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Thread: Design Rights?

  1. #21
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    I don't see why the cad files are sooo important. other than it just speeds up his process. I guarantee you if he walked into about any shop, handed them the widget and said i want 500 of these, can you make them off of this sample it would be a done deal, cad files or not.

    He is gone, so don't worry about trying to get him back. If you feel that the design is yours then build the product and market it. The IP you think you have isn't worth anything without a defended patent (note the defended part). and your cad files, no matter how nice they are are also worth exactly how much someone else is willing to duplicate them for. If i took your flashlight and reverse engineered it i doubt it would take me very long and i would be willing to bet that i could deliver 500 parts + absorb the cad files in the price.

    So this is when you ask yourself what do you relay have and whats is it worth?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekins View Post
    ..................

    So this is when you ask yourself what do you relay have and whats is it worth?
    It's worth the time time he invested in making the files. I don't care if it's just one hour he should be paid for that.

    Don't you want to be paid for the time you work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rj newbould View Post
    It's worth the time time he invested in making the files. I don't care if it's just one hour he should be paid for that.

    Don't you want to be paid for the time you work?
    No it really isn't, it's worth what he can sell the files for. What it cost him in time etc is totally irrelevant.

    We all like to be paid but some projects it's best just to walk away from.

    Ownership of IP is always interesting. Where I live the rules are clear. Absent a specific assignment as part of a contract or employment agreement, the creator is the owner.

    Personally if I felt I'd done more than reasonable under the circumstances and I wasn't interested in prolonged argument or attempts to get more money, I'd have a computer crash and so sad, the CAD files are gone. Sorry. Here's a paper copy of the drawing.

    All pointless as seekins says. It's been reverse-engineered once, it can be done again especially if there's now a physical prototype to play with.

    PDW

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    Unless you have specifically give up IP ownership in writing it automatically resides with the author, namely you. This is why companies make you sign transfers of copyright when they hire you. If they don't it doesn't matter if you are a paid full time employee working in there office on there computers using there electricity and drinking there coffee. Copyright automatically resides with the AUTHOR unless specifically granted to someone else by the author.

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    From my reading of the original post, it sounds like the OP has fulfilled his end of the bargain with the delivery of the prototype. The rights to the cad files stay with the author. License the files to the customer for internal use only, for an additional fee, refundalble if an agreed upon production order is completed.

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    Hi guys,

    In this case, the customer has not yet picked up his part, I think he's sulking.

    Really my concern is how to be clear and upfront about this sort of thing so as to keep everyone happy. I'm a small one man shop, and every customer matters. I don't want to lose this customer, but I don't want to work for free either.

    I also don't want to go into the flashlight business. I just want to help folks make their ideas happen while making a decent living doing what I like to do.

    I have learned a lot about intellectual property as a result of this interaction. I'm pretty glad it was on this scale, not some REALLY big investment on my part. Though lately I seem a little more dense than usual, and I'll have to learn this one again...

    How do you guys deal with it when someone comes in with a napkin sketch and does not know the difference between mm and inches? Wants to develop and build a new product?

    Someone mentioned a retainer, how does that work?

    What's a successful approach that avoids getting in this situation? As a one man shop that's the sort of opportunity I get sometimes.

    Thanks,

    Grant

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Machinist View Post
    Hi guys,

    In this case, the customer has not yet picked up his part, I think he's sulking.

    Really my concern is how to be clear and upfront about this sort of thing so as to keep everyone happy. I'm a small one man shop, and every customer matters. I don't want to lose this customer, but I don't want to work for free either.

    I also don't want to go into the flashlight business. I just want to help folks make their ideas happen while making a decent living doing what I like to do.

    I have learned a lot about intellectual property as a result of this interaction. I'm pretty glad it was on this scale, not some REALLY big investment on my part. Though lately I seem a little more dense than usual, and I'll have to learn this one again...

    How do you guys deal with it when someone comes in with a napkin sketch and does not know the difference between mm and inches? Wants to develop and build a new product?

    Someone mentioned a retainer, how does that work?

    What's a successful approach that avoids getting in this situation? As a one man shop that's the sort of opportunity I get sometimes.

    Thanks,

    Grant
    "The door's over there, sunshine. Have a nice day". Safest approach IMO.

    Other than that:

    Drawing to customer standards: $$$ up front.

    Manufacture of prototype: $$$ up front.

    Never, ever work on such a project unless you've got the money first.

    For a lot of these people, you are never, ever going to make them happy as mostly they haven't a clue how things get made anyway. Look at some of these threads - the repulsine one comes to mind as a classic example of a clueless person with zero money wanting stuff made for peanuts simply because that's all he could afford/think reasonable.

    Keep in mind that you're in business for *your* financial wellbeing. You've a lot of money tied up in tools & consumables. You have interests & hobbies of your own. An hour you spend making a proper drawing because the originator is clueless is an hour you could have spent doing something that you, personally, wanted to do.

    Be polite, explain the facts of life and don't get sucked into making their lack of ability your problem unless they're paying you for your expertise.

    PDW

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    I think there is an important difference between software source code and CAD files.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolff2012 View Post
    I think there is an important difference between software source code and CAD files.
    What is the difference in your opinion?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Machinist View Post
    How do you guys deal with it when someone comes in with a napkin sketch and does not know the difference between mm and inches? Wants to develop and build a new product?
    Does this new product have any realism behind it? (IE not breaking any physical laws, or legal laws for that matter). Do the person seems reasonable, able to pull their end of the project (get sales), and have some ballpark idea of the costs involved? And do this person indeed have the money to pay that cost? If so, napkins are all good. If not, which sadly most often is the case, then quote a rough figure what it would cost to get you involved - who knows, someone might finance the project later on; it shouldn't be you though.

    (The best one I've had so far was someone who had heard I had a 6-axis CNC lathe, and figured I could make him some one off copies of mass produced car parts for less than his car dealer).

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    Why would you design it and charge him for the design without giving him the design? Sounds like you are spending more time than you should thinking about it. If he paid for the design give it to him and move on.

  12. #32
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    The cad files are worth one thing to the person that made them and they are worth EXACTLY what it costs to re-make them by the cheapest bidder.

    Product design isn't something you can say "every time we design we ______" its too broad of an area to say charge up front for X.

    IP - make sure you have that figured out with the other party PRIOR to doing anything. Get a NDA in place first if you don't trust them. If you don't protect your idea then you have no soap box to stand on and shout "hey thats mine" because its not. Patents suck, they are expensive and while you wait for it to be approved you can be copied by everyone. Patent pending doesn't do anything for you but maybe scare off a few from copying. If you don't have 100's of 1000's of dollars to fight someone then its all pointless anyway.

    If you haven't given him the prototype and he hasn't paid you for anything then you might have just worked for free. If you want to retain him as a customer AND you don't want to be in the flashlight business then bid the job and rock on... :-)

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  14. #33
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    If he said here redesign this and make a working prototype. The design, drawings, fixtures, are yours, even if you bill for the time and material to make them. Fixtures, special tooling, CNC programs don't leave my shop, but they're always priced in the 1st part I make, if I make more later, price is adjusted.

    Now if you were asked for a price to make the CAD files, working prototype, and all, you're in a tougher spot. BUT, there's still loop holes there. A place I worked for asked a foundry in the US if they could cast a product. They were paid for the special mold on a separate bill, about $10k for that work alone. Casting was separate. Turns out all their castings were shit, cracks, porosity, no good. Finally said, send us our mold that we paid for and we'll find someone else who can properly cast them. They wouldn't send them, they were ours so long as they stayed in their shop. So went back to using solid bar, and then to a welded design which I still weld.

    So, I guess the point is you'll have to decide what you want to give or take, and some go for the plain being an ass. If I was that foundry I would have been so ashamed to not be able to pull off a proper casting after having someone spend that much I would have shipped them the mold free of charge with a best of luck finding a place who can do it better, hell I'd probably have tried to find a different place myself first.

    You could put them on a CD, files are free, CD cost = $1000


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