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Helping bring clever idea to life for young inventor

8 July 2013. .

Simple ideas are often the best ones and Ayla Hutchinson’s Kindling Cracker is no exception.

Catching up on a week’s worth of school work because she was away at Fieldays was worth it for Ayla Hutchinson to launch her household innovation, the Kindling Cracker, to more than 100,000 people who might want to buy one, help her manufacture it or sell them in New Zealand and around the world.

14-year-old Ayla was the winner of the James and Wells Intellectual Property Award at the event in June, which gives her $3000 worth of IP strategy advice from the experts on how to own, protect her idea and commercialise it. Ayla went on to win the prestigious Young Inventor of the Year Award.

James and Wells Associate, Peter Brown, who was on the judging panel of the Fieldays 2013 Innovation Centre, says the simplicity of Ayla’s idea and how beneficial it is  to so many people were key factors in her success with the Kindling Cracker, but could also cause problems when it came to IP especially around copycats. 

“It works really, really well and is safe and easy to handle, but with an idea so simple it’s even more important to protect the idea because it would be easy to copy. We want to guide Ayla through the process and help her make the most of her fantastic invention. She’s a very clever young woman.”

Ayla came up with the idea of safely cutting wood using an enclosed axe blade that the wood is placed on top of then hit with a hammer after her mother Claire clipped the end of her finger chopping kindling and ‘bled everywhere’.  The only downside with her invention now, Ayla says, is that most nights she is the one using it to get wood for the household’s fire.

Thanks to her dad Vaughan, a bit of an inventor himself, Ayla already had a provisional patent on the Kindling Cracker by the time she got to Fieldays. She’s very excited about all the interest she’s had in her invention and what the future may hold. 

“I designed it and Dad helped me weld it up. Now I want to sell it to everyone in New Zealand and overseas,” she says.

And what will the top year nine student at Inglewood High School do if she does make money from her invention? Put it towards university in future, probably in the field of engineering, design or architecture.

For more information and for expert IP advice contact Peter on Email: peterb@jaws.co.nz or Phone: +64 9 914 6740 or 0800 INNOV8.

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