produced from the motion of pushing a key into a lock was sufficient to make the lock cylinder work. It was time to file the first of many patent applications.
“iLOQ is a clear pioneer in self-powered lock cylinders on a global scale. Thanks to our patents, we have been able to develop and grow our business in spite of fierce competition. Product development without infringing on our patent rights is evidently still challenging for competitors as similar independent solutions are few and far between. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary this year, it is clear that we are a decade ahead of our competitors,” states iLOQ President and CEO Heikki Hiltunen.
Strong protection of intellectual property rights
To ensure the comprehensive protection of our technology and the results of product development, iLOQ chose from the very beginning to partner with Kolster – one of the most experienced IP specialists in Europe.
“The products that we successfully sell today still contain the original inventions and the core technology patented in the first years. However, the scope of patent protection is now much wider with new patents that relate, for example, to software, electronics and usability. The long-term cooperation we have had with Kolster makes the whole process much smoother. When we start explaining a new idea, they quickly grasp the concept, understand well the business perspective, and make an informed decision on whether we should pursue a patent,” explains Jyrki Kananen, iLOQ’s Senior Product Manager.”
Kolster’s patent attorneys have in-depth expertise in the field, as well as proficiency in all patent technical and legal aspects. They are not just suppliers for iLOQ, but trusted partners and valued collaborators. With their help, we are able to carefully and continually monitor that our patent rights are not infringed. It is equally as important to analyze if competitors have patents in areas where iLOQ is directing future development to avoid infringements.
Tuned for strong growth
iLOQ currently has an extensive patent portfolio. New patents have been, and will continue to be, actively sought. An up-to-date list of public applications and patents can be found from public patent registers.
“The value of our patents has proven to be significant. The patent portfolio iLOQ has built with Kolster comprehensively protects the results of our product development and is tuned for strong growth. We will continue to make sure that our intellectual property rights are strengthened and diversified even more,” concludes Heikki Hiltunen.