Am I looking at what I think I'm looking at?

Whitehart

Well-known member
The latter IMO, although they would disagree and claim a product developed "in house". a slightly more pronounced curve and the carbon content is a bit higher, even the typeface looks very familiar ( I have a pair as I needed to know first hand what was going on)

Inevitable and surprised it has taken so long - 11 years, then again it is a complicated and time consuming process to make limbs and risers in this way and probably why there is only one model in the range and supply is limited to a small weight/length range.

I guess no different these days to the myriad of laminated limbs on the market.

In the end it will be about back up support and warranty...
 

Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
It happens all the time. There's rip offs of most archery manufacturer's products out there, from risers, to limbs, to shafts, nocks and fletchings. Some are badged independently, others are fraudulently badged. Not all comes from the far east. Some direct scan limb copies come from the US!
 

KidCurry

Well-known member
AIUK Saviour
The latter IMO, although they would disagree and claim a product developed "in house".
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.
Inevitable and surprised it has taken so long - 11 years...
Really... that long. I've been a designer and design engineer for all of my working life. It is heart breaking when the far east, or anyone else, steal designs. I was asked by a customer to copy the Yost offset barebow weight a few weeks ago. It is easy to copy but it's not my design so I refused to make it, whether protected or not.
 
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bimble

Well-known member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
AIUK Saviour
looks at the proliferation of the Hoyt Dovetail system for attaching limbs to risers... and copying stuff in the archery world has been going on for a long longer than that...
 

Stretch

Active member
It really depends on wether the item is created by applying known techniques to a product where they have not been applied before - or if a product has been deconstructed so that proprietary knowledge has been “identified”. The former reflects that many countries have sucky patent laws. The later is just sucky.

Just look at the number of blatant GMX clones that have hit the market over the past few years to see how much the Chinese manufacturers care, and fairly obvious that a lot of buyers just don’t care. Often looks being more important than function.

I think Whitehart nailed it on the head with the support and warranty comment. But how long will it be before they are on sale from UK shops with the associated care packages? It won’t hit the Ukkha high end sales but could impact the entry level offering.

Not good for the industry but inevitable.

Stretch
 

Mark2

Member
Unfortunately it is the price of success.
Unless you have the intent to protect a patent (or you receive R&D tax rebates for products with one of your own patents included) then patents become more of a marketing tool. It is illegal to declare a patent if one does not exist. Uukha claim a registered patent on the production process. However patent law is complex and depending on the Uukha patent it may or may not be easily circumvented. Often the more defined the patent has to be to create the inventive step and get a patent granted, the more easily it can be to dodge it. It also depends on where Uukha have filed their patent and if they can afford to chase them. I would suspect Uukha would look to issue a cease and desist in their main markets, assuming they have filed in the same. If there is a UK filed patent then Whitehart could take himself to court as an importer :)
A patent has to be filed in each country you wish to protect that business. It is typically around £5k per country and a lot more to actually get a patent granted. Consequently most manufacturers file in those countries where they are likely to get best return for the costs of protecting that business.
Best of luck chasing patent infringements in China though.
 

Whitehart

Well-known member
Like all sports and industries in the UK Archery is in an awkward position to complain about any of China's antics, we are all complicit from the Government down in encouraging trade. The majority of equipment people are using in the UK is made in China even a lot of the stuff you don't think is, the quality depends on the price paid but without these imports archery equipment would be a lot more expensive and archery far less accessible.
 

KidCurry

Well-known member
AIUK Saviour
It shouldn't be an issue that China can make stuff cheap. And it's done legally all the time, usually without any problems. If China wants to be the manufacturing capital of the world that's fine. But stealing ideas is effectively, breaking into a company, stealing the company's assets and selling them cheap. In most countries it is illegal but China does not care. The problem effects R&D and manufacturing. It's worse now we don't have a manufacturing industry to speak of. Why would I bother designing a product and ivest in tooling when I know it will be stolen? It's a massive problem for small innovators and damages world progress.
For shops it's a problem trying to maintain a quality control for what they sell. For big industry it's an expense fighting for compensation. For small industry it's catastrophic. A retail analogy would be someone coming into your shop, setting up a counter, selling the same stuff you sell under your company name but cheaper, and you're still paying the business rates, heating, advertising etc while they take your profit. How long would you survive?
I have no issues having stuff made in China if we can't make it here, but ultimately there is no upside to this theft. Everyone will lose in the end. Even China.
 

KidCurry

Well-known member
AIUK Saviour
This is why we should now be restructuring and investing in our manufacturing in the UK ...
I couldn't agree more.
However, I think buying cheap is now programmed in to our survival DNA. My grandfather would buy the best quality tools or make them. He was an engineer/tool maker and wouldn't give a monkey's how well a Chinese product performed at any cost. As a designer I designed the highest quality military products but still had to cut costs and I think this is why, as an engineer, I can't help to want to know how the limbs perform, even when I know it's wrong :)
 
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Mark2

Member
For sure we can make product it in the UK but in many cases the customer is obsessed with price and saving a few quid. These days Western manufactured goods extends mainly to premium brands and many people do not value country of origin (unless you are German). And yes, it can be very difficult to know where a product comes from. As a product manager myself I declare my products to be UK manufactured. However over 90% of the parts and customer items come from the far east. The difficulty in Western manufacturing is that we simply don't have the work ethic in the manufacturing industry to compete, and to a degree we don't have the incentives to try.

Uukha have 3 patents from 2009, 2014 and 2018 filed under Patrick Perrotey. However if they are not files outside of France there is little they can do. Even if they have patents filed in the most commercially attractive markets, it can still be a prohibitively expensive to defend them if you don't have your own patent and commercial lawyers.

For a company that took a technology used in other industries and had the vision to try applying it to an otherwise "stuck in a rut" archery industry; a company that had the determination to push through the technical issues and deliver a revolutionary product range, it's appalling that someone can just walk in and sell on the back of that work without any repercussions. But small business simply do not have the resources to challenge it.

These days the forums and BBs, "anonymous" bloggers, influencers and vloggers et al can have a significant impact on the success or demise of a product. If I was Uukha I would be looking to leverage these at every opportunity.
 
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