First up, before I get to the meat of THE Cub Report, I have some good news. Big Squid RC Monthly issue number 2 is shipping today! Yes, they will be on hobby shop counters as early as Tuesday! What does it take to get a FREE copy? It’s gonna take a visit to a local hobby shop. While you are in an LHS that has the FREE BSRC Monthly you can check out what they have new in stock for the holiday season, shoot the bull with the guys behind the counter, and check out fliers that they probably have posted on how to meet up with other hobbyists in your area. How do you find out which hobby shops have them? Hit up THIS LINK, or if you are a hobby shop that wants to distribute our monthly, hit the “Contact Us” link at the top of our site and let us know.
On to the filet mignon…
Most industry types and hardcore hobbyists have heard that Traxxas has been all over the lawsuit bandwagon lately. You probably remember their lawsuit again Horizon/Vaterra over a suspension design. They also filed a lawsuit a few months ago against Redcat/Namero concerning a steering patent, and another a couple months ago against HPI/Hobby Products International over a receiver box design. Their latest lawsuit is against the mighty HobbyKing over patent infringement of a connector.
Yes, absolutely, all these lawsuits have made for some excellent watercooler fodder, and of course there are two camps concerning the issue. The camp against all the lawsuits generally think it isn’t good for the hobby and that it doesn’t look good for Traxxas. These people talk about how much harder it will be to design new products when you have to wade through thousands of patents just to build a new car. These people also know there is a negative connotation that comes along with the word lawsuit, and when it it seen right next to “Traxxas” all the time, it can’t be good for them.
Then you’ve got the type like myself… those that know business in America can not exist without patents and that they need to be strictly protected. Traxxas has taken the time and spent the money to patent many of their designs, they certainly have the right to protect that. And more so, IMO a few lawsuits now will vastly help to keep various companies in general from “stealing” designs in the future. The lawsuits Traxxas is filing now will help fend off illegal use of patents for not just themselves, but for dozens of other rc companies. Hopefully the lawsuits will make companies think twice before mindlessly copying another company’s designs.
Over the years I’ve talked to numerous companies who are sick and tired of their designs and products being copied/stolen/cloned. Most of these companies felt powerless to do anything, and for good reason, it isn’t easy/inexpensive to sue another company, especially one in another country. Once again in just my opinion, I think it is well past time that a few lawsuits got thrown around to wake everyone in the industry up that other company’s patents should not be used without the proper permission. Not just for Traxxas, but for every company out there. Also, I feel it will lead to more innovation. I mean, if one company has a half dozen patents on steering racks, it forces a car designer to come up with a new design, hopefully one that is better than any of those that came before it. Of course everyone has their own thoughts on this matter, feel free to flame it up on your fav message board, FB group, or comment page.
Ok folks, that’s it for this week. Next week I’ll be doing my annual “What the bsrc bash crew wants for Christmas” column, hopefully the guys have some cool new picks this year. Have a great week, and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.
YOUR Cub Reporter