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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
MISSING: Manufacturer’s Ethics....

I've been observing a disturbing trend over the past year in the industry. It seems as though some companies are blatantly coping other manufacturer's products. It really hit home for me this evening. It's come to my attention that another company has begun producing a nearly identical replica of the Darkside wing mounts (And this is not the first time that it has happened). It's even more pathetic when the instructions that come with this RIP OFF product use THE SAME instruction diagram as I hand drafted myself. It is one thing to innovate an existing product to make it better, but is it a clearly different when it is practically a direct copy.

It is a sad commentary on the state of the industry when certain manufacturers cannot think and innovate for themselves, but must rely on copying the "out of the box" thinking of others to craft their product line. I think that it's coming time that we as manufacturers need to raise the bar and end what's going on. I can tell you for certain that some of these manufacturers who rip off the original ideas of others are in for a rude awakening and have a lot more to loose than the think.



Eric Dimmick
Darkside Motorsports
 

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Eric,

I hope you have protected your product in the legal process. It's easy to copy a product, it's happened the 21+ years I've been in this hobby and it's even more wide spread in other industries...and that doesn't include COUNTERFEIT KNOCK OFFS in OEM style packaging.

Normally what I see is a stolen idea modified .01% or a color change...or some very minor change...maybe a less expensive material, etc.

I remember seeing a product a few years ago...that I THOUGHT was a rip off product..only to find out it WAS sold by the OE mfg. under another name...as a competitor against themselves...(Smart marketing)

I recently saw some mounts I thought were yours...and was told they were not. I mentioned to you recently that I had never seen any of yours, but the pics I've seen these looked really close and/or similar.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
swtour said:
Eric,

I hope you have protected your product in the legal process. It's easy to copy a product, it's happened the 21+ years I've been in this hobby and it's even more wide spread in other industries...and that doesn't include COUNTERFEIT KNOCK OFFS in OEM style packaging.

Normally what I see is a stolen idea modified .01% or a color change...or some very minor change...maybe a less expensive material, etc.

I remember seeing a product a few years ago...that I THOUGHT was a rip off product..only to find out it WAS sold by the OE mfg. under another name...as a competitor against themselves...(Smart marketing)

I recently saw some mounts I thought were yours...and was told they were not. I mentioned to you recently that I had never seen any of yours, but the pics I've seen these looked really close and/or similar.
Steps have been taken and I can tell you that the person producing these RIP-OFF's is taking on a world of legal issues. I'm not yet certain the person behind this, but I'm going to find out very shortly.
 

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Good luck Eric. You are one of the best guys in the industry, and things like thins need to be taken care of before they get out of control.

Joel White
 

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Well that makes me think more seriously about protecting my car and it's components. I have started the patent process but need to push that along. Especially where I am starting to gain market share over my competitors. I guess like any other industry it's dog eat dog.
 

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THE DARKSIDE said:
I've been observing a disturbing trend over the past year in the industry. It seems as though some companies are blatantly coping other manufacturer's products. It really hit home for me this evening. It's come to my attention that another company has begun producing a nearly identical replica of the Darkside wing mounts (And this is not the first time that it has happened). It's even more pathetic when the instructions that come with this RIP OFF product use THE SAME instruction diagram as I hand drafted myself. It is one thing to innovate an existing product to make it better, but is it a clearly different when it is practically a direct copy.

It is a sad commentary on the state of the industry when certain manufacturers cannot think and innovate for themselves, but must rely on copying the "out of the box" thinking of others to craft their product line. I think that it's coming time that we as manufacturers need to raise the bar and end what's going on. I can tell you for certain that some of these manufacturers who rip off the original ideas of others are in for a rude awakening and have a lot more to loose than the think.



Eric Dimmick
Darkside Motorsports

Eric it sucks yah it does but it does happen all the time in RC. in your case the key is "nearly identical" so unless you patiented the product there is very very little that you can do. As for the instuctions same goes for them un less the copyrighted litlle can be done there.

the best thing you can do is this thread and keep making those great products because we love them.


Dave P
 

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i have seen wing mounts somewhat like yours but they didnt use graphite
so they would not be the same
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Alan Behler said:
i have seen wing mounts somewhat like yours but they didnt use graphite
so they would not be the same
Yep, some like those, made of delrin, are out there also, my early versions used black fiberglass instead of carbon also, but you're missing the point of my posting. It's still ripping off someone else's original idea.

-Eric
 

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eric
i understood your point
andi know how you feel about it but these issues are not new
i personallly know of a direct copy when one company started their business and then changed it a little from there. and no i wont mention any names
 

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Alan Behler said:
eric
i understood your point
andi know how you feel about it but these issues are not new
i personallly know of a direct copy when one company started their business and then changed it a little from there. and no i wont mention any names

Guys have you looked at touring cars lately???? lol they all look the same.

If I were to build a car this is what I would do. I would take a KSG front clip, Maverick servo plate, and mate them to a custom works rear ( with one change)


it happens all the time.

and the problem with patients is after 7 years your done the patient is opened up for the world to see and copy exactly. because in a patient you have to explain the process in which the item is made.

Eric it's your choice you can call them out.
 

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If you really want to bring this up how about when brad hayes of ADX made the first slider tray or the updated servo mounts or the alum. side shocks mounts, or rear steer slugs?????? How do you think he feels, some people might look at it as a good thing because they came up with something so innovative that other companies couldnt beat it they could only copy it.

ME
 

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I saw these >>>Well we'll just call them HEAVY darkside copies... A buddy of mine bought the kit.. I looked at it and thought you made them for this other company.. That sucks... But dont worry man.. If were talking about the same kit ***Im sure we are*** Yours weigh about 1/4 of what those things do.. Whats funny is>>>The fact that they stuck so close to your design>>Yet using different materials is what causes them to be so heavy.. that and the hardware.. If someone were to actually DESIGN something out of the other guys materials they would have ended up a lot lighter...
 

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From personal experience, in my day job we have a product thats been the industry standard for years, but now our patent protection has run out. Everybody in the sun is making copies, and its only a matter of time before they spend enough to make their copies close enough in performance to the our original that we'll start losing market share.

The trick is some companies have gone and used our art work in the instructions, which we still have copyright on. So they're reproducing copyrighted material and we hope to be able to exact some small form of punishment on that.

You'd hope that while this is a hobby industry and racing at the same time (meaning we're all gonna copy what works best), that when somebody comes up with a truly unique accessory that others would respect them enough not to sell blatant copies.
 

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Eric,
I feel your pain. You should see how many dirt oval components of mine are copied...:cool:

The latest copy sells the EXACT same rear shock tower I have...even bought some of mine from me for the sole purpose of copying them. The legal process is in motion. Funny, my lawyer states not to worry, that it's much more expensive to be the defendant in the court system than it is to be the plaintiff. I believe some are in for a rude awakening that will cost them dearly...

Here's the good news. My lawyer stated that first you send a "Cease and Desist" notification, (a legal notification basically stating that they are infringing/selling someone elses protected entity) and even if they stop selling the part upon receipt of the notification, you can still recover damages (royalties, so to speak) on every component they sold thus far. Guess who get to place the figure on the damages?!? Not the person who stole the idea...:thumbsup:

Eric, maybe we should change our slogans to "INNOVATORS... NOT IMITATORS OR DUPLICATORS..."
 

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Dont feel bad. When I was working for Quantum, the company who's disk drive is most likely in all of your computers' we were testing a tilting head design to read the data in both directions. We were overthinking it when I suggested that we "try this" way, it eliminated a few parts and increased reliability. To my surprise I was awarded a patent plaque three years later and an attaboy. To my knowledge some deviation is used to this day in billions of drives,(Sony bought the company). I got nothing, it was deemed "intellectual property" as i signed a waver upon hiring. If you at least apply for the patent you are covered until it is approved or denied and it takes a long time to complete. At least you get to profit for 7 years...
 

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I bought one of these "rip offs" from the local track... I was in need of another mount and a guuy said they had the darkside in stock, so i had him get one and put it on my car, then Kenwood showed me the difference and the 1/2 pound that i added to the rear of the car...lol... Hope it works out for you eric....
 

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Personally I think they just improved upon your idea. From the pic it looks like they are using standard 4-40 size screws aluminum screws which is frankly a big improvement over your product, in my opinion.

I don't think what they have done is any different then manufacturers making improvements on the Associated front end parts.
 

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James605 said:
I bought one of these "rip offs" from the local track... I was in need of another mount and a guuy said they had the darkside in stock, so i had him get one and put it on my car, then Kenwood showed me the difference and the 1/2 pound that i added to the rear of the car...lol... Hope it works out for you eric....
I didnt want to embarass you by dragging your name into it.. FWIW Tim bought them as well..LOL.
 
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