Patents Company

S&P Helps Client Secure Protection for Innovative Signpost Solution

October 15, 2015

A simple idea that keeps road signs in place and could save councils time and money has been driven along with help from Swindell & Pearson.

Our firm secured the UK patent and therefore intellectual property rights on behalf of Staffordshire company SignPost Solutions for its latest product, a cost-effective anti-rotational sign post.

The Tipton-based company has been in the highways industry for more than 40 years during which it has been in the forefront of innovation with different products used by local authorities that help keep roads and users safe. Its latest product, Signstr8, is a new version of a post holding everyday signs – directions to places, notices about parking restrictions, speed limits, cameras and such. It was thought up by managing director Chris Nicklin, whose project team developed it.

Chris said that signs can be twisted around for several reasons – by children larking around which can send people the wrong way, sheer vandalism, and even some drivers turning a parking restriction sign around and taking a photo to show it was not visible in trying to avoid a fine. Signstr8, made of steel and aluminium, looks like any other post and uses the standard fittings and cap on the top.

“The special difference is that it has a designed-in flat portion so that when the sign is fixed it cannot be twisted,” he said. “It means that several signs can be put on the one post rather than having two posts to support them, so saving money”.

“It can save councils’ time and money because they don't have to send out workers to straighten signs. It reduces the risk of danger to workers, particularly on fast and busy roads and it means the public can see the correct information.”

There is a wide market for such signs – so far 20 councils, including Wolverhampton and Gateshead, have adopted Signstr8 as their standard post. SignPost Solutions recently supplied 2,500 Signstr8 posts to Warrington for new 20mph zones.

Chris commented “We have had so many people say the product is a classic case of 'It's such a simple idea; why didn't anybody think of it before?'” But it still took 18 months to develop. “We had to make sure that it was made in such a way that it uses standard components on signs that councils use.”

Chris said that SignPost Solutions, based in Clarendon Drive and employing 50 people, was grateful to Swindell & Pearson for its work on this and other projects. “What we like about Swindell & Pearson is that they will simplify what to us is a complicated legal procedure.”

Patent and trade mark attorney Robert Sales worked with Chris on securing protection for the invention. Robert commented: “While this was a simple idea it is, in fact, a very clever solution to a long-term problem. I was pleased to obtain protection for this and I'm also pleased that this product is popular in what could be a large market helping councils to save money.”

To find out how Swindell & Pearson can help you secure your intellectual property rights, please get in touch with your usual contact or [email protected].