One of Australia’s most celebrated modern inventors will lock horns having an alleged copycat that promises to be get yourself ready for a worldwide launch.
Flow Hive designed a hive that allows honey to flow out your front into collection jars, representing the 1st modernisation in the way beekeepers collect honey. It took ten years to produce.
Alleged copycat Tapcomb is undertaking a comprehensive social media campaign claiming to get the world’s first truly bee-friendly tappable hive, contacting flow beehive via Facebook retargeting.
Tapcomb also has adopted similar phrases including being “gentle on bees” and offering beekeepers “honey on tap”. However, it told MySmallBusiness you can find substantial differences between your two hive producers.
Flow Hive co-inventor Cedar Anderson said Flow Hives are patented all over the world. His lawyers have been incapable of uncover patents for Tapcomb.
“The frame they show with their marketing video appears similar to cheap Chinese copies we’ve seen, which we feel infringes on many areas of the Flow Hive intellectual property. Where necessary, we will aim to enforce our intellectual property rights decisively,” Anderson says.
“Our patent covers cells that split and honey that drains throughout the comb, which is precisely what they’re claiming being bringing to market first. It seems such as a blatant patent infringement to 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 the inventors if it raised $2.18 million in the first round the clock.
Flow Hives have since been adopted by beekeepers in additional than 100 countries and boasts greater than 40,000 customers, mostly in Australia and the US. The business now employs 40 staff.
Tapcomb, however, claims its hive design being substantially different, conceding how the dimensions are similar to Flow Hive.
“Just like lightbulbs, the differentiator is with the internal workings that happen to be the basis for product quality and intellectual property,” US director of parent company Beebot Inc, Tom Kuhn says.
It feels as though someone has stolen something from the house and you’ve got to deal with it even though you really would like to jump on with doing a job you’re extremely keen about.
Tapcomb hives are increasingly being tested by beekeepers in Tasmania, Britain, Hong Kong and Greece, he says. “We decide to launch Tapcomb worldwide to be able to provide consumers a selection of products.”
However, Anderson says the inner workings of Tapcomb appear to be similar to an earlier Flow Hive prototype, adding that his patent covers the moving parts regardless of their depth inside the hive.
Tapcomb lists its office address as Portland, Oregon, where beekeeping supplier also has basics. An address search reveals a residential townhouse that bought from late January. Other online searches list Tapcomb to be Hong Kong-based.
Kuhn says they have filed for patents in the united states, Australia, Hong Kong, China and India. He would not reveal pricing and said he is hunting for a manufacturer. “The biggest thing for all of us is maximum quality at an agreeable price point.”
This isn’t the 1st apparent copycat Flow Hive has had to tackle, with strikingly similar products listed available for sale on various websites.
“We have seen plenty of poor Chinese fakes, and it’s sad to view other individuals fall into the trap of buying copies, just to be disappointed with bad quality,” Anderson says.
“Any inventor that develops a whole new product that has gotten off around the globe must expect opportunistic people to try and take market share. Naturally, you will always find people willing to undertake this type of illegal activity for financial gain.
“It feels like someone has stolen something through your house and you’ve got to handle it even if you really would like to get on with doing a job you’re extremely passionate about.”
Asserting ownership of IP rights for example patents, trade marks and designs and obtaining appropriate relief could be a challenging exercise for inventors, Wrays patent attorney Andrew Butler says.
“It can be hard to have legal relief within these scenarios. China is pretty much the Wild West with regards to theft of property rights, whilst the Chinese government has taken steps to further improve its IP environment.
“Chinese counterfeiters are frequently mobile, elusive and don’t possess regard for third party trade mark or any other proprietary rights. They may be usually well funded and well advised, and hivve efficient at covering their tracks, rendering it difficult to identify the perpetrators or obtain satisfactory legal outcomes.”
Australian beekeeper Simon Mulvany ousted Tapcomb for allegedly copying Flow Hive’s design on his Save the Bees Facebook page this week.
Mulvany has previously waged a social websites campaign against Australia’s largest honey producer, Capilano, accusing it of selling “toxic” imported honey and also for using misleading labelling.
“I feel for an Australian beekeeper and inventor having done so well and is now facing the possibilities of having his profits skimmed from this profiteering Chinese cowboy no-one has ever heard of.
“As being an inventor, bee hive kits will be improving his product, and individuals need to remember that the original will definitely be superior to a copy.”