ULSTEIN: A Threefold IP Strategy

The X-BOW® by Ulstein Group is an award-winning ship’s bow design that enables vessels to cut more smoothly through water in high seas compared to normal ships. The invention is protected by a threefold IPR strategy developed in collaboration with Plougmann Vingtoft.

Not only is the X-BOW® a revolutionary contribution to ship design; it also represents the new way of thinking when it comes to protecting landmark innovations. Today, there is much more potential in ship design than technology. The X-BOW® is one of the foremost examples of this, as the development is protected not only by a patent, but by two other intellectual property assets as well.

Strong protection through design, patent and trademark

Ulstein has created a ship design that is recognized and associated with one particular ship designer. In IP terms, the distinct design is a testament to the commercial origin – the definition of a trademark. Accordingly, in creating the X-BOW® Ulstein procured three essential IP assets: technology, design and trademark:

  • First, the bow technology was protected by an international patent application targeting shipping countries.
  • Next, the bow design was protected through multi-national design applications targeting relevant markets.
  • Finally, Ulstein filed an application for a three dimensional (3D) trademark internationally. The fact that the X-BOW is accepted as a 3D trademark is no minor achievement as it is the first ship ever to be accepted as a 3D trademark in the EU.

With the IP-assets of the X-BOW® safely on board, Ulstein has a vital competitive advantage in the market because none of its competitors can offer competing products based on the same technology and design without the express authorization from Ulstein.