The former Manchester Guardian listed Percy Wood of Halifax as one of the top 50 Yorkshire folk of all time. He invented the reflective road market known as cats' eyes in 1933. Apparently, he got the idea after seeing a real cat's eyes while negotiating the still hazardous road from Clayton Heights to Halifax. Reflectors based on Shaw's invention are found all over the world.
However, there have not been so many inventions from our county recently. According to the Intellectual Property Office's Facts and Figures for 2012 and 2013, some 984 British patent applications were filed from Yorkshire and the Humber in 2013 compared to 1,025 in 2012. In the same year there were 2,822 applications from South East England, 2,588 from London, 1,802 from the East of England, 1,368 from the South West, 1,259 from the North West and 1,180 from the West Midlands. However, Yorkshire was ahead of Scotland (900), the East Midlands (742), Wales (539), North East England (314) and Northern Ireland (237). Yorkshire was also 7th in the number of grants: 171 compared to 437 from South East England, 346 from London, 340 from South West England, 337 from Eastern England, 204 from North West England and 192 from the West Midlands.
There were 2,744 trade mark applications from Yorkshire in 2013 compared to 12,699 from London, 6.197 from South East England, 4,222 from North West England, 3,407 from South West England, 3,227 from the East of England and 2,885 from the West Midlands. With 2,305 registrations in 2013, Yorkshire trails London (10,583), South East England (5,258), North West (3,521), South West (2,951), Eastern England (2,651) and the West Midlands (2,329).
With 78 registered design applications and 59 registrations in 2013 Yorkshire was last but one from the bottom. Only Northern Ireland had fewer applications (19) and registrations (16). The top three regions for designs were London (1,153 applications and 720 registrations), South East England (1,066 applications and 883 registrations) the North East (548 applications and 484 registrations). North West England had 471 applications and 397 registrations.
We can assist artists, designers, inventors, entrepreneurs and investors in Yorkshire and the Humber with our IP clinics at Barnsley BIC, talks and publications all of which are free of charge. For our chargeable services see "IP Services from Barristers" 6 Apr 2013 4-5 IP. If anyone wants to discuss his article or any patent, trade mark, design or other intellectual property matter he or she should call us on 01484 599090 or get in touch through my contact form. You can also tweet me, write on my wall or send me a message through G+, Linkedin or Xing.