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Fish 30acre

Getting A Copyright On A Lure?

14 posts in this topic

i will soon be getting copyrights on a few of my newest lure designs. i am at the very beginning of this stage and will hopefully sign a contract with a lure company by the end of winter, for i have interest from a couple right now. i am curious if anyone has gone through this process before and what advice they might have to offer. i am taking this process slow and smart and a have a few people in the know helping now, but the more, the better.

if personal information is wished to be shared, email me at r-thirtyacre@wiu.edu.

if theres anywhere to look for more advice, this website is the place to do it. i really appreciate it!

(and sorry, i cant be posting pics of these lures... not until after this whole process. i will say they are swimbaits tho)

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I have no experience with this, but I would think that a copyright wouldn't be very effective for lures. Someone can always do something close to what you did but change it around a little to get around the copyright.

Just my :twocents:

Ben

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i was made an offer by one company, but they dont want to make anything official until the lures get copyrighted. the other company doesnt even want to talk until it gets copyrighted. so this apparently can be done, and is wanted...

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i was made an offer by one company, but they dont want to make anything official until the lures get copyrighted. the other company doesnt even want to talk until it gets copyrighted. so this apparently can be done, and is wanted...

I believe you want to look into getting a patent as opposed to a copyright. Im thinking you might have a hard time doing this. Unless it has some very unique mechanics or something like that, you wont be able to get a patent on a lure that looks like a fish. Most lures are similar to another lure. I thought about getting a patent for the lure i created, but really its a similar concept to about a half dozen lures already made. And in the lure business, if you have a good idea, it will be stolen and mass produced usually by a bigger company no matter what you do. see senko or the paddle tail bass trix, huddelston.

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I looked into the patent stuff... VERY EXPENSIVE. You would have to have a patent attorney as well. The bad thing is, unless you fork out even more money, your patent isn't internationally protected. hmmm... Keep in mind the big 2 lure manufacturing countries are China & Mexico.

The other sad thing is, if a big company wants your bait it will get it. They can afford to keep you occupied in court while they rip your lure off.

I know this sounds discouraging, but I have seen this happen.

I would suggest a non-disclosure agreement of some sorts and only reveal it to those that sign the form. However, if your lure has already been presented to the public a non-disclosure holds no ground.

To my understanding, jcheetam is right about what you can copyright.

I really don't know any genuine advice to give you. In my opinion, If you can afford a patent and the company your selling too will pay you enough to make it worth your while, then yes I would get a patent. I knew a guy that patented a unique jig head. He said it cost 15K for the whole process. The guy was well off, bought the patent, and actually made some money selling the patent.

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I"m in the product design field and deal with patents alot.... both in creating products that patents are awarded, and designing products which don't infringe on known patents...

A few things on this topic...

1. For a product/idea you need a patent, not a copyright as mentioned a few times....

2. The reason one company doesn't want to speak to you until you have a patent is actually for their protection, not yours!!! Should they be working on a similar idea to something they are shown by you, it opens them to all sorts of lawsuits should they put a product out on the market you claim as your idea... winds up being a costly court battle. In many cases companies will not view outside designs/ideas for this reason alone. If you own the patent, they wouldn't be able to produce a product that is very very similar to your idea anyway... therefore they have nothing to lose by seeing it should you have an issued patent.

3. Patents are not the easiest thing to obtain... you without a doubt will need a lawyer... you will wind up paying a fair amount of money by the time you are done... you will have to have a patent search done to make sure your idea is significantly different than any other idea already patented... should your idea not be deemed "patentable" or overreaching in it's claims, it can be rejected.... and you can re-file if claims are adjusted, but of course this will cost you more moeny...

4. Just because you own a patent, doesn't mean it's worth anything.... so make sure your idea really is worth a considerable amount of money before going through the process.... this means it's reasonable to manufacture, and someone can actually make good money producing it... alot of ideas... even those patented, never make a cent.... and actually wind up being a losing proposition, as unless you can manufacture, market, distribute, etc. the product, you have negotiate with someone that will.... and in many cases, won't wanna pay much for someone's idea as that just adds to their bottom line... and in some fields/markets the margins are so tight, paying you a nickel for each one might not make it worth it to them.

Just a few things I figured I'd throw out there... I didn't mean to be to negative about the topic.... but unfortunatley a past employer of mine would do work for individuals whom had "ideas" and wanted to develop something they could patent and then sell to a large company.... in most cases, after paying our design fees, prototyping costs, patent lawyers, patent filing fees, etc... wound up with offers for less then they invested in the process... not cool in my book.

Good luck, and I hope you have one of those few big ideas that will get you everything you want...

J.

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folks, i am a little confused now...

i am not after a patent. there is nothing so drastically different that would deem a patent on my swimbaits. tho the one does have a couple different characteristics i have yet to see on a swimbait. i am confused as to why these bait companies have told my insider that i need a copyright on them before deals are made, but you tell me there is no way to copyright a lure or no need to do so.

the guy that i have had helping me with this whole process tells me different things than what most of you have said. this person is a trusted source and friend. he recently just stopped getting gratuity on his design on the blakemore road runner after 30 years (it was made in 1958, he changed the lead head design 30 years ago). he also developed and sold his hanging muskie lure box to plano in the 80s. it is still his design they are using today with a few minor changes. he sold it as a flat price with no royalty or gratuity. so he is a good source. he also tells me he has a lawyer for me and that it would cost about 250 to 500 dollars for the coprights...

i do know that a company will change my design in a way that they think will be easier to mass produce and cheaper to make. that will be fine with me.

what would you recommend here? a single one time buy out with no gratuity over a given amount of years? or a contract to get royalty after each year for an allotted amount of time?

just trying to get feedback from any source possible. thanks guys!

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The points slowfish made above track with what I've done.

You said:

{what would you recommend here? a single one time buy out with no gratuity over a given amount of years? or a contract to get royalty after each year for an allotted amount of time?}

Why not have them offer you a fixed price in cash payable now for all your rights?

A royalty agreement puts you at the mercy of their sales staff and their willingness to keep accurate/fair books.

Take their one time amount plus no increase for a fixed number of years to an insurance company and have them compute the "present value" or cash value of the deal.

Last year (2008) a relative sold his patent, tools, fixtures, notes and all derivative rights to company B. He had originally signed an exclusive contract to furnish his products to company A who would market and sell them in multiple channels. But company A stumped their toe and company B was just waiting. B assumed A's liabilities ( which were minimal) and my relative's assets and rode off into the sunset with a new product line.

My relative had invested about $7000 in lawyers fees and got $35000 cash for his assets. He said with another company he might have gotten lots more $ on the come but he kept his day job and had 35K cash to fund 4-5 more patents he had in mind. He hoped in his 2nd go round he could do it again and maybe he could get a company to fund his retirement!

BTW just before he picked up his cashiers check he figured out that company B was planning on stealing his assets anyway. Company B arrived at $35K to pay him because it was just about what a lawsuit would cost them to take his assets and get rid of company A. Watch out for these guys.

Good luck!

John

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I would do some research on what a copyright protects. Not doubting that your friend has been successful at selling designs in the past, but I would go directly to the source before investing any money in a copyright: http://www.copyright.gov/

Good luck with everything!

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This is my 2 cent worth. Years ago I designed a jig that had two rattles molded in. I also had a friend that held many pattens. His advise: Make as many as you can as quickly as you can and sell them. His reason: It only takes a 10% difference to get around a patten and within a couple years someone will have a knock off. Also it takes more money to protect your patten that the patten its self. So I took his advise!!! HE WAS RIGHT!!! within three years there was a knock off!!! The bad thing was, it was one of my customers!

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After reading through the posts again, I figured I'd add one thing I thought of / realized....

If you idea is based on an "image".... meaning your idea is a pattern, some sort of crazy "magic eye" print that makes Bass/Muskies go crazy, or a graphic of some sort that will be applied to a lure... then you MAY be protected with a copyright... But if you idea is based on the construction/physical design of a lure.... like a new type of hinge or special shape that created some sort of vibration that mimics injured baitfish... then you'll need a patent.

Just figured I'd add this in, as in your first post you didn't say your idea was necessarily a "physical" design/idea.

J.

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