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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Originators should be respected. (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jay leslie
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Southern California
9495 Posts

Profile of jay leslie

About 10 years ago I did a show for a Chinese family that was involved with importing goods made by their extended family back in China.

I gave the wife three samples - one of them was a cast aluminum Indian Cups And Balls, cup. She was visiting family in a week and said she would get me a price.

At 2:30 am the phone rang
“Hello, this is Benny, I’m a second cousin of X. She gave me a cup, part - but - I can’t make it unless I know what it does”.

I went around and around with Benny. I kept telling him it’s just a cup and he kept telling me he couldn’t make it unless he knew what it did.

He finally got fed up because I didn’t answer his question the way he wanted it answered and said “I’m throwing it in the trash (shoop). Did you hear that? I’m not sending it back because you won’t tell me how it works”. I never got the cup back.

I always knew China was like the Wild West of manufacturing. I was even told by the wife exactly the mindset. But tonight I was watching NHK ... a... n ... d ... I’m going to explain why props get knocked off and there’s not too much we can do.

The NHK TV reporter said that the president of China (Xi Jinping) signed a new law, effective today that makes it illegal for companies to use “Forced Technogy Information”.
The reported said that from now on Chinese companies are prohibited from demanding to know how something works before they make your product.

The reason is that the Chinese are fast at work on the 5G internet and they are worried that other nations will gain a larger share of making electronics, and other products, in the future if they continued their forced Information policy AND they wanted the US to feel more comfortable having them make our products including all the new 5G tech.

Have you ever wondered why it was considered a complement when a Chinese company stole your product and copied it? Because that’s the way THEY looked at it. Forcing companies to reveal all their technical knowledge was normal operating procedure.

I wonder.

Will this eventually evolve into a world where inventors, here in the US, feel a little better about putting in the time to design something new and not fear that it will be ripped off in two months?

Probably not. I have invented a non-magic patented item and during the many conversations I had with my attorney he confided “Your patent is only as good as your enforcement.”

Example: several years ago, I saw a hair product comb on TV, that was this twisty fashion springy-device that allowed long hair to be easily styled several ways at home.

About a month later I was buying velvet in the fashion district in LA, and I saw these hair combs in every shop that sold gizmos, glasses and belts. I also noticed there were a dozen different ways these were packaged and many different names they were called while using different graphics and blister cards.

To enforce their patent, the inventor would have needed to get people in China to track down the producers and find their transporting methods (and ALL the stores - in ALL the cities in the US, in hubs that import that item) and sue each one to cease and diciest selling the item. Proving how much the inventor lost would have been next to impossible so damages probably couldn’t be sought, especially from every mom and pop store selling the item. It’s even worse when products are purchased directly from the Chinese companies and shipped direct, who do you sue?

These Combs only cost 5 dollars. Does anyone have any idea how much the inventor would need to spend to send-out an international army and enforce the patent? I’ll tell you, the inventor would spent more money then they made.

I also saw this same scenario with a little aluminum block that clamped onto a tape measure so an exact length could be marked over and over.

I was told the inventor lived within a few miles from the HD I normally shop at. On a different trip to LA, I saw very similar items for sale and I also saw them at flea markets. These items were often made in small lots, hit and run.

So maybe the only companies that can afford to enforce their patents (in every country they pay for one) are the big telecommunication companies. Maybe the only people that can afford to enforce their patents are in the solar business.

I don’t think small time inventors in the magic business, or other, stand a chance at keeping their items from being knocked off. I just wanted to tip everyone off on why people like myself just haven’t had a great desire to do the research to make something new when it has a very limited shelve life.

I think this is the best reason why buyers should save their pennies and spend them with inventors and designers of the original item. This includes the people who say “But this is only a hobby”. You get the idea.
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27140 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Need to know. Trade secrets. Dual use technology. Do you recall the movie Paycheck - and what the Ben Affleck character did for a living? all the coins I've dropped here
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Profile of debjit
Proper magicians will always buy from legit sites like Murphy's, Penguin, etc. They won't even think of buying a Chinese knock off. So I think it's at least better to try selling your invention instead of giving up beforehand.
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