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Comment: I emailed Freeplay about this... (Score 2) 267

by IoQuaTiX (#42934125) Attached to: Do Patent Laws Really Protect Small Inventors?

It is simply not true that Trevor’s Intellectual property was ripped off or copied in any way, by Freeplay or anybody else.

* Trevor conceived the idea of a mechanically powered radio.
* Trevor formed, and was a shareholder in, a company called Baylis Generators limited.
* This company registered a patent covering Trevor’s concept of a “clockwork” radio.
* The company Baygen, later called Freeplay, was founded to develop, make and distribute the radio in 1994/5 in Cape Town South Africa.
* Baygen/Freeplay paid a royalty to Trevor’s company for the use of the patent.
* Freeplay made radios covered by Trevor’s patent until about 2000.
* In addition to receiving a royalty, Trevor received a consulting fee from Freeplay.
* Technology moved on and the spring based clockwork radio became out-dated. The new technology was to recharge a battery via a generator. A large number of Chinese manufacturers ( we are talking about 100 + different companies) entered the market and “wind-up” products using this simple method proliferated. Trevor’s patent became out-dated, and the whole market was flooded by these cheap Chinese products. These in no way contravened Trevor’s patent, or any of Freeplay’s efforts at technology development. It was a free-for-all, with new ideas, and the competition was heavy.
* Trevor sold his shares in the company that held the original patent, and this company was eventually absorbed into Freeplay.
* Trevor moved on to found another company Trevor Baylis Brands plc. Trevor sourced many different products from China, and branded them under his own name. He marketed them on his own website and through other channels. Trevor refers to this range of products in his marketing material as “Next Generation”, and Trevor became an enthusiastic, independent player in the next generation of “wind-up” products, actively endorsing the next generations’ virtues and improvements.
* Freeplay continued to develop technology, and focussed on innovation and quality products. It maintains its reputation for integrity, quality and as the premium brand in the sector.

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