Packaging News: By Des King

UK pack innovator set to make fortune 

A UK packaging inventor could make millions of pounds in royalties after signing an exclusive licensing arrangement with a leading but undisclosed Japanese packaging manufacturer.

Mark Sheahan, based in Brockley, South London, confirmed the deal on 24 January after 18 months of negotiations over his patented Squeezeopen easy-open and closure plastics technology (see box).

The deal includes a large signing fee for Sheahan’s firm, Compgen Ltd. With many possible applications identified within the cosmetics and toiletries, healthcare and food sectors, royalty earnings could run to millions of pounds when products are eventually rolled out Meanwhile, US-based Silgan Corporation has renewed its own five-year old non-exclusive licensing agreement across many different application markets.

However, the system is still to breakthrough big in the UK.

Sheahan, listed at number 49 in last year’s Packaging News Power 50 (Packaging News), has spent years and more than £lm in the UK largely without success in trying to convince the domestic packaging industry and brand owners of the potential of his closure.  This is despite the fact that he has picked up more than 30 top-line awards worldwide.

Sheahan said: “When it comes to innovation, UK manufacturers might talk a good talk but either they’re nervous about taking a new step to achieve differentiation or else prone to a ‘not invented here’ mentality.  In the latter case, that’s proving rather ironic as things are turning out'


The patented Squeezeopen, first conceived to aid easier pack opening and closure among the manually impaired, comprises of a lid that snap-fits onto the base of any container, with only a light one- handed squeeze on the side of the lid needed to open the pack. The only Squeezeopen packaging applications made in the UK so far have been for the South African ‘SquidgeMe’ aroma dough retail product, and for a range of promotional items with the British Library.


Plastic & Rubber Weekly: Front page

Compgen Ltd managing director Mark Sheahan was crowned 'Innovator of the Year' at the London Innovation Awards.  The company's  Squeezeopen PET/PP packaging closure also won the Visteon sponsored Award for Manufacturing Innovation and the 'Premier Award for Innovation'.  The closure was designed to make opening containers easy and help prevent some of the 67,000 packaging related accidents a year that require hospital treatment.

Page two:  ''In the rapidly growing plastics packaging sector, it is refreshing to see a new and innovative design spring open in the marketplace.  Mark Sheahan of Compgen Ltd has invented a container that is opened by squeezing the lid, which in turn pops off with little effort.  Still in sample format, the containers are aimed at most markets, from shoe creams to snack food.  Compgen's easy open closure, manufactured in PP and PET but available in a range of materials, is pleasingly tactile - which may have contributed to its winning the 'Best Innovation' award at the PackAge Business Convention at the NEC''

PRW Cartoon 


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