In case it hadn't been noticed, here is what came out on the news-wire recently and I wondered what other people's thoughts might be? I wonder what has actually been patented?:
On January 7, 2013, Colle and Phyllis Davis and Phil Estes received Patent Pending Status for their Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems' Modular Aquaponics System. This patent pending status is the culmination of 42 years of work in the field of aquaponics. This newly patented aquaponics system offers a revolutionary new standardized modular aquaponics system that can be shipped anywhere in the world and assembled on site by local workers. After installation, this aquaponics system grows harvestable greens within forty days in any climate and produces food year round.
Here is the original press release:
Hi Aragon. My first response is that it kind of pisses me off that they stole our Modular Aquaponic Systems name - perhaps imitation is the purest form of flattery? Then I read the press release and am seeing zero that is unique here....just their usual hype. But maybe there is something in the patent application itself? It is now public record since it has been filed so someone should pull it. I'm heading out to dinner soon but might just do that tomorrow. Thanks for the heads up!
I looked hard, as did my husband, and we are finding zero patents for Portable Farms. Has anyone seen one? Would they have issued this press release without actually having the Patent Pending?
I did the same search and found no patents or patents pending in the US.
I also couldn't see anything new in their systems and so wondered what on earth was being patented, and thought that maybe some of you guys over in the US might know. (perhaps they have patented the brass water pipe system that automatically kills the fish once they get to plate-size and have ingested sufficient the toxins - so a self harvesting system? (Disclaimer: I am British and therefore a little sarcastic so please take my last comment with a pinch of salt - just meant harmlessly!)
As to modular aquaponics - there is also a company in the Phillipines that also uses that name too so, and a few others - isn't aquaponics by its very nature fairly modular though? If you can add another growbed then that kind of makes it a modular system!
The plot thickens!
I'd perhaps be more concerned with what commonly used AP phrases they are trying to copyright. I was heavily involved in HHO development at one point and a company actually had the nerve to apply for a copyright on the term HHO which is tantamount to copyrighting the term Aquaponics. They're out there. The HHO folks fell into 2 categories: those that continued to use the term freely as a protest and those that would not even allow the term to be used on their forum for fear of a lawsuit. Not sure how it turned out. It is actually harder to protect a patent and I believe if there is a patent pending it must be directly related to their particular design and would have to be pretty specific.
So, if you come up with a great phrase I would copyright that right away. Patents usually are not worth worrying about. Just go for it and stay out front of the competition. I have been given that advice by other inventors more than once.
I agree Jim, unbelievably the term aquaponics (written in Japanese hiragana) is already trademarked in Japan. We are challenging it at the moment... but I was amazed that it had been allowed to go through!
Naaahhh. Aquaponics has a great ring to it. Someone should trademark it with the guarantee in writing that it would remain open source. What say you Silvia? Could be fun and set a great example. Perhaps we could do such as a forum group. Thoughts?
Debra Colvin said:
Here's an idea: how about calling it what it really is, as in " biological filter" ? The local nursery looked at me crosseyed when I mentioned the word "aquaponics" but knew what I was talking about once I described what it involved.
It may save you a headache:D