Driving clients to success
WheelRight is a privately owned, Oxford based, technology company which has developed an award-winning drive over system which automatically measures and records the pressure in a vehicle’s tyres. It can also assess the vehicle’s weight, load distribution, and tyre temperature. The system is connected to an automatic number plate recognition camera so the data can be assigned to the correct vehicle and transmitted by SMS to the driver or to the fleet engineer or fleet management system.
Dehns first started acting for WheelRight in 2004 when they were initially working on the system which measured the tyre pressure of vehicles as they were driven over a high resolution linear array of sensors.
In the early days of the company, as is often the case with start-up companies, the patent budget was limited; however, Dehns filed an original application on WheelRight’s behalf in 2004, which resulted in UK and US patents and a pending European application.
After further product development, Dehns filed a patent application in 2009 for a system which also incorporated sensors to measure the weight directly carried by a tyre. This application initially received a pessimistic International Search Report from the European Patent Office but Dehns developed strong arguments as to why it was inventive.
Corresponding applications were filed in several countries and patents have now been granted in territories including Europe, the United States, China and Japan. A further patent application was filed in 2011 for a new type of sensor array meeting the needs of accuracy and strength, to carry the weight of Heavy Goods Vehicles, and to date applications have been accepted for grant in the United States and China.
Dehns has made further patent applications in respect of a system for measuring tread depth using imaging devices. The International Search Report has been favourable, and both Dehns and WheelRight are optimistic for the future progress of these applications to provide another set of patent rights relating to tyre tread analysis.
Dehns has also provided trade mark advice and 'WHEELRIGHT' was successfully registered as an EU Community trade mark in 2011.
Over the years, Dehns has provided wide ranging IP advice to WheelRight and to potential investors on the success of their patent portfolio and on potential infringement problems with third party patents.
Commercial success and industry recognition
The WheelRight technology has met with great commercial success as well as helping attract significant investment into the company. The technology has also won a number of industry awards and was nominated in February 2016 for a prestigious international safety innovation award.
Dehns continues to work closely with WheelRight’s senior management team to actively manage the patent portfolio and ensure that the IP in their technical developments is captured as they further refine their systems.