One among Australia’s most celebrated modern inventors will lock horns with an alleged copycat that promises to be get yourself ready for a worldwide launch.
Flow Hive designed a hive that allows honey to circulate the front into collection jars, representing the initial modernisation in the way beekeepers collect honey. It took ten years to build up.
Alleged copycat Tapcomb is undertaking a thorough social media campaign claiming being the world’s first truly bee-friendly tappable hive, contacting flow hive via Facebook retargeting.
Tapcomb has additionally adopted similar phrases including 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 all over the world. His lawyers have been unable to uncover patents for Tapcomb.
“The frame they show with their marketing video appears just like cheap Chinese copies we’ve seen, which we think infringes on many aspects 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 through the comb, which is exactly what they’re claiming being bringing to promote first. It appears 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 a lot more than $13 million. The campaign lay out to boost $100,000, but astonished including the inventors in the event it raised $2.18 million inside the first 24 hours.
Flow Hives have since been adopted by beekeepers in than 100 countries and boasts a lot more than 40,000 customers, mostly within australia and also the US. The organization now employs 40 staff.
Tapcomb, however, claims its hive design to be substantially different, conceding the dimensions act like Flow Hive.
“Similar to lightbulbs, the differentiator is within the internal workings that are the foundation for product quality and intellectual property,” US director of parent company Beebot Inc, Tom Kuhn says.
It feels like someone has stolen something through your house and you’ve got to handle it even when you really simply want to jump on with performing a job you’re extremely enthusiastic 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 choice of products.”
However, Anderson says the internal workings of Tapcomb look like comparable to an early Flow Hive prototype, adding that his patent covers the moving parts regardless of their depth within the hive.
Tapcomb lists its office address as Portland, Oregon, where self tapping beehive also has a base. An address search reveals a residential townhouse that purchased in late January. Other online searches list Tapcomb to be Hong Kong-based.
Kuhn says they have filed for patents in the usa, 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 all of us is maximum quality at an agreeable price point.”
This isn’t the 1st apparent copycat Flow Hive has already established to tackle, with strikingly similar products listed for sale on various websites.
“There were a great deal of bad Chinese fakes, and it’s sad to find out other individuals fall into the trap of buying copies, just to be disappointed with poor quality,” Anderson says.
“Any inventor that develops a whole new merchandise that has taken off all over the world has got to expect opportunistic people to try to take market share. Needless to say, you will always find individuals prepared to undertake this sort of illegal activity for financial gain.
“It feels like someone has stolen something from the house and you’ve got to cope with it even though you really only want to jump on with performing a job you’re extremely excited about.”
Asserting ownership of IP rights including patents, trade marks and designs and obtaining appropriate relief can be quite a challenging exercise for inventors, Wrays patent attorney Andrew Butler says.
“It can be difficult to acquire legal relief during these scenarios. China is pretty much the Wild West in terms of theft of property rights, although the Chinese government has gotten steps to improve its IP environment.
“Chinese counterfeiters are frequently mobile, elusive and don’t possess regard for alternative party trade mark or some other proprietary rights. They can be usually well funded and well advised, and hivve efficient at covering their tracks, making it challenging to identify the perpetrators or perhaps 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 media marketing campaign against Australia’s largest honey producer, Capilano, accusing it of selling “toxic” imported honey as well as for using misleading labelling.
“I sense of an Australian beekeeper and inventor who has done very well and it is now facing the prospect of having his profits skimmed with this profiteering Chinese cowboy no-one has ever heard of.
“As an inventor, self harvesting bee hive will always be improving his product, and people need to understand that the original will always be better than a duplicate.”