Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Moth Patents?

I read on the Bladerider site :
Mike McAuley, CEO, says ".the capital has been used to kick start the marketing campaigns in US, New Zealand and South Africa and parts of Europe. It will also be used to complete registration of patents and design internationally and expand the production facilities."


I do not understand Business talk but I wonder what is there in the Bladerider design to patent:
- The hydrofoil system copied from Fastacraft?
- The rudder angle of attack mechanism copied from International 14s?
- The flotation in the wing bars which we did for years?
- The easy pack up ideas which are a collection of ideas?
- That small hull like the M3?
- The rig nearly identical to the all Modern Moths?
- That it is 11 foot long?

It is clearly ridicules to think that the Bladerider is new. It is a bloody good boat that puts together a lot of established ideas and evolves them on to the next generation.

I had a go in a Bladerider for the first time last weekend and I like the boat a lot. It makes me think of copying and evolving some of the ideas in the build of my new boat. But do I need a lawyer now to compete on the IMCA circuit?

It is clear to me that the BR has to protect its considerable investment, and no normal Moth sailor gives a fuck about patents, because it is flattery when you are copied and evolution is the game we love. There is no way that the sprint of the class would survive without the fantastic relaxed attitude to evolution of ideas. Each builder that makes the next design iteration profits from it.

So is this something to get upset about or is this some techy Moth sailor that does not understand the Business talk? Maybe the patent is on the name and Logo which as far as I know are original. Wait a minute Blade and Rider are not new words. There was Bladerunner a film and Lowriders are are term coined to refer to Moths without hydrofoils. Is this a new idea or an evolution.

I do not like patents at all in any industry. They kill innovation, restrict medical care, and hand control from engineers to lawyers who profit from killing innovation in the name of protecting the investment of the the big companies who are the only ones that can afford lawyers. The Moth is growing up fast and maybe this is a part of playing with the big boys and girls, but more likely it is some techy Moth sailor that does not understand the Business talk but can not resist "Stoking the fire".

Disclaimer:
The above article is all my own ideas and work. I developed the English language, invented computers and build the servers, network and your computer, to enable you to read it. The Moth class was my idea and I invented Internet Mothing and the Bladerider. Therefore any ideas you have after reading this (including "Shut the fuck up Doug") will be subject to royalty fees.

5 comments:

Mikey C said...

Oh boy! This could get fun...

Hepialidae said...

Well dip me in honey and throw me to the kiwi rugby team...

The moth is a development class by definition. The day someone manages to patent 'development', I'll be a monkey's uncle, aunt and weird cousin.

In the meantime I won't be losing any sleep over this as my new carbon (TM)/foam (TM) sandwich (TM) three-pronged (pat pending), mast (TM) prodder/spreader-combo-unit (TM) cures in the shed. ;)

There, should be getting sued any day now. :P

Jon
AUS 9367

koos said...

Great post Doug. I read this patent thing as silly lawyers stuff. But, if I were in Bladerider corp. I would hate someone copy the boat and make money of it. It would be cool to clone Rohan a few times as well in the process ;) I think single moth sailors and builders need not worry.
It is great we have the Bladerider and the pr with it. With 3 new boats on the way in Holland it will enable us to have a real dutch championships since a long time!

Cheers,

Koos
http://internationalmoth.wordpress.com/

Rohan said...

i don't even know what patents mike is applying for, but i assume it is the logo and name. i will be suprised if any part will be patented as you simply cannot if any idea has been out in the market for more than 1 year or extremely unique.

only a few bits on our boat are unique, and if there is a patent on any part, i am sure someone will come up with something better if they want to use any of amac's ideas to get around the patent.

from my experience, patents are very expensive and rarely do anything to protect the business unless there is significant amounts of money at stake.

i wouldn't worry about this too much.

Doug Culnane said...

Mike C you are right it is fun. You stock the fire and then sit back and watch it burn.

After initial worries I am also a big fan of the Bladerider. I am helping to promote it and any other Moth in my area. It is now realistic that I will once again be able to mess around at weekends in a fleet of Moths and that is worth a great deal to me. The Bladerider has played a role in enabling this. So this is not about BR Bashing for the fun of it.

It is a hard marriage to pull of between corporate finance and blocks tinkering in there sheds but this one is working surprisingly well. I just wanted to point out that in my view patents are a big "No not in this house you don't".

I am not a lawyer so I do not really understand this properly. So lets wait to see what is actually under patent before I get even more excited. I hope that a quick counseling session will help us clear the tension and laugh about it all so we can get back in to the Moth sex.

Lots of Love,

Doug