LumberJocks

I wish I was that smart...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Blake posted 11-22-2007 08:47 AM 1339 reads 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Has anybody noticed how the half-dozen or so major woodworking stores have been getting their product ideas straight from Shopnotes and similar magazines?

Well, VTwoody has in his blog about a Finger/box joint jig, and so did mski when he pointed it out on my Ripping Jig.

It seems that every time a ww magazine comes out with plans for a new jig, it shows up in the catalogs LIKE CLOCKWORK just a few months later. It is soooooooo annoying!!!

But it is only annoying because I didn’t think to capitalize on it before they did. I wish I had been smart enough to figure out that all I had to do is steal other people’s ideas and then manufacture imitations to sell to the growing consumer market of woodworkers.

Anyway, for anybody who wants to be a millionair, here is the formula:
  • Read Shopnotes and Fine Woodworking magazine
  • Make the same jigs out of anodized aircraft aluminum in some flashy signature color
  • Create a website to sell your jig and watch the cash flow into your bank account from your armchair

If this works, hopefully you will be kind enough to send me some of the money. Or at least the fancy jigs.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com



19 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2908 days


#1 posted 11-22-2007 02:11 PM

well there ya go….
and now LJ gets a commission as well.. lol …
and if I promote it, do I get a cut??

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4438 posts in 2709 days


#2 posted 11-22-2007 03:14 PM

Blake, I think the big companies can eat a product if it doesn’t work. Great ideas are hard to translate into income if you don’t have enough cash to promote them. It is kind of a shame that the wood worker who came up with the idea isn’t paid and credited with it. If you really have a good idea copyright it before you send it out and let the editor know it is copyrighted. Then you can go up against the big companies battery of lawyers and beat your head against that wall. I think the trick is to do your home work on these products and see if they can be sold before you give them away.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

1776 posts in 2738 days


#3 posted 11-22-2007 03:27 PM

Necessity is the muther of invention. Copyrights and patents are the inventors only protection.

Let me know when you get a patent for that “tortise shell, cheese wheel table saw with a picket fence”.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3148 days


#4 posted 11-22-2007 03:52 PM

Interesting indead.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6699 posts in 2727 days


#5 posted 11-22-2007 04:07 PM

Hi Blake;

I have not followed through on several product ideas. Even after getting the prototype built, and then getting side tracked, only to have someone else come out with it several years later.

Like the Senco screw guns, with the screws in a self feeding plastic strip. I could really kick myself for letting that one go. Myself and a friend spent hundreds of hours working on a design and prototype, only to let it sit on a shelf, that was almost identical to the one one the market now.

Now with ezee-feed, I almost had the idea stolen out from under me, so I quickly got a patent applied for. If it weren’t for the guy trying to steal it, it would still only be in my shop. But I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, both in time, money, and work. I don’t know if I would have done it if I knew.

Now , I try not to think because I can’t afford to accidently invent something.LOL

But I can tell you, getting a product to market is very expensive, and takes quite some time to generate an interest in it. I still don’t know if it was a good investment for me, or not.

And fighting patent infringement can cost about $ 250,000., from what my patent lawyer tells me.

It’s a crap shoot. BUT, if you don’t try, youll never know.

One way to look at it is, “if you always do what you alway did, you’ll always get what you always got”.

And the other thing is if you give up, you’ll never know how close you were. That’s scary!!

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View DrSawdust's profile

DrSawdust

313 posts in 2845 days


#6 posted 11-22-2007 04:18 PM

This is very inspiring. I can’t wait to get started.

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2622 days


#7 posted 11-22-2007 04:49 PM

Tools can be really difficult to patent and really difficult to defend the patent if you get one. If you are considering patenting a product, it can be a good idea to get a provisional patent first. This gives you a year of protection while you are searching out someone to patent/produce/market your product. Then, lisence it to them and let them deal with the headaches and pay you a royalty.

But with patent laws only requiring a very slight change to qualify as a different product, I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle. It may be more cost effective to just print “The Original” on your product, and make sure it is better quality than the copycats.

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2847 days


#8 posted 11-22-2007 04:56 PM

I took some classes with through the Small Business Administration and they covered patents and patent law a little bit. Many people just get the patent out and don’t even produce any product. Then eventually someone produces a product that is just like theirs or similar enough that it constitutes infringement. Then the original patent holder sues and wins. They are called “patent trolls” and this is real common with the technology industry (think blackberry technology and recent lawsuits).

The key is to patent your idea as soon as possible, you don’t have to manufacture it. This move gives you first rights to the idea and the money it makes.

There are many people with the same needs and ideas for these solutions will lead to a similar or possibly even an identical result, so this should not be surprising.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2622 days


#9 posted 11-22-2007 05:46 PM

Todd, you’ve obviously had more education on the subject than me … don’t you lose your patent after a few years if you haven’t taken the product to market?

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2847 days


#10 posted 11-22-2007 06:03 PM

Peter – I don’t believe so. When you get the patent the rights are yours whether you manufacture or not. At the moment I can’t remember how long you have the rights, it’s simple stuff that I can’t dredge up from my memory at the moment.

The SBA class was a good overall view of patents but not enough to know the intricacies of the law. I have to say that if you have any opportunities to take classes from the SBA jump on it.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View mrtrim's profile

mrtrim

1696 posts in 2627 days


#11 posted 11-22-2007 06:27 PM

i have paperwork in my closet for filing a patent ive decided not to use. the rewards need to be really huge to make it worthwhile.

View mrtrim's profile

mrtrim

1696 posts in 2627 days


#12 posted 11-22-2007 06:34 PM

i also agree with todd about the classes . where i live its required that we take 7 classes each year to keep our liscense . like everyone else i hated it at first but once i got into it i acually enjoy it

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2847 days


#13 posted 11-22-2007 06:50 PM

That is pretty interesting MrTrim, I wish that there was some real requirements in Montana to validate legitimate contractors. I could license my dogs.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2908 days


#14 posted 11-22-2007 07:05 PM

re: inventions… companies are sometimes on the lookout for ideas and they pay you for the idea and they do all the work.
(I talked with Robin Lee, briefly, about this during my interview with him re: Lee Valley Tools)
His comment was that by the time you pay all the expenses re: getting idea off the ground people rarely make big $$ from it.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View mrtrim's profile

mrtrim

1696 posts in 2627 days


#15 posted 11-22-2007 07:07 PM

i feel your pain todd used to be that way here . the requirements are like a bandaid on a broke leg in a way though the jack legs dont carry a liscense anyway i use it as a sales tool i tell people i charge extra to re do things so in the long run cheaper is more expensive !

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase