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WSK Design Ownership Who has right to reproduce?

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by bartman2, May 22, 2006.

  1. bartman2

    bartman2 Banned by Moderators Banned

    132
    Jan 31, 2006
    Hey guys,
    Their has been a lot of talk on the WSK or TRACKER style knife as far as performance, but I have not seen anything on the design ownership and the right to reproduce the blade. I am proposing a discussion on who has ownership of the design and the right to dictate who can make or can not make the knife design.
    As you are all aware of the many makers of this style of blade. I own a Red Scorpion Six Blades Predator WSK and am very thankful for it. I am glad that someone produced it. I would have loved to have a Dave Beck WSK or a Roger Linger. I like the Jensen version as well as the new "Hardin WSK". I think that this knife style is great and seeing the different versions are really cool. I like the way TOPS version looks although it is not my favorite it is still a good knife.

    My question stems from a desire to work out the truth. I spoke with Aaron last night and he said that Tom Brown was threatening with a lawsuit and that Tactical Knives was going to do an article but have decided to hold back. This knife was making head way and now this startup company, who in my humble opinion has produced a great product is being stopped because of a lawsuit threats. The knives are different. It is like comparing a Ford to a Chevy they both have four wheels and a steering wheel but as many of you can see they are different. Just like the design of the knives.

    So here in lies the question. Does anyone really own the WSK Tracker design or is Tom Brown just trying to throw around his wallet and push competition out of the market?

    If anyone one knows I would really like to hear from the makers of the different WSK styles if they were faced with this. Mr. Linger or Mr. Beck are you guys out there available to shed light on who developed this knife and has the right to sue over design rights?

    I don't know the law in this area but is chaps my _ss to see someone push a good design under in such a manner.
     
  2. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    interesting question...

    one pretty much has to show that
    a) someone has a copyright on a blade design/shape - is that possible for "art"? i'm not *sure* about that
    b) one or a few instances of prior art - anything even vaugely to exactly similar to the "wsk"... there's plenty of potential there - here's a game, list knives prior to the original tracker design that look like trackers, close as possible. can't be to hard.
    c) show that beck and/or linger and these days TOPS have exclusve license, properly dated of course, to the design - do they?

    without a proper copyright, and prior enforcement of same, it's an uphill battle to prove ownership of copyright after that.

    then there's an issue of trademark/etc on the term WSK and so on.

    of course, i only play a lawyer on tv... so i could be mistaken, but ... eh ... tricky.

    bladite
     
  3. bartman2

    bartman2 Banned by Moderators Banned

    132
    Jan 31, 2006
    According to what I was told it was not a Trademark or Patent issue but TB is claiming the it is Design Infringement. Meaning that a knife can not be configured in this manner or have appearance of the TOPS Tracker. He is claiming that RS6 violated the design he owns.
    I just have never heard of anyone owning a design right like this. I thought Dave Beck designed this version to begin with. I know TB had the "Medicine Blade" which looks like the ParaTraxx not the current WSK design Beck and Linger make.
    I am sick of seeing the TOPS Tracker knife ads claiming this was the knife in the movie "The Hunted" when everyone can see it was David Beck's knife.
     
  4. Keith Montgomery

    Keith Montgomery

    May 9, 2000
    This is a Copyright issue and Tom Brown does own the rights to the design as done by Beck. I am not sure if the Red Scorpion knife will be considered an infringement upon this copyright or not. It will take a court to make that decision. Tom Brown obviously feels that the design is too close to his and is putting pressure on Red Scorpion, by way of threatening to sue, in hopes that production will be ceased because of a lack of funds to fight this in court. He also probably feels that he is right, and that if it does go to court he will win.

    This kind of thing is very hard for small companies to fight. It can cost a great deal of money. Even if Red Scorpion wins it could cost him more money than he will make from the sale of this knife.
     
  5. bartman2

    bartman2 Banned by Moderators Banned

    132
    Jan 31, 2006
    Wouldn't a Copyright have a # or something particular like that?
    You think TB will win if it goes to court? I just see too many differences. How to copyright a piece of steel with sharpened edges?

    So this would be an example of a good design getting driven out by a deep pocket. As a consumer just does not seem right or fair to me as to where I can spend my money. I hate to see the little guy squashed like this, especially when it's good product.
    I wonder how many other good designs have been pushed under.
     
  6. lotus1972

    lotus1972

    641
    Feb 12, 2006

    This has really rubbed my ruhbarb the wrong way. TB jr is threating a small company because he needs to yet again to try and make himself look like the be all end all of everything ( Wasn't he ostracized for quite some time from the survival community for the exact same stupid behavior ). Going after RS6 makes him look like a total ass:grumpy: . If he has beef why not come at Beck or Linger or Jenson or Paratraxx ect ect ect. He is only going after RS6 because they are a small company and not yet a respected maker in the market like Beck or Linger The man has no case he is just blowing a bunch a hot air.
    If I made an exact copy of a TB jr design ( kind of like what he did with claiming the knife in the Hunted was his ) then maybe he has a case but I have as of yet to see any original drawings of Tom's that look like what RS6 has out there. Ernie Emerson has the wave copyrighted but as we have all seen from the market there are plenty of close designs to his but they are not his specific design.
    TB jr can huff and puff and claim all WSK designs were inspired by his all powerfull godlike imagination but I have yet to see any proof:mad: . I get so mad because this guy should be thanking the knife community for his success and instead he turns around and wants to take a dump on it. Red Scorpion Six took alot of crap from many here yet hung in tough ( I was also emailed with a nice letter by him when I sold a WSK design of my own ) and supported his design which has turned out according to the pass around to be a pretty good knife so why not support our growing knife makers out there and tell TB jr where he can stick it.
     
  7. Cougar Allen

    Cougar Allen Buccaneer (ret.) Platinum Member

    Oct 9, 1998
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ralph.merlino

    ralph.merlino

    292
    Dec 26, 2004
    The Tracker design was Dave Becks, only after he failed to copyright the knife Tom Brown got the copyright and said that the knife was his design, Not true the Tracker is all Dave Beck.
     
  9. bartman2

    bartman2 Banned by Moderators Banned

    132
    Jan 31, 2006
    So can TB legally force makers out of the market?
     
  10. cybrok

    cybrok

    Aug 7, 2005
    Of what I've read, Tom Brown dosn't look to care very much about this. Looks like he just want people to use his design. But my memory iss not always right.
     
  11. bartman2

    bartman2 Banned by Moderators Banned

    132
    Jan 31, 2006
    Well if I would disagree about this from his actions towards RS6 Blades. Looks like he does not want anyone improving on the design. I would like to see him Man up and publicly say what he is doing. I just don't think he has it in him. I am just not too impressed with this course of action.
    I am calling RS6 tonight and see if he will comment on this whole ordeal.
    I would still like to hear if anyone else got these types of letters.
     
  12. Stephan

    Stephan

    329
    Jan 5, 2006
    I think all lovers of the wsk design, pretty much have or have had a TB tracker, I have one, like it, and I am also pursuing other designs. I have a preorder with Linger. My point is, if it is TB's design or he was the master mind behind it, maybe he should flex his 'power' to improve on the tracker to it's original Beck influenced design which is most sought after, or at least fix the concerns that everyone has over the Tracker's flaws. Surely TB, Tops, or Mike Fuller are aware that WSK lovers either want the look or function of the Movies design (Becks) or improvements over the current model. Maybe they changed the Tracker to it's current look and form to avoid lawsuits of their own?

    It is all very interesting and kind of heartbreaking to those of us who have come to admire this knife . . god knows many of us want a Beck or Linger and some have waited and are waiting a long time to recieve one.

    Maybe the reason he is going after R6 is because of his potential to produce these at larger numbers, a much faster rate and, at a more copetitive price than R Linge and others.
    What do you think?

    A message to Tops and TB, and Mike Fuller . . maybe a re-design is needed, either way I have a Tracker and will keep it.
     
  13. Allen242

    Allen242

    72
    Aug 26, 2002
    As far as I know Tom Brown has never licensed Roger Linger. However, making a few custom WSK knives here in the US does not raise the same concern that importing 1,000 from China does.
     
  14. bartman2

    bartman2 Banned by Moderators Banned

    132
    Jan 31, 2006
    To tell you the truth I don't care where it came from because it performs well and that seems prejudice anyway and would be oppressing the right to free trade anyway. Look how many major companies have external prodcuts.
    I did not realize there were such protection laws of importing knives from China, Europe or Pakistan.
    But origin of knife does not give TB protection of design does it?
     
  15. lotus1972

    lotus1972

    641
    Feb 12, 2006
    As Capt Hook would say "Bad form Tom, Bad form". I think it comes down to his feeling a little heat from another companies product. I personally see competition as a good thing for the consumer. Maybe now Tom will talk to TOPS about a redesign to fix some of the many complaints I have heard about the TOPS version ( weak point, bad grinds, poor sweet spot, ect,ect ). If RS6 is making the better blade then they deserve the customers buisness period.
    I am hoping that if any of this really is true they tell TB jr to go run it up a flag pole and see who salutes.
     
  16. bartman2

    bartman2 Banned by Moderators Banned

    132
    Jan 31, 2006
    It's true Aaron said that he is working with the largest law firm in St Louis. I think he is just pissed enough about it to tell TB to get bent. He could probably do it too. I just wish he would fight the guy and get a legal decision and finallize this BS that TB throws around. Someone is going to have to do it.
     
  17. bartman2

    bartman2 Banned by Moderators Banned

    132
    Jan 31, 2006
  18. bartman2

    bartman2 Banned by Moderators Banned

    132
    Jan 31, 2006
    Ralph,
    Are you saying that Tom Brown actually stole the design from under Dave Beck?:confused:
     
  19. ralph.merlino

    ralph.merlino

    292
    Dec 26, 2004
    Bartman

    I know Dave pretty well, I talk to him every few months.I will have to clear this up with him. As I remember Dave designed and produced the Tracker, Some where along the line he got envolved with Tom Brown, this I am not clear on, I think that they may have worked togeather for a while I am not sure, Dave did not copyright the Tracker so Tom did and Dave lost out. I will say that Dave may produce a few more Trackers in the future I know for a fact that he has several Tracker blanks profiled out, If and when he ever gets around to making them I do not now. I will give Dave a call next week and see if I can clear this up.

    Ralph
     
  20. Stephan

    Stephan

    329
    Jan 5, 2006
    Hey Ralph, Just A side note, could you tell Beck if he is going to make any more trackers, that I 'd love to get line . .just tell me where it ends ;)
     

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