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Are we also going to boot everyone who makes a version of the Bruce Nelson Summer Special or #1 Professional without attribution? How about a Tom Threepersons holster? Should all of the "pancake" makers genuflect toward Magnolia, Arkansas and pay their respects to Roy Baker, lest they be excommunicated? If it's a break-front, do we credit Mr. Berns or Mr. Martin (or perhaps someone else?)?

Guys, all they are is a pouch that attaches to the belt to hold a pistol. While giving proper attribution to the author of a particular design is the honorable thing to do (and the guys who do it, like Tony Kanaley, Lou Alessi, Bill Bowden, and some others, deserve kudos), it's nothing to get worked up over. Just my opinion.

Rosco
 

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Unless of course it was your design Rosco.

I do get worked up over things like stealing intellectual property.

Bruce Nelson asked Lou and Milt Sparks to mass produce his designs. Both give credit to this day for doing so.

You may think it trivial, I don't. Ask any holster maker who actually does design work and he'll be the first to tell you that it takes some little effort.

I don't think "knockoffs" are trivial. Neither does the National League, the NFL, Levi or Rolex for that matter. I doubt Alessi, Rosen, Ayoob, or Sparks do either.

The fact is Rosco, it AIN"T just a flap of leather attached to a belt. If it were we would all be sewing them at home.

I see no reason to support on this forum any maker who IMO is stealing from my pocket or Alessi's for that matter.

It is all about integrity. Swenson's and Pachmyre's shop gave many inspiration for their 1911 work. As has Heinie, Krebs and Nastoff in their turn. Give credit where it is do. We do it in climbing and I expect "us" to do it in the shooting community. Not because we have to but because it is the right thing to do.

Imitation is the most sencere from of flattery. Mr. Graham is welcome to make and sell what he likes no matter who did the design work of his copies. I just don't feel compelled to endorse his work or pay his advertising on this web site.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-08-06 18:19 ]</font>
 

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I wish all of my posts and topics wouldn't have been deleted, but it's Dane's board so I'll respect that.

While the holster in question does look like Dane's GWH, I must side with Roscoe here, because I have about a dozen holsters that all came from the same two or three designs. Nothing new. Maybe Ron should've given credit, maybe he didn't even know about Dane's rig.

Either way, Ron was very helpful to me, and his work is very good, and AFFORDABLE, which really pisses some people off :smile: .
 

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Everyone has an opinion.

I am not afraid of voicing mine. I contacted Mr. Graham this morning as soon as I saw the pictures that were posted and deleted the "Graham" threads.

This has nothing to do with the prices Mr. Graham charges. Nor does it have anything to do with what Rosen charges to look at the other end of the spectrum. R&D costs money. In this case mostly MY money. It is easy to copy anyone's work. Knowing the differences in the nuances of the design is what makes a better...anything.

I have no worries that Ron's holsters compete with a GWH made by Alessi either on quality or price. Nor am I offended by the low price. I am offended by someone copying my, my current maker's and my pervious maker's design work an presenting it as their own.

The following is an edited email sent by Ron from several exchanges today. IMO he did the "right" thing and is welcome on this forum.

In case you missed it I still GIVE AWAY a holster with my better guns. I spent a lot of time getting the "right" holster to giveaway. Money has never been the issue, then or now.


----- Original Message -----
From: Ronald Graham [email protected]>
To: Dane Burns <[email protected]>
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001 3:51 PM

Dane,
I have a large morgue of holster pictures clipped from magazines over the
years. I try to study the things I like about each one and come up with
a quality holster I can sell.
Obviously, though not intending to do so, I've done the wrong thing. in the
very eyes of those I respect the most.
I'll pull the holster immediately from my line and see that you and the
others, in the business are given credit n my site.
Best,
Ron




<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-08-06 21:03 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-08-06 17:52, Dane Burns wrote:
Unless of course it was your design Rosco.
I suppose. However I consider my world-famous milk-jug plastic and duct tape pocket holster to be public domain. :wink:


You may think it trivial, I don't. Ask any holster maker who actually does design work and he'll be the first to tell you that it takes some little effort.


I appreciate the perspiration and inspriation that goes into a great holster design. I wouldn't trivialize that.

I don't think "knockoffs" are trivial. Neither does the National League, the NFL, Levi or Rolex for that matter. I doubt Alessi, Rosen, Ayoob, or Sparks do either.


"Knockoffs" masquerade as the genuine article. They are theft...usually both from the legitimate maker and the consumer. The holsters that mimic the style of another design are more like faux fragrances or "same formula as Paul Mitchell" hair care products. The consumer KNOWS that they aren't the genuine article.

Logos and brand names can be copyrighted. Unique design features can be patented. The GWH is a dandy IWB holster, but I doubt that you could patent it. Let's see; it goes inside the waistband...so do others. It has a solid belt loop...so do others. It stays open when the pistol is withdrawn...so do others. It has a sweat/shirt-guard...so do others. So on and so forth. The features that make it unique are subtle, stylistic, and largely indescribable.

Rosen (and Speir) actually did patent the "SOS" magazine and flashlight carrier. Rosen and Speir have been pretty aggressive in attempting to protect that patent. However, I think most of the folks to whom they've given "cease and desist" warnings have dropped the matter rather than fighting it out. If it comes to a court fight, I'd like to be a fly on the wall when the defendant's counsel asks "So, Messrs. Rosen and Speir...the basis of your patent is putting a ROUND peg in a SQUARE hole!!!???".

The fact is Rosco, it AIN"T just a flap of leather attached to a belt. If it were we would all be sewing them at home.


Not sewing...DUCT TAPE :wink:. Conceptually, they're just pouches that attach to the belt. Subtle design and quality of materials and execution are what separates the winners from the also-rans.

I see no reason to support on this forum any maker who IMO is stealing from my pocket or Alessi's for that matter.


Absolutely. That is your right and I don't blame you at all.

Give credit where it is do. We do it in climbing and I expect "us" to do it in the shooting community. Not because we have to but because it is the right thing to do.


Amen. Doing the right thing, by free choice and when no one is "looking", is what integrity is all about.

I didn't mean to criticize your choice to prohibit Graham ads or to suggest that the GWH wasn't the result of a lot of hard design work. I was noting the inevitability of worthy design components being utilized by other makers. We might hope they would give proper credit, but this is not often the case.

Rosco



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rosco Benson on 2001-08-06 20:24 ]</font>
 

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Rosco, I see where you're coming from, and I can agree with your logic entirely. I have complimented Ron Graham in the past on the quality of his work, and I sincerely meant what I said. Nothing can be done about someone copying another's design, as witness to Don Hume copying my CQC/S holster. They actually had that holster advertised within six months of the Dave Spaulding article. Given the advertising lead time, they must have gone to work on this as soon as it came out. They even call the holster "The Copy ll". A compliment to me? I guess so, but that doesn't help to pay the bills. That holster took almost 8 months of testing and tweaking to get the design to work with all the pistols it was intended to carry.
Same thing with the GWH design that Dane has been working on, and perfecting for about 15 years. It carries a lot of the Nelson/Sparks influence, but is his own rendition in that the belt loop being fixed, and stitched, really does make a difference. When Dane approached me to make this holster, I further 'tweaked' it, and added some of my personal thoughts. I didn't want to outright copy something that Matt DelFatti was making, out of respect for Matt, even though it was Dane's design. The one piece sight track in the shape of a large 'U' keeps the muzzle from collapsing when there is no gun in the holster, even if one falls on the holster when empty. I agree that there aren't many ways to re-invent the wheel, but if I come up with what I think in my little mind is something revolutionary, I will then take the time to research it to find out if it's being made by someone else who may have been a little brighter than me, and thought of it first. Tony Kanaley and I have talked at length about this same thing, and when he was prototyping his Watch Six series of holsters, he sent them to me, beause he knew I had made that basic design in the 80's. He didn't have to do that, but it sure meant a lot to me that he has that much respect for a fellow leather butcher! I once had a call from Gene DeSantis advising me that a Speedloader pouch I was making was infringing on his, which was patented. I hadn't even seen his, but when I did, I pulled the design immediately. He offered to license the design to me for a very fair and nominal fee, but I didn't want to be considered a pirate in the business, so I discontinued the design. I felt that it was his genius that got the patent, and he deserved to reap the rewards. To this day, I still steer people to him that ask for a speedloader pouch. I would have pulled the design even if he didn't have a patent, because mine was close enough to look like a copy, and my pride wouldn't allow that.

Paris Theodore held about 15 patents, and was ripped off by everyone in the business. He never got a dime from anyone except me, and I still wound up being sued by the guy who bought his patents, even after I had paid a substantial amount of money to Theodore for what I 'thought' was a license. That was an expensive lesson for me, and was cheaper to settle the case rather than litigate a patent suit. Information I have received recently is that the new owner of the Seventrees holster patents screwed Paris Theodore in the end..
Maybe I shoudld write a book! :grin: Didn't mean for this to be such a long story..
Lou


_________________
Alessi Holsters, Inc.
You'll never know it's there, until you need it..

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Louis F. Alessi on 2001-08-07 09:54 ]</font>
 

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Lou, your post was right on the money in my opinion. It is really of question of honor. Honor doesn't reward the person who lives by it financially or politically. Honor has to be its own reward. For you it is. It is not surprising that it has hurt you, but you should be proud of the road you chose. True, it is not a common virtue, but nothing that is common can also be exceptional. Your attitude here is exceptional, that is your reward. You have lost money but you also insure the patronage of customers who value your honor and integrity. Good shooting
-Jake
 

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On 2001-08-07 10:01, Jake Salyards wrote:
Lou, your post was right on the money in my opinion. It is really of question of honor. Honor doesn't reward the person who lives by it financially or politically. Honor has to be its own reward. For you it is. It is not surprising that it has hurt you, but you should be proud of the road you chose. True, it is not a common virtue, but nothing that is common can also be exceptional. Your attitude here is exceptional, that is your reward. You have lost money but you also insure the patronage of customers who value your honor and integrity. Good shooting
-Jake
I concur with what Jake said.

Lou, if you write that book I'll certainly buy a copy or two.

Eugene
 

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Jake, and Eugene,
I don't quite know what to say, except thank you both very much. People who know me personally know that I'm not ever short for words, but those comments left me speechless.

I'll make sure to show this to my wife, and daughter too :grin:>
Lou
 

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I confess. I am really interested in pistols and holsters. The only upside is that I am not financially able to indulge my passion. For some time I have admired Dane Burns' pistols and I really like his GWH and for these reasons this thread is quite interesting to me.

I think that at this point in the history of holsters it is almost impossible to make a holster that does not at least resemble a previously made or designed holster. The exceptions that I see are new materials (eg Kydex} or a new design feature such as Safariland's use of a rubber sight track or similar innovations. I do not understand patents or design rights. I think honor has a lot to do with it, but the definition of honor varies among individuals. As I see it, Louis Alessi typifies honor and is on my list of people I would like to meet.

If similarities are unavoidable, blatant knock-offs are certainly not flattering, but are they illegal in all cases or only in those few cases where a patent ot other legal protection is involved?
 

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Ed, Thanks very much for those kind words.
Knockoffs in the holster industry are almost unavoidable. When dealing with a fixed dimension (such as a gun), many makers will come up with the same conclusion for a holster design. I just had this same comversation with Derry Gallagher who is a master in his own right. http://www.dgallagherholsters.com
Many times a holster maker will think of a new design to add to his line, only find out later that it's already been done. Sometimes long before. In some cases, a maker will see a design that is sucessfull, and tweak it to conform to his thinking. Look at the number of people who are making a version of the Nelson/Sparks Summer Special. When the late Bruce Nelson designed this holster, it was indeed new. Today, most every maker in the industry makes a version of it.
If a design has been patented, then copying it would constitute patent infringement, and the person infringing can be sued in Federal Court. There are two types of Patents, a Utility Patent, and a Design Patent. The Utility Patent offers protection for 17 years, and the Design Patent is about a third of that. The difference is a design patent offers protection in the way an article 'looks', and a Utility Patent covers the actual performance of the design, and the product. Design Patents offer much less protection because if someone alters the 'design' by a certain percentage, the Patent cannot be enforced.
Lou
 
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