I should be able to find it - when I do, I’ll post a link.
Thanks mitch, good advice.
Although some patents can be designed around legally (because they are narrow in scope, for example), a properly drafted patent covers the core or most basic elements of the invention and therefore encompasses (intentionally and legally) many commercially viable modifications (and, therefore, you would possibly be able to stop such non-duplicate copies - referred to above).
Moreover, if you have a U.S patent, you could potentially stop Chinese manufacurers (or copiers from any other country) literally at the border - that is, you can block importation of infringing goods (among many other remedies). Of course, you can also obtain Chinese patent protection and theoretically stop things directly in China.
In short - there are good patents and bad, but if you have a good one - they work.
Whether or not a name by itself sells is one thing (which is sometimes true, others not), but - just to be clear - trademarking words/phrases used in association with your goods does not prevent someone from copying the goods themselves - just from using the words/phrases on similar goods in a way which is “likely to confuse” relevant members of the public.
Oh yeah? Is that how ‘business’ works?
I had a misguided friend who was also similarly confused about making ‘deals and money’.
The Landmark HotelCasino in Vegas was going out of business, its sort of a mushroom shaped building/hotel.
His idea was to market it as a UFO themed hotel/casino as a means to turn it around…he made an appt. with a top executive to pitch his theme idea.
My friend had no experience with architecture, interior design, knew nothing of finance,marketing or research,had no money men, no costume design exp.,no hotel management degree, in fact nothing past High School, etc, etc
He was just a no-talent schlub who thought an idea and being the first to pitch it was a ‘get rich ticket’.
Never mind the fact that UFO themes dont exactly ‘glamorize gambling’, which is sort of a primary goal.
His meeting didnt last very long.
The ‘told you so’s’ came before his personal crash.
In a similar vein, any business can change it decorative theme or abbreviate its business name or even rename themselves
whatever they want, even start making their paper clips 10% smaller, without being beholden to some no talent schlub who thought it was their idea first.
This is it - kind of looks fun (that may just be because the swell is tiny right now), but who knows.
There are others out there as well, of course.
At the ,!!risk of sounding"silly",why does it always have to be about money?Here's a novel concept.What if the people who make money from exploiting the sheep,put sum of their profit bak into building reefs to support their ever expanding"market"?
Matt, the Goofboard looks good,more like balancing on a tightrope tho, very similar to the Indo Board and a few others too.
I cant see the goofboard having any of the up/down motion of surfing or the 'yaw' associated with turning a board left or right but its the one that looks best in motion.
A lot of boards have one or the other but none have all three directions of surfing movement simultaneously. If there is no existing product that offers all 3 directions then my idea is possibly unique. ( until someone drops in with a link )
Im still doing the prototype testing but I suppose 'due diligence' means that Ive got to check that Im not stepping on someone elses patent.
Silverbak, I wish all companies gave back to the communities who support them but its all about the shareholders these days. For me its about the money because I cant buy food with love.
Not with this body...
Hi Brett -
Here's a marketing tip for ya no matter what you're selling....
"For the EXTREME HARDCORE user ONLY!!!"
Every wannabe kook in the universe seems to fall for that one.
Make sure the model in the ad is a gnarly looking dude sporting a shaved head, goatee, with piercings and tats galore. The new and improved role model for impressionable kids of all ages is sure to trigger increased sales.
Hi John, despite the obvious humour in your comment, its an iron clad certainty that I will use that exact marketing approach.
Some product sites have middle aged dudes as their front men. Most likely the inventor. However it appears that in marketing products to the younger members of society that the persona of a gnarly dude with 'tude gets them every time.
If that works, then I'd be a fool to not use the 'EXTREME HARDCORE' marketing approach.
With the marketing all sorted, the next part would be the actual design, and how important is the design of any product ? Does a new product need to be new in design ?
Does a new surf product need to break new design barriers or does it just need to be in a shiny colour with a funky name. I notice how many surfboard shapes have names, but are the boards appreciably different in design ?
How much of a new surfboard design or product needs to be new or can it just be a copy with changes ?
Turning surf knowledge into money.
**What kind of knowledge do you have?
Regardless of how good you may think you have it down there is one factor that determines if you make money at this:
LOST - Market genius!
Channel Islands - BEST SURF TEAM in the WORLD!
RUSTY - Shaping Craftsman with proven designs!
STRETCH - QUALITY, INTEGRITY, PROVEN!
JS - ANDY IRONS!
DHD - MICK FANNING!
JC - Shane Dorian!
ARROW - THE BOARDS WORK!
All these boards have QUALITY CONTROL as well.
The shaping staffs at these companies are incredible in their own right.
The leadership skills is what set these brands apart. Without a strong Leader, Director, Kahuna or Mentor a surf company of any kind will fail.
Say what you want about any of these Brands however they all make boards that work! There are many others of course and the list is pretty large.
To be added to this list is like trying to be a movie star.
We have great shapers in:
Hawaii, Australia, South Africa, France, California, Florida, Brazil, Peru, Japan and the world over.
I hope you have that special Quality to set yourself apart. There are 1,000’s of good board builders today whereas there was only a few back in the day.
To break out now is harder than ever.
You need to be core: Live; Sleep; Surf; Shape; Design; Surf; Shape; Sleep; Surf; DESIGN; Shape; Surf; Eat sometimes too. No side jobs just surf and shape. No girl friends or wives to slow you down. TRAVEL and live in the SURF CENTERS: NORTH SHORE for a couple of winters, GOLD COAST for a season, CHILE for a winter, South Africa, Santa Cruz, San Diego, San Clemente, Orange County. Basically the time it would take to go to Med School or MIT. Let’s say 8 to 10 years of development. Experience will set you apart. You will need an education by experience in this case. All the fluff and Market candy will not brand you, You need to be core and have substance! You may have to go without a girlfriend for a few years until you make it. You will need every penny to make boards.
If you want it bad enough go for it!
i find its best not have original ideas.
so its heel and yaw thy are missing?
well thats easy, put an inner tube
with water in it under the fakie surf board deck
and there ya go...
the market for kow-shipness
is a grand hustle that dates back in time
to every understimulated soul with disposable wealth.
send a letter out to all them who's deprived of info
set a price and teachem how to get old,
make it look really hard,sell it on the backs of comics.
other old guys will scoff dont advertize in the qqrp magazine .
I personally have applied for a pattent on the ageing process for
surfers,any body who doesent get my book will be doomed
to staying young and stoopid as a box of potatoes ...
the patent should be coming soon and I plan to knock all those
othyer pretender I surf guys books off the new york times best sellers list...
oh yeah you'll have really missed it if you dont grow old
it's so bitchin...everybody will try to do it
but only the ones who Buy My BOOK
will be allowed to do it with impunity...
Too funny…I had to give you a prop for that one.,
I got stories on TM’s, SM’s, and the patent thing but some other time.
Ambrose, usually I try to read your posts but Im not smart enough to decipher all the clues and references. But I understood that one.
Whens the book out ?
There’s a lot of good advice on this thread…Matt, Surffoils, SD, and some funny stuff too.
I went the route of creating a widget in the hope that I could make money while sleeping at night. It all started with a friend of mine who has gazillions of dollars and his wife wanted some platforms that kept their dogs’ bowls from sliding around on the floor. She’s a pretty sharp lady…actually designed their 13,000 sq ft. Hacienda in the SB foothills. They had some chimney flue material left over and she had their handyman take one half cut a hole into one. This produced an arched bowl holder that was easy for their big dogs to eat from. One thing led to another, and the idea to produce a product got thrown over to me.
The problems involved with this idea was an inherent weakness of the structure and excess weight. It was also labor intense and expensive to produce. There was potential though, and no lack of funding to bring the idea to fruition. The journey took me in many directions, in keeping with what some others have done on this thread…TM’s (Trademark), SM (Signature Mark), Patent Search,Architectural Drawigs, Company creation, amongst other formalities.
Long story short, I evolved the concept into a design company that could introduce new consumer products once this item had gone thru the usual course of Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline. I had also taken the original design, trademarked as “Dine Eze” and had expanded the concept to include it as “Plant Eze” so that the product not only serve as a raised platform for ease of canine feeding, but also had appeal for raising potted plants off peope’s wood floors, and such, offering them in a variety of nice interior designer type materials.
In the process I decided that a variety of pricepoints made sense, and this led me to research and develop models that could sell in big box discount stores by offering low cost molded plastic units from China. I also had appealing wood versions which involved using some existing shapes I found in the furniture belt of the Souhern United States, and I even had some very glam units made of polished metal that were strictly for rich folks and would appear in features found in design magazines like “Architectural Digest”.
Others have posted and explained how intensive an undertaking a product of this nature can be, and I can certainly attest to this: I invested the better part of a year in researching and developing what I thought could be an exciting start up for a durable and lasting company. I had incentive to do so, and funding wasn’t an issue, so it was well worth putting time and energy into such a venture. I was truly excited at the idea of being a partner in a well founded design company that once we got out there and established our distribution network, we could just keep on keeping on with some cool new designs for cnsumers…products for anyone and everyone the world over.
You might ask where does the " turn surf knowledge into money" come into play? Well, the first prototype weighed in at 28 lbs. and trying to make them and get them to market was a nightmare: at least a third of them broke while handling them, and it was verty apparent to me the terra cota flue approach was a no go. This resulted in my building a mold that allowed me to use other materials like terra cota concrete and fiber without the need to bore a hole into it. I was keen on reducing the weight while upping the strength. I eventually found a large company that does many architectural projects in private estates and shopping malls across America. I sent my mold to Arizona (where they are based) and told them what I was after.
They have concrete that can set incredibly fast (5 minutes) to a near full strength cure. When they received my mold, they contacted me, and told me “we can’t put enough of our material into your mold to make it work…concrete doesn’t work that way, it has to have volume…think of bridge overpasses you see on the freeway”.
I told them this “I think of it differently than you guys, see, I’m a surfboard manufacturer, and what I want you to do is different. Now you are thinking roads and overpasses, and they have a lot of concrete for strength, but they also have rebar and metal rods. What I want you to do is think of your concrete as merely ‘window dressing’. I made this mold so the concrete looks good in terra cota or whatever colors we want to do, for looks from the outside; everything else I did in the mold was to save weight. I want you to use long strands of reinforcing and put as many long strands as you can into the mix…then pour it and tell me what you get.”
They called me back later that day totally flabbergasted and said “well, you’ve got one on us, we did it as you said not thinking it would work, but we put the strand reinforcing in and used our quick curing formula, and after 5 mintues we had a 180 lb. guy stand on top of it…it didn’t break, in fact it didn’t even crack”!
“You surfboard guys are pretty sharp”!
So that was the part that fits this thread. I now had a product that reduced the weight by about 40% and saved a ton of labor cost. Since then, I have found new ways to reinforce and produce weights by even more, and this is all due to my past experience in surfboard construction.
The final note on all this history is that even after all this R&D and triumph, i still had to get the product to market which demanded marketing and building a distributon network. I worked all of this out only to have the gazillionaire become bored with the project and never allow it a chance to fly. I had many interested vendors ranging from large volume discount chains, to specialty mailorder magazines, to high line furniture outlets. I had all the logistics figured out from landing the product in San Pedro, to their transport to a packaging and distribution source (using disabled workers that would benefit from the work), and many other aspects too lengthy to go into here.
Just suffice to say, people come up with new ideas every day (I have a book full of them). Whether you can get it to market or not and make money, is an entirely different thing. I didn’t focus on the surfing industry. I don’t think there is enough money to be had in the industry on the whole. My designs and direction were focused for general consumers. Kind of like the guy who designs a better fitting toilet seat. During this whole process I spoke to Costco, Ikea, Wal Mart, K Mart, molders in China, Hong Kong and Ohio, and numerous catalog companies. If nothing else, it was a great learning experience.
I watched this same guy, that was funding the project lose $100 mil. and it never even slowed him down. He was later diagnosed with A.D.D. and that is probably what ultimately caused the demise of this project. Go figure.
Nice one Deadshaper, its a pity that so many ideas dont make it to market, theres probably so many wonderful things and processes that just faltered at a crucial step and never continued.
I hope you were paid for all your effort and ingenuity.
In my own small way Ive been able to use the mechanics of board design and construction to make all sorts of non-related items....
a non drip downpipe
a straight shooting golf club
minimalist folding pram for travelling
a ski-sled for sliding a pram up /down steps
breakfast bowl that keeps your cereal crunchy
and a ton of other stuff I cant remember now.
Whats your take on making a lighter surfboard that is not only strong but also UV stable and doesn’t deck dent?
Oh yeah and it doesn’t cost anymore to make than a PU/POLY!
Between you and Dead we should have something killer however at that point you may not want to share your secretes on this site?
Surfding, like all of us I've spent many thousands of wistful hours looking for the next leap in surfboard construction, but I truly think that the shortboard design has now become so refined that it will be the design that will have to change first before any real changes in construction can occur.
Sure there will always be incremental and evolutionary technical advances, but as for a revolutionary change to 'wafer' design ?.....I think we've exhausted the available and economical possibilities for now. Until they invent an Ultra carbon/helium composite so boards can get even thinner with less volume.
A lot of things have reached a design impasse.
Right on…I agree then go kinda the other direction. I think what makes for a breakthrough is to make the boards weigh next to nothing…a pound, or ounces or something. Then the actual designs have to rise to greatness to facilitate this breakthrough. I guess we have been able to concetpualize and put into theory tow boards with footstraps…this came from two engineers that were able to conceptualize a board with a sail that they could surf in Long Beach after work when it was blown out, and so on.
Everything feeds into something else. We crossed over a lot of stuff from sailboards to surfboards…but some of the stuff we crossed over came from somewhere else…snowskis, skateboards, and far more obscure and more removed from surfboards.
The exciting thing is to be able to design something that begins as a dream…then once we are into the chase, it becomes a matter of OMG, WE ARE DOING IT!! … NOW HOW DO WE MAKE IT WORK?
We can ride a one pound board in double overhead Rincon or Trestles or Honolua or Bells…its just HOW?
Once we get to that point, surfing will be the closest thing to astral projection