Inventors’ dustup, with teeth: Tat, Tit, Tat,…

The basic technology was described in US patent 1,315,310, now long-expired.

The basic technology was described in US patent 1,315,310, now long-expired.

Two eminent invention/design firms are quarreling very much in public about a dustpan. In form, this is a classic tit-for-tat battle:

TAT: “Rise Up! Quirky Seeks Justice for Inventor Bill Ward“, which begins:

As a haven for transparent online collaboration, Quirky must strive to protect the interests of its inventors and influencers. While this customarily takes the form of patents and long-winded legal proceedings, there are select instances where you have to pick up a sign, slap on a mask, and get a little angry.

That’s exactly what happened in Manhattan this morning, when an intrepid troop of Quirky staffers took to the streets to protest the appropriation of Bill Ward‘s Broom Groomer design by the product company OXO. The demonstration kicked off at 8:30am, and was based outside the offices of both OXO and Smart Design, the consultancy that designed the product in question. Protesting staff members carried signs, chanted…

TIT: ”OXO, Crooks and Robbers…?“, which begins:

On January 21, consumer products company Quirky accused OXO and our design partner, Smart Design, of appropriating a feature from a product called the Broom Groomer, which was submitted to their community in 2009 by an independent inventor and launched in 2010. Their product includes “rubber ‘teeth’ on the back of the dustpan [that] … quickly and easily comb out dust bunnies.” While we’re a good-natured group, we have serious respect for designers and inventors alike, and we want to make sure the design community – including everyone involved with Quirky – has all of the information needed to understand what’s going on.

Let’s start at the very beginning. For a little background, all of this started on Monday with a billboard on 28th Street in Chelsea, just two blocks from OXO’s office. Quirky claimed the OXO Upright Dust Pan “ripped off” their design….

TAT: “Quirky Stands Strong Following Oxo’s Response

That’s how things stand for now. Presumably, the dust and spittle will continue to fly…

(@AtomOrbit alerted us to this matter.)