- Sep 22, 2017 at 12:50 am #3492488
Franco’s examples are valid – but we live in an imperfect world.
I reviewed some of the first models from TD, way back when. Very nice things (I still use mine), but even back then I don’t think they were original enough for a defensible patent.
It has been said with much justification: all you can doing is keep peddling and try to stay ahead of the mob.
Big Pharma – yeah, problem. To be sure, you get people like Shkreli, but they don’t last too long. The real problem there is that the FDA has been forced, by a combination of the USA tort system and excessive enthusiasm by so many ‘developers’ out to make a fortune, to mandate infinite testing. No simple answers.
CheersSep 23, 2017 at 10:37 pm #3492885
Agree about the need for patents. But they are so expensive to obtain and enforce that it takes large amounts of capital to use them effectively. For small, innovative companies this is likely to be prohibitive, and then there is competition in other nations that can disregard patents. If the patents would actually work profitably for a small business in your example, OK; but there is abundant evidence that this is not happening here – don’t know about down under. Not to mention the downside with the use of patents and other intellectual property for extortion, not unusual here either.
The problem with pharma is that they can gouge because they control (and actually write) legislation, so there are prohibitions on bargaining that would otherwise be present in a true free enterprise system. Again, it is a problem of what would be conceptually fair not working because economic power is so concentrated, and is ever becoming moreso. The signs are everywhere.
If a small company comes up with a product that makes intellectual leaps forward, and cannot market it profitably using an expensive patent approach, then placing the idea in the public domain may at least protect against someone with much more capital from patenting the idea. and putting the innovator out of business. This will become the norm to the extent that patent laws and administration are not working fairly. It then becomes the business that operates most efficiently and fairly to customers that has a chance to survive and profit. Not many do these days, what with products pouring in from the developing world, and service businesses becoming more and more tightly held. No simple answers, as Roger said.Sep 24, 2017 at 12:28 am #3492890
“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
The Red Queen, Lewis Carroll
Sounds rough, but it works. A small company can go and do it and get it to market while a large corporation is still having marketing and planning meetings.
It is no use the small company trying to protect their idea with a patent: the large corporation will simply bulldoze over the top of them with lawyers and $$. You can see that in the market place everywhere.
Ah – but if the small company publishes the idea before it gets to market, that blocks the large corporation from asserting any patent rights against you. They can try, but all you have to do is to produce the dated disclosure.
CheersSep 24, 2017 at 9:34 pm #3493024
Thanks, Roger. I’m glad to hear confirmation of what the patent lawyer told me here in the USA.
Unfortunately, the trend with running is not toward twice as fast. More like not at all. No matter, you can still drive a car up Mt. Washington That’s how I set up and got this photo of the Enlightened Magnified Goondie:
Shameless, I know. And one of those dreadful pop-ups to boot.
Sep 24, 2017 at 10:32 pm #3493031
- This reply was modified 10 months ago by Sam Farrington.
By the photo, not very windy right then?
CheersSep 26, 2017 at 9:25 am #3493274
Sam CBPL Member
To answer Russel’s question, I really don’t see an UL bushcraft pack selling well, if at all, to the modern day Daniel Boone’s out there because a part of this “lifestyle” involves crafting their own packs (waxing the canvas, too). I do see a potential market here for hipsters, though, in particular with the lumbersexual crowd.
I really don’t see the logic in patents that are geared towards a niche of a niche. The mainstays of the UL cottage industry have been around for a while now and to be frank, they all seemed to have copied each other’s ideas to have built similar products yet with each their own unique twist. As an example, for a decade or so straight it seemed that all UL packs where some sort of variant of the Ray Way pack or the original GVP G4 (which itself was a modified Ray Way). While others have since moved on and into their own, HMG and MLD are still holding onto this same basic design.
The problem with patents that are filed by hobbyists is that they more-often-than-not only seem like a winning idea (that is, gonna make me $Millions) to the individual hobbyist himself. Of all the patents and patentable ideas discussed around BPL and from what I have seen personally (because they are of the public domain), far too many ideas are just plain goofy. Then there are the harbingers of failure:
…which I personally believe most “hardcore” ULers, and certainly SULers, are.
If building these packs is truly of an interests to you, then just go a head and do it. I know that as an American you might be scared to heck of being sued, but the likelihood of that happening is slim-to-none. Shoot, you have a better chance of someone liking your idea and wanting to buy it from you than you do of someone suing.Sep 26, 2017 at 10:02 pm #3493511
“If building these packs is truly of an interests to you, then just go a head and do it. I know that as an American you might be scared to heck of being sued … you have a better chance of someone liking your idea and wanting to buy it from you than you do of someone suing.”
Agreed. Carried the modified Jack Pack design mentioned above for many years, and was regularly asked about why there was no buckle on the front of the hip belt. But no mention of law suits.
With respect to reliance on so-called metrics, the national security advisor’s book and the latest from Ken Burns have a lot to say about the dangers of that.
Roger, the wind at that location has been so strong that I could not get the car door open to get out. But you are right, on that day it was quite tame by comparison. At last check, It was around $25 USD for one person (and pups) to drive up the road, so do not run up there regularly with an anemometer.Sep 27, 2017 at 12:36 am #3493533
Russell LawsonBPL Member
@lawsonLocale: Olympic Mts.
ha nice wrap up. Ultra light canvas bags certainly is a bad idea, to this forum forsure, but it wasn’t what I intended in my inquiry. I was giving backstory of a progression plan I am hatching: Starting off by using time on a local industrial machine, sewing low overhead canvas with expectations of selling enough before christmas to not need a normal job on my offseason. Advertising on Instagram (bushcraft related intagrams grow fast) and doing a giveaway on bushcraftusa.com. So hopefully after intensive testing of designs and process efficiencies I can then fit it to modern UL fabrics, and try my hand with selling to this crowd with the two seamstresses I have lined up that want more work, hopefully hit success, palante style.
It’s the same model I used in my current farming job, that I am trying to move away from. I used to have 6 small gardens spread around selling fast turnaround crops to customers, inefficiently one by one at markets. Now I have a single large farm that grows every year in size and has the scale to match network demand and out produce of some larger farms, based on my quality and attention to detail.
I knew I would get a little ball busting, presenting such a morbidly heavy concept here, but based on the observations I have done of recently successful pack businesses, it would seem the scale of business to sell to the lightweight/thru crowd is demanding when a highly praised product is produced, but there are some very successful tiny bushcraft companies too but operated with seemingly handle able demand and lower overhead expenses. There is also a lack of ingenuity in bushcraft labeled products, most requested features are durability, organizing pockets and an axeloop. So I think that provides room to slang new ideas that sprouts a business at least enough to gain a running start while allowing headroom to trial concepts and receive extensive feedback, before going for broke on investments towards lightweight.
I would never try and sell you all on the idea of cotton backpacks. I was more thinking outloud here to get feedback about the idea because new ventures are a huge risk and worth consulting the wisemen about, and I am no veteran sewing master, but I am a fair marketer, designer, and have started two clothing companies that are standing strong in brand name shops now.
Sorry for the long winded breakdown, I do appreciate all the feedback and opinions on the matter,Sep 27, 2017 at 12:53 am #3493534
Eh, who cares?
Let’s see the product!
CheersOct 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm #3494430
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
“… but you have to be able to keep a straight face when talking to the client.”
THAT is a true gem of a quote and needs to be archived somewhere. Thank you Roger! Both of our daughters are attorneys (entertainment law and telecom law) and I will pass that wisdom on to them about “keeping a straight face when talking to clients”. Hee, heeOct 2, 2017 at 9:11 pm #3494462
Dan YBPL Member
Advertising on Instagram (bushcraft related intagrams grow fast) and doing a giveaway on bushcraftusa.com.
It’s going to be interesting to watch the response of the bushcraftusa.com folks to lightweight canvas bags. Most everything over there is “heavy” gear. The backpackers there should be interested though. I wish you well. I’ll be the first to purchase a bag for my binoculars. :-)
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