Jump to content
General View On Selling Ko's
41 replies to this topic
Posted 11 February 2012 - 09:52 AM
I haven't made hardbaits since the early 90's. I design and produce my own softbaits. I have recently made the rigs; but my own design.
All that being said I'm not knocking anyone here; but what about the "big" guys stealing from us. If you notice I very rarely post pics anymore simply for that reason.
It realy ticks me off when I see ideas from here showing up out there in "bigshot land". I've had some of my ideas show up out there and there is nothing I can do about it. There average guy can't afford the patent process and they know it so it's open season on most of us.
I had one of my bait designs show up in China and part of another bait(the part that makes it work) show up in North America. There is no more honesty in business any more. In my day a man's word meant everything; now it means rat s**t.
So; I guess what I'm saying is that if you want to do KO's go for it because the big guys don't worry about you until you step on their toes.
If you want to design your own baits that's great as well; but if you come up with a great idea don't be surprised that if some day you see it under some other name.
Posted 11 February 2012 - 11:15 AM
Gentlemen, This is a touchy subject. I wont give my own opinion because I am the holder of a few patents. (Unrelated to this field) I will however add that the provisional patent process is very inexpensive and can be done for about $150. It is a good way to get a product line started. This way you can put it out there and try to drum up business. If it turns out to be a failure you are only out a buck-fifty. If it works out for you, you can invest further in to a full patent. (Or sell it to a big box company as I would).
Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:05 PM
There isn't a builder, no matter how 'original', who does not stand on the shoulders of builders who came before him. So I think it's fair for the community to give any claim of originality a hard, critical look. That doesn't mean it's ethical to screw a guy who comes up with a novel lure design and is trying to derive a little income and/or recognition. If the originator is building and selling baits, it's wrong to knock off his design and sell copies. Whether he has legal recourse has zero to do with ethics. The legal side is purely about money and economic harm. It depends on the steps he has taken to protect the design, how deep his pockets are, and his willingness to expend (most times, you can substitute the word "waste" here) his energy to prove a legal point. If history is any guide, patent and copyright protection in the area of fishing lures is mostly a joke in any practical sense. Just ask the originators of the Chatterbait or the Alabama Rig. The only way those guys made money is to partner with a big lure company to churn out large volumes of a popular lure before their competitors can follow suit.
It is not unethical or illegal to make a copy of anything as long as its done for your own use and will not be marketed.
Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:51 PM
just for the record i painted a brookie and posted it so people could see the paint job I DID becouse i had'nt seen another brook trout paint job in the gallery brown trout,ranbow trout yes but no brook trout,after i posted i started seeing a few more look alikes so what?. i dont care if people copy it,sell it, put it on a petestal or what i just do with it becouse painting lures is fun ,I'm not looking to become rich or not
Posted 12 February 2012 - 03:51 AM
Some of you on this site know who I am and what I do. For those of you who do not, let me introduce myself. My name is Jeff Klein from Lexington N.C. I am a guy with a dremel tool and a piece of sandpaper that makes "Flatsided Wooden" baits with painted on eyes and no detail.
The way that I see it is Lobina saw a lure that caught his eye on the internet and tried to produce something like it for his own use. Then Some folks saw it and wanted some too. So what !! That describes most of the folks on this site. I started by trying to copy something that I thought was neat. I have chopped up custom baits, handmade baits, store bought baits, and baits that are no longer made to see how they were constructed and what made them tick.That is how I learned. Lobina stated that his baits were not a 100% true replica. If the guy wants to make and sell a few to get some of his money back so what. This guy is no threat to anyone.
Lobina also stated that this was a hobby for him. However, Matt wanted to take this conversation to another level to include businesses that make baits for a profit. So Let's really get down to it. The bottom line for a business is not bassed on ethics. It is based on how much profit can be made. If you are going to play the ethics game in business you will get your head handed to you, Matt knows this. It is why he is seeking his patents. Size of the business does not matter either. Staying ahead of the competition does. Sad to say, but most people that run a business for profit are not as ethical as Douglas. If they can take a great idea that you have and make a profit out of it they will do it. I have had it done to me to. That doesn't make it right, but that's the way it is.
Edited by Skeeter, 12 February 2012 - 09:20 PM.
Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:39 AM
If you're worried about copying another person's bait, call them and ask if it's okay with them.
Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:25 AM
Well said Skeeter
Posted 12 February 2012 - 09:22 AM
Well I will put my 2 cents in on this. Most of the Patent Pending words on a lure box is just there. No real Patent Pending is going on or it has run out. Some of the big boys patents have run out and are not worth redoing, but they don't remove the words from there package. Who really knows. It is very expensive to secure a real patent, and the slight changes to a lure that one makes from them become KO's or become a new idea or do they, look at the world of jigs, spinner baits, buck tails and so on. Just my 2 cents. Everyone keep up the good work. The paintings I see on this site inspire me to just make mine half as good but keep striving to make mine the best that I can. Even to sell a few will make my day. I enjoy flea markets where you can talk to the buyer. So now I will be going on Ebay because of the gas cost it kills you, and Ebay is not cheap either.
Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:14 AM
You hit the nail on the head. It is just a hobby for me and im not looking to make a living in this business. Ive only made a few swimbaits so far for my own use and selling them is not a top priority, nor would i be willing to sacrifice the little time i have on the weekends to make a few dollars. This is a great hobby and thanks to TU and its members ive learned alot. Now i just have to find a way to send you all a share of what i make in the future : )
Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:36 AM
What a great topic!!! Lots of points were discussed but will never be agreed to by everybody. Hobby vs. business, patent vs. to not patent, learn on your own vs. copy or re-engineer, legal reasons vs. ethical reasons, how much new does it take to be different, were a few and the list goes on and on.
However if you are in your 30's, 40's and 50's and want to do what you are doing for 40, 30 or 20 more years, without having near all the answers, I suggest you consider what the outside world may do to you as you evaluate the alternatives already discussed in this topic.
In the next 20-40 years, (possible solutions)
US and foreign governments will continue to add taxes, regulations and grief; (run lean, follow rules but avoid taxes)
big business in US and abroad will continue to, copy, steal, solicit and bully their will as they can; (stay ahead of them by always having new, better, different, exciting, etc. versions, products and models)
transportation costs, regulations, and taxation will continue to rise; (group orders, plan ahead, buy locally, buy free freight, buy jointly)
anything you type, photograph, say or publish anywhere over the internet will be public property; (don't brag, avoid telling on social media, keep secrets in blogs, trade info for hard cash)
and maintaining any ethics will be hard to do but possible.(know buyers and sellers, see and talk to buyers and sellers, use virtual hand shake and live up to the bargain)
Good luck, now go fish!
Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:45 PM
Rule #1 in lure building. It's all been done before. Rule #2 If in doubt refer to rule #1
copy this copy that. Who cares. Anyone can.
How many do it legit.
No insurance, no FET payments.
Setup a website, accept paypal, buy your stuff under your wife or girlfirends name so it can't be traced. Sell on Ebay. That's how I see alot of this being done.
In the last 10 years I've been in business I've come to view these guys as mosquitos. They buzz around for a while then see how much work it is with little pay and go out of business because they already have a day job.
Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:53 PM
btw I'm not saying don't go into business I'm saying understand what your getting into and do it right. So what if it's a knockoff nobody owns most of the stuff you see out there. One simple change and the patent is null. Most don't even bother. they just do it.
Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:03 PM
When I first started making jointed swimbaits, and used the Triple Trout as a starting point, I was fortunate enough to be working for a tournament trail that Bill Siemantel fished with his partner, Troy Lindner. I asked Bill to critique my lures, and I asked whether I was out of line using the Triple Trout as my "inspiration".
Bill said he had been involved over the years with every major sucessful West Coast swimbait builder, either helping in the design, or in testing their prototypes. He said, over the years, everyone copies someone else, dating back to a swimbait that was made in the '50s. I don't remember the name of the original, but he said, as long as you're putting your spin on something and not just making an exact copy, it is okay.
This is from one of the "silver eagles" of swimbait fishing, and bass fishing on the West Coast.
So, if you have the itch, go for it.
Be as original as you can be, and don't make duplicates of other people's stuff. Put your own spin on it and you'll be fine.
But it is, first and foremost, a business, so go into it, like Salty says, with your eyes open.
Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:33 PM
You may wish to check w/ your attorney but I believe your patent is only good in the U.S.A. I also believe they are trying to get U.S.A. patent protection from foreign countries. Good luck when japan,Korea and/or China see something they wish to copy.
That's fabulous that your attorney will defend your patents @ little to no cost to you.( I'd get that in writting for sure) I had a trademark and patent attorney that wanted 20K to fight a trademark application objection that was filed on the last day before approval 20 + years ago. Patent infringement cases that end up in court can be prohibitably expensive.
It would be interesting to know if these manufacturing/ bait copiers are paying their quarterly 10% excise tax on gross sales
Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:32 AM
Hey! Not for nuthin......but A fish stole my idea. He took my prototype right off of my line and ran away with it.....
Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:09 AM
Sheewwww, tried to read all this but can't keep up lol. I don't build my own baits but I do buy the knock-offs that people sell and paint them. If someone tried to copy my paint jobs I would take it as a compliment.
Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:15 PM
If your patent attorny feels they can make money on a suit then you can negotiate with them. In my case I would be ok with my attorny getting all of it just to make the theives pay.
Also I dont have to make a big case out of it. If a little guy copies one of my patented designes I can sue them and make them show up to court. It will cost me very little but they might have to travel and hire an attorny. I could make them come to me several times before it went to trial. It could end up costing them a good chunck before it ever went before the judge. I would then have a real good idea if I was going to win or not and make a decision weither to continue or drop the suit. Either way the theif is out a lot of time and money, but I would be out very little.
I know of this happening more then once in our industry and even specificaly with swimbaits. Company A sues company B. Company A drops the suit just before it goes to trial. Company A is out a few thousand. company B is out 30x that.
People may think that company B won because it was dropped but company A is the one Laughing about it.
I also know of a swimbait company that sued one of the largest, if not the largest fishing Co in the world over an internal lead head, and the little swimbait company won!!!! So even though the big co had all the money and lawers it didnt matter. They infringed (stole) and they paid for it big time.
From what I have heard the Judge or Jurry looks at the 2 products and decides if its infringing or not. Thats got to be prety scary for the defendant.
As for foriegn countries. I have been copied several times in China and so far they have done such a bad job on thier copies that they have not been a threat. For the most part I am protecting myself against my piers and the smaller leaches. If I big company infringes then I would discuss that with my attorny. If its a winable case I could offer my attourny a large percentage of any monies awarded.
As for taxes, I know you were reffering the knock off guys but for me, you bet I pay the taxes. It aint cheap either!
Edited by Mattlures, 14 February 2012 - 11:18 PM.
Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:15 AM
Good for you. I don't have patents and have had two of my ideas and products copied. What goes around hopefully comes around w/these characters that lack integrity.
Yes- I was referring to the knock-off bandits and the quarterly,10% excise tax on gross sales. Many fly under the I.R.S.radar screen thinking big brother won't bother them w/ their small business.. Then on day for whatever reason-"Knock- knock, I.R.S." and then a nice hefty fine and penalties are assesed.
Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:38 AM
While watching this thread I decided yesterday to take a look at what the big boys are all producing in the form of hard baits......you know what.....THEY PRETTY MUCH ALL LOOK THE SAME!
Yep, just take a look at all the baits in the local tackle shop. You will have jerk baits which will all dive pretty much the same depth with close to the same wiggle with the only difference being in the cosmetics of the bait i.e. paint job, maybe a difference in the shape of the eyes or gills, etc. You will also have shallow divers,deep divers, etc. etc. and they pretty much all look the same, dive to the same depths, and generally act the same.
Now, unless you are making something just totally different than anything else out there you are pretty much going to be taking someone else's ideas and expanding on them.
After all, you are trying to imitate what fish eat and they don't eat cows, chickens, pigs, and such.....they eat worms, minnows, and bugs...period. So, all that can be expected is to expand on those food items.
It is very hard to come out with something new.
I'm not saying that inovation shouldn't be rewarded or that it is right to exactly copy someone else's designs. But in reality ALL designs pretty much imitate something that has already been done.
It's great for you guys that have patents to guard them....but I'll bet all your patented idea is is an expansion on someone else's idea and you simply made a little different and possibly better or not better product off of someone else's findings.
Let's face it....jerkbaits are still jerkbaits even though some may have no propellers, some sink, some float etc. They are still jerkbaits, someone has just taken the initial concept and expanded on it. Same with every other type of tackle out there.
Just my 2 cents which is worthless on this forum anyway.
Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:22 AM
This is called "innovation" - most (and arguably some of the most important) innovations aren't groundbreaking new ideas. They're improvements and modification to accepted best practices.
I won't go too far down my open source licensing rant, but will quickly say that open sourcing designs and innovations ensure that everyone can use them freely. The most important factor being that the big guys can't patent your innovation and later sue you for using it. My $0.02, your mileage may vary.