4 September 1998

WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR WORKSHOP IDEAS

The 1998 Barclays/

FW/Royal Smithfield

Show farm inventions

competition

starts here. The prize

money has gone up and

theres new advice on

patents (see Copyright).

Get filling in now!

ITS been eight years since farmers weekly started a farm inventions competition, and in that time it has developed into the industrys foremost made it myself contest.

Moreover, many of these designs go on to be marketed by the farmer or are taken up by commercial manufacturers.

This year we have again teamed up with Barclays Bank and the basics of the competition are the same as last year. However we have tried to clarify the patent position and the prize money has gone up!

Once again were asking you to come up with another batch of clever, useful, time-saving tackle. If you have designed or built a machine in the last five years and would like other farmers to hear about it, get in touch with us.

As usual, were splitting the machines into three categories.

&#42 Simple

Typically these will be small gadgets that make life easier around the farm. They probably only took a few hours to make and didnt involve engines or complex hydraulics. First prize is £750, second prize is £300 and third prize is £150.

&#42 Intermediate

Were looking for the more complicated designs here, but still not ones that have taken months to build. First prize is £750, second prize is £300 and third prize is £150.

&#42 Complex

These are the real biggies, the inventions that kept you in the workshop when you should have been with your wife and kids! Typically, they involve major design work with engines, chassis and hydraulics or complex hydraulics. First prize is £750, second prize is £300 and third prize is £150.

Dont worry about which of the three groups your machine falls into. Just send in your entry and our judges will put it in the appropriate category.

Whether they are large or small, the machines they should show evidence of imagination, lateral thinking and the designers ability to solve technical problems. The invention should also have yielded measurable benefits for the farm or contracting business.

Entering the competition is simple. Fill in the coupon and send it in to us with photographs or drawings of the machine. Judging will take place in October and winners details will be displayed at this years Smithfield Show.

Rules

&#8226 All entries will be examined by a panel of judges who will award the first prize in each category to the entrant who demonstrates the best invention in terms of benefits to the farm or contracting business, good design, imagination and the inventors ability to solve technical problems. Six runner-up prizes will be awarded on the same basis.

&#8226 Decisions of the judges are final, as are those of the editor in all other matters affecting the competition. No correspondence can be entered into and entry implies acceptance of the rules as legally binding.

&#8226 The competition is open to all farmers, farm managers, farm workers and contractors. Entrants must have reached the age of 16 on July 1 1998.

&#8226 The winners and runners-up will be notified and the result published in farmers weekly.Copyright

Sending in details of an invention to FW will not prejudice your chances of gaining a patent on it, provided that you take the following steps, provided by the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents. &#8226 Entrants are reminded that any PUBLIC disclosure of an invention before a patent application is filed can invalidate any patent later granted.

&#8226 Accordingly, the organisers undertake to treat all entries in complete confidence prior to the announcement of competition results at the end of November 1998.

&#8226 Irrespective of above, any individual considering patent protection should submit his or her entry in a double envelope, the inner securely sealed and clearly marked Competition entry -patent application likely.

&#8226 All entrants will receive a free information pack on patent application procedures from the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents.

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First name……………………………………………………………………………………..

Address………………………………………………………………………………………..

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Telephone number…………………………………………………………………………..

Farmer q Farm manager q Farm worker q Contractor q (Tick box)

Farm size and type………………………………………………………………………….

When was the invention built?……………………………………………………………..

Did you: Design it? q Build it? q Both? q (Tick box)

Roughly how many working days did it take to make?………………………………

How does it work? Please give a brief explanation and provide drawings/ photos. Include details on a separate sheet if necessary.

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What benefits has it brought to the farm or contracting business?

Include details on a separate sheet if necessary.

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Cut out this coupon and post it to: Barclays/FW Inventions Competition, farmers weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS. All photographs and drawings will be returned. Closing date is Oct 9 1998.

Richard Cothams water bath dust extractor was a runner-up in the 1997 farm inventions competition.

Alex Armstrongs bale accumulator won him runner-up prize in 1996.

Richard Parris ingenious strawberry transporter won him the category first prize and £600 last year.