yacht design & Intelectual Propoerty Rights

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by alexandros, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. alexandros
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    alexandros Junior Member

    Well,

    I am about to design a wooden yacht as part of my graduation project. One of the issues i am dealing (not only in design level but also in business/strategic level) is the prevention of copy-cat products.

    I tried to do a research on internet as well as i have contacted the local (Greek) office for patents. However, i only got very vague information.

    I wonder if any of you has ever dealt with such issue and has some more information to share (maybe a website, link or something).

    Thank you for any help you can provide!
     
  2. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

  3. alexandros
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    alexandros Junior Member

    Thank you Pericles for the links you provided. I suspect that, as in any other industry, IPRs are a. costly b. vague.
    As i mentioned before i did a research about IPRs and what i get is that unless you are a multi $$$$ company it is difficult to protect your ideas.
    I have a friend who designed a medical device and a US company was interested in it. In order to be on the safe side she started all the IPR process and she paid around $12k.! In the end.. her device did not go into production.. :confused:

    An interesting article i found about patents, copyrights and trademarks in relation to apple's ipod is this one:
    http://www.core77.com/reactor/12.05_ipod_trademark.asp
     
  4. Richard Atkin
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    Richard Atkin atn_atkin@hotmail.com

    I think it would be very difficult to protect a whole yacht design. A very small change and it can be called a different design. I suspect you could only protect a very specific part of a boat. Something that is mechanically unique.
    Is there anything left to invent? Seems like almost everything has been done before.
    I know...design a VERY reliable auto-pilot.
    Or a tidy self-righting catamaran.
    Otherwise, don't worry about protecting. Just focus on marketing.
     
  5. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Alik Senior Member

    Correct. And be one step forward from competitors.
     
  6. Kay9
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: Central Coast Oregon US.

    Kay9 1600T Master

    How do you get further buisness if you have it pattened and secreted?

    "Tm the famous designer of the yacht, that cant be built, but is better for reasons that my Non-disclosure will not let me speak of"?????

    I would think you would want to shout it from the mountains, and get it built. That way your ALLWAYS associated with the design. Ie there are a lot of Alden type designs out there, but there is only one Alden.

    My $0.02

    K9
     
  7. alexandros
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    alexandros Junior Member

    Thank you all for your posts.

    I totally agree with what you all say. For this reason, from the beginning, my strategy was the one to differentiate through design so i could possibly capitalize first mover's advantage (but at the same time assume all the risks and losses of a first mover.. :) ).

    Richard Atkin + Alik, you are absolutely right. I guess that's why everybody is talking about innovation. Trying to be a step forward.


    Kay9.... :) ... i agree!

    My point, is not that i am considering myself as a super-designer who's about to design the one and only design that none has ever considered before.. Mainly, in a strategic point of view i am trying to investigate how i could/should (or shouldn't) pose entry barriers from competitors...
    On the other hand, of course it's also all this Silicon Valley open innovation concept that helps industries to evolve and break through...
     
  8. idkfa
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    idkfa Senior Member

    Patents are no longer about inventions but about staking exclusive claim (to a market) to maximize profit by monopoly. The criteria for obtaining a patent is VERY easily met but can you defend and enforce your patent once obtained? Do you have money to?

    Works of art, like boats are eligible for copyrights, which are world wide, free and last 70 years not 20.

    That said, one needs to decide on the merits of the design. The JS9000 was "new" and successfully defended by copyright.

    Any comments on just how successful patents like:
    The VARA rudder,
    Shock boats,
    Hobie tri-foiler,
    Sailboard/windsurfer patent wars are/were?

    To have a worldwide patent requires patenting in about 50 countries, so most just patent in the US, the biggest market.

    Only about 1 in 50 patents actually make the inventor any money (ref: Nolo's Patents for Beginners). So the rule is, only patent if you will market yourself. You will not be able you sell your patent for lots of money to some company (eg. Dyson – vacuum cleaner, Hickman - workmate.) but you might a marketed product. Even then it could be quickly modified and copied.

    A boat is a shape, wants the merits of the design, what makes it unique? Are is it/are you clever enough to express it in a defendable doc.
     

  9. Kay9
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: Central Coast Oregon US.

    Kay9 1600T Master

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