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National Award for Patents: Tyrolean Light Pioneer Bartenbach honored for Lifetime Achievement

Federal Minister Norbert Hofer and the President of the Austrian Patent Office Mariana Karepova presented trophies for outstanding accomplishments in the categories “Lifetime Achievement”, “Patents” and “Trademarks”.

The recipient of the National Award for Patents in the category “Lifetime Achievement” is the 88 year old Tyrolean inventor and entrepreneur Christian Bartenbach. Who is not well acquainted with his light boxes having transverse mirrors that evenly illuminate offices and thus vastly improve working conditions? The specular louver luminaire was a major technological breakthrough and a worldwide success. Bartenbach’s glare-free lighting illuminates schools, airports and operating rooms.

In the category “Patents” the recipient of gold is the Vienna University of Technology with its Braille ring, a reading device in miniature format which stands a good chance of becoming the constant companion of blind and visually handicapped persons. Quickly reading messages on one’s smartphone is now no longer the privilege of people able to see. The young founding team LibertyDotHome seeks to resolve another important issue. They build tiny-houses for the homeless and receive the National Award for Trademarks for their highly original word and figurative mark. The 6.4 square meter sized living unit comfortably fits into a parking lot and comprises living and sleeping accommodations, kitchen and bathroom facilities – all in one!

Federal Minister Norbert Hofer: “Worldwide, Austrians apply for 12.000 patents every year. I’m truly thrilled every time I witness an idea, a rough sketch in someone’s mind actually becoming something real and useful. We are a nation of inventors and holding your own patent and trademark are crowning achievements. And yet, owning the smartest patent and the most creative trademark in Austria is the most gratifying reward for all the hard work that had to be invested in order to submit a successful application. Just like the innovations of Christian Bartenbach whom we honor today for his extraordinary lifetime achievement I sincerely hope to see the ideas of all inventors turn into veritable export hits!”

Mariana Karepova, President of the Austrian Patent Office: “Every two years we’re allowed to share, celebrate and applaud what we daily witness at the Patent Office. We’re especially fortunate in having such winners this time who have managed to develop things which align high end technology solutions and high ranking art with commendable social commitment. These are a small gadget which enables the visually impaired to do things which we unthinkingly take for granted such as quickly reading an email on the mobile and a beautiful, easy to remember mark giving those that have lost theirs a home.”

A Tyrolean Light Pioneer

Anyone who spends time in enclosed spaces is bound to profit from the long-standing efforts of Christian Bartenbach sooner or later. Thanks to this lighting genius’s specular louver luminaire our offices, shops, schools, working places and surgeries have become brighter. What especially counts however is that they have become homogenously brighter but not in a harsh and uncomfortably brilliant manner. His invention is considered the first non-dazzling illumination. It’s Bartenbach’s patented dark light technology which makes this possible. This reflector technology prevents the viewer being blinded either by the light source or by its reflection through the reflector. The jury of the National Award for Patents thanks Christian Bartenbach and confers on the 88 year old Tyrolean Austria’s highest decoration for inventors, the National Award for Patents in the category “Lifetime Achievement” for his indefatigable efforts as engineer, entrepreneur, inventor and university lecturer.

Reading of News on Smartphones no longer poses a Problem to the Visually Handicapped

The Braille ring which enables the visually impaired to read texts on their smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices is the winner of the National Award for Patents in the category “Patents”. Hitherto only large-sized, elaborately engineered and thus costly displays were available. A Vienna University of Technology team consisting of inventors Michael Treml, Wolfgang Zagler and Dominik Busse developed a pocket size ring which transmits the respectively rotating Braille character to the “reading” finger. Fluent reading is made possible through this rotation. The invention requires far less mechanical parts and is thus producible at a lower price.

Very little Space is required for Freedom

LibertyDotHome is purely and simply the year 2018’s outstanding trademark. In the truest sense of the word it stands for freedom and home. Inspired by the tiny-house movement in the United States students Markus Hörmanseder and Philipp Hüttl of the Vienna University of Applied Sciences developed an Austrian variant of added social value in the course of their bachelor’s thesis. Their tiny house of no more 6.4 square meters provides the needy with a truly comprehensive home that can be situated virtually anywhere. Additionally, every seventh module which is sold enables the provision of such a tiny-house for welfare purposes free of charge! The National Award for Trademarks goes to the logo of this project which in a witty and topically apposite manner captures in a nutshell the shrewd and commendable combination of product and social commitment.

More Submittals than ever before

This year marks the second conferral of the National Award for Patents. With no less than 248 competitors taking part to receive the distinction of having the best patent and/or trademark there were more participants than ever before. Additionally and for the first time, a National Award in the category “Lifetime Achievement” was conferred this year.


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