Certainly one of Australia’s most celebrated modern inventors will lock horns having an alleged copycat that states be getting ready for a global launch.
Flow Hive created a hive that allows honey to flow the front into collection jars, representing the initial modernisation in how beekeepers collect honey. It took a decade to develop.
Alleged copycat Tapcomb is undertaking a thorough social networking campaign claiming to get the world’s first truly bee-friendly tappable hive, contacting flow frame 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 there are actually 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 already been unable to uncover patents for Tapcomb.
“The frame they show in their marketing video appears much like cheap Chinese copies we’ve seen, which we believe infringes on many areas of the Flow Hive intellectual property. Where necessary, we are going to aim to enforce our intellectual property rights decisively,” Anderson says.
“Our patent covers cells that split and honey that drains with the comb, which is precisely what they’re claiming to become bringing to advertise first. It appears such as a blatant patent infringement if you ask 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 lay out to increase $100,000, but astonished even the inventors in the event it raised $2.18 million from the first twenty four hours.
Flow Hives have since been adopted by beekeepers in additional than 100 countries and boasts greater than 40,000 customers, mostly within australia and the US. The corporation now employs 40 staff.
Tapcomb, however, claims its hive design to become substantially different, conceding that the dimensions are exactly like Flow Hive.
“Very much like lightbulbs, the differentiator is within 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 is like someone has stolen something through your house and you’ve got to manage it even when you really simply want to get 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 as a way to provide consumers a selection of products.”
However, Anderson says the internal workings of Tapcomb seem to be just like an earlier Flow Hive prototype, adding that his patent covers the moving parts no matter what their depth inside of the hive.
Tapcomb lists its office address as Portland, Oregon, where flow frame set even offers a base. 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 america, Australia, Hong Kong, China and India. He would not reveal pricing and said he or she is trying to find a manufacturer. “The most important thing for us is maximum quality with an agreeable price point.”
This isn’t the very first apparent copycat Flow Hive has already established to tackle, with strikingly similar products listed on the market on various websites.
“There have been a great deal of poor Chinese fakes, and it’s sad to find out other folks fall under the trap of purchasing copies, only to be disappointed with low quality,” Anderson says.
“Any inventor that develops a fresh product that has gotten off worldwide must expect opportunistic people in an attempt to take market share. Needless to say, there are always individuals prepared to undertake this type of illegal activity for financial gain.
“It feels as though someone has stolen something from the house and you’ve got to manage it even when you really just want to get on with performing a job you’re extremely keen about.”
Asserting ownership of IP rights for example 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 hard to get legal relief over these scenarios. China is pretty much the Wild West in relation to theft of property rights, although the Chinese government is taking steps to improve its IP environment.
“Chinese counterfeiters are frequently mobile, elusive and don’t have any regard for third party trade mark or some other proprietary rights. They can be usually well funded and well advised, and hivve proficient at covering their tracks, which makes 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 in the week.
Mulvany has previously waged a social media marketing campaign against Australia’s largest honey producer, Capilano, accusing it of selling “toxic” imported honey and for using misleading labelling.
“I sense of an Australian beekeeper and inventor who has done so well which is now facing the prospect of having his profits skimmed with this profiteering Chinese cowboy no-one has ever heard about.
“As an inventor, flow frame kit will always be improving his product, and folks need to understand that the original will almost always be a lot better than a copy.”