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Old 05-10-2006, 09:44 AM   #21
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Re: The Truth about the Pocket Diaper -great article

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Originally Posted by nothing_butt_cloth
But i am under the impression that a patnet on this type of thing is only good for 7 years. so basically she has only 1 year or so left then it becomes public knowledge. .
This is true in general, but some patents can be for longer. FB owns the patent and I believe the term is 20 years, so we all have a while longer to wait.

I've head that baby duckhead diapers were around before FBs too. I've even heard that Gerber had a version much earlier than that! But for whatever reason the patent has stood despite the massive amount of money spent challenging it.

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Old 05-10-2006, 12:22 PM   #22
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Re: The Truth about the Pocket Diaper -great article

If you're interested in this subject, you can check out this thread: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...hlight=tereson Tereson (the owner of the pocket patent) and Linda from Happy Heiny's (who challenged the patent in court) both participated in the discussion.

You can also find more discussions and resources athttp://www.mothering.com/discussions...archid=2230083
or http://www.pocket-diapers.com/License-FAQ.htm

Whether we agree or not, the pocket diaper patent is valid...it has been challenged and held up in court. When Happy Heiny's challenged the patent, they showed the judge the Baby Duckhead diapers and the Gerber diapers and (while I don't know the details) he felt that Tereson's diapers were enough different to constitute a new invention and upheld the patent. I don't know what he based that decision on, but he saw all the evidence and still felt that it was a valid patent so that's what stands for now, unless new evidence is brought to light.

Patent holders charging licensing fees for manufacturers to make products covered under the patent is a common practice and actually, the $350 licensing fee is quite low compared to many products. She is not benefitting from other people's work...in fact, it's the other way around. The theory at least, is that XYZ diapers would not be making any money at all if she hadn't "invented" the pocket diaper so they are actually profitting from her work. If you don't like it, talk to your congressmen about changing the laws...the way the system is set up now, she is working totally within the rules (both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law).

Here's one more thing to consider, if Tereson had not patented her idea for pocket diapers, there would have been nothing at all to stop Proctor and Gamble or Kimberly Clark from coming in and stealing the idea and mass producing them under the Pampers or Huggies label and putting all the WAHMs out of business. Now, maybe if some huge company started making a pocket diaper it would bring cloth back to the mainstream and save the world...or maybe they would just corrupt the whole concept and mess it up for everyone, but the argument that Tereson is putting WAHMs out of business by selling licenses for pocket diapers just doesn't make sense to me. At the very least, I can see her point of view that she is protecting WAHMs by controlling who can make and sell pockets.

Another thing that I've read in several places and tend to believe is that Tereson is not actually making much if any money off the patent licenses. The fees basically go to cover the legal costs of obtaining and defending the patent. I'm sure she's getting some, but she's not getting rich off of someone else. Apparently, she is going through or recently went through a nasty divorce and she is no longer the owner of MOE or Fuzzibunz. I don't know if her husband got the company or if they had to sell it or what. But basically, she now owns this patent, which is costing her money to maintain, and the patent licenses are what are covering those costs.

Finally, just for the record, a little pet peeve of mine since I've started really reading about this controversy, Tereson is an individual. She is a WAHM. She owns the pocket diaper patent. She did invent Fuzzibunz and at one time owned the company MOE, but to the best of my knowledge she is no longer affiliated with either one and neither of those companies owns the patent. When you purchase a pocket license, you are purchasing it from Tereson, not FB or MOE. And as Linda said in that first link I posted, she wasn't happy with the judge's decision regarding the validity of the patent and she frankly didn't agree with him, but he made his decision and she was bound to abide by it. She had two choices, she could cooperate and work with the patent holder (which she wound up doing when she partnered with Tereson) or she could make some other kind of diaper that didn't fall under the patent. There are lots of WAHMs and even some bigger name companies who have decided to go that route. The patent is not all-encompassing and there are lots of ways that you can make a pocket diaper that are not covered by the patent. You just have to be creative...

I'll get off my soapbox now...
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:25 PM   #23
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Re: The Truth about the Pocket Diaper -great article

I have never understood why people are so worked up about the license fee. The fees to use a pattern such as very baby or cuddlebuns are at least $350 if not more and no one is boycotting either of these. I don't think Tereson is making money on the fees. I do agree that if she did not hold the patent, pocket diapers would have been snatched up by some retail giant, made overseas and sold for $7-8. No wahm could compete with that.

The patent will only be good for so long. After the patent expires, people will copyright their patterns. There are only so many ways to make a pocket diaper. Most wahm's making them will still have to answer to someone else and pay a cottage license fee.
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:38 PM   #24
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Re: The Truth about the Pocket Diaper -great article

I just wanted to add that I think it is her ex-husband who is now in control of MOE. Whoever is, he lives near me...Anyway, I think that the $350 is completely reasonable. It's stood up in court time and time again.
I looked at the patent info though and I think that is may be why wonderoos are now planning to put their pocket opening in the middle, to escape the patent. So there are still ways around it if you develop a pattern different enough from FB.
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Old 05-10-2006, 03:26 PM   #25
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Re: The Truth about the Pocket Diaper -great article

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I do agree that if she did not hold the patent, pocket diapers would have been snatched up by some retail giant, made overseas and sold for $7-8. No wahm could compete with that.
Veeerrryy good point! Us WAHM's depend on treasures like these not becoming commercialized. I never thought of it like that before.
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:30 PM   #26
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Re: The Truth about the Pocket Diaper -great article

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Originally Posted by bfoster2000
Finally, just for the record, a little pet peeve of mine since I've started really reading about this controversy, Tereson is an individual. She is a WAHM. She owns the pocket diaper patent. She did invent Fuzzibunz and at one time owned the company MOE..
Thank you for the wonderfully elloquent post and for pointing out that Tereson is a person! I totally agree with everything you said

I am a very proud retailer of fuzzi bunz and I stand behind Tereson 100%.
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Old 05-10-2006, 07:49 PM   #27
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Re: The Truth about the Pocket Diaper -great article

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Originally Posted by kimb96
I have never understood why people are so worked up about the license fee. The fees to use a pattern such as very baby or cuddlebuns are at least $350 if not more and no one is boycotting either of these. I don't think Tereson is making money on the fees. I do agree that if she did not hold the patent, pocket diapers would have been snatched up by some retail giant, made overseas and sold for $7-8. No wahm could compete with that.
I think one reason people got more worked up about this is that the license fee jumped from $25/year to $350/year. I can see how that would be a shock but it didn't happen overnight, there was warning, and from what I can tell, they did work with the people who already had licenses (more than they had to). Another thing to consider is that the license fee jumped right about the time that HH took the case to court and the cost of defending the patent increased...food for thought...

The other difference (at least IMO...I've tried very hard to understand both sides of this issue) is that if you purchase the Very Baby pattern (or Cuddlebuns or Honey Boy or whatever) you get a pattern and a well-recognized name. That's why Very Baby (and others I'm sure!) requires you to submit samples of your diapers so that they can make sure the workmanship is up to their standards and they are ok with putting their name on your work. When you purchase a pocket license, you get...well, in some people's eyes, nothing. You still have to either come up with your own pattern or buy someone else's and deal with their licensing. You still have to get your name out there and get people to recognize how wonderful your diapers are. You don't get a license to make and sell Fuzzibunz...you get a license to start from scratch. Tereson and Linda and others are working together to increase support and marketing for licensed pocket diaper makers so that people do see that they are getting something for their money, but honestly, they don't have to do that.

As I was reading back through some of the earlier posts, I came across the question about "WAHM pockets" on eBay. There are loopholes in intellectual property law and some of these may apply to the diapers you are referring to. Many of them are probably violating the patent (whether they know it or not). Either way, it is the maker of the diaper who is responsible for ensuring that they are in compliance...you're not going to be sued for buying one of these diapers. One of the loopholes is that if you make something for personal use, you don't need a license. Later, you can sell that used item and you still don't need a license. I have heard people say "Fine, I'll just make a diaper, let my kid wear it for an hour, and then sell it." but that's not really within the spirit of the law. That's something you'll have to deal with your own conscience about. I believe (though I may be wrong on this one) that if you make something as a gift, it's also considered personal use and you don't need a license. Again, I have seen people offering diapers "FFS - only $12 S&H" which would probably be considered a violation by the courts. I believe there was a WAHM on the old DS who tried to pull that one with "Taggie" blankets. There's also a provision (at least in the pocket diaper instance) that you can sell up to 5 diapers per year without needing a license. So if you're making diapers for personal use and decide at Christmas that you need a little extra $$$, you could legally make a couple of extras (less than 5) and sell them on eBay and still be ok.

Now, here's a question for you...from what I've heard, there is a patent on the "Taggie" blanket as well...how come nobody raises a fuss about that? In fact, I'm saying that I *heard* there is a patent but I haven't really found much info on it when I've looked because nobody cares. What's the difference on that one?
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:14 PM   #28
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Re: The Truth about the Pocket Diaper -great article

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Originally Posted by bfoster2000
Now, here's a question for you...from what I've heard, there is a patent on the "Taggie" blanket as well...how come nobody raises a fuss about that? In fact, I'm saying that I *heard* there is a patent but I haven't really found much info on it when I've looked because nobody cares. What's the difference on that one?
I have heard that as well and I have also heard that the owner of the Taggie patent has actually taken people to court for violating her patent. She even asks on her website to let her know if you see any copy-cat products.

Tereson has never taken anyone to court and there are a LOT of pocket diapers out there that are not licensed.

http://www.taggies.com/authentic.html

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We think it is critical that our loyal customers fully understand that AUTHENTIC and ORIGINAL TAGGIES products can ONLY be purchased from either Taggies, Inc., from our licensed partners, or from the hundreds of authorized retailers and catalogs across the country and overseas that carry our unique items. (Please refer to our "Store Info." page for a complete list of retailers in your area and to our “Partners Page” for information on important licensing relationships). Our company, along with our valued licensed partners, is the only authorized producer of TAGGIES products. Our PATENTED TAGGIES products (see U.S. Patent No. RE38782) are completely safety tested and meet or exceed all applicable safety standards as set forth by the regulatory bodies in the United States, Canada, and in the parts of Europe and other countries where our products are sold.

At Taggies, Inc. we have literally spent hundreds of hours developing and testing our products since our company's birth. Our products are based in large part on our customers' direct feedback. This has created upscale children's items that are of the highest quality and craftsmanship while also meeting children's needs for sensory comfort and tactile and visual stimulation. This important company mission is ongoing - to continue to develop only safe and consumer tested products. We need all of our valued customers to be aware that our PATENT PROTECTION allows ONLY Taggies, Inc. and its partners to create these special products.

Any copies of TAGGIES products are in direct violation of patent, trademark and copyright law. These copiers currently are and will continue to be pursued. We greatly appreciate being made aware of such items. Not only are we at Taggies committed to protecting our intellectual property, but also want to ensure the safety of children everywhere. Please feel free to email us should you find any imitation versions of the TAGGIES line. In our appreciation of your notification of any product infringements that you may find, a donation of TAGGIES will be made to a charity. In addition, your first name and state of origin only will appear on our Random Acts of Kindness page as sincere recognition of your efforts
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