Ethics On Replicating Products

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Forum topic by uMinded posted 04-15-2015 07:08 PM 2350 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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115 posts in 2770 days

04-15-2015 07:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: leigh fmt jig ethics

I want to make my own Leigh FMT jig. It is very simply built so I am not going to re-invent the wheel and just make a duplicate from plywoods.

I previously made a duplicate GRRipper and got flack for it because I was “Stealing money” away from an American company. As I will NEVER be spending $1000 on the FMT jig I do not feel like I am steeling their business, in fact who is to say if it works so well I may want to actually buy one.

So my question is two part. Do you think it is ethical to build your own tools and jigs even if they are direct replicas of a product, and is it ethical to provide FREE plans to your replica for others to use as well?

I want to make it clear that it is only Illegal to made a duplicate if you profit off of the sale of that item. You can profit from the USE of your shot built duplicate just fine, as long as your not selling the copies themselves.

35 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30576 posts in 3256 days

#1 posted 04-15-2015 07:13 PM

It’s not if you make your own jigs that “may resemble” a marketed item. We all do that. Simply don’t market it as an original idea. As far as your personal use, go for it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View bigblockyeti's profile


6837 posts in 2638 days

#2 posted 04-15-2015 07:17 PM

If it’s just for you and you have no intention of selling them, then there’s no reason not to. Whether it’s a $100 GRRipper or a $1000 FMT jig it doesn’t matter. When repairing small engines, I usually make my own gaskets, in doing so am I stealing money from the pockets of Briggs & Stratton, Tecumseh, Kohler and Wisconsin?

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 2148 days

#3 posted 04-15-2015 07:19 PM

IP is a stupid concept. Make it and use it. Stay out for court by not charging for it. But if a 6 pack is offered for your time….

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View finns's profile


169 posts in 4034 days

#4 posted 04-15-2015 07:30 PM

I say build it as long as you don’t market it. I’d lay low on the free plans as well.

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2094 days

#5 posted 04-15-2015 08:11 PM

Why back when I took a CLE refresher course in IP I believe the attorney teaching the course said that people could download patents and make the device for their personal use without violating federal patent law. But that was a while ago and I can’t give you legal advice.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 2821 days

#6 posted 04-15-2015 08:24 PM

I made the tennon and coping jig above from photos of a German one, not available in the US. I would not sell this item because for sure it is has patents “Aigner Comerex”. There wouldn’t be a market in the US anyway, as it is a whole another concept in a stuck in the mud market.

View Ocelot's profile


2641 posts in 3556 days

#7 posted 04-15-2015 08:26 PM

Patents expire. Find any product with an expired patent (such as anything for sale 20 years ago) and make as many as you like and sell them if you want. Trademarks and copyrights don’t expire, so you’ll have to come up with your own name for it, but that’s not asking much.


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View uMinded's profile


115 posts in 2770 days

#8 posted 04-15-2015 09:11 PM

IP is a slippery slope indeed but personal use is allowed in all cases. Ironic seeing how the whole point of establishing the patent system was to encourage open ideas and sharing of innovation while protecting the inventor for long enough to recoup R&D and some profits. Now days I have seen electronics patents that have been granted for 40-60 years!

Now what about providing free plans for others to use? The Russian who made the Portable Slot Mortiser would be hankering for a lawsuit if in the USA but then I discovered Stumpy Nubs version and I wonder if they have had any legal pushback.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2812 days

#9 posted 04-15-2015 09:28 PM

Why do you want to build this thing? Not disparaging you for wanting to, I’m all for anyone making their life in the shop easier. But do you cut a ton of M&Ts? Only asking because I’m curious, never heard of this jig until now.

View uMinded's profile


115 posts in 2770 days

#10 posted 04-15-2015 11:07 PM

I have discovered my passion is to create tools that I can use to create tools. lol. I’ts funny as I use all hand tools for projects that I build but I love to build jigs that I will rarely ever use.

View TimberMagic's profile


114 posts in 2097 days

#11 posted 04-15-2015 11:13 PM

I say build it as long as you don t market it. I d lay low on the free plans as well.

- finns

I’m with finns …

-- Lee

View Redoak49's profile


4957 posts in 2906 days

#12 posted 04-15-2015 11:39 PM

I say build it for your own use….

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3753 days

#13 posted 04-16-2015 12:54 AM

I’ve been learning from my father-in-law that patent infringement is difficult line. Making something for your own personal use it perfectly fine, making a plan and sharing it that directly rips off a product can get you in trouble. If the company doesn’t have an patent on anything other then the actual product itself then it takes little to make a derivative that doesn’t infringe; this is usually the case when they just come up with an original way to use preexisting items that have expired patents.

-- A posse ad esse

View Ocelot's profile


2641 posts in 3556 days

#14 posted 04-16-2015 02:08 AM

I work for a small engineering firm. We have only a handful of employees. After our development and prototyping, our products are contract manufactured – mostly in the US. But we created them – created the technology and the design. We have sold our products on 5 continents. Without patents – international patents – we would be destroyed by copiers. Some of these patent lawyers bill $500/hour. For us, although patents are very expensive, we have to have them.

Last year we had to lay some people off.

I imagine some of these jig companies are somewhat like us – just a small team of engineers and product development people.


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2404 days

#15 posted 04-16-2015 02:20 AM

I’d still make a copy myself. Unless you are selling it, it means nothing.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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