Alabama Patent of the Month – October 2022

T-H Marine Supplies, LLC has been serving the marine industry since 1975, designing and developing boating and fishing products for those who need it most. This constant commitment to R&D and innovation is the reason why their products are found on virtually every recreational boat built in the United States. This innovation has also resulted in the recently awarded patent for their foldable boat ladder alarm. 

Boat ladders are typically designed to be set with two positions – one deployed and one stowed. Unfortunately, these ladders are nearly always placed near the engine of the boat, creating an unnecessary safety risk by bringing the climber near the propellers. 

T-H Marine’s design includes a foldable boat ladder with a movable rail and sensor system. The sensor triggers an alarm when brackets are disconnected and turns the alarms off when reconnected. The first bracket makes contact with the base rail while the second bracket connects to the movable rail. When unfolded, the brackets are positioned to trigger the alarm, signaling to the boat operator that it is not safe to turn on the engine. When folded up – and therefore not in use – the alarm is shut off, signaling the engine can be safely turned on. This solution ensures the ladder can be used in any boat configuration, rather than redesigning boats to suit ladders further from the engine.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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