This is our technology tribute shout out.
Where would we be without the Post-it note? No, seriously, not only would I be forgetting a lot of things without these but the technology used with their PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) backing would not be utilized with wallcoverings such as ours.
Last Wednesday, Arthur Fry and Spencer Silver (note his first name) were inducted, along with others, into the PTO (Patent & Trade Office’s) Inventors’ Hall of Fame for their Post-it note invention. They took the patented PSA (1968 discovered by accident by Silver) and put it to a useful purpose back in 1974, when Fry came up with the idea of “bookmarks.” These entrepreneurs call themselves “in-trepreneurs” because they both work for 3M, which encourages this kind of “permitted bootlegging policy” as it helps their own development and with 3M, they launched the product in 1977.
The patent for the exclusive use of PSA expired in 1990 and consequently other similar products came on the market but none really hold up to 3M’s trademarked Post-it note. This is noted by the edges of inferior products curling up when “pasted.” Post-its have just the right amount of PSA glue that adheres without leaving a residue and the edges do not curl.
We’ve noticed this difference with other repositionable wallpaper products that lack the adhesion quality or even claiming the patented technology for themselves.
PSA for wallcoverings cannot be patented because 1) it’s already been patented (not new to the marketplace) and 2) the self-adhesive technology doesn’t add anything new to the inherent use of wallcoverings, as the nature of wallcovering is to apply it to surfaces. It lacks the “nonobvious” use clause a requirement of a patent. A utility patent, however, can be given for a product that already exists but is used in a different way. For instance, think of all the removable peel and stick shelf prices that we see at the grocery store and elsewhere. It might be a new and alternative use to use this material as self-adhesive, removable wallpaper.
Although we and other wallcovering/wallpaper companies cannot claim a patent using the PSA (as several well regarded patent attorneys have confirmed with me), we are proud to have our official trademark registration granted last fall for Casart Coverings removable and reusable wallcovering. It’s amazing how long that process took with complex legal effort but we’re grateful to have our registration for what we sell secured.
Testing is a big part of what we do and no other product stands up to our quality. Other removable wallpaper either lack the product weight and thickness (ours is Type II, Class A — highest commercial grade standard) and/or they lack the adequate adhesion.
Look, the last thing we want is for a customer to order our product, install it and have it slowly peel off the walls during a dinner party. We test to make sure this doesn’t happen by using Casart Coverings in our own homes. Our customers are pleased with their purchases and the results. The fact that our product can truly be used like Slipcovers for Your Walls — seasonally, or whenever, removed, stored and reused, adds value and flexibility to interior design applications. Casart wallcovering can also remain on walls long term or as long as one likes. Not to mention, all of the original hand-painted designs can be customized — color matched and manipulated for any configuration. Our stock options are few in comparison to what your own imagination can conjure.
While I’m mentioning these technological advances which have spilled over into the design world, here’s a little fun, interactive side-note about happy accidents being “aha moments.” Bubble wrap is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Enjoy all these the bubble wrap popping below. It’s another technology tribute!
BUBBLE WRAP: Bubble Wrap started as a mistake: Two engineers trying to create a new kind of plastic wallpaper ended up with sheets of plastic full of air bubbles. They weren’t upset; they thought, “Aha!” In 1960, the pair founded a company called Sealed Air Corp. to manufacture their Bubble Wrap. Sealed Air is now a huge company making all kinds of products used for packaging, though millions of people like Bubble Wrap just because it’s fun to pop! — Margaret Webb Pressler, Washington Post
This was enough inspiration to go back to creative drawing board, quite literally that is, in the ongoing process of always developing new designs. Maybe we’ll come up with our own or another technology tribute in the process.