Friday, January 23, 2015

News: Xeros adds US patent


Rotherham high-tech firm, Xeros, has strengthened its position in America after the United States Patent Office issued the company with a Notice of Allowance on a patent application covering its core polymer bead cleaning process.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), Xeros is a Leeds University spin-out that has developed a patented system using a unique method of special polymer beads rather than the usual large amounts of fresh water to clean clothes.

The company, which raised £30m when it floated on the AIM stock exchange, has a patent portfolio of 36 patent families "pending" and "granted", relating to various aspects of its polymer bead cleaning system. The core process patent has been granted in seven jurisdictions already, including Europe China and Japan.

Dr Steve Jenkins, an eminent polymer physicist, joined the company in 2009, when the only patent in place covered the basic interaction of polymer beads with garments. The company, which has about 25 research specialists, many of whom hold PhDs, a seven-strong engineering team and an in-house patent attorney, believes that Steve and the Xeros team's greatest single achievement to date has been finding a way for the beads to be extracted from the drum at the end of a wash cycle.

Research continues with the Xeros team working with partners at world leading chemical company, BASF, on "Gen 2" polymer beads that promise even better performance that could ultimately lead to all cold water washes and no need for the separation of light and dark colours.

Work is also taking place with the University of Northampton where Xeros' polymer technology is being used to replace the usual 90 tonnes of water with six tonnes of water to process one tonne of leather. There is also the potential use of the technology in the metal sector.

Speaking at a recent investor's day, Dr Steve Jenkins, chief science officer at Xeros, said: "We've got a whole raft of protection, basically around a core process, granted in all the key geographies - China, Japan, Europe, Canada ... A lot of people wait a long time for a US grant.

"We've got patents that go around our core interaction of beads with substrates, then the bead formulation itself, our great work around the machines, a couple of detergent patents - how we get them in, how we use them - and we've started with patents in the leather process and patents looking at metal, our next "beyond laundry" application."

Xeros website

Images: Xeros


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