Over a year’s partnership with P&TS! Review of an invaluable collaboration for SP80

January 11th, 2021

In October 2019, the SP80 project was revealed to the public at the Théâtre du Passage in Neuchâtel at the occasion of the P&TS company’s 20th anniversary. Today, the partnership has been tried and verified over the course of multiple interactions between the two entities. Let’s take a look back at the crucial involvement of P&TS throughout the SP80 challenge.

P&TS team and Christophe Saam, P&TS founder at the company’s 20th anniversary – © Patrice Schreyer

They were the very first to believe in the project and to commit themselves to making SP80 a reality. P&TS, a Swiss-based intellectual property consulting firm founded in 1998 by Christophe Saam, immediately identified the development potential of SP80. Breaking the World Sailing Speed Record involves many intellectual property considerations, sponsorship contract negotiations, technology and design protection and development agreements with industrial and academic partners. “After having supported the Solar Impulse project in similar approaches, it was natural for P&TS to become the first main partner of this challenge and thus contribute to moving it from the initial sketch to the design that will break the World Sailing Speed Record.” says Christophe Saam. “We had no doubts as to the adequacy of the technological choices the SP80 team embraced. But to win, a solid concept and the strongest team are not enough; we help the inventors to realise their most ambitious projects by building a clear legal framework allowing them to negotiate partnership contracts on solid bases, while enhancing the value of the intangible capital created by the company“.

At SP80 we also realise how valuable and fortunate it is to have such a partner by our side. Mayeul van den Broek, project manager and co-founder, explains: “We are all trained engineers with varied understandings of law and intellectual property. Having the support of P&TS in these domains allows us to forge ahead with the development of the boat in total confidence, certain that our work is in good hands. They were the first to believe in us and to take the risk of supporting the project’s development while we were only taking our first steps. Without them, we wouldn’t have gotten this far, without a doubt!“.

In 2020, this beautiful collaboration between SP80 and P&TS was fulfilled by the negotiation of sponsorship contracts, by multiple legal aids, and by the filing of a trademark and a patent application protecting the mechanical actuation system connecting the kite and main foil of the SP80 boat. Months of work were needed to imagine and finalise this innovative system which will guarantee the boat’s stability at high speed. Pursuing a record of this magnitude requires radically new techniques and the submission of this patent application is undeniable proof of the team’s innovative ideas.

The road to the record in 2022 is still long but it is reassuring for the team to know that P&TS continues to provide the legal support that is essential to the success of the challenge.

Aurore Kerr, communication manager
Picture in header: © Patrice Schreyer