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Copy Actions at the 109 th Canton Fair.
April, 2011

The Canton Fair Intellectual Property office took action against 15 booths displaying kettles infringing Strix intellectual property at this year’s Spring Fair.

In the actions, either complete kettles were removed from the booths or the IP officials witnessed the removal of the controls from the kettles.

The actions in total covered 640 offending kettles, 172 fitted with Jia Tai controls, 351 fitted with Fada controls, 77 fitted with Tian Ming controls and 40 fitted with Liang Ji controls.

The procedure to take action against exhibitors has become more efficient recently, the patents are reviewed on line at the fair office to establish their existence and validity and then it is required to explain the infringements describing the offending controls and how they infringe the Strix patents.

To maximize the effect and minimize the work required for the IP office, only 2 patents, Strix U10 and Strix P72 patents were used.

Strix or its legal representatives are not allowed to attend the raids conducted by the IP office officials, hence they have to have a good knowledge of the controls and the main features. Normally the officials will ask the booth holder to remove the kettles but if they refuse then the kettles will be confiscated. The procedure is recorded on official documents and signed by each party at the time of the raid.

These actions ensure that the China OEM base are reminded of the Strix presence in protecting our IPR at the fairs and outside, and it also reminds the brands who often witness the IP office actions. Many copyist OEMs, mindful of the Strix presence at the fair, display their kettles without controls and whilst this does avoid any action against them, it is a clear admission of their intention to offer infringing products, a fact recognized by wordwide brand customers visiting their booths.

Strix Reaches Milestone with 500th Patent.
Mar., 2011

Strix Ltd, the world’s leading manufacturer of electric kettle controls, has announced the submission of its 500th live patent and taken the opportunity to reiterate its ongoing commitment to quality, consumer safety and the protection of Strix patented technology.

Last year, Strix won landmark patent infringement suits against two kettle control manufacturers in China, in the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court. The court ruled that Strix’s patent (ZL95194418.5) on its electric kettle controls was valid and that the companies were found to have produced, offered to sell and sold controls based on Strix’s technology.

The ruling by the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court was a landmark with the size of the damages awarded being unprecedented for the Beijing Court’s cases involving intellectual property infringement for small domestic appliances, despite attempts by other plaintiffs to seek larger compensations in the past. The Court also ordered the two companies to stop producing and selling the controls.

Paul Hussey, CEO of Strix Ltd said:

“Last year’s ruling of the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court was a victory for intellectual property protection in Mainland China and highlights the importance the Chinese judiciary places on protecting the intellectual property rights of companies no matter where they are based. This is important for China as it continues to establish its position in the global trading system,"

He added that, “It is equally important for other countries to respect the intellectual property rights of Chinese companies so that Chinese innovators are also protected when their technologies are exported and introduced in other parts of the world. Intellectual property is the lifeblood for many innovative businesses and consumers have a right to receive the genuine article with all the performance and safety they expect, when they purchase a patented technology.”

Strix campaigns vigorously against unscrupulous companies who copy genuine controls or control sub-systems and infringe its patents. Such copies or counterfeit controls often fail to meet the requirements of the relevant safety standards and are consequently not only unreliable, but represent a real danger to consumers. As Strix continues to invest heavily in Research and Development to bring new technologies to market, the importance of protecting and enforcing its intellectual property remains a high priority.

Finest Coffee Shop Quality from the Comfort of Home.
Mar., 2011

Strix, the world’s leading electric kettle control manufacturer is introducing a range of new tea and coffee making appliances this month, both in Europe and the Far East over the period of the 109th Canton Fair in Guangzhou, China and the Hong Kong Electronics Fair.

Today’s consumers look for beverage making appliances that are stylish, easy and quick to use and crucially deliver great tasting tea and coffee, so that everyone can enjoy gourmet coffee shop quality at home. Strix is building on its expertise in water heating and steam management to introduce a range of innovative new appliances including a Tea Maker, Coffee Brewer and Milk Frother.

All products in the range use patented Strix technologies to allow consumers to make premium quality hot drinks on demand, from the comfort of their own homes.

The Strix Tea Maker uses Strix’s “EK” electronic temperature control system to allow consumers to select the perfect temperature for their fine teas, in combination with the patented “Waterfall” brewing system which efficiently extracts the tea from the leaves, preventing over-brewing.

Strix’s Coffee Brewer also utilises the “Waterfall” system and heats the water to 85°c or 95°c, the optimum temperatures for making perfect coffee. The water stimulates the coffee grounds as it flows through, ensuring full extraction. As the coffee and grounds are separate, once the brewing is complete, the coffee does not become “bitter” or over strong.

The Strix Milk Frother warms all types of milk to the ideal 70°c and then gently aerates it to produce a delicious creamy froth perfect for making cappuccino or latte coffee or indulgent hot chocolate. Functioning as a milk warmer as well as frother, the appliance allows you to enjoy your favourite Skinny Latte without leaving the house!

Commenting on these developments, Mark Finnie, Strix Group Marketing Director said:

“These Coffee and Tea developments represent the beginning of a wide range of beverage appliances featuring Strix technology that will hit the shops in the next few years. Our expertise in heating and temperature control, as well as innovations such as the “Waterfall” brewing system show Strix’s intention to bring market changing developments and exciting new utility to the beverage making market.”

Strix: Setting New Standards for Energy Efficient Technologies.
Mar., 2011

Strix, the world’s leading electric kettle control manufacturer is launching a range of new energy efficient appliance developments this month, both in Europe and the Far East over the period of the 109th Canton Fair in Guangzhou, China and the Hong Kong Electronics Fair.

Strix is once again responding to the demands of consumers who are increasingly looking for electrical appliances that use less energy, cost less to run and are kinder to the environment. Strix is introducing options that include new kettle designs featuring its patented “EK” electronic controls, more appliances featuring the world leading “HotCup” instant hot water dispensing technology and a brand new ultra-fast, ultra-efficient food steamer system.

All products are based on Strix’s world leading patented water heating technologies and their appeal is based on heating or cooking very quickly, for the freshest drinks and most nutritious food, whilst only using the minimum amount of energy.

“Our HotCup and EK technologies have been extremely successful in the last year; we are noticing a surge in demand worldwide for energy efficient solutions in cooking and beverage making. As well as offering these winning technologies to more markets, we are excited to unveil the Fast Food Steamer, which could transform steam cooking in the home. These products demonstrate how Strix is bringing supreme expertise and innovative solutions in hot water and steam to new product segments.”

Mark Finnie, Marketing Director

An appliance featuring Strix’s HotCup technology was the No.1 selling water boiling appliance in the UK in 2010* and this success looks certain to be repeated as it penetrates more territories. This system cleverly automates water boiling to a one button process, making it fast, convenient and energy efficient, because it only boils one cup at a time. (* GFK Value Sales to Dec 2010)

Strix EK (Electronic Kettle) technology enables water to be heated to a variety of user selected temperatures perfect for making fine teas or coffee. It has already proven very successful, being adopted by a number of world leading appliance brands and generating over $10m sales in the first year. It saves energy by only heating the water to the required temperature, perfect for delicate white and green teas, for example, which are best made with water at 70-80°c, not boiling.

The brand new Strix Fast Food Steamer uses patented technology to produce steam very quickly, in large quantities reducing the cooking time by half compared to other electric steamers on the market today. Not only is this ultra convenient, but also results in fresher, healthier, more appetising food such as fish, vegetables and rice that retain more essential vitamins and minerals than boiling or other steaming methods.

An Open Invite: Strix Strengthens Asian Links with New Hong Kong Office.
Mar., 2011

Strix Ltd, a leading technology supplier to the Small Domestic Appliance industry, are delighted to announce the official opening of a new office in Hong Kong on April 11th 2011, designed to further enhance its presence within the Asia-Pacific region.

Announcing the opening, Strix Chief Executive Officer Paul Hussey said:

“Strix is on an exciting growth trajectory driven by the disruptive innovations that we are bringing to the market. By focussing on breakthrough technologies, we are positioned to expand beyond our traditional market of kettle controls and deliver significant growth in new segments. The opening of the new Asian headquarters in the Shun Tak building reflects the importance we place on having resources close to our customers and having a showroom to effectively showcase an increasing number of new developments.”

Supporting all of its suppliers and customers, whether based in Asia or visiting, this new office will further enhance the services for customers in one of the world’s most influential financial centres and allow Strix to attend to its partners in South East Asia quickly and efficiently.

The new offices will be the base for CEO, Paul Hussey and Chief Commercial Officer, Mark Bartlett, as well as being the first point of contact for Strix in Asia.

A large, purpose-built showroom will showcase the innovative new products Strix is bringing to the market and the extensive range of water heating, purification and steam solutions available today.

Strix invites you to come and visit them at their new home, the next time you are in Hong Kong.

Strix (Hong Kong) Limited

Room 1101-3 China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre, 200 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong

Tel : (852) 28325878 Fax :(852) 25752928

The heat of innovation: Strix plans for global growth(From:http://www.efqm.org/en/newsletter/).
July, 2010

For the past thirty years, Strix has benefited from strong margins and good sales growth, based on its technological leadership and close customer relationships. The company has taken great care of its intellectual property rights: extending and defending patents on its inventions and careful management of licensing agreements around the world. In a recent legal case early in 2010, Strix made history by winning a patent infringement case against two local Chinese companies in a Beijing intermediate court. This decision was applauded by commentators outside China, many of whom share the opinion of the CEO of Strix, Paul Hussey, that the case could mark the beginning of a new era in business relationships with China.

“We protect our intellectual property vigorously and, as a matter of principle, will fight for it around the world. That’s not just about defending our own business: it is also a powerful signal to our customers that we protect the technology they depend on, and have licensed from us, to ensure that their brands remain distinct.”

Innovation is now the centre piece of Strix’ strategy for renewed growth.

“When you have more than 50% share of any market, it is going to be increasingly expensive to gain additional percentage points of share.”

“Back in 2008 my management team and I decided to focus the company’s energy toward growth in new product markets. There was a large and under-utilised potential for innovation within the company: we had many great ideas, engineering competence and access to the development teams at our major customers. Rather than restrict our energy to serving the thermo-electrical control business within one segment – principally electric kettles – we could apply our know-how to other segments which could benefit from similar technologies. Worldwide sales of electric kettles (a growing business itself, particularly in markets like the USA and China) represents about 75 million units a year. By considering how we can serve markets such as steam irons, pressure cookers, hot water dispensers and coffee makers, we increase our potential market to around 550 million units a year”.

The company defined three levels of innovation, each representing a greater level of investment in research and development and associated with higher risk:

“Heartland” – technologies and markets close to what the company does today, but where a breakthrough in performance can be achieved either in terms of cost, speed or size.

“Adjacencies” – new markets where Strix technology can provide a significant improvement in performance – for instance in steam cookers, or irons.

“Disruptive” – where innovations from Strix can lead to radical new ways in which a product is used, opening up new market potential for Strix’ OEM customers.

Instigated only two years ago, the Strix ‘Ideas to Innovation’ (or ‘i2i’) programme is generating an increasing number of new products. Designed to scout both internally and externally for sources of profitable innovation, the i2i programme consists of a series of rigorous stage gates through which ideas must pass before they are approved for investment and further development. In 2008, only ten ideas were passed through the programme. In 2009, 129 ideas entered the i2i pipeline, but only nine of these received funding. At the current rate, 2010 will surpass 2009.

“We partner with our customers on determining attractive new ideas, and to some extent with our suppliers. We also finance some research projects at universities and competitions at business schools. But the majority of these ideas come from our own people.

Of our total non-manufacturing staff of 250 about 75 of these are engaged in development activities, such as R&D and marketing. It’s a big commitment for a company of our size.”

“In our 4 step development process, we do most of the R&D ourselves, before passing to a market test with mock-ups of the proposed new product. In the third stage we test feasibility of manufacturing and commercialisation. Finally we evaluate the most appropriate partners with whom to take it to market. 93% of ideas, based on our 2009 experience, don’t make it all the way through to market.”

Entering the recession in 2008 in a strong and stable position, Strix is now firmly on the path to growth, driven by the potential of the new markets it is addressing:

“I would say that for many businesses one of the biggest risks is complacency. Even in a business like ours, with a distinct core technology, changes in customer needs can happen quite dramatically and potentially threaten the survival of the company. Strix is somewhat exceptional in adopting change before we are forced to do so.

One of our core strengths has always been in capturing value through our development, patenting and licensing processes. Added to this, we are now improving our innovative capacity: stepping up our value creation.”

Water filter brand Aqua Optima has partnered with The One Foundation to launch a range of One Water fridge jugs and long life water filter packs.
July 1, 2010

When consumers buy an Aqua Optima One Water product they will generate a donation to help fund Playpump clean water systems in Africa.

The Playpump is a children’s roundabout designed to pump water from deep underground. As children spin on the roundabout, fresh, clean water is pumped from a borehole into a storage tank for use by the whole community.

“Aqua Optima is delighted to join forces with the One Foundation to provide clean water systems for Africa through the sale of the Aqua Optima One Water range which in turn improves the quality of water for our consumers” said Mark Finnie, Group Marketing Director for Strix Limited, the manufacturers of the Aqua Optima brand.

Aqua Optima One Water products will be available from Robert Dyas, Wilkinson, Amazon, Lakeland, Dunelm Mill, Ocado and selected Asda stores from July.

Duncan Goose, Founder of Global Ethics and The One Foundation commented, ‘Consumers are increasingly looking for a purchase that makes them ‘feel good’ and our portfolio delivers that, like no other. In the team at Aqua Optima we’ve found a committed and motivated partner who are helping us change thousands of lives in Africa. It is great news for the retailer as well. To date, our retail partners have funded hundreds of projects in Africa and impacted hundreds of thousands of lives.’

Aqua Optima is the water filter brand manufactured and marketed by Strix Limited. Launched in 2005, Aqua Optima is a fast growing consumer brand offering a range of domestic water filter jugs and filters to deliver purer, better tasting water. For more information about Aqua Optima please visit www.aqua-optima.com

The One Foundation is the brainchild of ‘social-entrepreneur’ Duncan Goose, who was recently awarded European Entrepreneur of the Year by the Credit Suisse (7,000 companies across Europe took part). Duncan left his advertising role in 2004 to set up Global Ethics Ltd, an organisation whose primary remit is to raise funds by manufacturing and marketing products with all profits going towards humanitarian projects in developing countries. To date Global Ethics has raised over 4millionGBP and funded over 420 PlayPump water systems; these are children’s roundabouts, which pump clear water from deep underground into storage tanks while kids have fun spinning on the PlayPump merry-go-round; as well as over 84 HIV projects and 12 vegetable gardens respectively funded by the sale of ethical One branded products. To find out more about One, join the campaign and help make a difference, visit www.onedifference.org

Beijing Court Affirms IPR Challenge; Awards 9.1 Million RMB in Damages
February 1, 2010

Strix Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of electric kettle controls, has won landmark patent infringement suits against two kettle control manufacturers in China, Zhejiang Jiatai Electrical Appliance Manufacture Co., Ltd and Leqing FaDa Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd. The two companies were convicted by the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court in December 2009 of patent infringement after the court ruled that Strix’s patent (ZL95194418.5) on its electric kettle control remains valid and that the companies were found to have produced, offered to sell and sold controls based on Strix’s technology.

The ruling by the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court is a landmark decision as the size of the damages is unprecedented, despite attempts by other plaintiffs to seek larger compensations in the past. The Court fined Zhejiang Jiatai Electrical Appliance Manufacture Co., Ltd 7.1 million RMB and Leqing FaDa Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd 2 million RMB and ordered the two companies to stop producing and selling the controls.

While the majority of the damages were imposed on the control manufacturers, the court also ordered two kettle manufacturers, Zhongshan WeiLing Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd and Zhongshan Shunlong Century Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd, who were also involved in the case, to pay substantial damages and to stop the production and sale of two models of electric kettles containing those controls.

“The ruling of the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court is a victory for intellectual property protection in Mainland China and highlights the importance the Chinese judiciary places on protecting the intellectual property rights of companies no matter where they are based. This is important for China as it continues to establish its position in the global trading system,” Paul Hussey, CEO of Strix Ltd. said.

He added that, “This ruling is also a positive trend for innovators based in China as more technology is created and patented here. Higher standards of intellectual property protection will encourage new innovation and support China’s bid to further enhance its position as a global design centre, not just a manufacturing hub. It is equally important for other countries to respect the intellectual property rights of Chinese companies so that Chinese innovators are also protected when their technologies are exported and introduced in other parts of the world.”

One Billion Controls Celebration
July 2009

A celebration of the manufacture of Strix’s one billionth control as held at The Nunnery in Douglas, Isle of Man on 1st July, and the event brought together past and present directors, employees, customers and suppliers from around the world; a suitably international event for a company with a global presence in more than 100 countries worldwide.

The guests at the event included the Lieutenant Governor Sir Paul Haddacks and Lady Haddacks, IOM Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK and Education Minister Anne Craine MHK.

Congratulating Strix on its milestone achievement Chief Minister Tony Brown said he was proud of the company’s Manx foundations and its expansion across the globe to gain 70 per cent of the world kettle control unit market.

Mr Brown praised the company’s ‘innovation, enthusiasm and commitment to its employees’ and was a key part of the Island’s manufacturing sector and a demonstration of the Island’s diverse economy.

Paul Hussey, Strix’s CEO highlighted the company’s ‘global footprint’ as the world’s largest manufacturer of kettle control units, with a presence in the Isle of Man, United Kingdom, Belgium, Russia, China and Hong Kong, and a workforce of some 750 people worldwide.

Mr Hussey went on to attribute much of the success of Strix to its people and the company’s ‘relentless pursuit of innovation’ embedded in its culture, a combination that would see the wider application of the company’s skills leading to Strix being defined as ‘a global consumer technology solutions provider’.

‘Innovation is our lifeblood’, he said. ‘We’re not resting on our laurels. At Strix there is a constant flow of innovation and we’re always new seeking opportunities and global partners.’

Strix CEO Excellence Awards
July 2009

At the 1 billionth control celebration on July 1st, CEO Paul Hussey said he been ‘so impressed by the calibre of talent’ across the business that he was inspired to introduce the Strix CEO Awards for Excellence, ‘for those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty’.

The first three recipients to receive their awards from the IOM Chief Minister, Tony Brown were Vince Garvey, a Strix veteran of over 20 years and responsible for patenting 10 inventions; Ann Long, ‘a cornerstone’ of the Isle of Man manufacturing operation in Ramsey and Joe Szeto, based in Hong Kong, universally held in high regard for his commitment to customer service.

From the Isle of Man to the Sea of Tranquillity?
June 2009

Strix’s P72 and P76 cordless connection systems are being evaluated by engineers in NASA’s Robotic Hardware Systems in California and could be used in the US space programme. NASA are examining recharging solutions for use in their ATHLETE lunar rover prototypes, so in the near future Strix controls could be operating in zero gravity!

New HK Office
May 2009

Strix have announced the opening of a new sales office in Hong Kong. Located in the northwest of Hong Kong Island (in between Central and Sai Ying Pun), Sheung Wan or “Gateway District” is a historic area and the location where the British first entered and settled in Hong Kong.

The prestigious new office is positioned to be easily accessible to Strix customers and suppliers on Connaught Road West and is close to Sheung Wan MTR station and The Western Market stop of Hong Kong Tramways, as well as The Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal in the Shun Tak Centre.

STRIX (H.K.) LIMITED,7/F, China Merchants Commercial Building, 15-16 Connaught Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.

Hot Cup launch is a great success
March 2009

The Breville Hot Cup, a fast heating single cup hot water dispenser is proving to be very popular with UK consumers. The combination of Strix’s innovative technology and Breville’s eye-catching modern design has made it one of the fastest growing appliances in the British Small Domestic Appliance market and more and more people are finding it the perfect way to make a quick cuppa. Listed by leading retailers, including Argos and Amazon, find out more about the product at www.breville.co.uk

New Chief Executive for Strix
November 2008

Paul Hussey was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Strix Limited, on November 1st, 2008. Paul splits his time between Hong Kong and the Isle of Man managing the global business that Strix engages in. Prior to Strix, he was Vice President Asia from 2005 to 2008, for Danaher Motion Control, a division of Danaher Corporation. He started his career in Tokyo as a Banker, working for the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, Limited, from 1989-2004. He then had various management roles working for AlliedSignal in the US, moving to Hong Kong in 1998, and was working at Vice President of Corporate Development for the merged entity of AlliedSignal – Honeywell up to his appointment to Danaher.

Paul received his primary degree, B.Sc. (Hons), from Trinity College Dublin, and his MBA, Cum Laude, from Thunderbird – the American Graduate School of International Management in the US

Supreme Court of China to review patent infringement cases
July 2008

The two patent cases that Strix has brought against Ningbo Sunlight have both reached the Supreme Court of China following recent High Court appeal decisions.

State Inspection Agency reviews kettles in Bulgaria
June 2008

The State Inspection Agency is considering the cases of the following electric kettles found on the market:

Rohnson R712, R713, R717
Hyundai VK885V, VK538B
Neo KE928

Tests have indicated that they are unable to conform to the required standards.

Safety compliance in Russia
June 2008

The Trade Inspection authority (Gosstandard) has recently completed a comprehensive survey and test programme on electric kettles on the market in the Moscow region. More than 120 kettles were sampled and more than 50% were found to be non-compliant with safety requirements. Product confiscation, fines to retailers, cancellations of Certificates of Conformity and investigations into test house accreditations were some of the resulting sanctions.

Rapex Alert in Hungary
April 2008

A European Rapex alert was issued regarding electric kettle DYRAS EWK-200R. The authorities have ordered a recall and withdrawal from sale.

Controls for Electronic Kettles
March 2007

Strix has launched its latest control: the U67 designed specifically for electronic kettles. The U67 integrates a temperature sensor connected via additional rings to provide temperature information to the control circuitry contained in the power base. The compact design allows for installation into appliances and provides design freedom, negating the need to steam pipes and actuators within the appliance. All variants incorporate two-level protection against boiling dry or accidental switch on of the appliance as well as a sensor to monitor the temperature.

Aqua Optima rolls out Double Life filters
January 2007

The first Aqua Optima Double Life filters hit the UK trade in January 2007. The Aqua Optima Double Life filter had been developed to remove the hassle factor for consumers – giving them the same standards of filtration as the Single Life filter but for twice as long.

Strix launches its Stealth Coating System
October 2006

Strix has launched an innovative solution to reducing the noise level of kettles. The trend away from plastic kettles combined with a requirement for more powerful kettles has resulted in kettles becoming noisier when boiling. Strix has developed a specially formulated coating which when combined with a disruptor ring reduces the resulting noise by 10dB for a new kettle.

 

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