Term 'Picnic boat'

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by ned L, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. ned L
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    ned L Junior Member

    Maybe someone can shed some light on this for me. I know all about the issues of using the term "picnic boat", and running into problems with Hinckley and their trademark. What I'm wondering is how can they trademark a long standing descriptive term for exactly what it has always meant?
    In New England, since at least the 1930's or 40's the term 'picnic boat' has referred to a mid size boat (say 28' - 38'), more or less based on a traditional working boat design (usually lobster boat), that is finished to nice 'yacht' standards (brightwork supertructure), with modest accommodations below, which would be used mostly for day trips, with occasional overnighting as a possibility. How does this differ from what Hinkley applies the term? I don't see how it is any different than an auto maker trademarking the term "sedan"? Comments?
  2. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Get a friendly judge or one in your employ and anything is possible.
  3. DGreenwood
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    I don't doubt the fact that they do not really have the right to take a generic term like that and call it theirs. The question is do you feel like risking your money proving them wrong. If your going to do it, now is the time...they are probably not in the mood these days for law suits.
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    They have had some success "defending" the term, but frankly, they really haven't defended anything. It's a classic tool used by lawyers and business. If you make a big fuss and toss a bunch of expensive lawyers at an issue, you can usually get the other party to back down, in fear that they might have to face the possibility of spending huge sums of money on a trivial point.

    If you want to use the term and your boat doesn't have a remarkable similarity to the Hinckley, then any reasonable judge will see the conflict. If you can't afford the bluster of the Hinckley defense team, then you may want to use another term.
  5. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    nope all wrong:) pickernic boat is something that you pay a mill for that is only good for a sunny day out on the river
    Europe is full of em, see em at the boat shows, wine laid out on the linen tableclothe, whoops then it rains
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    If you think attempting to capture the name Picnic Boat is funny ..

    Remember Harley D attempted to copyright the klunking sound of their unreliable engines.

  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Fred, show me a Harley that has been unreliable since AMC sold the company to the share holders in the 1970's? I know HD's very well, having owned many and operated a HD store (outlaw) in south Florida. The idea Harley's are unreliable is only held by those jealous of their resale value (mostly rice burner owners), folks who haven't owned one in several decades or have never owned one. They haven't leaked oil in 4 decades either and every major motorcycle manufacture has attempted to cash in on the very market they created, including the sound, engine configuration, chassie, looks and image. It's a hell of a thing when an oil leaking, cantankerous thing is imitated by everyone else ain't it . . . I guess they all want oil leaking unreliable beasts.
  8. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I've never met an unreliable Harley-Davidson. They only sound like they're about to put a rod through the block ;)

    Are Hinckley's lawyers really that vicious? (I suppose it would partly explain how a 36' overnighter can rack up a price tag only slightly less than what a reasonably decent small mansion goes for around here.)
  9. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    AMC was before the icon had to be bailed out by the government, then? Driven past many a broken Harley on "rice-burners". They´ve actually done a lot to make corrections to try to compete with more modern machinery, tho - I´m pretty impressed but don´t feel the need to vibrate and roar to produce miniscule HP with lots of weight. The wide torque-band is sure fun and that engine in a different kind of bike (Buell) is a great idea. I´m nostalgic - the bike I´m buying now is a Hypermotard 1100S (Ducati) with old tech (Desmodronic valve train) and when I get fat one day, I may sit on a wide, low Harley. Wait, they may have the Gold Wing still and I can just DRIVE BY the Harleys! Just funnin´- to each their own.
    On the Picknick boat thing - I would call a boat that BECAUSE these guys got the word trademarked. Your not trying to capitalize on their work are you? I think Par is right on track with post # 4 - Mark

  10. ned L
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    ned L Junior Member

    Thanks for the comments, I too always thought is was a "they do because they can" kind of a thing. I had always respected & liked Hinkley, but that always kind of rubbed me the wrong way. - I worked with Martha Hinkley years ago, real nice person.
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