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Old 04-05-2014, 03:24 AM   #21
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You know a thread is gonna be good when ethics are brought up.
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:32 AM   #22
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In for 15x10.5's and 15x11's.........I'm begging
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:43 PM   #23
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Eric, you are totally hardcore!! Props.
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:11 PM   #24
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Big picture though, it's just how things are. I often explain it this way. say I popularized shoes in 3/4 sizes because they fit peoples feet better. I can't patent a size. It gets copied and I have to move on to the next idea. Using the shoe analogy, Skechers has made a billion dollar business (one of the worlds largest) in barely 20 years by openly stealing current industry leading designs and recreating it in cheap knockoffs. Americans buy them up never even having seen the originals. Skechers is an 800lb gorilla that Nike and Adidas worry about. Not a single damn original idea there.

So what does that say about stealing IP an making a business of copying other peoples work? It says that it's a pretty good business model, shameless and of questionable ethics though it may be.
I'll play devil's advocate here. People like Sketchers keeps the Nikes of the world innovating and keeps the prices down. Win/win for the consumers as long it doesn't drive the Nikes of the world out of business.

TBH the biggest problem you have isn't people knocking you off, it's not having parts in stock. I wanted a set of 15x8 6ULs a couple years ago but couldn't wait 3 months so I ended up with a set of TRs. I want to make the jump to 15x9s soon and I'm trying to wait for the Gen 4s so I don't settle again but when this set of tires is done I'm buying something. I can't buy what isn't available.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:32 PM   #25
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In for 15x10.5's and 15x11's.........I'm begging
Bogart...
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:16 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by emilio700 View Post
... Using the shoe analogy, Skechers has made a billion dollar business (one of the worlds largest) in barely 20 years by openly stealing current industry leading designs and recreating it in cheap knockoffs. Americans buy them up never even having seen the originals. Skechers is an 800lb gorilla that Nike and Adidas worry about. Not a single damn original idea there.

So what does that say about stealing IP an making a business of copying other peoples work? It says that it's a pretty good business model, shameless and of questionable ethics though it may be.
I'm in the shoe biz - how do you know about Sketchers? You are right, they make cheap copies and they are good at it.

Suggestion - applying for a patent is cheap and no one has access to your filing for at least a year (and longer if you only want to file in the US). You then have patent pending status until the patent issues (or does not). In the meantime, your competition has to make a decision - if they copy you, and for some reason, your patent issues then you can pound them. Best case (if you can't get a patent or design patent on wheels) you may be able to buy yourself a year or more of time ahead of your competition. Worst case, your competition is always looking over their shoulder, worrying about what happens tom them, if your patent ever issues. Provisional patent filings are dirt cheap and get you pat. pend. status.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:52 PM   #27
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Could you patent something as simple as a particular wheel size and offset?
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:29 AM   #28
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Emilio, your 6ul definitely is a game changer. Light, innovative and looks superb. Not sure if anyone can compare. As long as companies stays true to their valued clients, doesn't matter if someone else copies them, clients will remain loyal.

Pllleeeaaasssseeee let us know on the first batch. The community is literally on our knees awaiting the new gen lol. And everyone who has the previous won't let them go either!
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:30 AM   #29
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Could you patent something as simple as a particular wheel size and offset?
No. But, my point was that once you file, your claims are confidential. Emilio knows what innovations (such as manufacturing processes, material, structure, or even a design...) may possibly be novel and what to claim. His competitors have no idea what he may claim in a patent application. He just marks the boxes with "Patent Pending". Are they going to take a risk knocking him off, not knowing what he is claiming in his pending patent? This, at a minimum, could buy you some time to sell his product without being copied.

Last edited by 05pearl; 04-06-2014 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:35 AM   #30
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Emilio, your 6ul definitely is a game changer. Light, innovative and looks superb. Not sure if anyone can compare. As long as companies stays true to their valued clients, doesn't matter if someone else copies them, clients will remain loyal.

Pllleeeaaasssseeee let us know on the first batch. The community is literally on our knees awaiting the new gen lol. And everyone who has the previous won't let them go either!
I have 2 sets of 15x10s I will let go of after the new wheels are built.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:36 AM   #31
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Wait... if apples was able to sue samsung over the phones being shaped the same as a patent you might very well be able to do so with a specific wheel size. Might just need a league of lawyers lol seems legit
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:37 AM   #32
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I have 2 sets of 15x10s I will let go of after the new wheels are built.
Lol I'll just hop on the gen4 train hahaha
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:46 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by 05pearl View Post
I'm in the shoe biz - how do you know about Sketchers? You are right, they make cheap copies and they are good at it.

Suggestion - applying for a patent is cheap and no one has access to your filing for at least a year (and longer if you only want to file in the US). You then have patent pending status until the patent issues (or does not). In the meantime, your competition has to make a decision - if they copy you, and for some reason, your patent issues then you can pound them. Best case (if you can't get a patent or design patent on wheels) you may be able to buy yourself a year or more of time ahead of your competition. Worst case, your competition is always looking over their shoulder, worrying about what happens tom them, if your patent ever issues. Provisional patent filings are dirt cheap and get you pat. pend.
I always thought it was more a of a china problem. He has a design patent no one is copying the 6UL directly.

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Could you patent something as simple as a particular wheel size and offset?
No, 949 identified a need in the market for a wider wheel. Built it. Then other companies did the same thing. There's nothing proprietary about a offset or size. No one directly copied the design. At first there was just TR now there is 5 different 15x9 wheels.

949 is a fantastic company and very innovative but the things you create you must keep in stock or customers will go elsewhere. wheels, coilovers (now a higher rate ohlins availble for $2700) and whatever else people want and can't get.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:05 PM   #34
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Not to sidetrack the topic too much but at this point we seem to be more at a loss for wider rubber. While the stretch is fine on 15x9, wouldn't we be better off with 235-255 width rubber?
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:26 AM   #35
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I always thought it was more a of a china problem. He has a design patent no one is copying the 6UL directly.
It's not a China problem. Companies all over the world have their goods manufactured in China - to compete on price. If China were not the world's manufacturer, popular items would be knocked off somewhere else.

No one may be knocking off the 6UL directly. But, the IP strategy I mentioned above may give Emilio some breathing room. A patent pending will work better than no IP at all.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:29 AM   #36
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It's not a China problem. Companies all over the world have their goods manufactured in China - to compete on price. If China were not the world's manufacturer, popular items would be knocked off somewhere else.

No one may be knocking off the 6UL directly. But, the IP strategy I mentioned above may give Emilio some breathing room. A patent pending will work better than no IP at all.
As a product designer, I can assure you a design patent would do little good in this situation, whether it's pending or not. Design patents are designed to cover primarily aesthetic implementations (though, if you're clever you can utilize a design patent to provide some IP for utility). His competition isn't "knocking off" the 6UL aesthetically, therefor his design patent is doing it's job (assuming he has one). The competition is simply using a size/offset which the 6UL popularized on miata platform. If he could get a utility patent for the size/offset then he'd seal the market up, but it's simply not viable.

I just don't see a way to seal up IP around offset/size.

-Zach
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:42 AM   #37
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Lol I'll just hop on the gen4 train hahaha
I wasn't referring to the new 949s unless by some chance he makes a 15x11 and they are ever available. By then it won't matter.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:21 AM   #38
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Copies aren't the real problem. The constant lack of wheel stock is.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:58 PM   #39
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Copies aren't the real problem. The constant lack of wheel stock is.
I think the lack of wheel stock is a huge problem. There have been a few times in the past that I have had cash ready to buy a set of 6UL's and they were not available. So I took that cash and spent it on other things. I understand that keeping inventory costs a large amount to store them, but I don't only want to buy rims during 2 seasons of the year.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:03 PM   #40
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I think the lack of wheel stock is a huge problem. There have been a few times in the past that I have had cash ready to buy a set of 6UL's and they were not available. So I took that cash and spent it on other things. I understand that keeping inventory costs a large amount to store them, but I don't only want to buy rims during a couple months of the year.
FTFY


I have wanted to buy them for every car I have owned with 4x100 bolt pattern but every time they are out of stock.
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