Driphone inventor kickstarts business plan

LIB WILSON
Last updated 10:37 03/07/2014

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Hayden Crowther has the solution for people who tend to drop iPhones down toilets or throw them across the room.

The Hamilton entrepreneur's waterproof, shockproof smartphone case protects the technology inside - although the driPhone name set off an ongoing trademark battle with Apple Inc.

But Crowther is continuing and yesterday launched a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to get his improved product made.

Kickstarter is the answer to "How do I take my idea from the kitchen table . . . out to the world and get some money to do it?" Crowther said.

"It's a way really for Kiwis . . . to get their business global pretty much overnight. And to get their hands on some much-needed resources."

He has a $60,000 target and until August 1 to get there.

Early yesterday he had 40 backers who pledged just over $3500, but none of the cash will be handed over unless he reaches his target amount.

His easy release driPhone has been 2 years in the design and will be made in China. It uses materials "that they create bulletproof glass out of".

But Crowther's battle with Apple - which says driPhone is too similar to iPhone - is still on.

New Zealand's Intellectual Property Office ruled in Crowther's favour for the trademark last year but he recently lost a similar battle in the European Union and is planning an appeal.

Click here for more information on the driPhone.

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- Waikato

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