One among Australia’s most celebrated modern inventors will lock horns by having an alleged copycat that states be get yourself ready for a global launch.
Flow Hive designed a hive which allows honey to flow the front into collection jars, representing the first modernisation in the manner beekeepers collect honey. It took a decade to build up.
Alleged copycat Tapcomb is undertaking a thorough social media advertising campaign claiming being the world’s first truly bee-friendly tappable hive, contacting flow beehive via Facebook retargeting.
Tapcomb has adopted similar phrases including being “gentle on bees” and offering beekeepers “honey on tap”. However, it told MySmallBusiness there are actually substantial differences in between the two hive producers.
Flow Hive co-inventor Cedar Anderson said Flow Hives are patented worldwide. His lawyers are already not able to uncover patents for Tapcomb.
“The frame they show with their marketing video appears similar to cheap Chinese copies we’ve seen, which we know infringes on many aspects of the Flow Hive intellectual property. Where necessary, we are going to attempt 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 promote first. It appears just like a blatant patent infringement in my opinion,” he says.
Flow Hive made global headlines when its crowdfunding bid broke all fundraising records on platform Indiegogo, raising more than $13 million. The campaign lay out to raise $100,000, but astonished including the inventors when it raised $2.18 million within the first round the clock.
Flow Hives have since been adopted by beekeepers in additional than 100 countries and boasts more than 40,000 customers, mostly within australia as well as the US. The company now employs 40 staff.
Tapcomb, however, claims its hive design to be substantially different, conceding that the dimensions are exactly like Flow Hive.
“Much 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 like someone has stolen something out of your house and you’ve got to deal with it while you really only want to jump on with performing a job you’re extremely keen about.
Tapcomb hives are being tested by beekeepers in Tasmania, Britain, Hong Kong and Greece, he says. “We decide to launch Tapcomb worldwide in order to provide consumers a selection of products.”
However, Anderson says the internal workings of Tapcomb appear to be just like a young 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 flow frame set even offers basics. An address search reveals a residential townhouse that available in late January. Other online searches list Tapcomb as being 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 or she is hunting for a manufacturer. “The most important thing for people like us is maximum quality at an agreeable price point.”
This isn’t the very first apparent copycat Flow Hive has received to tackle, with strikingly similar products listed on the market on various websites.
“There were a lot of very poor Chinese fakes, and it’s sad to see other people get caught in the trap of purchasing copies, only to be disappointed with sub-standard,” Anderson says.
“Any inventor that develops a new product which has taken off worldwide has to expect opportunistic people to try to take market share. Naturally, there will always be individuals out there ready to undertake this sort of illegal activity for financial gain.
“It is like someone has stolen something out of your house and you’ve got to manage it even if you really simply want to get on with performing a job you’re extremely excited about.”
Asserting ownership of IP rights including patents, trade marks and styles and obtaining appropriate relief could be a challenging exercise for inventors, Wrays patent attorney Andrew Butler says.
“It can be difficult to get legal relief during these scenarios. China is pretty much the Wild West when it comes to theft of property rights, although the Chinese government has brought steps to enhance its IP environment.
“Chinese counterfeiters tend to be mobile, elusive and don’t possess any regard for 3rd party trade mark or any other proprietary rights. These are usually well funded and well advised, and hivve efficient at covering their tracks, rendering it challenging 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 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 for using misleading labelling.
“I feel for an Australian beekeeper and inventor that has done so well and it is now facing the prospect of having his profits skimmed with this profiteering Chinese cowboy no-one has ever read about.
“For an inventor, flow frame set will always be improving his product, and individuals need to remember that the initial will be a lot better than a duplicate.”