Patent Opportunity in Food-Based Plastics?
The next time you sit down to a full plate of potatoes or a few too many cobs of corn, you may want to save your leftovers. You never know what you might be able to do with them. Make a radio, DVD player, maybe even a cell phone cover. Patent opportunity or a pot full of nonsense?
Fujistu thinks it’s the former. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, they displayed their third-generation Biblo PC, a regular computer–on the inside. On the outside, it’s made of 50% "plant-based materials" (and 50% regular plastics). What Fujitsu has done is to take regular corn and process it down to corn starch, which they then transform into a polymer alloy. I came across this tidbit on Erica Ogg of CNET’s news.com blog, which also reports that the manufacturing process reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 15%.
Despite the increased costs in manufacturing the Biblo PC, it seems to me that–given the ever increasing interest in "green" living–Fujitsu is making a smart, strategic move here. I, for one, have seen an increase in the number of patents for products made with environmental integrity. Fujitsu’s eco-friendly approach is likely to win the admiration and business of like-minded consumers, especially since they’ve kept the cost of the PC competitive against other non-green models.
The Biblo PC hasn’t reached the U.S.; it’s only available in Japan at the moment. I’m wondering what "green" innovations inventors here in Florida might be able to patent? Think we could find a use for all those Florida coconut husks and orange peels? I’ll be carefully following Florida patenting trends in this area over the next couple of years.