Diversity & Inclusion

Women in IP case study

Mandy Haberman – Director and Founder of Haberman Global Innovations

Mandy Haberman is a British inventor and serial entrepreneur. For over 40 years, her inventions have been solving problems and shaping the future of infant feeding.

Motivated by the severe feeding difficulties experienced by her own baby, her first invention, the Haberman®Feeder, has been used in hospitals for over 40 years and no doubt assisting millions of parents along the way at what can be a very emotional time in their lives.

However, Haberman is perhaps best known for the Anywayup® cup (a training cup with valves to control the flow) a disruptive technology that changed the global status quo long before disruptors such as Tesla and AirBnB were on the scene.

Taking substantial market share from leading brands soon resulted in copycats. In 1997 Haberman famously enforced her patent rights in London’s High Court and the case set legal precedent for how inventive step is assessed. This precedent is still applied in some jurisdictions across the world. Further enforcement actions followed in the USA and Europe.

Haberman said:

Patent enforcement is an incredibly stressful and risky business, but the system does work, even if you are David facing a Goliath. I’m often asked by private inventors if it is worth patenting at all, given the cost and risks involved? My answer is always the same – If I didn’t have a patent, my idea would have been stolen from the outset and I wouldn’t have made a bean. Because I had a patent and enforced my rights, I was eventually able to grant valuable licences and my invention made more money than I ever dreamed of.

Haberman describes IP as the backbone of her business. She is quoted as saying that her patents are the main drivers of revenue but also the main source of aggravation, whilst her trademarks sit quietly in the corner slowly growing in value.

Experience has made her very aware of the importance and longevity of brand, compared to the relatively short life and potential volatility of patents. However, she was awakened to the true worth of the HABERMAN®brand/TM in 2019 when Pigeon, a major Asian brand, sought collaboration for the provision of a new infant feeding range, based on Haberman’s reputation and track record. Delayed by the pandemic, the new range of Haberman innovations with Haberman Global Innovations Ltd. launches across China this year.

Haberman believes that ‘Women are natural inventors – we improvise to solve practical problems almost daily. Having the time, funding and self belief to take ideas forward is, however, more of a challenge. There is a lot of catching up to do before the number of women patentees equal the men.’

Catherine Bonner patent attorney from Murgitroyd said:

I am incredibly proud to work alongside such key innovators as Mandy. Inspiring and leading progress in their fields. We have seen the inception and development of the soon-to-be-launched feeding range from Pigeon and have advised and worked collaboratively with Mandy to protect and secure rights to the inventions and designs within the range. We can’t wait to see the products on the shelves!

Date Published: 26 April 2023

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