Timber is a staple construction material used throughout the world. Nothing else comes close in respect of its tensile strength-to-weight ratio, along with many other highly desirous mechanical properties. However, as we all know, timber is prone to degradation from elements including the natural environment, weather, insects, rot and fire. As such, a range of chemical treatments has been developed to improve the durability and working lifetime of wooden structures.
To treat and prevent infestations, timber can be impregnated with stable preservative compounds such as fungicides, insecticides and the like. This, in turn, protects the timber from hazards such as fungi, insects and other wood-destroying organisms. The preservative is typically present in a carrier such as water, mineral spirits or oil, with the mixture being applied to the surface of the timber, for example by dipping, spraying, brushing or pressure treatment, such that the carrier and preservative are absorbed into the timber, which is then sold. Depending upon the conditions in which the timber is to be used, such treatments have been known to increase the working life of timber 100-fold or more. Shelston IP has been actively involved in the highly competitive and tightly regulated Australasian timber preservation industry for a number of years. In that time, we have adapted to market pressures and trends (often environmental or regulatory) in helping our timber preservation clients protect and leverage their IP to its maximum advantage. We have also fought many battles at an opposition level, whereby a competitor attempts to cordon off a section of the market that our clients feel they are entitled to compete in and we have defended our clients from such attack by competitors. As a consequence, we are intimately connected with the Australasian timber preservation industry which, due to our climate, timber species, and proclivity to farm termites (Australia) and mould (New Zealand), is uniquely different to the American, Asian or European markets.