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Previous Entry It's Tuesday.... Jun. 15th, 2010 @ 07:27 am Next Entry
and payday. Huzzah! Even though I've already spent more than half of this check, it's still nice to have funds to put in the bank. For now, anyway. :grin:

The sunrise/skies this morning were GORGEOUS. Truly a work of God - beautiful, fluffy white and pink clouds, in a soft blue sky - except to the NorthWest, where they were fluffly gray clouds in a dark, stormy sky. Simply breath-taking! Now, they're gray clouds in a blue sky....rain is moving in. While I don't want the floods AR and OK have had, we *do* need rain.

I will no longer be endorsing KnitPicks. I had quit buying their needles when I found out how they treated a friend of mine.....OK, so you can't copyright/trademark a type of needle. I get that. Just because the Dyak's had come up with the slant cut laminate needle, that doesn't mean that Joe Blow over here can't make some, and sell them, too.

BUT. When you take another artist's idea, and try to TRADEMARK it so that THEY can't sell their OWN product, you've crossed a line. And that's what KP has done.

They started this a few years ago, when they (KP) came out with their Harmony needles. I didn't know the background at the time, and bought a set - they're nice needles. Cheap - and that's the thing, they are cheaply made.

Tom's needles are NOT cheap. They're not priced outrageously, but they are priced at a point that *I* can't go out and buy the full line at one time. He also doesn't have (right now, anyway :grin:) interchangables....but that's a minor detail. His Darn Pretty Needles are FABULOUS - I love 'em, and won't use anything else for sock-knitting. I have bought a couple of sets (full sets, I mean - 5 sizes, same colorway), and keep trying to budget for more.

The latest? KP has filed a - I don't know if it's a patent or a trademark; whatever, IF it goes thru, it'll prevent the Dyaks from selling their own, Made in America, needles. That THEY developed. And KP shamelessly copied.

For a while, I justified buying yarn only from KP, but not any more. I just can't - knowing how they treat REAL fiber people, I can't give them my money anymore. I'll use what I have from them, of course - I've already spent the funds, and I'm not rich enough to toss yarn on principle (in this case, I do wish I were!), but I'm not buying any more of ANYTHING from them. :sigh:

JL Yarns (on eBay) has good prices, and decent yarn. DBNY has closeouts - fantastic brands at good prices. Elann, ditto - but DBNY has slightly better prices (not as good a selection, though). Simply Sock Yarn has good prices on - what else? - sock yarns.....and there's ALWAYS eBay. And...I really need to get off my butt and spin up the fleeces I have. THAT will take care of a LOT of my yarn needs......for many, many years. :giggle: and :hangs head in shame:

:whew: Glad that's off my chest!
Current Location: office
Current Mood: busybusy
spin a yarn
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From:hugh_mannity
Date:June 15th, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
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I've only bought yarn from KnitPicks once. And if that's what they're up to (which is just mean and nasty) then I won't be buying any more.
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From:fiberaddict
Date:June 16th, 2010 12:31 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. Go read Girl From Auntie - she's got it pretty well laid out (and she's for the Dyaks, if you had any doubts. :grin:)
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From:mnsfibers
Date:June 16th, 2010 05:31 am (UTC)
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(not a lawyer)

It's a trademark. It is really hard to prove that it is a violation because the name Harmony was being used for a loom, not other knitting needles.

What confuses me is why there aren't patents involved. A patent would have gone a LONG way in proving uniqueness of the product (needle tip and finish, etc). I don't know the timeline, but I think GF probably also would have been helped by filing a claim *as soon as the needles came out* against KP instead of waiting until KP filed trademark, to show that they were in opposition (you can lose trademark for failing to enforce).

Trademarks protect words, logos, and things that make it obvious that item in yours- the nike swish for example.

Patents protect inventions- you would patent a knitting needle tip that was new. (We won't even start in on some of the things, like old seeds, that are being patented and that are not IMO an invention).

This is a good explanation of how I remember patent vs trademark:
http://www.noreklaw.com/patents_vs_trademarking.htm

I find it unfortunate that KP will quite possibly win, especially since there isn't a patent for the needles. But even with the trademark I am not sure KP would be able to PREVENT GF from selling their needles. I have to go read the legalese for both sides though still, so I am not sure what everyone is trying to prove *exactly*.
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From:fiberaddict
Date:June 16th, 2010 12:30 pm (UTC)
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Thing is, this is the *2nd* time KP has tried to screw the Dyaks over - the first was in....'02, I think, and it was over the name "Darn Pretty Needles". The Dyaks had been using that name from the beginning, and *KP* filed to make them stop. Needless to say, the Dyaks won that one.

Girl from Auntie is blogging this latest round. She is in favor of the Dyaks, of course, since they are in the right. She's got the timeline, and what, exactly, the deal is. Since she's an attorney, she explains it better than I can.

Also, KP has done this to other artists - the sock knitting blanks? They stole that idea from the originator, didn't (and haven't) attributed it, and deliberatly undercut her price. I don't know if she did anything about it - I hope she did!

KP bills themselves as knitters, selling to other knitters. I have to disagree - they aren't. True fiber-people would respect the work others have put into thier items, and not blatently steal the ideas and market them as their own creativity. (Of course, this doesn't even go into the cheap Chinese labor issue - that's a whole 'nother issue!)

It's like...OK, Aubrey of Goodies Unlimited helped me get started soaping. I can sell soap - there's nothing to prevent me. I can even sell soap based on the recipe she gave me - it's just a basic one. However - if I named my soap "Everything Soap", and marketed it to the same niche Aubrey is in, she could sue my pants off - and win! - because she has spent time building the rep of her "Everything Balm" (aka "E-Balm").

Now, *I* have morals - I will NOT set myself up as competition to someone who's helped me out. *IF* I do sell soap (and my SIL is pushing me to get some batches done for her to peddle at our Clan's National Convention at the Estes Park Highland Games in September), I'll make sure I'm not competing against Goodies Unlimited (not that I could - I'm small fry. Soaps only, all based on the goat's milk somehow....and if I *do* do the Games, it'll be a couple of batches only, and it'll be marketed to our Clan, mostly. I'm still mulling this one over - do I really want to take that jump?)

But then, that's the difference between a *real* artist and money-grubbers. (Not that I consider myself a *real* artist.....but....) I'm more concerned that I don't step on anyone's toes than with making a huge profit. (Besides, I only need to make $1,000/year for our Ag Exemption - NOT Profit, just $1K!(and I need 5 more goats. :sigh:)..so I'm small fry!)
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From:mnsfibers
Date:June 16th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
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I don't think KP has anything original :) I haven't seen all their yarns in person, but the yarns and colors I have seen aren't, and they accessories are certainly also earily similar.

I don't buy from KP anyways, they are the walmart of the knitting world for me, and I would rather support smaller shops and artists.

Doesn't soap have to age for awhile? I am always surprised when I see people selling soap for very little $$ since it is time intensive to produce!
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From:fiberaddict
Date:June 16th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
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Actually, no - soap really doesn't *have* to cure, as long as you had the right amount of oils to saponify your lye. It's softer at first, and hardens as the excess liquids cure out, but it's ready to cut and can be used within 24 hours. A batch takes me about.....2 hours? maybe to mix up - most of that is waiting for the lye solution to cool down to a usable temp.
(spin a yarn)
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