Certainly one of Australia’s most celebrated modern inventors will lock horns by having an alleged copycat that states to be getting yourself ready for a worldwide launch.
Flow Hive created 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 a decade to produce.
Alleged copycat Tapcomb is undertaking a substantial social media advertising campaign claiming to be the world’s first truly bee-friendly tappable hive, contacting flow beehive via Facebook retargeting.
Tapcomb has additionally adopted similar phrases for example being “gentle on bees” and offering beekeepers “honey on tap”. However, it told MySmallBusiness you can find substantial differences between the two hive producers.
Flow Hive co-inventor Cedar Anderson said Flow Hives are patented around the globe. His lawyers have been struggling to uncover patents for Tapcomb.
“The frame they show inside their marketing video appears similar to cheap Chinese copies we’ve seen, which we know infringes on many facets 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 throughout the comb, which is precisely what they’re claiming to become bringing to advertise first. It looks 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 over $13 million. The campaign set out to raise $100,000, but astonished even inventors in the event it raised $2.18 million within the first round the clock.
Flow Hives have since been adopted by beekeepers in 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 to become substantially different, conceding that this dimensions act like Flow Hive.
“Very much like lightbulbs, the differentiator is with the internal workings which can be the cornerstone 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 your house and you’ve got to deal with it while you really would like to jump on with carrying out a job you’re extremely passionate about.
Tapcomb hives are tested by beekeepers in Tasmania, Britain, Hong Kong and Greece, he says. “We plan to launch Tapcomb worldwide to be able to provide consumers a choice of products.”
However, Anderson says the interior workings of Tapcomb seem to be much like an earlier Flow Hive prototype, adding that his patent covers the moving parts no matter what their depth in the hive.
Tapcomb lists its office address as Portland, Oregon, where flow frame set also provides basics. An address search reveals a residential townhouse that sold in late January. Other online searches list Tapcomb to be Hong Kong-based.
Kuhn says they have declared patents in america, Australia, Hong Kong, China and India. He would not reveal pricing and said he or she is looking for a manufacturer. “The biggest thing for all of us is maximum quality at an agreeable price point.”
This isn’t the first apparent copycat Flow Hive has experienced to tackle, with strikingly similar products listed for sale on various websites.
“There has been lots of very poor Chinese fakes, and it’s sad to find out other folks fall under the trap of getting copies, only to be disappointed with bad quality,” Anderson says.
“Any inventor that develops a new merchandise that has taken off all over the world needs to expect opportunistic people to try and take market share. Naturally, there will always be people out there prepared to undertake this sort of illegal activity for financial gain.
“It feels like someone has stolen something through your house and you’ve got to cope with it while you really only want to get on with doing a job you’re extremely enthusiastic about.”
Asserting ownership of IP rights such as patents, trade marks and fashions and obtaining appropriate relief can be quite a challenging exercise for inventors, Wrays patent attorney Andrew Butler says.
“It can be difficult to have legal relief within these scenarios. China is really the Wild West in terms of theft of property rights, whilst the Chinese government has brought steps to boost its IP environment.
“Chinese counterfeiters are frequently mobile, elusive and don’t possess regard for 3rd party trade mark or some other proprietary rights. They are usually well funded and well advised, and hivve efficient at covering their tracks, so that it is tough 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 media 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 having done so well which is now facing the prospect of having his profits skimmed with this profiteering Chinese cowboy no-one has ever heard of.
“As being an inventor, flow frame set will almost always be improving his product, and folks need to remember that the original will be superior to a duplicate.”