By Claire West

Mille-Tie Plant and Cable Tie patents are infringed.

The Rapstrap reusable tie strip product featured on the BBC’s Dragons Den program in August 2008 which received a £150,000 investment by Dragons James Caan and Duncan Bannatyne infringes Millepede’s patent, the UK Intellectual Property Office has announced in an opinion issued this week.

The UK Intellectual Property Office under took at the request of Millepede a full technical review of the Rapstrap product made by Andrew Harsley, an ex-employee of Millepede, and concluded that it infringes Millepede’s granted patent.

Both parties supplied additional information and details to a senior examiner at the UK patent office to allow his review, and the examiner concluded the Rapstrap product possessed all the characteristics needed to infringe the Millepede patent.

The Rapstrap has received major publicity in the UK as the most successful Dragons Den product in the history of the program by securing a £36m order from a major distributor.

John Butterworth Millepede’s Managing Director said: “I was amazed when Harsley, who had previously founded the Millepede company forgot to mention Millepede’s existence on the program. Then afterwards all the parties showed a lack of interest in talking to Millepede about our prior patent. I hope this official review will now change that situation.”

Millepede’s reusable and releasable tie strip concept that caused such interest on the program can be seen at

The Dragon’s Den episode can be viewed at