Derelee Potroz Smith Woolchemy head and shoulders 1460 x 1098h v2


Protecting knowhow vital for new wool process

It’s one thing to come up with a new process for reversing wool’s natural resistance to water, and instead make it highly absorptive.

Protecting the intellectual property and knowhow behind the process is quite another lengthy and involved course of action - but one that is fundamental to Technology Valley Upper Hutt based business Woolchemy.

The 10 year old company, which is on the brink of international deals and collaboration with diaper manufacturers, has been diligent in protecting its groundbreaking technology.

“It’s been a long, expensive and time-consuming legal process,” says Woolchemy founder and CEO Derelee Potroz-Smith.

“We’ve gone for international patents, which means a lot of legal work interpreting claims here and in every major jurisdiction.

“It takes up a lot of time. Some countries take up to 2 years to analyse your patent.”

But such protection is very necessary, she says.

“If you’re going to licence the technology, or if a large pharmaceutical company for example was interested in buying you, they want to make sure you, and therefore they, are protected,” says Derelee.

“No reputable international pharmaceutical company will speak with you unless you have IP protection. That’s why we’ve made sure we’re protecting the knowledge we’ve built up over the past 10 years.”

(Picture: Derelee Potroz-Smith, founder and CEO of Technolgy Valley Upper Hutt based company Woolchemy with an example of neweflex and a synthetic equivalent)

Upper Hutt
New Zealand
Products and Capabilities
  • manufacturing
  • natural
  • prototyping
  • wool
  • ecological
  • eco-logical