Stolen Designs

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Alik, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Alik Senior Member

    They likely to have GA, systems diagrams, equipment lists, performance calcs, etc. Maybe something else, from the builder. They either were supplying engines, propulsion systems and some equipment for the boat, or were at least asked about.
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Is a business that needs to copy other people's designs to function, going to be in business for long ? I'd doubt it.
     
  3. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Today one of 'Marine Thieves' staff said that these concepts are not ours were given to us by someone else... Idiots, we have all source files (and also the patent) and can illustrate all the process.
     
  4. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I think it has happened to every professional designer here. I know I lost tens of thousands of pounds in S Africa, where builders are still building my boats without paying royalties. Some at least are still calling them Woods Designs.

    The Renaissance 32/34 catamaran built in the USA started as my design but to save my royalty payments they changed the design horribly (vertical front to the bridgedeck, a really stupid interior etc) So they ended up building 6-10 boats before going bust. Yet the original was a better design than the Gemini and it came out a year earlier. So they could have sold 1000 or more

    I think the only real defense is to spread the word and name names. Fortunately the internet makes it so much easier to root out, name and shame, rouge traders in all businesses.

    I tell people not to buy pirated designs. If the business owner is unscrupulous enough not to pay a royalty what other corners do they cut? what other dishonest business dealings are they doing? Will you actually get a boat if you pay them a deposit? Sow seeds of doubt

    So here is an idea - why don't we start a thread or simply list those builders who we know build rip off boats, and that will start spreading the word far and wide.

    So my starter for 10. Coplan Boats

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamaras.com
     
  5. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    Are you a registered design or patent design ? does your design date start from 9.11.2012 as I can not read the language on your web site.
    I understand you have Russia and Thailand registered only which does not give protection any where else in the world.
    With a patent or design it is not a protection, its an expensive hunting licence to be able to take a possible infringer to court.
    As you may of heard, a design or patent is powerful as the pocket.
     
  6. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Hope you have success protecting your property.

    Seems that in the modern digital age , copyright is just not respected.

    When I first started working with boats , it was common to contact the designer before a major repair was performed so that I understood the scantlings and challenges before I attempted the project. Designers always cooperated and sent me whatever engineering details I needed , for the price of postage.

    Not anymore. When I request a document these days the phone goes dead or I must pay. Recently I needed an electrical drawing for a complex hydraulic system that needed service. i contacted the engineering company who did the work and they informed me that everything is possible...400 euros for the required sheet. When I protested , they told me that the sheet contained valuable single use intellectual property that could be used without authorization.

    Grrrrrrrrr.

    People who do not respect the property of others steal property holders money and drive up costs for all of us.
     
  7. dougfrolich
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    dougfrolich Senior Member

    I think it sucks that people steal other peoples work!!!

    BUT... "it is not the ones who steal your ideas and present them as their own that are to be worried about. Its the ones who do not".

    I can't remember where I read that-- but its great advice.
     
  8. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I'm a bit thick, doug, what does it mean ?
     
  9. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    To be fair of any witch hunts, can you show your design Coplan boats you say have stolen, such as your valued patents or registered designs to compare ?

    Once a patent or registered design has expired or has been invalidated, the invention described by the patent or design falls into the public domain: it can be used by anyone without permission from the owner of the expired patent or design.
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    As has been pointed out, this isn't uncommon and I know of several who have been affected like this. It's not a matter of respecting property rights or understanding how long your rights are protected, but the simple fact that many parts of the world, some quite notorious for it, just don't recognize intellectual property rights. It's not the companies, nor those that run these outfits, but the general culture (or lack of it) in various places around the world. It's always the same places, the same countries and we'll just have to wait for them to evolve as a society and a nation, so the next recently moving up from 3rd world nation status, can stand up and fill in this gap. There's usually no real avenues of proper pursuit for "relief", in these maters in these countries, so the best option you have is a computer science major, working on his thesis, that for a case of cold beer can whack the crap out of a site in a few minutes.

    For what it's worth, ever since my attention was assaulted with this sort of thing, every published set of lines I have installed intentional distortions and obvious errors in them. You wouldn't notice, unless you where on a loft floor, trying to "reconcile" a set of hijacked lines. I actually had a guy call me and ask what the problem was with my lines, as they didn't make any sense on the loft floor. After some hemming and bitching, he admitted he'd picked up one of my JPG's and was lofting from that and boldly enough, wanted to know how to fix this.

    If there's no legal recourse in the country you're going to do battle, you have to bring out a tool that will work.
     
  11. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Yes, agree, we do not go criminal way even if we deal with IP pirates. For the designer, reputation is everything. I would never ever call someone's else work mine, so does our team. This is just matter of taking pride in our work.

    Even if sometimes we do work on existing hull/mold (sometimes it happens), we would never call it our design and it is not likely to be on our website.
     
  12. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    Well said.

    With a patent which any one with out to much know how can apply and pass, especially a registered design, does not mean protected, and can be challenged or infringed at any time, if someone thinks its old news and copies then its up the IP holder to prove other wise, "patent is as powerful as pocket"
    There are now 148 countries which have signed up to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
    Meaning that's 146 countries can copy your idea that you have no IP statues and lets just say one decides to sell one in Thailand, then they are not liable as the buyer in Thailand becomes liable, its a bit like a dog chasing its tail.
     
  13. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Careful with intentional errors. When I request a technical drawing for some repair Im doing it almost always carries a stamp PRELIMINARY. I guess this protects the designer in case there are any errors in the drawing. As designed, as built is always different. Preliminary also makes you think twice before reproducing the design
     
  14. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    DCockey did an excellent review on IP status

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/designers-copyright-38245.html

    Boat plans are automatically covered by copyright. Copyright protection applies to the contents of the plans, the lines, offsets, other drawings, text, etc. It does not apply to the boat design described by the plans.

    In the US the functional aspects of a boat design, if sufficently unique, can be protected by a utility patent (usual form of patent) for 20 years if the patent is applied for and granted.

    In the US the ornamental aspects of a boat design might be able to be protected by a design patent for 14 years if if the patent is applied for and granted.

    In the US a hull design can be protected for 10 years by registration under the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act if the design is sufficently new and is registered.

    Trade dress has been used in attempts to protect some designs. It's limited to non-functional elements of design which distinguish the products of a particular builder/seller.

    Contracts and licences between the designer and their customer are a method to try to protect a design. But they don't apply to third parties.
     

  15. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    But design patents do, at least in theory.

    FYI, the application date is Dec 2012 and patent was issued in Feb 2014. We just extended it last December.

    We were lucky to have patent in the country where infringement took place. Lets see how it will work, but clearly this 'Marine Technics' is that company that should be avoided.
     
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