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New bait design
9 replies to this topic
Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:34 PM
I have designed a new bait for bass and northern. Its a combination of 2 baits that are on the market but when combined its unique. I have been using it for the last 2 years and with good success. I could patent them and produce them myself but my feelings are patents can be voided with little variation. I would like to approach a large company. Whats your opinions and any advice.
Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:38 PM
Why not? What can they say other than no. Maybe Cabela's or Bass Pro would pick it up under their name?
Posted 11 February 2009 - 10:46 PM
Man, have I been there and really feel for you. Just about any way you look at this, there are serious pitfalls and risks that should not be ignored. In my opinion, maybe 3% of the commerical lure designers are innovative and sincere in their search for a design overlooked by the industry-the other 97% lie in ambush waiting for those designers to unveil their next project. These bushwackers (because they are mostly a bunch of jerkoffs) also prey on the small, new designer who may or may not have the next hot bait.
The larger companies laugh at our meager attempt to protect our creative output with design patents. They know for the most part we do not have the money to back those patents up and they will challenge you if they feel your idea is market worthy.
I am not trying to discourage you-that is not my intent. By all means, if your bait is the next Microsoft, you owe it to the market to make it happen. My thinking is you should circulate your bait among people you trust and get their feedback. Run the test for a year or more and after that time if their results are as good or better than your results then maybe you have something. Then, without investing your life savings, have as many baits made as you can afford. Then with a well designed marketing plan, launch your bait with the intent of holding a corner on the market for as long as possible. (usually 6-8 months). By then the big boys will be on board and will try to swamp you. There a plenty examples of this out there. Most recently the chatterbait is one that comes to mind.
Hope that helps, if any.
Posted 12 February 2009 - 01:50 AM
Combining two ideas into one is not patentable. You best bet is to just figure out the best way to produce the bait yourself or contract somebody to build it for you and still keep it under your name.
Posted 12 February 2009 - 06:36 AM
A word of caution about the chain retailers (Cabelas and Bass Pro, Dick's, Gander Mountain). I've sat in meetings with one of them (I won't say which one) and have heard the buyer tell a manufacturer (who was one of their venders) they were keeping the manufacturer on for another year but they were going to China and knocking off their product. You hear lots of promises from these guys but no guarantees. It is their way of repaying your loyalty. Nice, huh?
Here's another thought to ponder before entering the fray. The lure business is based on "what have you done for me lately" marketing. In other words, you had better have a second and third wow bait in design and production at the time of your first launch or you'll just become another footnote with all the other one hit wonders. Staying power in that market mandates constant new entries-it's what drives that market. Lucky Craft is a great example of a company whose brand developed by expanding their customer base with solid baits, one after another. There a methods and techniques you can utilize to ensure your creative juices keep flowing-but I digress.
Posted 12 February 2009 - 07:46 AM
I would strongly urge you to find a way to have it built and do the marketing yourself. DO NOT take the idea to a well known tackle co. or retailer. They will most assuredly rip off your idea or some part of it. The patent process is long and arduous and VERY costly. Spend the money on having your lure built and marketing it. Without going into too much detail, we (a couple of friends) went through with patenting some concepts only to have Lindy/Little Joe steal one and change one minor thing. My great uncle started and built Little Joe and this has left a very bitter taste in my mouth. Build some and start selling them at your local bait shops. If you know some serious tournament fisherman you can trust, put some in their hands. If your lure works as well as you say, and I don't doubt that it does, you should be able to sell a bunch of them. Meanwhile, be thinking about how you can improve on the idea.
and Jesus said "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men"
Posted 12 February 2009 - 08:17 AM
It always seems like an up hill, one sided battle to put something new on the market. Between patents, copyrights, and the 10% federal excise tax, it's a wonder anyone ever tries to make or sell a new idea or dream.
I have seen Cowgirls and their clones for years, and was surprised last fall to see a new musky spinner in the Rothschild, WI Gander Mountain designed and build in Weston, WI. I don't know why this really surprised me, Antigo, WI has that little spinner bait company called Mepps.
I guess dreams can come true and you may be at a point to figure out if there is any interest in your bait at some of the local tackle shops; there are any number of them in small Wisconsin towns. With the economy in the shape its in, this may be a perfect time to find a small manufacturer who is will to work with you to help turn out your baits and keep a few of his guys off the unemployment line.
I guess it all boils down to how much do you believe in your dream? Good luck and tight lines.
Posted 12 February 2009 - 08:51 AM
Luck, Timing, Hard Work and Perserverance (spelling) ...
Patents -- Design, Mechanical & etc ... take time & money ... and most of the time one little change is all it takes to get around it ... now registering the name is the only solid way to identify YOUR product in the world of lures .... one company with distribution all ready in place can wipe you out ... been there had it done to me ( I made a few mistakes as well) ....
Its your shot ...
Posted 14 February 2009 - 10:29 AM
Thank you gentlemen for the advice I'll promote it locally along with some other baits I make. Just curious about a comment about the bigger retail business can they have a patented lure made in china and sell in the USA? Sometimes it gets very frustrating when you come up with some very good ideas and designs with no rewards.
Designed the very first deer call that could be adjusted from a doe bleat to a buck grunt in one turn of knob back in 1997 sent samples to bass pro , cabelas, sportsman guide. One company ordered 400(sportsman guide) the other 2 amazingly came out with calls adjusting from the outside just a different way! Now I think there are about 7 or 8 different calls of this type that are on the market.
Posted 14 February 2009 - 11:16 AM
Well, there you go. Leopards can not change their spots and Bass Pro has more spots on their evil soul than cameras have pixels.
Basically you have two types of patents at your disposal-design and utility. Design Patents are customarily the patents used by lure designers. These break down into two more catagories-national and international. The later is extremely expensive and time consuming to put into effect but even then, it will not stop the Chinese from running rough shod over your design. When you go to China, you are playing Russian Roulette with 5 slugs in the chamber. Trust me, the stove is hot and you do not have to touch it to find out unless you are so inclined.
Quick story-I had a bait produced overseas (China) with the usual Confidentially Agreement (worth less than a handshake) and an assurance my proprietary rights would never be compromised. Within 1.5 years, I heard my bait was displayed at the major Chinese trade show held annually and within 2 years began seeing it here in the U.S. by way of Japan.
However, with all that said, if I had a bait and could not find a way to make it or have it made here, I would go to China but would be very selective of which company I used. What's my choice if I want to remain competitive and maintain a reasonable price point?