Since the outbreak of COVID-19, a lot of industries have come to a standstill and most institutions and research centers have scrambled to look for ways to control and curb this deadly pandemic. Interestingly, the pandemic has also brought a lot of regrets to some inventors. The regret comes as a result of not owning the rights of their inventions, especially now when the whole world is struggling to fight the virus.
The Handwashing Bucket Inventor is Full of Regret
Veronica Beckeo is one of the inventors who have lamented as their ideas were not patented before the outbreak of the pandemic. She came up with the idea of the handwashing bucket over three decades ago in Ghana, and this handwashing bucket has been useful to many people in rural areas where running water is a scarce commodity.
This particular model has found itself in schools, hospitals, and churches in several African countries and industries. The buckets have been of great value in preventing infections and facilitating handwashing in medical laboratories. The handwashing tool was fondly named “Veronica Buckets” as a result of the legendary inventor’s love for her invention.
As we speak, the product is gaining new interest daily in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic. However, the inventor failed in securing intellectual property protection for her work. The scientist says that her invention was the result of pure inspiration. She began by fixing a tap on aluminum utensils, which improvisation sold highly in the Ghanaian markets. They were also used as medical basins in laboratories.
It is so unfortunate that her occupation as a biological chemist took much of her time which robbed her of the opportunity to undertake the complete patent rights process. The failure to do the patenting application is therefore a significant source of regret to the enthusiastic inventor.
A Call for Recognition
“I am not taking advantage of the situation with the outbreak of COVID-19 however, my call is to inform the world that the invention is mine.” Those were her exact words as the pandemic spread far and wide. The scientist is now calling for recognition for her invention, especially now that there is mass production of those handwashing buckets by several industries.
Beckeo’s invention is a powerful tool in the fight against the pandemic as handwashing has become more critical in fighting the virus. Several plastics manufacturers have even come up with new versions of the original device and they claim this to be their innovation. It is, therefore, vital for every innovator to patent their innovations. Experts say you will not find established biomedical companies like Genprex Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX) without sizeable legal teams to ensure that any patentable invention gets the protection it deserves before imitators have a chance to copy the idea.
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