16 years ago
have had in the past, particularly with this current customer. I
thought I would ask others here that have there own business how they
The project I outlined in part in the thread titled "Tensioning
System" is a good example of the problem. I was asked to present a
proposal for my company to redesign a machine that I built some ten
years ago, making improvements on the tensioning system. The original
simple mechanical tensioning system I provided was scrapped and they
installed another system copied from a design they saw while visiting
a third company. When I built the winder, I priced the work with the
idea that they were going to order two other machines and amortized
the engineering time into those extra orders. What happened is that
they didn't place the other orders and had someone else build copies
of my design. This problem has happened over and over. I've been
getting engineering cost up front now for some time but still the
design is likely copied anyway instead of my getting the work.
In this and most cases there is nothing to base a patent on, nor would
I want to go through the cost of applying. I do feel that there should
be some way of protecting myself from this happening, perhaps in a
contract with the customer. This company has a history of suing other
companies or employees that use ideas they feel are proprietary. They
have a non disclosure statement that all vendors sign before doing
work in their plant.
I need something to even out the playing field here and the local
lawyers don't seem to know squat about this. I thought I would put
this to the group and see how others have handled this.
The preceding message represents personal opinions
and/or advice that may prove incorrect or harmful. But then maybe not.
Feel free to disregard.
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