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Friday, January 25, 2013

Stealing an Obvious Idea

The GameKlip is a piece of plastic that lets you mount your bluetooth PS3 controller to your android phone for real game-like experiences. The Game Clip on Thingiverse, a a piece of plastic that lets you mount your bluetooth PS3 controller to your android phone. GameKlip has different versions that will work with different phones and tablets plus a universal version that you can just glue your android's case. So does the Game Clip on thingiverse. The only difference between the Klip and the Clip is that the Klip was invented by Ryan French which he manufactured and is selling and the Clip was copied and is free with your 3D printer.

Wow, what a multi-faceted and thorny discussion. To be fair bernabap's Clip is pretty well designed and maybe even improves on the design. But with things like GameKlip or SquareHelper it's not the piece of plastic you're paying for, it's the idea. Sometimes all it takes to steal an ideas is to see it and the only protection ideas have, patents, aren't really accessible to a simple inventor with a simple but revolutionary idea. Even if you had a patent you can't sue free for profits, not to mention internet anonymity preventing you from even knowing who to sue.

But if inventors can't profit from their ideas then what worth is ideas and why share them? The free flow of ideas is where brilliance comes from. Stopping that flow by taking away incentive to have them and everyone suffers. Then again, isn't bernapap's Clip exactly that, the evolution of Ryan's Klip idea? He does add to it somewhat.

Like I said, thorny.

1 comment:

  1. There is the provisional patent, which is about $400 to file, if I remember right. It might have gone up after this "first to file" overhaul. That's what a lot of toy designers use to protect themselves.


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