Small powerboat intellectual property rights

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by jakeeeef, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. jakeeeef
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Hamble

    jakeeeef Junior Member

    Hi,
    I am planning to build a very limited production run of a small 14-15 ft 1970s outboard powerboat. Though I will be heavilly restyling the top half to bring it more up to date (deck moulding), the hulls themselves have not moved on much in the last 20 years, or at least not the deep vee with planing rails type I have in mind.

    The boat of this type which I have my eye on for taking the hull mould off is called a Concorde Fiesta. It's about 15 feet long and dates from the 70s or 80s. I am assuming they were a British boat but have no idea who made them and can't find anything more out about them. These boats are a true deep vee, rather like a shrunk down Phantom 18 and perform better in open water than the other offerings of smilar vintage from the likes of Fletcher, Shakespeare, Simms etc.

    Initially it will be a one off prototype for myself which I realise is no problem legally. I wish to pick a hull though that I can take future moulds off without legal difficulties or costs, should I decide that the small outboard powered boat is due a comeback!

    If I am on dodgy legal ground with a Concorde Fiesta hull, can anybody suggest a similar deep vee 14-15foot hull from a defunct manufacturer I could take moulds off?

    Do people register these sort of designs or are they there for the using?
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    The the manufacturer is defunct does not void the legal rights of the designer or the owner of the design. If you want to "splash" it is against the law. You will find a lot of animosity in this forum for people who do that. They steal the hard work and effort of many of us. The honest and legal way to go about it, is either to buy the design or pay royalties per hull. Royalties are usually a lesser initial investment. Different countries have varying percentages of change to make a design new. If you leave a bottom identical, the argument could be that you stole the operating part of the design and made irrelevant cosmetic changes. That is something you would need to contacta lawyer about. Also, some designs were not copyrighted and may not have any legal protection, that is they are in the public domain. If they are, you are free to build them, buy anyone else could build the same boat as you.
     
  3. jakeeeef
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    jakeeeef Junior Member

    Not bothered if anybody else uses the same hull, or in fact the deck moulding which i will spend time and effort developing, just can't afford to pay royalties etc. I would have no intention of passing off the hull as my own work.
    How do I find out if a design has been protected or not when the boat has been out of manufacture for decades? Also don't wish to upset anybody or break the law, but if theres a design out there I can use as is and save on development costs i'd certainly be inclined to.
     
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Have you checked on molds for sale?
     
  5. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    business-wise, here is how it should shake-out....

    1st off, don't let on that you have your heart set on this particular hull, or that you have invested countless hours of work based solely on this hull when you contact any possible owners.

    Tell them "theirs"(IF they still have claim) is one of several you are looking at using. They should be pleasantly surprised anyone is even considering putting money in their pocket for something they forgot about 20 years ago.

    Since YOU only plan limited production, tell them you will offer only token royalties for a limited set number of hulls. For example $50/hull for first 10, then $100/hull for next 10. If the boat "takes off" and gets anyone's attention, after your 20 hulls they will be in a position to ask for more money and possibly work with higher volume builder. "win/win". Royalties due to them only AFTER you sell the boats, to keep them in line.

    You could probably offer NOTHING for a limited number of hulls, and tell them "if it works out" they might be a position to get paid. Remember YOU are the one putting up all the money and risk.

    Lots of cultures(Chinese) traditionally don't recognize "intellectual property" the same way as the "West". They were like that long before Microsoft. It goes back to their ancient empires reliance on civil service exams, rather than inherited position.

    Extended Copyrights are a very recent and mostly corrupt idea. Unless they were filing all the papers to keep this hull all legally protected I'd say you could use it with a clear conscious. Just because someone creates something doesn't mean the rest of society must expend energy to keep others from using it. It isn't as though you are trying to ride on their brand's coattails.
     
  6. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It means that if someone creates something the rest of society must spend energy to keep others from using it. That is the Law. The person who creates spends time, money and effort into it. Who do you think you are to take it away for free?
     

  7. pamarine
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Norfolk, VA

    pamarine Marine Electrician

    unfortunately the only way you could legally use another persons design without paying for it is to develop the exact same design using completely independent research with any knowledge or reference to the first.

    The likelyhood of coming up with a substantially similar design after the fact without violating copyright is virtually nil, although it is possible if you truly have no knowledge of any similar designs.
     
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