designs - evolution - lifting

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blues
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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby blues » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:07 am

Years ago I used to get pretty worked up about plagiarism in the knife world, especially when it came to recognizable work like Fred Perrin's "La Griffe" among others.

I had a long talk about the subject with the late Kit Carson years ago and he basically said that there was nothing new under the sun and that we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. (Carson was widely recognized for the "flipper".)

I can see both points of view...but I admire most those who do the right thing when no one is looking, and pay homage with respect, if not treasure.
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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Ankerson » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:12 am

blues wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:07 am
Years ago I used to get pretty worked up about plagiarism in the knife world, especially when it came to recognizable work like Fred Perrin's "La Griffe" among others.

I had a long talk about the subject with the late Kit Carson years ago and he basically said that there was nothing new under the sun and that we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. (Carson was widely recognized for the "flipper".)

I can see both points of view...but I admire most those who do the right thing when no one is looking, and pay homage with respect, if not treasure.


Same here.

Although when I BUY something I spend my money on the original.. ;)

Just saying.

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby blues » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:17 am

I'm with you, Jim. I don't buy clones. If I don't buy a custom from the original maker, I'll buy an authorized production piece if I want something similar.
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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Larrin » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:22 am

It's much easier to copy than it is to innovate. But copiers sometimes think they have demonstrated their competence by simply copying. It takes a very short period of time for people to forget who originated an idea and it seemingly becomes part of the open domain. Innovators are often forgotten.
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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Ankerson » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:23 am

blues wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:17 am
I'm with you, Jim. I don't buy clones. If I don't buy a custom from the original maker, I'll buy an authorized production piece if I want something similar.


Yep, they are just not the same, doesn't have the same pride of ownership as having the original does. :)

Like buying a Randall instead of one of the clones as an example.

Obviously the quality wouldn't be the same, nor would there be any sort of collector value when compared to the original.

And every original Randall is unique as they are hand forged custom knives.
Last edited by Ankerson on Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby James Y » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:34 am

blues wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:07 am
Years ago I used to get pretty worked up about plagiarism in the knife world, especially when it came to recognizable work like Fred Perrin's "La Griffe" among others.

I had a long talk about the subject with the late Kit Carson years ago and he basically said that there was nothing new under the sun and that we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. (Carson was widely recognized for the "flipper".)

I can see both points of view...but I admire most those who do the right thing when no one is looking, and pay homage with respect, if not treasure.
I agree. The very least someone can do is give some acknowledgement where it is due. I would have no problem doing that, if I were ever in that position. A rising tide raises all boats, as they say.

Jim

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Sumdumguy » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:39 am

If you use someone else's invention/idea on something for profit, you should pay royalties to the inventor. If they are not alive and their company is no longer around, the same royalty should be donated to a worthy cause.

It's a matter of principle. Give credit where credit is due or use the profits to do good in the world.

People lack honor these days, I picked up a cash payment from a customer's house the other day and didn't count it. No issue, they were good people. When I counted it later, there was $25 too much in the envelope.

I could've kept it and never said a word, but that would be wrong. I drove back to her home that afternoon and returned the overpayment. Her response was, "Why?!".

That struck a chord with me, she was honestly shocked that I would return money that she was unaware she had overpayed.
It's sad that the world is like this now, but that's where I come in.

Why did I return the money? It's seemingly inconsequential, yet I felt the need to return it. Why? Because it didn't belong to me. I made the mistake of not counting it on the spot(storm schedule). So I righted my mistake and in doing so, earned a customer who will speak nothing but praise about me and I will good karma in the future.

I take pride in being reliable, honest and highly skilled in my trade. The world lacks that today.
Very few people are reliable, even less are honest and don't get me started about skills(lack of).

Be good and do good, if for nothing other than the knowledge that you did.

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby koenigsegg » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:12 am

While being copied is flattering, if they're making handy profits on your design you should get your share.
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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby sal » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:25 am

Hi Jim, Deacon,

I don't think it's a big deal and not worth talking to anyone. And as Paul mentioned, clips have been around since before I was born. I just thought it would make interesting conversation. Sometimes it's a matter of degree.

Hey Darby,

I think that Eric, Gail and I are doing OK, but we also work very hard. I think the system is as fair as it can be and I would rather see a good idea shared by all rather than ***** about "I, Me Mine" or have it buried. We used Al Mar's front lock, but we also asked him first. But Al was a friend of mine. We are also fortunate in that we continue to innovate. Most are not able to continually innovate. I don't think this discussion will change anything. I was just curious as to your thoughts. We have some very bright people that visit here and their thoughts are always valuable.

Where we have legal protection in the way of patents or trademarks, we litigate hard.

Hi Sumdumguy,

We teach by example and your doing the right thing pays in good thoughts, Karma, and who knows what else. Even though it took extra time, it was a good example, in my opinion. Gail and I always try to do the right thing and we have been quite fortunate in our lives. Don't know what it is; Karma, God, etc., but We say "It''s too much luck to be luck".

Hi, Koenigsegg,

There was no legal protection on the design so any "getting my share" would not be realistic. There are many people in this world and many of them come up with good ideas. That's how humans progress and why we are special. As mentioned, we stand on the shoulders of others which permits us to see farther.

sal

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Bill1170 » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:26 am

Another interesting point about imitators is this. Those who merely copy a design often lack the deeper understanding of how it works that the designer has. This can lead to visually identical product that doesn’t work as well as the original does.

I have a friend who invented a tool that has been copied several times, but never successfully. The reason his imitators failed in the market is because their clones failed to function correctly. Word got out in the community that uses these tools that only the original is any good, and this is advertising one cannot buy with money.

So there’s hope.

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Ankerson » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:28 am

sal wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:25 am
Hi Jim, Deacon,

I don't think it's a big deal and not worth talking to anyone. And as Paul mentioned, clips have been around since before I was born. I just thought it would make interesting conversation. Sometimes it's a matter of degree.

Hey Darby,

I think that Eric, Gail and I are doing OK, but we also work very hard. I think the system is as fair as it can be and I would rather see a good idea shared by all rather than ***** about "I, Me Mine" or have it buried. We used Al Mar's front lock, but we also asked him first. But Al was a friend of mine. We are also fortunate in that we continue to innovate. Most are not able to continually innovate. I don't think this discussion will change anything. I was just curious as to your thoughts. We have some very bright people that visit here and their thoughts are always valuable.

Where we have legal protection in the way of patents or trademarks, we litigate hard.

Hi Sumdumguy,

We teach by example and your doing the right thing pays in good thoughts, Karma, and who knows what else. Even though it took extra time, it was a good example, in my opinion. Gail and I always try to do the right thing and we have been quite fortunate in our lives. Don't know what it is; Karma, God, etc., but We say "It''s too much luck to be luck".

Hi, Koenigsegg,

There was no legal protection on the design so any "getting my share" would not be realistic. There are many people in this world and many of them come up with good ideas. That's how humans progress and why we are special. As mentioned, we stand on the shoulders of others which permits us to see farther.

sal

Hi Sal,

It didn't sound like you were really all that worried about it. :)

Jim

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:49 am

sal wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:50 am
This is mostly for discussion as I'm interested in your opinions on the subject.

I just purchased a Surefire "Stlileto". I like Surefire as they are tough, bright, made in the USA and they are passionate about their products, which I always respect. I've never liked their clips and felt that their ergos could improve, but ergos are very difficult on a torch. The new model is very bright, a plus, and is rechargeable, another plus, and it offers multiple strengths, which is important for some. . It also has a much improved clip, which was lifted from my hourglass clip design which took me many years to refine to where it is now. I realize that designs refine, improve and evolve and I prefer the function of their new clip.

I'm not saying it's good or bad, it just is. I was curious as to what you thought about "lifting" designs from other companies?

When I first invented the pocket clip for knives, (1980) only 3 companies used the idea and paid us a royalty. Benchmade, Gerber and Cold Steel. Although virtually every knife company in the world has used or now offers a pocket clip on their knives.

Thoughts?

sal
In my opinion lifting designs from other companies is by the very phrase "Lifting" damning and pretty much says it all, there are things that one should do and try there very best To Do and then there are things that are Not To Do. Lifting another companies design falls squarely into the Not To Do category.

It all goes back to grade school really from the very start we are taught not to copy someone else's work.

In the case of someone lifting a design it is clearly a matter of the courts to prosecute or for the parties involved to come to an equitable agreement between themselves.

Were I you Sal and know the clip design is copyrighted I would approach the company and discuss this with them as a matter of doing business and come to what you feel is fair and equitable for the use of your design perhaps even a collaboration of some sort to further promote both companies. If they refuse then that is when it is time to let the courts handle the case.

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby sal » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:57 am

Hi DoesWhatever,

There is no copyright on the design and I don't mind their using it. It really improves their torch over previous clip designs. Where something really makes a difference, we'll patent, trademark or copyright.

sal

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Ankerson » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:59 am

As far as some things go such as knives in general there really hasn't been much that hasn't been done already and a VERY long time ago as far as basic designs go.

Especially when it comes to blade shapes/design.

Some go back thousands of years.

That said it is difference IMO when something is basically a clone of something else.

That's when I put on the brakes...

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:44 pm

sal wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:57 am
Hi DoesWhatever,

There is no copyright on the design and I don't mind their using it. It really improves their torch over previous clip designs. Where something really makes a difference, we'll patent, trademark or copyright.

sal
Well then since you are glad they are using it then how can I feel defensive for you :)

Heart warming in a way to see how good you are being about this, they are most fortunate indeed.

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Surfingringo » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:42 pm

It’s an interesting topic but not such a simple one. A few years ago someone got the idea that a round piece of stone would roll better than any other shape. Someone else was bright enough to use that as a wheel for supporting and moving larger objects. It was a good idea and they certainly deserved a back pat and the largest cut of the saber tooth steak at dinner time but how much control should they have had over who could use a wheel? And for how long?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the idea of intellectual property...at all! I’m just playing devil’s advocate. Not allowing one to profit for their thoughts and inventions stifles progress. But so does giving every person complete “ownership” of anything they might come up with. I think there is a proper balance to be found and I believe that US law does a pretty good job of maintaining that balance.

As far as how I handle the subject personally, I like thinking and designing and inventing, whether it’s knives or music or just my own philosophies. I do it because I was created to do it, not to get rich or to be held in high esteem by my fellow man. If I can make a few bucks and enrich a few lives along the way then so much the better but I won’t lose any sleep if someone else runs with my ideas and makes a bigger profit from them than I do. Ultimately I think I’m too lazy to get resentful over someone stealing an idea. Take it. I’ve got more. Life on this planet is very very short and I have plenty of ideas to see me through. There is no greater waste of time and energy than harboring resentment and at the end of the day, things like material wealth and “legacy” matter very little to me.

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby Ankerson » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:56 pm

Surfingringo wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:42 pm
It’s an interesting topic but not such a simple one. A few years ago someone got the idea that a round piece of stone would roll better than any other shape. Someone else was bright enough to use that as a wheel for supporting and moving larger objects. It was a good idea and they certainly deserved a back pat and the largest cut of the saber tooth steak at dinner time but how much control should they have had over who could use a wheel? And for how long?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the idea of intellectual property...at all! I’m just playing devil’s advocate. Not allowing one to profit for their thoughts and inventions stifles progress. But so does giving every person complete “ownership” of anything they might come up with. I think there is a proper balance to be found and I believe that US law does a pretty good job of maintaining that balance.

As far as how I handle the subject personally, I like thinking and designing and inventing, whether it’s knives or music or just my own philosophies. I do it because I was created to do it, not to get rich or to be held in high esteem by my fellow man. If I can make a few bucks and enrich a few lives along the way then so much the better but I won’t lose any sleep if someone else runs with my ideas and makes a bigger profit from them than I do. Ultimately I think I’m too lazy to get resentful over someone stealing an idea. Take it. I’ve got more. Life on this planet is very very short and I have plenty of ideas to see me through. There is no greater waste of time and energy than harboring resentment and at the end of the day, things like material wealth and “legacy” matter very little to me.

Obviously it is a complicated subject.

Patents do run out after time.

Like I said my issue is with obvious clones and or blatant copies and or counterfeit items.

I don't lose any sleep over it though as MOST of the time nothing can really be done about it without a lot of expense and complications of international laws.

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby dj moonbat » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:15 pm

I think Spyderco’s design innovations are important, but it’s the build quality that keeps me coming back. And build quality isn’t something that can be knocked off. The compression lock, for instance, is probably at or near the end of its patent protection. But aside from a few custom makers who might use the lock, I don’t know that I’d trust anybody else to get it right. I definitely wouldn’t be rushing out to buy Chinese implementations of the lock at rock-bottom prices, like the implementations of the Axis lock that came out when its patent ran out.

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby JacksonKnives » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:36 am

"Lifted" is stronger wording than I would use. A debt of inspiration, for sure.

Inspiration that jumps from one industry/task is also tricky to attribute. I've always wondered if the Spyderco wire clip was inspired by the Lamy Safari pen clip. ;)

Even the most iconic designs (I'm talking on a scale of history, not just the last 50 years) in knives have been clearly and obviously inspired; for the most part the ideas that have obvious utility look and feel similar within the task.

I'd echo the sentiment that buying (not to mention making) a "clone" is beneath honorable men. But I'd also say that if you want to build a tool that does a job better than the specimen you already like, or with a different flair, you should always go for it.

Finding mentors or teachers and working together closely isn't a complete antidote, either. If anything, I've heard more stories of bruised egos from people who thought they had a good relationship with a teacher, only to find out that he expected the student to never grow beyond that role. (Those masters can thrive as superstars for a while, but I think history shows they usually burn out before their time.)

If you build great things, you will inspire people, and they will imitate you.

The best innovators, IMO, find a way to make their work distinct. The utility you can give away—if someone can find a different cost:performance:efficiency balance than you or a tweak that excels in a certain end-user application, fantastic. You have a target for your own R&D.

It's the distinctive touches of your own work that should be your trademark. Not just the obvious functional design pieces; you can't screw a clip onto an AMK SERE, drill a hole in the blade and say it's just like a Spyderco. It shares some heritage and functionality, but it's like the designer was speaking a different language, or painting with different colors.

What's exciting for me about new makers is watching them take the same old problems — blade geometry, handle ergonomics, deployment — and answer the questions in a way that addresses a need you didn't know you had.

In literature, art and even science many of the greatest discoveries or innovations came out of an effort to adapt something that was already popular for a new purpose. I'm glad that the knife community has Sal to look up to and ask questions of and learn hard lessons from. I also respect that he takes the time to bare his soul a little now and again.

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Re: designs - evolution - lifting

Postby nativeleek » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:47 am

sal wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:32 pm
Hi VooDooChild,

I agree and that's why I said it's not good or bad. The world may need an idea for the betterment of humanity. I'm not complaining, just gathering opinions. There are many countries like China that do not think an idea should be anything but public from the git-go. The USA is one of the countries that offers protection in the way of patents, trademarks and copyright. I would guess that is because of Capitalism in the US where protection helps the idea maker verses Communism where everything is shared.

When Eric and I were visiting factories in China, the makers were sincerely thanking us for creating such good designs that they could use to make money to feed their families.

sal
Hi Sal,

I am a Chinese and also a loyal fan to Spyderco. I buy every one of my knives, regardless of the brand, from authorized dealers and I hate knockoffs just like I hate thieves and murderers.

Innovation and IP protection are highly encouraged nowadays in China. In many industries like communications, mobile internet and manufacturing, companies are paying a tremendous amount of money to issue patents.

As for knife industry, as you may know, knives are actually strictly restricted in China. Carrying any folding knife with a locking mechanism, a tip angle less than 60 degrees or an overall length more than 15cm is forbidden. Therefore, most of the knife companies and factories in China are very low profile. Some of the most famous companies like WE and Kizer just don't sell their products directly to Chinese customers because of the law. Other small companies are mostly run by knife enthusiasts who can't make much money because they are not supported and protected by the knife law and they cannot sell their products on the open market. Due to all the facts, small knife workshops have no motivation to innovate and the knockoffs you often see are probably made by them.

All in all, China is becoming very different from what it was like twenty or thirty years ago. Innovation and IP protection are in almost everyone's mind and the government has also made big efforts to protect people and companies that innovate.

However I still don't buy Chinese knives, not because they're poorly made, but because they are not good enough. And I really look forward to seeing more collaborations between Spyderco and factories from China.



Best Regards,
Lu
Delica 4, Dragonfly 2, Native 5, Sage 5, Chaparral, Techno 2, Positron, SpydieChef, Para 3, Lil' Native lockback


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