Bannatyne grabs iGlove investment but Apple might snatch it from him

Hoewever, for a Den usually obsessed with patents and copyrights Duncan Bannatyne dismissed electronics entrepreneur Peter Jones concern that ‘Apple could close this business in one letter’.

At the time of the filming of the episode Jones appeared to be referring to the name of the product saying that the i element of iglove could see Apple taking a dim view as it forms such a strong element of their branding with the iPhone, iMac, iPad, iCloud etc, etc

However there is a potentially frostier reception ahead for the iGlove as in creating the touch screen for the iPhone & iPad they realised that these would be difficult to operate in cloud weather, and given their global market place, cold countries.

Apple therefore created the means of using the touchscreen in closer weather when your hands are cover and the US Patent and Trademark Office state that in Apple’s 2009 application the company filed a patent protection for a glove.

The application states, “When users, in cold weather, wear thick or bulky gloves … the loss of tactile feedback to the user may prevent the user from properly operating the electronic device, and may lead to frustration. Alternatively, if the user has to remove his gloves … the user’s hand may become cold and uncomfortable, which may also lead to user frustration.”

Apple’s glove is two-layer “system” with an outer insulating layer and an internal conductive layer. In the fingertips of the outer layer there are “apertures” through which the user may thrust his or her desired digit so that it might appropriately caress a multi-touch display while still protected by the inner layer.

It is not sure if Duncan Bannatyne completed on the deal to acquire equity in iglove once further due diligence was completed.

On the face of it whilst many feel that Peter Jones is wrong and that Apple cannot prohibit every product which is prefaced by i in its name, – with BBC’s iplayer a prime example and here especially one that is not a computer or technology related product, a patent infringement will quite possibly be taken very seriously by Apple and the UK company which sells its gloves for £6.99 in House of Fraser could well be receiving a strongly worded cease and desist letter from the San Fransisco technology giant.


Richard Alvin

About Richard Alvin

Richard Alvin is founder of private equity company Audere Capital which has a number of investments across the media and fashion sectors. Entrepreneur of the year in 2014 Richard is also Group MD of Capital Business Media and director of award winning PR company Brighter Comms, he is regarded as one of the UK's leading experts in the SME sector and an active angel investor and advisor to new start companies in addition to being an advisor to Save Our Business the U.S. based business advice television show.