One among Australia’s most celebrated modern inventors will lock horns by having an alleged copycat that states be getting yourself ready for a worldwide launch.
Flow Hive developed a hive that enables honey to circulate out your front into collection jars, representing the 1st modernisation in the way beekeepers collect honey. It took ten years to formulate.
Alleged copycat Tapcomb is undertaking a substantial social media campaign claiming to get the world’s first truly bee-friendly tappable hive, contacting flow beehive via Facebook retargeting.
Tapcomb has additionally adopted similar phrases like being “gentle on bees” and offering beekeepers “honey on tap”. However, it told MySmallBusiness you can find substantial differences involving the two hive producers.
Flow Hive co-inventor Cedar Anderson said Flow Hives are patented around the world. His lawyers have already been incapable of uncover patents for Tapcomb.
“The frame they show within their marketing video appears much like cheap Chinese copies we’ve seen, which we know infringes on many areas of the Flow Hive intellectual property. Where necessary, we shall aim to enforce our intellectual property rights decisively,” Anderson says.
“Our patent covers cells that split and honey that drains from the comb, which is precisely what they’re claiming to get bringing to advertise first. It appears just like a blatant patent infringement for me,” he says.
Flow Hive made global headlines when its crowdfunding bid broke all fundraising records on platform Indiegogo, raising greater than $13 million. The campaign lay out to raise $100,000, but astonished even inventors if it raised $2.18 million within the first one day.
Flow Hives have since been adopted by beekeepers in additional than 100 countries and boasts a lot more than 40,000 customers, mostly around australia and the US. The organization now employs 40 staff.
Tapcomb, however, claims its hive design being substantially different, conceding that this dimensions are similar to Flow Hive.
“Very much like lightbulbs, the differentiator is in the internal workings that are the basis for product quality and intellectual property,” US director of parent company Beebot Inc, Tom Kuhn says.
It is like someone has stolen something out of your house and you’ve got to deal with it even when you really only want to hop on with doing a job you’re extremely keen about.
Tapcomb hives are being tested by beekeepers in Tasmania, Britain, Hong Kong and Greece, he says. “We want to launch Tapcomb worldwide to be able to provide consumers a selection of products.”
However, Anderson says the internal workings of Tapcomb appear to be comparable to an earlier Flow Hive prototype, adding that his patent covers the moving parts no matter their depth inside of the hive.
Tapcomb lists its office address as Portland, Oregon, where self tapping beehive also offers a base. An address search reveals a residential townhouse that sold in late January. Other online searches list Tapcomb to be Hong Kong-based.
Kuhn says he has declared patents in the united states, Australia, Hong Kong, China and India. He would not reveal pricing and said he or she is hunting for a manufacturer. “The most important thing for us is maximum quality at an agreeable price point.”
This isn’t the initial apparent copycat Flow Hive has already established to tackle, with strikingly similar products listed on the market on various websites.
“There were lots of very poor Chinese fakes, and it’s sad to find out others get caught in the trap of buying copies, only to be disappointed with low quality,” Anderson says.
“Any inventor that develops a new product which is taking off worldwide has got to expect opportunistic people to try and take market share. Naturally, there are always people out there prepared to undertake these kinds of illegal activity for financial gain.
“It is like someone has stolen something from your house and you’ve got to deal with it even if you really just want to hop on with carrying out a job you’re extremely enthusiastic about.”
Asserting ownership of IP rights such as patents, trade marks and styles and obtaining appropriate relief might be a challenging exercise for inventors, Wrays patent attorney Andrew Butler says.
“It can be hard to have legal relief in these scenarios. China is pretty much the Wild West in relation to theft of property rights, whilst the Chinese government has brought steps to improve its IP environment.
“Chinese counterfeiters tend to be mobile, elusive and don’t possess regard for 3rd party trade mark or some other proprietary rights. These are usually well funded and well advised, and hivve good at covering their tracks, rendering it hard to identify the perpetrators or even to obtain satisfactory legal outcomes.”
Australian beekeeper Simon Mulvany ousted Tapcomb for allegedly copying Flow Hive’s design on his Save the Bees Facebook page in the week.
Mulvany has previously waged a social networking campaign against Australia’s largest honey producer, Capilano, accusing it of selling “toxic” imported honey and for using misleading labelling.
“I feel for an Australian beekeeper and inventor who may have done so well which is now facing the possibilities of having his profits skimmed through this profiteering Chinese cowboy no-one has ever been aware of.
“For an inventor, flow frame kit will definitely be improving his product, and people need to understand that the first will almost always be superior to a duplicate.”