Client case study: Coloreel – the colourful winner of Sweden’s largest innovation award

15 January, 2019

A Swedish innovation that could transform an entire industry. A revolutionary technology combined with drive and resilience. Swedish innovation company Coloreel Group AB is securing future success with a carefully considered patent strategy.

Coloreel Group AB is a Swedish innovation company in the textiles industry that has developed ground-breaking technology. This new technology enables high-quality colouring of textile threads, opening the door to amazing design possibilities.

“Our thread colouring unit is designed for use with industrial embroidery machines. In the future, the technology will also be usable for sewing, knitting, weaving and more,” says Martin Eklind, Head of IP and CTO of the company. “It’s a great feeling to be able to revolutionize a whole industry with a product that is relatively small – at least in size.”

Its technical advantages include significantly shorter setup time, faster production, higher quality and the ability to embroider in the exact colours our customers want. In addition, the product is the first to enable smooth transitions between colours and allow the creation of other effects that were previously impossible to achieve.

“As an engineer, I always believe that anything is possible. I’m really passionate about ensuring that the products we develop work flawlessly and finding unique solutions. We now have more than ten patent families, altogether giving us broad protection in relevant areas.”

As a Swedish company from Jönköping with the global textile industry as its market, awards, prizes and publicity play an important role. Coloreel Group AB has received both national and international attention for its high level of innovation. In addition to two awards in Jönköping County and a large international award, the company also won Sweden’s largest award for inventers, the SKAPA Award, which was established in the memory of Alfred Nobel.

“The publicity we’ve gained from winning these prestigious awards increases our chances of bringing in the right skills and attracting talent that want to be a part of Coloreel and join us on our journey to transform an entire industry,” says Joakim Staberg, innovator and founder of Coloreel.”

As the company’s founder, Joakim created the business concept back in 2003. The concept is to help large, preferably multinational, companies with innovative solutions for improving and expanding the functionality of existing products, or to provide them with new products or supplementary units.

“Personally, what drives me is a great interest in technology and a strong will to strive for continuous change and improvement,” says Joakim, whose responsibilities currently include investor and key account relations.

“I’ve had the pleasure to meet many fascinating people during this journey. These include investors, both small and large, as well as people from world-leading companies in the ready-to-wear industry, including sports, lifestyle and exclusive fashion. It gives me a major energy boost to see, hear and experience their strong reactions as they begin to understand the depth of what we’ve created and how it will simplify and improve their business.”

“One of our business advantages is that we alone own our ideas, understand their potential and have insight into the global textile market. Our close collaboration with Ström & Gulliksson and our own business intelligence prove time and time again that what we are doing is unique. We are in the process of expanding our sales network. We now cover around 20 countries in Europe, and we are receiving great interest from major distributors in the US and Asia,” says the company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Magnus Hellström.

Comprehensive patents require knowledge and dedication

Soon, Coloreel will commence serial production and deliver the first machines to all of the company’s distributors, strategic customers and customers that pre-ordered machines. The company has around 30 employees, who are mainly software development and mechanical engineers, and the company plans to continue patenting unique parts of the technology being developed.

“We do not have any direct competitors at this time. Our patent strategy is proactive, and our business is focused on finding and developing innovative technical solutions to make our products as great as possible while ensuring the best possible protection for them,” Joakim Staberg explains.

Although the company knew what it wanted in terms of patents from the outset, it has carefully considered various choices and strategies.

“The patent process isn’t simple. Creating comprehensive patents that truly protect us in the entire market has required a lot from both us and Ström & Gulliksson. My advice to innovative companies in the start-up phase is to find a firm with responsive and dedicated patent consultants early on. You need a close relationship if you want a solid dialogue. Their expertise in the relevant fields of technology is also important for continuously helping us analyse, understand and identify the key elements in our patents.”

“Working with a patent attorney is also educational, and I always asked questions about the processes the applications go through on the way to becoming patents and about their purposes. Ström & Gulliksson always provided professional and exhaustive answers. In our view, Ström & Gulliksson has an understanding of what our company is trying to achieve, not only with regard to patent applications, but also strategic considerations,” says Martin Eklind.

“The pleasure of working with Coloreel Group AB gives us the opportunity to follow a company with great dedication and resilience on its journey. They also have an approach to patents and an awareness of their importance that make our relationship blossom,” says Erik Bolmsjö, who advises Coloreel Group AB jointly with Malin Ahlgren.

“They are an involved client that seeks to understand what we do, when we do it and why. Coloreel Group AB has every opportunity to leave its mark on the world. It’s truly admirable how they have managed to position themselves with their ground-breaking technology, and it gives us at Ström & Gulliksson great pleasure to follow their success.”