Through IdeaConnection's crowdselling network, inventors expose their innovations to thousands of potential buyers. MP Lighting, a Vancouver-based company specializing in the manufacture of architectural LED fixtures took advantage of the service and listed its Active Cooling System (ACS) for the LED lighting industry. This invention caught the attention of Mingfa Tech, an LED heat sink designer and manufacturer in China, and the two companies subsequently signed a licensing agreement in October 2016. Alexander Kornich, Director of IP Portfolio at MP Lighting takes up the story starting with the background to its innovation.
We developed our direction several years ago because temperature is critical for LED semiconductor devices. The main advantage of LED compared to incandescent lighting is high energy efficiency. But temperature is the big enemy because when it increases efficiency decreases. So we need a way to get heat away from devices.
Traditionally old LED manufacturers used very simple passive cooling solutions to conduct and dissipate heat out of LED devices but these are not enough. So we took a new approach to improve what is known as active cooling, integrating it with a fan that we can take control of.
What is the main advantage of your invention?
The main advantage of our invention is its very small size because our circuitry for controlling the fan is very simple. It means we can put it very close to the source of the light, the LED on the PCB (printed circuit board).
How did you come across IdeaConnection’s crowdselling inventions network?
It’s not easy to find a licensing partner and this was my first experience of licensing a technology. We contacted many companies such as promotional agencies. We studied them but were not happy with what they offered. I remember one said we had to sign an agreement and pay an advance sum but there were no guarantees they would find us a licensee. So we decided to do it directly. I spent about one year actively looking for a licensing partner.
I found IdeaConnection by doing a search on the internet. I saw they were promoting new technologies and new devices for different industries to potential buyers and licensees, and this was very interesting to me. I registered with them and started to receive their newsletter and then I put some information about our innovation on the website.
Why did you license your innovation?
We are interested in distributing our knowledge. This is useful for technology and useful for the development of LED technology.
When we got good results with our technology comparable with passive cooling - we were able to increase our efficiency four to six times more - we decided to distribute the knowledge to the industry, to the world. We started to look for strategic partners to start the licensing process and that’s when we decided to post it on IdeaConnection’s website.
This was seen by Mingfa Tech and subsequently you signed a licensing agreement with them.
Yes, we did. We delegate them a right to implement the Active Cooling System in their products in the USA and Canada for five years. They need time to organize their technical teams and staff. We are still in contact with them to explain some technical equations.
Recently, we received information that they will start making their first product with the ACS. So we consider this the first result of the agreement and it’s very positive.
So there could be a product on the market soon and you’ll start receiving royalties?
Of course, this is one of the most important factors of the licensing agreement. Maybe during this year, they'll put the product on the market. But right now they’re implementing it into their technological processes.
Are you going to list more inventions with IdeaConnection’s crowdselling network?
Well, we do have some new ideas so maybe we will again.
Do you recommend the service?
IdeaConnection has an online platform that is a very good tool for distributing information about inventions. I think many new innovators and inventors will want to use a service like this. I like the website and I like the company.