Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

As aquaponics grows ever-more commercialized, with the additions of kits, how will we keep ourselves from "stealing-peoples-ideas" (the quotation marks refer to the fact that nobody owns aquaponics) .  I'm thinking of selling shelf-ponics, after I do a million other things, but the "inventors" are the people at gardenpool.org. How would I give them credit, or if someone wanted to sell strawberry towers. Should someone simply mention how to build one on their website, and/or simply mention who thought-up the idea? I hope this gets resolved before suing happens, if it's an issue of course. (this emotocon is for fun

Views: 1125

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Well said, TC!  

When you are referring to BarrelPonics is it safe to assume that you are talking about Travis's very specific design using 3 barrels and creating a plumbing infrastructure with a flood tank and not just any AP system made with barrels...right?  Just like Murray's very specific Toteponics design uses IBC totes with a CHOP2 design...but not all designs using IBC totes need to give credit to Murray.  Chris Smith, for example, has made some nice little systems that he sells at his farm using blue barrels that I don't consider to be BarrelPonics at all.

Valid points by TC and Sylvia but I think the points I were trying to make relates back to Eric's original question's core: If someone wants to make and sell aquaponic components, what is patent protected and what is not. Quality of workmanship and the knowledge and helpfulness of the person aside, you either have a raft, a DWC, a media bed or some form of stacked horizontal / vertical NFT and tower range of options.  Kind of like cars.  You do not see Opel acknowledging the fact that Mercedes was one of the first people to put four wheels on a car every time they release a new model.  Four cylinders is also not "owned" by anyone anymore. As soon as there has been enough time for refinement and evolution, the foundation becomes accepted by all.  Where someone has patented or trademark protected something, there is a period of protection and the option of manufacturing under license but as another post here correctly pointed out, do we have to tip a hat till kingdom come?  And how far back? Waste water treatment, hydroponics, aquaculture?

 

In scientific writing we were always taught to cite a reference for something that was first published by someone else only if it is factual, statistical or somehow tied to a whole lot of original work.  We do not need references for the obvious though and this is where time will tell what is considered original thought and what is obvious.  As an example, I ran a low density AP system before I even knew the Friendlies existed, simply because I killed half my stock and decided to keep going as is (I was trying to copy UVI ratios).  It was not to research the concept of low density AP thus I do not claim to be the creator of the concept, but I will rapidly correct anyone that states that I ran the system because of the original thought of the Friendlies.  Same with the siphon. 

 

Credit will always be given to pioneers in this industry, but as there is so much logic and overlap with related industries, I suggest caution for anyone that wants to start deciding who thought of what first.  Not that I propose that anyone is trying to do that - just sayin'  

I've adapted a lot of my projects from other designs.  For example, the strawberry tower video that I made (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcdtIx1PkS8) was adapted from "synaptoman's" design.  Someone else has taken my changes and is selling them on TheAquaponicSource web site.  It's the way it is...I'm not going to waste my money spending $20K trying to patent an item that would never pay for itself.  If you look at various patents, you will find that most of them are just other peoples designs with a few tweeks.  There is nothing original in the majority of them.  The entire patent system needs an overhaul to stop the patent trolls.

 

I've had a few of my videos copied and reposted on youtube by an "aquaponic expert".  The videos themselves don't have anything propriatary, but the video themselves are copyrighted.  Once quick notice to YouTube and the offender was dinged and the videos were removed.

 

Basically, as soon as an idea is posted in public dislay, it's going to be grabbed.  If you have an original idea, don't share it.  If you do, make sure you have a non-disclosure agreement in place with anyone that you need to work with.  If I adapt any of my ideas from someone else's, I will give credit....but I bet the majority of people out there will not.

Yes Sylvia, I am referring to the specific designs of Travis and Murray and garden pool and some one copying them exactly and trying to claim them as their own.  And it is very true that these are not patented and there is little stopping other people from using them and perhaps even trying to claim them as their own other than probably getting called out on it and being called an aqua-shyster, here or on BYAP or elsewhere.

 

To simply put components together and call it your own aquaponics design I don't think requires any special credit be given (unless you are copying another's design exactly and using the name they came up with for it but even then, there is nothing legal really stopping you.) 

 

And things like low density, well Kobus, it isn't like you were using Friendlies methods and claiming them as your own.  Your systems are different in nature and there are plenty of completely media based systems out there where people have been running low density so I don't think anyone could claim trade mark on that term.  I would venture that with Friendlies low density is more about differentiating their methods from UVI.

 

I find this very interesting and I agree with the comments made, I have been building backyard systems in my backyard for 5 years, now a semi commercial system. I could never have done this without information from others and the internet. The semi commercial system I built is based on Friendly’s micro system which I purchased with my own tweaks. I would love to take the commercial course but I cannot afford to do it. The interest so far at the nursery is in the system itself, not the vegetables produced,I have donated more to local food bank than I have sold. I have had people tell me not to even show the system to others: but, I totally disagree with this. My feeling on it is this is a grassroots movement, if I can help somebody to build home systems, it will increase business of the nursery. But I have to agree credit should be given and time spent should be compensated. Either through the credit or monetarily I also feel for the movement to continue it has to be economically sustainable as well as environmentally.

 

I build and sell several barrel systems designs that are loosely based on other peoples designs. I am not trying to make a huge profit but get people involved in aquaponics. By offering small turn-key systems I am able to make it very easy for less mechanically inclined or tool challenged individuals to get started. The cost of the barrel systems is strictly materials and my time.

I give credit to my teachers and those who have inspired my designs with every farm tour. My single barrel system is based on one Afnans system and my double barrel was inspired by Travis's barrelponics. My trough systems are all Friendly design. My Barrel systems are constructed to solve issues that I had with the other systems while keeping them cheap to build, easy to transport and easy to operate. They both have evolved into completely different systems but I still give credit to my inspiration. These systems are for people who cannot or not willing to build their own systems. They also make great introductory systems. Several of my clients are seriously considering larger systems in which the original barrel system can be incorporated.

There is an overwhelming amount of information out there on aquaponics and it can be extremely overwhelming to many to sift through it. There is much misinformation and poor designs. I have sifted through much of it and played with many designs. I now have my own design preferences based on my experiences, not by copying other designs. I believe there are few origional ideas anymore. There is, however, much improvement to be made on other peoples ideas. I think it is important to give credit for the inspiration and origin of the improvements.

Part of my business is based on consulting and teaching my knowledge gained by experience.  I am not trying to make a big profit but get compensated for my time. I sell my time and experience to those who do not wish to learn everything on their own but want immediate success with aquaponics. During my free weekly farm tours I tell people where to find good information and promote them do their own research. Some people choose not to do their own research and would rather be tough. I am here to fill that demand and comfortable in selling my services and knowledge because of the thousands of hours I have dedicated to aquaponics.

As far as the patent office is concerned I think it has lost much of its original intention(much like a certain certification). It seems that a lot of lawyers and making a lot of money and few others see any of it. In my opinion the patent rules are now corrupted and have been since the change to allow the patenting life.

There will always be those who steel others ideas and claim the as their own. I believe Carma will get them one day. What goes around comes around!

 

+1

Chris Smith said:

I build and sell several barrel systems designs that are loosely based on other peoples designs. I am not trying to make a huge profit but get people involved in aquaponics. By offering small turn-key systems I am able to make it very easy for less mechanically inclined or tool challenged individuals to get started. The cost of the barrel systems is strictly materials and my time.

I give credit to my teachers and those who have inspired my designs with every farm tour. My single barrel system is based on one Afnans system and my double barrel was inspired by Travis's barrelponics. My trough systems are all Friendly design. My Barrel systems are constructed to solve issues that I had with the other systems while keeping them cheap to build, easy to transport and easy to operate. They both have evolved into completely different systems but I still give credit to my inspiration. These systems are for people who cannot or not willing to build their own systems. They also make great introductory systems. Several of my clients are seriously considering larger systems in which the original barrel system can be incorporated.

There is an overwhelming amount of information out there on aquaponics and it can be extremely overwhelming to many to sift through it. There is much misinformation and poor designs. I have sifted through much of it and played with many designs. I now have my own design preferences based on my experiences, not by copying other designs. I believe there are few origional ideas anymore. There is, however, much improvement to be made on other peoples ideas. I think it is important to give credit for the inspiration and origin of the improvements.

Part of my business is based on consulting and teaching my knowledge gained by experience.  I am not trying to make a big profit but get compensated for my time. I sell my time and experience to those who do not wish to learn everything on their own but want immediate success with aquaponics. During my free weekly farm tours I tell people where to find good information and promote them do their own research. Some people choose not to do their own research and would rather be tough. I am here to fill that demand and comfortable in selling my services and knowledge because of the thousands of hours I have dedicated to aquaponics.

As far as the patent office is concerned I think it has lost much of its original intention(much like a certain certification). It seems that a lot of lawyers and making a lot of money and few others see any of it. In my opinion the patent rules are now corrupted and have been since the change to allow the patenting life.

There will always be those who steel others ideas and claim the as their own. I believe Carma will get them one day. What goes around comes around!

 

Terry, what do the flags on the Google chart represent? I am curious about what caused the drastic spikes in searches.
 

Terri Mikkola said:

Aquaponics is not new, but the interest in aquaponics is growing exponentially, as indicated by the following Google Trends report. Those of us who are considering profiting from this trend, are called to review our means and motives through the lens of ethics. I'm glad that this topic is being discussed.

And as for unique ideas, if you quickly look at the following picture, you would think that it's a basic diagram for a media based AP system. If you look closer, you'll see that it's actually a diagram for a wastewater treatment system. Many of the components and design concepts found in recirculating aquaculture systems, the basis for aquaponics, were researched and developed by the wastewater treatment industry. How much credit should be given to the pioneers of this industry? It gets complicated doesn't it.

 

 

 

Great job Chris- Good for you! Keep up the Awesome work!
Chris Smith said:

I build and sell several barrel systems designs that are loosely based on other peoples designs. I am not trying to make a huge profit but get people involved in aquaponics. By offering small turn-key systems I am able to make it very easy for less mechanically inclined or tool challenged individuals to get started. The cost of the barrel systems is strictly materials and my time.

I give credit to my teachers and those who have inspired my designs with every farm tour. My single barrel system is based on one Afnans system and my double barrel was inspired by Travis's barrelponics. My trough systems are all Friendly design. My Barrel systems are constructed to solve issues that I had with the other systems while keeping them cheap to build, easy to transport and easy to operate. They both have evolved into completely different systems but I still give credit to my inspiration. These systems are for people who cannot or not willing to build their own systems. They also make great introductory systems. Several of my clients are seriously considering larger systems in which the original barrel system can be incorporated.

There is an overwhelming amount of information out there on aquaponics and it can be extremely overwhelming to many to sift through it. There is much misinformation and poor designs. I have sifted through much of it and played with many designs. I now have my own design preferences based on my experiences, not by copying other designs. I believe there are few origional ideas anymore. There is, however, much improvement to be made on other peoples ideas. I think it is important to give credit for the inspiration and origin of the improvements.

Part of my business is based on consulting and teaching my knowledge gained by experience.  I am not trying to make a big profit but get compensated for my time. I sell my time and experience to those who do not wish to learn everything on their own but want immediate success with aquaponics. During my free weekly farm tours I tell people where to find good information and promote them do their own research. Some people choose not to do their own research and would rather be tough. I am here to fill that demand and comfortable in selling my services and knowledge because of the thousands of hours I have dedicated to aquaponics.

As far as the patent office is concerned I think it has lost much of its original intention(much like a certain certification). It seems that a lot of lawyers and making a lot of money and few others see any of it. In my opinion the patent rules are now corrupted and have been since the change to allow the patenting life.

There will always be those who steel others ideas and claim the as their own. I believe Carma will get them one day. What goes around comes around!

 

Hi Chris!  Very well done forum response!  The flags represent when important articles or news items hit that might explain a spike in search traffic.  You can see them all here - http://www.google.com/trends?q=aquaponics

Chris Smith said:
Terry, what do the flags on the Google chart represent? I am curious about what caused the drastic spikes in searches.
 

Terri Mikkola said:

Aquaponics is not new, but the interest in aquaponics is growing exponentially, as indicated by the following Google Trends report. Those of us who are considering profiting from this trend, are called to review our means and motives through the lens of ethics. I'm glad that this topic is being discussed.

And as for unique ideas, if you quickly look at the following picture, you would think that it's a basic diagram for a media based AP system. If you look closer, you'll see that it's actually a diagram for a wastewater treatment system. Many of the components and design concepts found in recirculating aquaculture systems, the basis for aquaponics, were researched and developed by the wastewater treatment industry. How much credit should be given to the pioneers of this industry? It gets complicated doesn't it.

 

 

 

Sylvia,

Thanks for fielding the question regarding Google Trends.

Just to give a perspective on the potential of aquaponics in sales. Aquascapes is a pond equip supplier I have dealt with for over 10 years. Their gross sales were 32 million in 2006. They have been doing this for about the last 6 years. In my line of work as  a landscape contractor there are 20 to 1 gardens to ponds in my customers back yards. If just 5 percent move to aquaponics and some of the pond customers do the same the sales volume could and probably will be in the hundreds of millions in kits and DIY components. Not to mention fish and plants and the sales could easily reach 8 fiqures or more. I think there will be liscensed aquaponics installers all over the US with in a decade. IF the medical weed growers heha get into this like I think they will this will be even bigger. Add the 3rd component like Chris or Green organics and commercial in general and the sales volume will pass Jaccuzzi sales and Pools. Billions. If I can make a buck doing this I am sure gonna try and not look back. I love to garden but I am not going to put these in for free. Just a thought from a capitalist.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2021   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service