Quirky Stands Strong Following Oxo’s Response.

Posted ago by Ben Kaufman

On Monday of last week we began to tell the world about Oxo’s replication of our community’s ‘Broom Groomer’ Concept. Coverage can be found here.

On Friday, Oxo Responded. That can be found here.

——-

On Oxo’s Response:

Every day, thousands of legal notices are batted back and forth between companies around the world. Never do consumers (nor creatives) get to understand the full story behind what goes on.

We believe Quirky’s place in the universe is not just to deliver product, but to educate the world on what it takes to do so, and be successful in the long-term. This includes being very transparent about what goes on behind the four walls of our office.

Last week we took deliberate steps to change the way these types of squabbles are handled. A simple, low-trafficked blog post prompted a publicly traded company to respond quite loudly to our claims.

We can’t think of a time in recent history that a group so small has been taken so seriously by a company so big.

We view this as a huge step. It shows how carefully traditional consumer product brands are tracking the Quirky movement and our progress in disrupting the way the world of product design and development operates.

We are very proud of the public way we initiated this conversation, and remain very confident in the plans we have to provide justice to Bill Ward and our community of inventors.

On Our First Step:

Immediately upon learning of their upright sweep set, on November 26th of last year, Quirky’s CEO sent an email to  Alex Lee (Oxo’s CEO) inquiring about the item.

Alex did not respond, but curiously Quirky HQ’s IP was soon blocked from accessing the oxo.com website the very next day.

We viewed their actions as self-explanatory, and only after this point did we begin to make plans to act publicly.

On Intellectual Property:

Oxo’s colorful observations about Quirky’s approach to traditional intellectual property, including patents, are filled with misunderstandings about our process and intellectual property law.

Our true beliefs (and policies) are well depicted here: http://www.quirky.com/about/ip

On the 1919 Patent:

We didn’t bring patents into this conversation, Oxo did. We don’t feel a need to discuss whether Broom Groomer is patentable, because that distracts from what Oxo has actually done.

Oxo did not copy a 1919 patent when designing their dustpan… They cavalierly copied our product and are using an old patent (and the world’s general lack of understanding of intellectual property laws) to distract from the true conversation.

Oxo is best known for bringing ergonomics to peelers and other kitchen gadgets. This is a concept they pioneered in the same way Bill Ward and Quirky pioneered a dustpan that cleans your broom.

The concept of ergonomic peelers was not at all new when Oxo began doing business. Not surprisingly, a perusal of issued patents pre-dating Oxo’s existence turns up several patents resembling the form and function of Oxo’s widely recognized peeler.

Yet, if you walked into a store and saw a potato peeler with a giant black rubber grip – you’d probably say “that’s an Oxo ripoff.” This is basic consumer behavior. They get credit for pioneering a concept and making it viable in mass –  not for being the first to patent. We think this is fair.

Therefore, we believe it’s very important for the market to know who brought the concept of a commercially viable grooming dustpan to market.

We will not stand by quietly as Oxo attempts to use its larger size and resources to crowd out Quirky from building upon the intellectual capital it has worked so hard to establish.

It’s widely known that Oxo’s product development process (which leverages Smart Design, and other 3rd party design firms) takes about two years (almost exactly as long as our product has been available). Not 3/4 of a century. We don’t chalk this timing up to coincidence.

On The Path Forward:

Our objective here is to protect the interests of our creative community who entrust us with their intellectual capital.

Oxo’s objective is protecting their reputation by discrediting us and distracting from the true conversation around their actions.

We do not plan on further engaging in a tit for tat open letter writing campaign. We will continue to let our unique business model, innovative products, and the inventive way we go about protecting both of those things do the talking.

Comments (194)

Patricia  Reid avatar
Patricia Reid
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
Right on. OXO seems to feel that if we don't patent it, then it's our own fault if they copy it. They're wrong. The lack of a patent simply means we will publicly shame them rather than file a lawsuit when they steal from us.
Imants Č avatar
Imants Č
Ben, did you know of 1919 patent before OXO pointed to that?
Bent Franklin avatar
Bent Franklin
Oh, and try pulling that stunt on my company and you better get ready for a libel suit.
Sudarshana  Ranabahu avatar
Sudarshana Ranabahu
http://www.lekue.be/en/citrus-spray-3400115
Adam Vanderlip avatar
Adam Vanderlip
Wow, the unmitigated temerity it must take for a terrible upstart in NYC to honestly think every idea on the planet must have come from their lame little shop. Then to get spanked in public in such a manner. You guys need to pull back from inhaling your own vapours and do some inventing.
Andrew Morrow avatar
Andrew Morrow
It's reasonably important to note that this response doesn't address what I feel is OXO's main point. Simply, that Quirky is selling items that are if anything MORE similar to the (earlier released) OXO products than the OXO pan is to the Quirky version. They didn't threaten or push, just pointed out that there was a bit of inconsistent application of outrage to be found. This story was my first exposure to Quirky, and I will make a point to not come back.
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
@Bill Ward, just curious, when you showed your idea to OXO (and all the others), was it under the provision of a confidentiality agreement?
Leo avatar
Leo
Oxo seemed obnoxious in their response, I think you did what you could Quirky. I WILL be still using your site, making money, buying your products and submitting ideas.
Lupo Tazler avatar
Lupo Tazler
You really need to quit while you're behind. The sooner you admit failure, the sooner you can make this go away, and try to clean the egg off your face.
Ian Hartley avatar
Ian Hartley
I first found Quirky when I bought a few items from the MoMA store in NY. Now I wish I hadn't - I wish that those inventors had found a company that would help them rather than tarnish their reputation with such PR stunts. Well done OXO, shame on Quirky. From an inventor WITH patents ;-)
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
Again, I don't understand the motivation for posting the above comment unless the poster is associated, in some way, with OXO.
Matthew Darragh avatar
Matthew Darragh
I didn't know oxo or quirky but after reading this Quirky came out looking ridiculous. Sorry Pushkin all the Quirky hate is not some oxo PR machine. This story is being linked by some big blogs now so we raise our pitchforks.
Jonathan Buchanan avatar
Jonathan Buchanan
@Pushkin: I don't understand the motivation for your continued replies to comments on this thread if you aren't associated with Quirky.
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
First, my apologies to all not associated with OXO. The strong language is hard for me to understand for people who dont have a vested interested in exploiting this situation. I still think some among you are. I can't remember who stated it above, (and don't have the time to re-read the thread), but someone talks about "at least OXO pays its employees". That sounds like inside info to me. You know what I mean? . Also, just so it's clear, I'm not arguing that your perspective is wrong. I can see where you all are coming from. just that its surprisingly passionate for a group of people who just read an article, or just bought Quirky products....or whatever. Also, if you knew anything about me, you would know I've had my own issues with Quirky in the past, and have been quite vocal about it. So, I understand how Quirky can inspire that type of passion. It's just that my investment in Quirky is transparent. . @Jonathan Buchanan....um, duh.
Mitchell Marino avatar
Mitchell Marino
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
Sorry, meant @Pushkin, not pushpin, lol.
Dano Shattuck avatar
Dano Shattuck
I'll never buy anything from you
Coolwash avatar
Coolwash
hey q. whats good for the gose is good for the gander. you guys have done it to me 5 times so far.
Coolwash avatar
Coolwash
sp: goose... (see, i just changed it a little bit...)
Carl-Erik avatar
Carl-Erik
Well said, and Rake N' Tamp is totally different from their adjustable rake.
bob wezer avatar
bob wezer
Well dang, that was a very professional response by oxo. I think they handled that nicely. I am no abandoning the inventor of the broom groomer i am just saying their claim seemed legit. Was it true that oxo had a lot of q's products developed before q? Forget about it and get back to inventing :D
Patricia  Reid avatar
Patricia Reid
Patricia  Reid avatar
Patricia Reid
Thanks for pursuing this initiative. I, for one, feel supported, even though it doesn't directly involve me.
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
Right on. OXO seems to feel that if we don't patent it, then it's our own fault if they copy it. They're wrong. The lack of a patent simply means we will publicly shame them rather than file a lawsuit when they steal from us.
JonesAndJones avatar
JonesAndJones
We will not be buying any OXO products in the future. Some of the best auto designs were buried by the big companies. Let's not allow this to happen to Quirky.
iamJordan avatar
iamJordan
By being an honest and reputable company Quirky will win out in the long run. Consumers may not readily recognize the fact that OXO is a dishonest IP stealing bully now, but that will not matter a decade from now when Quirky is a billion dollar company built on integrity and honest practices.
iamJordan avatar
iamJordan
Are comments here not allowed? I posted a comment about 10 minutes ago about how Quirkys integrity and honest business practices will prove to be amazing assets over the long term, and how a decade from now when Q is a billion dollar consumer products company this little back an forth with OXO wont even be a memory.
Leo avatar
Leo
Does OXOs response allow you to take legal action or was this mostly to point out that they ripped Quirky off?
Kevin Barnett avatar
Kevin Barnett
I think Quirky's position sets a dangerous precedent. The invention in question is owned by the public. Anyone should be able to ship a product like Quirky's and OXO's without permission or approval. Healthy competition is a good thing.
Jason Hunter avatar
Jason Hunter
I am not a lawyer, and admittedly have very little knowledge when it comes to patents and IP. The little that I do know about it would be for Quirky to simply patent the item and sue for damages, otherwise OXO could do that in return too. I am not taking sides just inquiring on the subject in general.
Imants Č avatar
Imants Č
Ben, did you know of 1919 patent before OXO pointed to that?
Zzzz avatar
Zzzz
Standing Strong , Still!
UNO avatar
UNO
@ Crreate The 1919 patent is actually referenced by someone in the winning submission on the site so hopefully the company did.
Trevor Johnson avatar
Trevor Johnson
Well I know what brand I will be avoiding in the future...
Trevor Johnson avatar
Trevor Johnson
Also, is there a non-compete clause in the agreement for signing up for the site? What areas of the site are protected/secure without first signing up?
Striker avatar
Striker
It was patented in 1919 and expired in 1939. Once a patent expires it is public domain and anyone is free to make it. Quirky took a stand they should not have and it has left egg on their face..... To me this is just the pot calling the kettle black.
Joseph Schiavo avatar
Joseph Schiavo
Ahh, so now you're ground shifting. Sorry, but you guys got your posteriors handed to you. But, hey you got lots of attention. Let's hope the trope about no bad publicity is true in your case.
Ryan Gardner avatar
Ryan Gardner
I don't own anything made by Oxo, and I'd never heard of Quirky before this situation.. I must say, I'm not too impressed with the way you've gone about this... Sounds like you didn't do your research before you started charging in head first.
Eboni Walker avatar
Eboni Walker
I have never heard of Quirky either, Ryan and I can't help but see this as a publicity stunt more than activism for rights. I am not impressed with their initial response to OXO's "plagiarism" and I am not impressed with this response to OXO's explanation (which might I add was executed beautifully). As a potential consumer of Quirky products, thanks but no thanks.
Paul G avatar
Paul G
I agree with the commenter above - I would've never heard of Quirky until this hit. OXO's response, with the 1919 patent, was pretty devastating but if you truly believe they copied your product, let it motivate your team. They're looking to Quirky for ideas because they might be running out of their own. Being angry and posting banners outside your building about what they did is a waste of time and it's exactly what they want you to do.
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
OXO's response in a nutshell: 'If you post it on the internet, we can steal it.' And OXO is right, that's legal. But it sure isn't ethical...making OXO look like a bunch of scumbags.
Imants Č avatar
Imants Č
I guess Quirky is trying to patent the flexing leg of the dustpan since "teeth" seems already covered by 1919 patent. Not?
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
ha...OXO's suggestion to inventors not wanting it to steal their ideas? 'Don't put your invention where we can see it' (OXO is even going to do us the favor of holding a workshop on that). Good guys don't steal. Scumbags steal then try to justify.
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
Stealing is stealing. "Quirky steals from others, others steal from us, Quirky made it easy, so we can steal from Quirky" is not a great response. It's a Bernie Maddoff type of response.
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
As "...huge supporters of creativity and education in the design community..." OXO is offering a class on how to keep it from stealing from small inventors. Apparently OXO believes stealing is OK if an inventor is careless. Doesn't sound very "supportive" to me.
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
...oh yeah, as OXO points out, "business is business".
UNO avatar
UNO
Unfortunately it's not stealing in the true sense of the definition. Once information is on the internet it becomes research material and cannot be ignored by those working on anything similar. Ignoring accessible research is ignorant and how a company can end up losing market share or a person can spend 100K on something of little value.
Calum Ryan avatar
Calum Ryan
Bah. your whole argument for 'protecting the inventor' is completely bullshit now. They arent the actual inventor, and it's clear you're guilty of doing the same thing anyway.
Kris Aubuchon avatar
Kris Aubuchon
"We do not plan on further engaging in a tit for tat open letter writing campaign." Said the company that sponsored a billboard, printed up t-shirts, and organized a protest? So I take it that "protecting the inventor" bit was just some well-spun garbage considering your tune has changed now that neither company turned out to be the inventor? Who are you really trying to protect here? I've never bought a product from either company and it's pretty obvious who the jerks are here.
Bent Franklin avatar
Bent Franklin
Oh, and try pulling that stunt on my company and you better get ready for a libel suit.
Sudarshana  Ranabahu avatar
Sudarshana Ranabahu
http://www.lekue.be/en/citrus-spray-3400115
Adam Vanderlip avatar
Adam Vanderlip
Wow, the unmitigated temerity it must take for a terrible upstart in NYC to honestly think every idea on the planet must have come from their lame little shop. Then to get spanked in public in such a manner. You guys need to pull back from inhaling your own vapours and do some inventing.
rk 3150 avatar
rk 3150
So basically you're saying: "We both made new products out of old ideas, but they researched theirs and we didn't and our product was there first (although it was based on the same old idea as their product)"? Nice try.
Active-DS avatar
Active-DS
Well said!!! "Some of the best auto designs were buried by the big companies."(JonesAndJones) "They were basically saying to stay away from putting your ideas on quirky....I think the bottom line is quirky gives people a chance to see their ideas developed."(Megster)
Active-DS avatar
Active-DS
I hope the Quirky Team will check these remarks? "My Converge's cheap wiring burned out after a month. My Pivot Power Mini can't charge 2 phones at once, making it useless. Both are made of cheap toy plastic with bad seams." (Mihai Dragulescu) Thanks for the feedback Mihai Dragulescu!
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
@Bill Ward, just curious, when you showed your idea to OXO (and all the others), was it under the provision of a confidentiality agreement?
Leo avatar
Leo
Oxo seemed obnoxious in their response, I think you did what you could Quirky. I WILL be still using your site, making money, buying your products and submitting ideas.
Michael Potiska avatar
Michael Potiska
This is a joke of a response from Quirky. The only recommendation this site will be getting from me is to be avoided. Not to mention their consumer base seems less than intelligent by the comments they're generating.
Justin Murray avatar
Justin Murray
http://www.lekue.es/en/citrus-spray-3400115 http://sell.lulusoso.com/selling-leads/686926/rubber-band-with-Hook.html http://www.bluelounge.com/products/cabledrop/ http://www.yolkr.com/ http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/03/12/who-moved-my-cheese/ Blah blah blah
Michael Tyznik avatar
Michael Tyznik
This whole incident is only serving to make Quirky seem like a petulant, immature company. The first protest seemed mostly like a PR stunt, and now your refusal to address the examples of Quirky products "inspired" by OXO ones just cements the bad taste in my mouth for your brand.
Matt White avatar
Matt White
"We do not plan on further engaging in a tit for tat open letter writing campaign." Oh sweet irony, you put that at the end of a tit for tat open letter response? That works if your entire statement is "no further comment" or similar, not when you post a point-by-point response to their posting. It's like there's a reasonable, adult company involved on one side here, and a bunch of "whacky high school kids" on the other.
jenn carter avatar
jenn carter
oxo should be ashamed i am not buying anything that is associated with oxo and my neighbours, family,friends,relatives,schoolmatesand workmates will all know that oxo is fake and hence should stop buying anything associated with oxo we support quirky for supporting and standing by us ,i feel represented by quirky keep up the good transparent job quirky.
Chris Upchurch avatar
Chris Upchurch
The entire point of the patent system is to protect ideas for a limited time, after which they become part of the public domain, open to anyone who wants to implement them. OXO is in the right here, and by trying to force them to give up an idea that has belonged to the public for more than eighty years, Quirky is in the wrong.
Lupo Tazler avatar
Lupo Tazler
You really need to quit while you're behind. The sooner you admit failure, the sooner you can make this go away, and try to clean the egg off your face.
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
Does it seem to anyone else like OXO is scared of this whole situation? Like they are trying too hard to make Quirky/Ben look bad? If this place is so fucked up and if the actions Quirky took regarding this situation were misguided, why put so much energy into saying it?
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
I agree with @Patrick Hogan, I don't think OXO came off as scared at all, just pissed off (in a polite and professional manner, as opposed to Quirky). If they were scared of Quirky they would have said something sooner about the other products Quirky created that were similar to OXO's. This is like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the bad guy comes out swords swinging and ready to fight, and Indy just shoots him dead.
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
My impression, from the passionate disgust of Quirky voiced from the faceless posters, is that you are somehow associated with OXO. I apologize if you aren't, but otherwise, I don't understand your motivation to bash Quirky with the amount of distain that you obviously have. It just seems over the top.
Ian Hartley avatar
Ian Hartley
I first found Quirky when I bought a few items from the MoMA store in NY. Now I wish I hadn't - I wish that those inventors had found a company that would help them rather than tarnish their reputation with such PR stunts. Well done OXO, shame on Quirky. From an inventor WITH patents ;-)
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
Again, I don't understand the motivation for posting the above comment unless the poster is associated, in some way, with OXO.
Joe Park avatar
Joe Park
Pushkin - maybe because people don't like self-righteous brats? Believe it or not, I'm not associated with either company - in fact, first time hearing about it from daring fireball ( http://daringfireball.net/linked/2013/01/28/oxo ) and I find this whole thing funny and Quirky's responds here pathetic. I think Quirky succeeded in getting their name out, albeit in bad light.
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
My apologies, Joe. However, i hope you can see my point of view. "Self-righteous brats"? "Pathetic"? Thats pretty strong language and very judgmental for something so insignificant to most people who don't have skin in the game.
mark wisdom avatar
mark wisdom
Pushkin I do not think they are associated with OXO I think they just agree with their response. For the record I side with OXO on this unfortunate and stupid crusade Quirky went on. I believe Ben is a passionate person and as such sometimes emotion overrules logic. Hopefully Quirky takes its lumps and learns something from this.
Matthew Darragh avatar
Matthew Darragh
I didn't know oxo or quirky but after reading this Quirky came out looking ridiculous. Sorry Pushkin all the Quirky hate is not some oxo PR machine. This story is being linked by some big blogs now so we raise our pitchforks.
Jonathan Buchanan avatar
Jonathan Buchanan
@Pushkin: I don't understand the motivation for your continued replies to comments on this thread if you aren't associated with Quirky.
Mitchell Marino avatar
Mitchell Marino
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
Sorry, meant @Pushkin, not pushpin, lol.
Dano Shattuck avatar
Dano Shattuck
I'll never buy anything from you
Robert Francois avatar
Robert Francois
Qs very existence stems from innovation. Most every product in existence is a copy or refinement of another. It seems immoral to use morality to shame another when you are practicing the same innovative principles. Instead of taking the victim role, the banner should have stated: "Q Is Honored That OXO Appreciates Innovation". When we wage a battle against anything, we wage a battle against ourselves.
James Glidewell avatar
James Glidewell
It look like Quirky is taking lessons from the Scientologists about how to attack their "enemies". Congratulations on your shameful and shameless protest.
Yujean Yee avatar
Yujean Yee
My turn to comment.
Carl-Erik avatar
Carl-Erik
Well said, and Rake N' Tamp is totally different from their adjustable rake.
bob wezer avatar
bob wezer
Well dang, that was a very professional response by oxo. I think they handled that nicely. I am no abandoning the inventor of the broom groomer i am just saying their claim seemed legit. Was it true that oxo had a lot of q's products developed before q? Forget about it and get back to inventing :D
Patricia  Reid avatar
Patricia Reid
Thanks for pursuing this initiative. I, for one, feel supported, even though it doesn't directly involve me.
Capone avatar
Capone
I think the protest was good for many reasons, my favorite being that it is much more unlikely they will do something like this (whether intentional or not) again. It's important to stand up for what you believe in. Having your IP address blocked is very similar to say, a forum post or blog reply deleted by a big company. I believe individuals reading this excellent blog, Quirky and other companies will learn from this experience. Everyone and every company should think twice before censoring anyone who simply wants to be heard and for justice to prevail. If you are censored, sometimes you need to take action to make your voice heard. I'm sure this could have been resolved in another fashion if OXO had just simply taken the time to hear you out and open up the dialog. Good job, Quirky.
JonesAndJones avatar
JonesAndJones
We will not be buying any OXO products in the future. Some of the best auto designs were buried by the big companies. Let's not allow this to happen to Quirky.
iamJordan avatar
iamJordan
By being an honest and reputable company Quirky will win out in the long run. Consumers may not readily recognize the fact that OXO is a dishonest IP stealing bully now, but that will not matter a decade from now when Quirky is a billion dollar company built on integrity and honest practices.
iamJordan avatar
iamJordan
Are comments here not allowed? I posted a comment about 10 minutes ago about how Quirkys integrity and honest business practices will prove to be amazing assets over the long term, and how a decade from now when Q is a billion dollar consumer products company this little back an forth with OXO wont even be a memory.
Leo avatar
Leo
Does OXOs response allow you to take legal action or was this mostly to point out that they ripped Quirky off?
Simon Kwan avatar
Simon Kwan
I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon and blindly support either side. I don't believe OXO had any malicious intent. Many products are often similar, and we all should know by now that none of our ideas are so truly unique (as evidenced by this: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/849939509/yolkr-the-incredible-egg-yolk-separator?ref=live). There's invention, and then there's execution. Both are required to bring something worthwhile into the world. OXO isn't going after Quirky for the many Quirky inventions that appear quite similar to prior OXO products, as illustrated in their very mature response. Unlike the billboard and the protest, OXO is showing maturity and professional restraint in responding to Quirky's 'shaming' strategy. Not cool, Quirky. Stop with the chest thumping and get on with the work. As a product designer, I also assume my work will be copied one day. My strategic advantage is that I get to market first and fast with a steady stream of new ideas. Let the carrion feast on the remains of our originality. Let's keep our heads high and just do good work. The rest is all distraction.
Michael Taylor avatar
Michael Taylor
Didn't OXO state that they were not contacted by Quirky prior to the sign being hung and the protest? If you did send an e-mail that went unanswered then I would encouraging posting a screenshot showing the e-mail and time stamp. If the contents of the e-mail are sensitive the blackout those spots or blur it out, but show it open with a visible time stamp and subject line. It would be a great way to show that they were not truthful in their response and we can post a link of the e-mail image in the response section of their post. It might be an eye opener to their fans who were bashing Quirky because they were under the impression you all didn't even reach out to OXO before starting your public "call out".
Kevin Barnett avatar
Kevin Barnett
I think Quirky's position sets a dangerous precedent. The invention in question is owned by the public. Anyone should be able to ship a product like Quirky's and OXO's without permission or approval. Healthy competition is a good thing.
Jason Hunter avatar
Jason Hunter
I am not a lawyer, and admittedly have very little knowledge when it comes to patents and IP. The little that I do know about it would be for Quirky to simply patent the item and sue for damages, otherwise OXO could do that in return too. I am not taking sides just inquiring on the subject in general.
Megster avatar
Megster
Great job quirky! I was very annoyed when I read their response. They were basically saying to stay away from putting your ideas on quirky. You can tell they are watching ideas and even paying attention to the timelines of ideas- maybe the timelines are not a great idea after all, if it is going to have competition looking closer. I know quirky does protect some of their ideas with patent protection. I would love to hear more from quirky on how they decide if they want a patent or not. I think the bottom line is quirky gives people a chance to see their ideas developed.
Zzzz avatar
Zzzz
Standing Strong , Still!
UNO avatar
UNO
@ Crreate The 1919 patent is actually referenced by someone in the winning submission on the site so hopefully the company did.
Trevor Johnson avatar
Trevor Johnson
Well I know what brand I will be avoiding in the future...
Trevor Johnson avatar
Trevor Johnson
Also, is there a non-compete clause in the agreement for signing up for the site? What areas of the site are protected/secure without first signing up?
Striker avatar
Striker
It was patented in 1919 and expired in 1939. Once a patent expires it is public domain and anyone is free to make it. Quirky took a stand they should not have and it has left egg on their face..... To me this is just the pot calling the kettle black.
Joseph Schiavo avatar
Joseph Schiavo
Ahh, so now you're ground shifting. Sorry, but you guys got your posteriors handed to you. But, hey you got lots of attention. Let's hope the trope about no bad publicity is true in your case.
Ryan Gardner avatar
Ryan Gardner
I don't own anything made by Oxo, and I'd never heard of Quirky before this situation.. I must say, I'm not too impressed with the way you've gone about this... Sounds like you didn't do your research before you started charging in head first.
Eboni Walker avatar
Eboni Walker
I have never heard of Quirky either, Ryan and I can't help but see this as a publicity stunt more than activism for rights. I am not impressed with their initial response to OXO's "plagiarism" and I am not impressed with this response to OXO's explanation (which might I add was executed beautifully). As a potential consumer of Quirky products, thanks but no thanks.
Paul G avatar
Paul G
I agree with the commenter above - I would've never heard of Quirky until this hit. OXO's response, with the 1919 patent, was pretty devastating but if you truly believe they copied your product, let it motivate your team. They're looking to Quirky for ideas because they might be running out of their own. Being angry and posting banners outside your building about what they did is a waste of time and it's exactly what they want you to do.
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
OXO's response in a nutshell: 'If you post it on the internet, we can steal it.' And OXO is right, that's legal. But it sure isn't ethical...making OXO look like a bunch of scumbags.
Imants Č avatar
Imants Č
I guess Quirky is trying to patent the flexing leg of the dustpan since "teeth" seems already covered by 1919 patent. Not?
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
ha...OXO's suggestion to inventors not wanting it to steal their ideas? 'Don't put your invention where we can see it' (OXO is even going to do us the favor of holding a workshop on that). Good guys don't steal. Scumbags steal then try to justify.
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
Stealing is stealing. "Quirky steals from others, others steal from us, Quirky made it easy, so we can steal from Quirky" is not a great response. It's a Bernie Maddoff type of response.
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
As "...huge supporters of creativity and education in the design community..." OXO is offering a class on how to keep it from stealing from small inventors. Apparently OXO believes stealing is OK if an inventor is careless. Doesn't sound very "supportive" to me.
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
...oh yeah, as OXO points out, "business is business".
UNO avatar
UNO
Unfortunately it's not stealing in the true sense of the definition. Once information is on the internet it becomes research material and cannot be ignored by those working on anything similar. Ignoring accessible research is ignorant and how a company can end up losing market share or a person can spend 100K on something of little value.
Calum Ryan avatar
Calum Ryan
Bah. your whole argument for 'protecting the inventor' is completely bullshit now. They arent the actual inventor, and it's clear you're guilty of doing the same thing anyway.
Kris Aubuchon avatar
Kris Aubuchon
"We do not plan on further engaging in a tit for tat open letter writing campaign." Said the company that sponsored a billboard, printed up t-shirts, and organized a protest? So I take it that "protecting the inventor" bit was just some well-spun garbage considering your tune has changed now that neither company turned out to be the inventor? Who are you really trying to protect here? I've never bought a product from either company and it's pretty obvious who the jerks are here.
Bent Franklin avatar
Bent Franklin
When a patent expires, the invention becomes owned by everyone. Quirky tried to assert rights over something owned by us all. That's like demanding to collect fees from people entering a public park. Stealing is stealing, indeed. Don't try to steal from the American people. Also, the comments above by Clinton Fleenor are ignorant and offensive. They have that taint one so often sees when someone tries the old maxim of "the best defense is a good offense." My takeaway from that is he has no defense, no leg to stand on, so he lashes out. Sad, really. I wish more people in this nation were intellectually honest.
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
Sorry Quirky, but you guys just got pwned. I've been a fan of both Quirky AND OXO but my tune is about to change. Aside from what's already been said here, let me say this: - At least OXO pays its staff. I understand your "influence" model here but I think I've spend over 25 hours inventing, designing, naming, tag-lining, and researching for you guys all for 0.000% influence. That's what we in the graphic design biz call working for spec. http://www.no-spec.com - Your products are either overpriced, crap, or both. I own several. My Converge's cheap wiring burned out after a month. My Pivot Power Mini can't charge 2 phones at once, making it useless. Both are made of cheap toy plastic with bad seams. The other products are non-electrical (hey I even own the now famous dust pan), but I consider them overpriced for what they are. If you fancy yourselves the new rockstars in town, first make sure that you're making the best products you can make.
Bash Prompt avatar
Bash Prompt
Oh Ben, Ben, Ben. You had every opportunity to apologize and back down, but chose to embarrass yourself even further. Every polymath and enlightened individual who has read both sides of the argument is already thinking poorly of your little schtick to exploit our inventiveness with 'speed to market' as the only protection of intellectual property (because clearly you respect us so much we're not even worth a patent!); what you have done here is a textbook example of what NOT to do in reply to OXO's thought out reposte. You know what you need to do? Hire a PR firm and let them handle things for you from here on in. You are too personally attached, your vision is clouded, and your ego got in the way. This is the kind of damage your company may be able to come back from, but your reputation has been tarnished pretty severely. A PR firm could turn this around, but you have to be able to set aside that very large ego and accept that 1. you can't manage the PR for your company because you're wrong and can't see it, 2. OXO hammered you so hard your kids kids will be born with inferiority complexes, 3. you need help. Do it before things get worse. If you do have ANY respect for your inventors, which from your statements about IP leave me extremely doubting, you should do this if you want to remain in operation. Otherwise only the dumbest inventors out there will be sticking around, or fan boys, and let's face it the chance of fan boys being intellectually strong polymathic inventors is slim to none. Repent, Ben. You humped the bunk, and it's time you accept responsibility and admit so and see how you can repair this damage not just with OXO, but the greater internet community, of which a large section of the target demographic you are seeking to work for you (or rather, exploit the ideas of for profit) are located.
Peter Goncalves avatar
Peter Goncalves
Yep, OXO seems to be in the right here... In light of the clarification of prior art from Addison Kelley's 1919 patent, much of the argument for a monopoly on production of a dust pan with teeth just doesn't hold. I echo other views here that defend innovation of design for the good of all as the authors of the U.S. constitution argued for. The only thing OXO may be guilty of here is its capitalizing on the successful market testing of a product by another company. Ben, I've always worried that "speed to market" is not only a poor IP protection model... but it hurts the quality of design and quality of product.
rk 3150 avatar
rk 3150
So basically you're saying: "We both made new products out of old ideas, but they researched theirs and we didn't and our product was there first (although it was based on the same old idea as their product)"? Nice try.
Joe Grasso avatar
Joe Grasso
"Therefore, we believe it’s very important for the market to know who brought the concept of a commercially viable grooming dustpan to market." spoken like a truly out of touch, self important rich kid. Also spoken like the president of the department of redundancy department. The public shaming route only works when the person you are shaming has something to be ashamed of. Maybe you can use your quirky pluck to pull the egg off your face. or better yet, use the 2 liter bottle from youtube. I am SURE the market will then know the very important fact that you, quirky, brought the concept of a commercially viable egg separator to market. market. market. give me a break.
Lorem Ipsum avatar
Lorem Ipsum
Quirky, with its 50 mil infusion will have a tough go at it to becoming a viable and profitable company. I applaud Q's efforts thus far, upping their visibility, Leno, a bit of controversy(Oxo) and other antics are all commendable. But the truth of the matter is that the 50 mil in capital will be slowly whittled down with not much to show for it except for increasingly desperate measures. The Quirky model is praiseworthy but the human capital at Quirky is woefully inadequate. I would assume that the intentions were good at first, to bring game changing invention to the world, but that is proving difficult no matter how many 'like totally creative people' are brought in fresh out of design school. Q, in my view has only 1 option to save itself. Here's a coupon code for it, "DRTV."
Active-DS avatar
Active-DS
Well said!!! "Some of the best auto designs were buried by the big companies."(JonesAndJones) "They were basically saying to stay away from putting your ideas on quirky....I think the bottom line is quirky gives people a chance to see their ideas developed."(Megster)
Active-DS avatar
Active-DS
I hope the Quirky Team will check these remarks? "My Converge's cheap wiring burned out after a month. My Pivot Power Mini can't charge 2 phones at once, making it useless. Both are made of cheap toy plastic with bad seams." (Mihai Dragulescu) Thanks for the feedback Mihai Dragulescu!
bill ward avatar
bill ward
Prior to submitting the Broom Groomer concept to the Quirky community, I sent the idea to many companies that manufacture housewares, including OXO. None of the companies showed interest in the idea. Feeling as if I had exhausted my licensing options, I looked into manufacturing the product myself, but this path was not for me. While thumbing through an inflight magazine, I came across an article on Quirky. The next day, I submitted the idea to Quirky, and soon thereafter was chosen. Finally, a company and community that believed in the idea! Both companies had access to the 1919 patent, and could have realized the potential of the basic concept, if finessed for the modern setting. But it is Quirky that had the vision and that took to financial risk. I provided OXO with the opportunity to review the concept for its modern potential, but they passed. Introducing a product with its essential components uncannily similar to Quirky's Broom Groomer, and not those of the 1919 patent, certainly draws suspicion. Doing so approximately 2 years after Quirky begins to have success with their product is far from inspiring. I'm grateful to Quirky for believing in me and the idea that so many community members helped design, and for standing up for what is right.
Imants Č avatar
Imants Č
@Bill what exactly do you mean by "essential components uncannily similar to Quirky's Broom Groomer, and not those of the 1919 patent"? Also, "I provided OXO with the opportunity to review the concept for its modern potential, but they passed." Did they? So what is all this fury about? Ben invented (or introduced, like Jobs) a concept of INFLUENCE (profit sharing with community), which is the greatest thing about Quirky. Millions of companies make products and pay to inventors, but only Quirky pays to the "crowd around the inventor".
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
I found this very interesting... This conversation took place 2 years ago during Broom Groomers ideation (see for yourself at http://www.quirky.com/ideations/18545) Bill: "Hey everyone, This morning Matthew pointed out that he saw a product similar to my 'Broom Groomer' idea (link) Thought it only fair to advise the community so you don't waste a vote on an idea that has an IP issue. Bummer!" Brian Shy: "Bill: There is not really an IP issue here because the idea was originally patented in 1917 (sic), see here: (link) Since patents are only good for around 20 years ANYONE (emphasis mine) can use this idea now, including us, we just can't patent it ourselves."
andrea  zabinski avatar
andrea zabinski
Interesting Mihai, there you have it...it was already out there, what link was it that showed the product was similar?? That would be even more interesting as if it were not OXO's product, the other company could come back and say it was their idea first...all quirky did was "enhance the teeth" and quite frankly the Broom Groom DOES NOT WORK anyway!! Seriously, this was not a fight worth fighting for, now if you had someone from quirky that went to OXO and started making the same products, then you have an issue as it would be a conflict of interest...this product has been out for years (although in different forms)...there is nothing new about it...
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
Unfortunately the link is dead now, but at least this puts things into perspective. No one should have been surprised, much less waged a full out protest, when a similar product was created by another company. And I don't Blame Bill Ward for any of it, he's just a bystander that got caught up in the antics of a trigger-happy company. Unfortunately I think it did more harm than good and I for one would not want my face associated with Che Guevara tshirts or Guy Falkes masks in some sort of pseudo-revolution over a dustpan.
Joshua Driggs avatar
Joshua Driggs
The comments here are amazing. Quirky is crying foul that OXO copied an idea that is already public domain. You people do realize that Quirky is actually making people pay them to steal their ideas? Imagine someone on the street asking you "Hey, if you give me money, I will listen to your idea, share it with the world, prevent you from ever protecting it." If your business is built upon the "First to market advantage" idea, then don't cry fowl when any copies come to market.
Michael Potiska avatar
Michael Potiska
This is a joke of a response from Quirky. The only recommendation this site will be getting from me is to be avoided. Not to mention their consumer base seems less than intelligent by the comments they're generating.
Justin Murray avatar
Justin Murray
http://www.lekue.es/en/citrus-spray-3400115 http://sell.lulusoso.com/selling-leads/686926/rubber-band-with-Hook.html http://www.bluelounge.com/products/cabledrop/ http://www.yolkr.com/ http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/03/12/who-moved-my-cheese/ Blah blah blah
Michael Tyznik avatar
Michael Tyznik
This whole incident is only serving to make Quirky seem like a petulant, immature company. The first protest seemed mostly like a PR stunt, and now your refusal to address the examples of Quirky products "inspired" by OXO ones just cements the bad taste in my mouth for your brand.
Matt White avatar
Matt White
"We do not plan on further engaging in a tit for tat open letter writing campaign." Oh sweet irony, you put that at the end of a tit for tat open letter response? That works if your entire statement is "no further comment" or similar, not when you post a point-by-point response to their posting. It's like there's a reasonable, adult company involved on one side here, and a bunch of "whacky high school kids" on the other.
jenn carter avatar
jenn carter
oxo should be ashamed i am not buying anything that is associated with oxo and my neighbours, family,friends,relatives,schoolmatesand workmates will all know that oxo is fake and hence should stop buying anything associated with oxo we support quirky for supporting and standing by us ,i feel represented by quirky keep up the good transparent job quirky.
Anonymous Quirk avatar
Anonymous Quirk
I have my wake up call! Quirky I don't care what you say now, you look like fools for pulling this crap! You fired the first shot and missed! OXO fired back and and grazed you! Now you want to be the ones to say you won't go tit for tat? WTF are you guys smoking? You started this and don't like how it's going so you want to walk away with your head up high? No! Shame on you! Don't pick fight with someone bigger than you if you don't know Kung Fu! 100% immature all the way all day!
Chris Upchurch avatar
Chris Upchurch
The entire point of the patent system is to protect ideas for a limited time, after which they become part of the public domain, open to anyone who wants to implement them. OXO is in the right here, and by trying to force them to give up an idea that has belonged to the public for more than eighty years, Quirky is in the wrong.
Patrick Hogan avatar
Patrick Hogan
Give up you lost, just admit it and move on. OXO not only refuted your claims of primacy on the Broom Groomer, for which the only enhancement over the nearly 100 year old original, seems to be purely aesthetic, but also points out products they have the Quirky seems to have copied. It's doesn't matter what your beliefs are on intellectual property, the simple fact is you didn't invent it and you've copied other people's idea as well. By the way, most customer probably don't know, and even if they do, probably don't care that OXO was first to put rubber grips on their kitchen utensils.
Artur Tchoukanov avatar
Artur Tchoukanov
So what you're REALLY claiming is that you've made a broom groomer RELEVANT on store shelves again at this time in history. This is not done through product design (contemporary styling aside), but through MARKETING, word of mouth and social media strategies. OXO's marketing team should thank you for warming up the market (and their introduction of their product is just that). But please, the claims that you're throwing around are not defensible and without merit. YOUR only miscalculation (prior to this silly campaign) is not to get enough pre-orders and not establishing your brand, and broom-groomer as the default choice.
Lowkey Sheen avatar
Lowkey Sheen
A commenter here - http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130126/01571221796/oxo-shows-right-way-to-respond-to-bogus-outrage-over-copied-product.shtml#c98 - brought out an interesting moment not in favor of Quirky. "Check out the conversations from 2 years ago between the "inventor" and Quirky members/staff: http://www.quirky.com/ideations/18545 Bill Ward: "Hey everyone, This morning Matthew pointed out that he saw a product similar to my 'Broom Groomer' idea (link) Thought it only fair to advise the community so you don't waste a vote on an idea that has an IP issue. Bummer!" Brian Shy: "Bill: There is not really an IP issue here because the idea was originally patented in 1917 (sic), see here: (link) Since patents are only good for around 20 years ANYONE (emphasis mine) can use this idea now, including us, we just can't patent it ourselves." Very classy, Quirky.
Jonathan Buchanan avatar
Jonathan Buchanan
I had no idea who Quirky was until this news story came out. Not only is Quirky patently wrong on most counts (for instance, OXO is larger than Quirky by something like 20 people), Quirky could just as easily be accused of copying the 1919 patent as OXO could be accused of copying Quirky. Even if OXO did copy Quirky, imitation is one of the main ways in which new products are developed. For Quirky to condemn this practice would not only be hypocritical, but laughable. OXO's version of the product has a plastic head cleaner - hair sticks to rubber, and would be a nightmare to clean. Would I choose not to buy what I predict would be a superior product just because OXO might have copied another company (which itself copied a 1919 inventor)? Of course not. The whole thing is laughable. Kaufman is calling for justice for an inventor with an unoriginal design. Why not call for justice for the original inventor of the broom groomer concept? The irony of it all is that not only am I less likely to buy Quirky products, as a result of their diplomatic response to Quirky's belligerence, I'm actually much more likely to buy OXO products. I'm browsing for them on Amazon at the moment. And I don't usually buy the kind of things OXO makes. So perhaps OXO should issue one final statement, thanking Quirky for acting like such children, and giving OXO a chance to look even better.
Tom Bolton avatar
Tom Bolton
Come on, Ben. Regardless of whether OXO brought to market their product as a pre-meditated "copy," your own ideation forum for this particular product talks quite openly about "improving upon" existing products which already seem to use the Broom Groomer feature. Bill Ward himself commented in that forum that he was concerned that the idea might not be original, and therefore might have limited viability. In turn, OXO specifically cites how their own product is an improvement over the Broom Groomer. This is the way business works. I'm sure your inventor community would be better served helping them effectively compete in the world of business than they are by quixotically claiming that somehow that world isn't fair. In fact that's what OXO seems to be offering in their post: real advice on how to protect IP.
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
Does it seem to anyone else like OXO is scared of this whole situation? Like they are trying too hard to make Quirky/Ben look bad? If this place is so fucked up and if the actions Quirky took regarding this situation were misguided, why put so much energy into saying it?
Patrick Hogan avatar
Patrick Hogan
@Pushkin I don't know if they're scared, but I can understand not wanting to accusation of ripping someone off go unanswered. Especially when Quirky to put huge banner on their office stating as much (pretty childish btw). They didn't have to try to make Quirky and Ben look bad, Quirky and Ben did that on their own with their over the top public accusations. All OXO had to do was point out the fact that the Broom Groomer wasn't all that original and Quirky had some products equally similar to OXO's. What goes around comes around. Quirky went to great lengths to shame OXO for allegedly ripping off the Broom Groomer, now OXO is just returning the favor, since as it turns out Quirky was completely wrong. OXO appears to have put no where near the effort into shaming Quirky as Quirky put into shaming OXO. I mean that banner couldn't have been cheap.
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
I agree with @Patrick Hogan, I don't think OXO came off as scared at all, just pissed off (in a polite and professional manner, as opposed to Quirky). If they were scared of Quirky they would have said something sooner about the other products Quirky created that were similar to OXO's. This is like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the bad guy comes out swords swinging and ready to fight, and Indy just shoots him dead.
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
My impression, from the passionate disgust of Quirky voiced from the faceless posters, is that you are somehow associated with OXO. I apologize if you aren't, but otherwise, I don't understand your motivation to bash Quirky with the amount of distain that you obviously have. It just seems over the top.
J_E_T_ avatar
J_E_T_
I have to agree with Pushkin, I think some of these individuals are associated with OXO. I think the quirky supporters have to remember a few simple facts. First, we now know OXO is looking at quirkys products, quirky tried to contact OXO and they blocked quirky from contacting them. After that, then quirky took action. Quirky never once said they had a patent on the dustpan, however, they did not think the company a few blocks over would stick a stick on it and put it for sale and then block quirky from contacting them about it. Instead of focusing the attention on this, let's talk about the great things quirky has done. For instance, heading to the streets during the hurricane passing out free supplies to people in need. I wander if OXO headed out to the streets passing out thousands of dollars worth of supplies to people in need? I don't know if they did or didn't but let's focus on the positives.
Joe Park avatar
Joe Park
Pushkin - maybe because people don't like self-righteous brats? Believe it or not, I'm not associated with either company - in fact, first time hearing about it from daring fireball ( http://daringfireball.net/linked/2013/01/28/oxo ) and I find this whole thing funny and Quirky's responds here pathetic. I think Quirky succeeded in getting their name out, albeit in bad light.
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
My apologies, Joe. However, i hope you can see my point of view. "Self-righteous brats"? "Pathetic"? Thats pretty strong language and very judgmental for something so insignificant to most people who don't have skin in the game.
mark wisdom avatar
mark wisdom
Pushkin I do not think they are associated with OXO I think they just agree with their response. For the record I side with OXO on this unfortunate and stupid crusade Quirky went on. I believe Ben is a passionate person and as such sometimes emotion overrules logic. Hopefully Quirky takes its lumps and learns something from this.
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
Sorry @Pushkin, I'm not associated with OXO in any way other than being a customer (also own several Quirky products, too). So why the passionate disgust? Here is some food for thought for anyone still supporting Quirky in this matter: 1) Get over this concept that you're going to invent something new. Everything has been done, the true measure of invention today is how much you improve something. Apple, a company that Quirky seems to worship, has NEVER invented a single device, they merely iterate upon what is already in the market. 2) Quirky does not respect the process. They file patents late. They ask you to give your ideas out for free in an open forum (also called "working for spec", look it up). They don't do their homework. While they posture themselves as being all about collaboration, they're really all about ownership (which is fine, just don't bullshit us about it). 3) Quirky doesn't "protect" it's humans. That stupid protest did nothing, nor did the tshirts or signs. If they wanted to protect Bill Ward they would have contacted their lawyers (which in the video Ben says they have access to, but they're choosing to do this instead). They knew they didn't have a legal leg to stand on so they decided to go with theatrics. 4) Quirky doesn't protect IP, either. They host an open forum where anybody can read your ideas, in fact it's encouraged. Not only does this instantly give Quirky the right to use and abuse your idea any way it wants, but everyone else in the world, too. Ignorance of common sense laws does not give anyone the right to complain about being wronged, especially the owner of the company. 5) Quirky is all sizzle and no steak. The products look great in photography, and the packaging is sexy, but they are cheaply made and break down (especially the electronics). I am speaking from first-hand customer experience. At lower price points, OXO makes more durable products, albeit not as nice to look at. 6) The profit of a few on the backs of many. The concept of everyone getting paid for their contributions is interesting for sure, but the problem is that it doesn't scale. When you've got thousands of people pitching in there are bound to be some overlapping concepts, tag lines, names, designs, etc. Yet Quirky picks who gets paid for their time and who doesn't. Quirky plays on the desperation of individuals to "get picked" so that it has a huge pool of concepts that it has complete access to. Who do you think makes out as the winner in this scenario? That's like going to 100 doctors and only paying the one who has the best bedside manner. 7) Quirky takes its community for idiots if they thought we wouldn't put the pieces together and say all the things that have been said so many times in this thread. I'm not sure if either they are that dumb or if they think we are that dumb.
Simon Wilkins avatar
Simon Wilkins
I think the lesson here is that if you are going to make out that you are the "David" in some David and Goliath battle, you'd better make sure that you are in the right, or it will backfire. It seems pretty clear that Quirky aren't in the right here. And Oxo's response seems to have been measured and restrained. It's interesting that Quirky hasn't commented at all on the counterexamples Oxo provided. I also think it's rather disingenuous for Quirky to suggest that this is all about Bill Ward and the "community". It's not, it's Quirky's profits too, and what Quirky seem to be arguing for is special treatment because the ideas they implement are crowdsourced from a community of individuals - so is pretty much every other product, it just happens that they are often paid salaries rather than royalties.
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
@Pushpin, I was the one who said "at least OXO pays its employees". What I meant by that is at Quirky, everyone who participates in crowd sourcing ideas doesn't get paid. In fact, a very small percentage ever do. Whether or not the work is better or worse is irrelevant, my hour spent is just as valuable as your hour, as his hour, as her hour, etc. Paying people AFTER the work is complete based on an open selection is to the advantage of the payer, not the payee (as per my doctor analogy). I'll give you another analogy: It's like downloading every track from the iTunes Music Store and then only paying for the ones you like most. And even then, I can delete the other tracks, but I can't "return" an idea to you. So my logical assumption is that since OXO does not partake in crowd sourcing that they have paid employees doing their R&D, and everyone gets paid regardless of whether the fruits of their labor go into production or not. I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that OXO does that, since it's how 99.9% of companies work. I don't think I disclosed any trade secrets, there.
Milo Manheim avatar
Milo Manheim
So, without taking any kind of side in this dustup (ooh- accidental, sorry) I'm surprised no one has pointed out the Q's design is terrible. Sorry- banner design. To most casual observers, someone (its not clear who)is ACTUALLY congratulating OXO. The banner looks like an OXO friendly billboard- sure the text is self explanatory, but that 8"-12" text is overshadowed by "NICE JOB OXO, YOU ARE AWESOME!!" in what appears to be 4'-6' letters. I do agree that Q could use some PR help, but also some design assistance from an agency that has experience with large format Out of Home advertising. I hear there are a couple in NYC. Also, full disclosure, no tie to OXO other than one spatula, and maybe a whisk. Prior to this no real knowledge of Quirky. Saw the story on both Wired and Gizmodo.
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
@Mihai, you make a good point. I understand your analogy and it makes sense. I think I would see it like that if I were a designer or graphic artist that put all the force of my education, knowledge and skills into submitting ideas to Quirky. I'm a therapist who basically loves being creative, (it entertains me), and occasionally comes up with something that others find interesting too. So, I don't submit here thinking I'm going to make money doing it. I might, and that's kind of exciting, but I definitely don't count on it. To me, Quirky is performing a service, (entertainment and a venue to be creative) that is relatively inexpensive. Thanks to all who have responded and clued me into where your coming from, or not coming from : ).
Robert Francois avatar
Robert Francois
Qs very existence stems from innovation. Most every product in existence is a copy or refinement of another. It seems immoral to use morality to shame another when you are practicing the same innovative principles. Instead of taking the victim role, the banner should have stated: "Q Is Honored That OXO Appreciates Innovation". When we wage a battle against anything, we wage a battle against ourselves.
James Glidewell avatar
James Glidewell
It look like Quirky is taking lessons from the Scientologists about how to attack their "enemies". Congratulations on your shameful and shameless protest.
Yujean Yee avatar
Yujean Yee
My turn to comment.
Brenton Fletcher avatar
Brenton Fletcher
It hasn't really come up in your original post/oxo's response, or the comments on this or the previous post, but: Publicly accusing a company of "the appropriation of an inventor’s intellectual property" and of making a "rip-off", and saying that the company has "victim"ized people, especially in such a public forum as billboards and street protests, when in fact the company hasn't done anything wrong, seems to be textbook defamation and libel. This sort of thing can have serious legal consequences, and it seems it's only due to OXO's good will that Quirky isn't in real trouble right now.
Coolwash avatar
Coolwash
hey q. whats good for the gose is good for the gander. you guys have done it to me 5 times so far.
Coolwash avatar
Coolwash
sp: goose... (see, i just changed it a little bit...)
Capone avatar
Capone
I think the protest was good for many reasons, my favorite being that it is much more unlikely they will do something like this (whether intentional or not) again. It's important to stand up for what you believe in. Having your IP address blocked is very similar to say, a forum post or blog reply deleted by a big company. I believe individuals reading this excellent blog, Quirky and other companies will learn from this experience. Everyone and every company should think twice before censoring anyone who simply wants to be heard and for justice to prevail. If you are censored, sometimes you need to take action to make your voice heard. I'm sure this could have been resolved in another fashion if OXO had just simply taken the time to hear you out and open up the dialog. Good job, Quirky.
Simon Kwan avatar
Simon Kwan
I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon and blindly support either side. I don't believe OXO had any malicious intent. Many products are often similar, and we all should know by now that none of our ideas are so truly unique (as evidenced by this: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/849939509/yolkr-the-incredible-egg-yolk-separator?ref=live). There's invention, and then there's execution. Both are required to bring something worthwhile into the world. OXO isn't going after Quirky for the many Quirky inventions that appear quite similar to prior OXO products, as illustrated in their very mature response. Unlike the billboard and the protest, OXO is showing maturity and professional restraint in responding to Quirky's 'shaming' strategy. Not cool, Quirky. Stop with the chest thumping and get on with the work. As a product designer, I also assume my work will be copied one day. My strategic advantage is that I get to market first and fast with a steady stream of new ideas. Let the carrion feast on the remains of our originality. Let's keep our heads high and just do good work. The rest is all distraction.
Michael Taylor avatar
Michael Taylor
Didn't OXO state that they were not contacted by Quirky prior to the sign being hung and the protest? If you did send an e-mail that went unanswered then I would encouraging posting a screenshot showing the e-mail and time stamp. If the contents of the e-mail are sensitive the blackout those spots or blur it out, but show it open with a visible time stamp and subject line. It would be a great way to show that they were not truthful in their response and we can post a link of the e-mail image in the response section of their post. It might be an eye opener to their fans who were bashing Quirky because they were under the impression you all didn't even reach out to OXO before starting your public "call out".
Megster avatar
Megster
Great job quirky! I was very annoyed when I read their response. They were basically saying to stay away from putting your ideas on quirky. You can tell they are watching ideas and even paying attention to the timelines of ideas- maybe the timelines are not a great idea after all, if it is going to have competition looking closer. I know quirky does protect some of their ideas with patent protection. I would love to hear more from quirky on how they decide if they want a patent or not. I think the bottom line is quirky gives people a chance to see their ideas developed.
Bent Franklin avatar
Bent Franklin
When a patent expires, the invention becomes owned by everyone. Quirky tried to assert rights over something owned by us all. That's like demanding to collect fees from people entering a public park. Stealing is stealing, indeed. Don't try to steal from the American people. Also, the comments above by Clinton Fleenor are ignorant and offensive. They have that taint one so often sees when someone tries the old maxim of "the best defense is a good offense." My takeaway from that is he has no defense, no leg to stand on, so he lashes out. Sad, really. I wish more people in this nation were intellectually honest.
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
Sorry Quirky, but you guys just got pwned. I've been a fan of both Quirky AND OXO but my tune is about to change. Aside from what's already been said here, let me say this: - At least OXO pays its staff. I understand your "influence" model here but I think I've spend over 25 hours inventing, designing, naming, tag-lining, and researching for you guys all for 0.000% influence. That's what we in the graphic design biz call working for spec. http://www.no-spec.com - Your products are either overpriced, crap, or both. I own several. My Converge's cheap wiring burned out after a month. My Pivot Power Mini can't charge 2 phones at once, making it useless. Both are made of cheap toy plastic with bad seams. The other products are non-electrical (hey I even own the now famous dust pan), but I consider them overpriced for what they are. If you fancy yourselves the new rockstars in town, first make sure that you're making the best products you can make.
Bash Prompt avatar
Bash Prompt
Oh Ben, Ben, Ben. You had every opportunity to apologize and back down, but chose to embarrass yourself even further. Every polymath and enlightened individual who has read both sides of the argument is already thinking poorly of your little schtick to exploit our inventiveness with 'speed to market' as the only protection of intellectual property (because clearly you respect us so much we're not even worth a patent!); what you have done here is a textbook example of what NOT to do in reply to OXO's thought out reposte. You know what you need to do? Hire a PR firm and let them handle things for you from here on in. You are too personally attached, your vision is clouded, and your ego got in the way. This is the kind of damage your company may be able to come back from, but your reputation has been tarnished pretty severely. A PR firm could turn this around, but you have to be able to set aside that very large ego and accept that 1. you can't manage the PR for your company because you're wrong and can't see it, 2. OXO hammered you so hard your kids kids will be born with inferiority complexes, 3. you need help. Do it before things get worse. If you do have ANY respect for your inventors, which from your statements about IP leave me extremely doubting, you should do this if you want to remain in operation. Otherwise only the dumbest inventors out there will be sticking around, or fan boys, and let's face it the chance of fan boys being intellectually strong polymathic inventors is slim to none. Repent, Ben. You humped the bunk, and it's time you accept responsibility and admit so and see how you can repair this damage not just with OXO, but the greater internet community, of which a large section of the target demographic you are seeking to work for you (or rather, exploit the ideas of for profit) are located.
Peter Goncalves avatar
Peter Goncalves
Yep, OXO seems to be in the right here... In light of the clarification of prior art from Addison Kelley's 1919 patent, much of the argument for a monopoly on production of a dust pan with teeth just doesn't hold. I echo other views here that defend innovation of design for the good of all as the authors of the U.S. constitution argued for. The only thing OXO may be guilty of here is its capitalizing on the successful market testing of a product by another company. Ben, I've always worried that "speed to market" is not only a poor IP protection model... but it hurts the quality of design and quality of product.
Joe Grasso avatar
Joe Grasso
"Therefore, we believe it’s very important for the market to know who brought the concept of a commercially viable grooming dustpan to market." spoken like a truly out of touch, self important rich kid. Also spoken like the president of the department of redundancy department. The public shaming route only works when the person you are shaming has something to be ashamed of. Maybe you can use your quirky pluck to pull the egg off your face. or better yet, use the 2 liter bottle from youtube. I am SURE the market will then know the very important fact that you, quirky, brought the concept of a commercially viable egg separator to market. market. market. give me a break.
Lorem Ipsum avatar
Lorem Ipsum
Quirky, with its 50 mil infusion will have a tough go at it to becoming a viable and profitable company. I applaud Q's efforts thus far, upping their visibility, Leno, a bit of controversy(Oxo) and other antics are all commendable. But the truth of the matter is that the 50 mil in capital will be slowly whittled down with not much to show for it except for increasingly desperate measures. The Quirky model is praiseworthy but the human capital at Quirky is woefully inadequate. I would assume that the intentions were good at first, to bring game changing invention to the world, but that is proving difficult no matter how many 'like totally creative people' are brought in fresh out of design school. Q, in my view has only 1 option to save itself. Here's a coupon code for it, "DRTV."
bill ward avatar
bill ward
Prior to submitting the Broom Groomer concept to the Quirky community, I sent the idea to many companies that manufacture housewares, including OXO. None of the companies showed interest in the idea. Feeling as if I had exhausted my licensing options, I looked into manufacturing the product myself, but this path was not for me. While thumbing through an inflight magazine, I came across an article on Quirky. The next day, I submitted the idea to Quirky, and soon thereafter was chosen. Finally, a company and community that believed in the idea! Both companies had access to the 1919 patent, and could have realized the potential of the basic concept, if finessed for the modern setting. But it is Quirky that had the vision and that took to financial risk. I provided OXO with the opportunity to review the concept for its modern potential, but they passed. Introducing a product with its essential components uncannily similar to Quirky's Broom Groomer, and not those of the 1919 patent, certainly draws suspicion. Doing so approximately 2 years after Quirky begins to have success with their product is far from inspiring. I'm grateful to Quirky for believing in me and the idea that so many community members helped design, and for standing up for what is right.
Imants Č avatar
Imants Č
@Bill what exactly do you mean by "essential components uncannily similar to Quirky's Broom Groomer, and not those of the 1919 patent"? Also, "I provided OXO with the opportunity to review the concept for its modern potential, but they passed." Did they? So what is all this fury about? Ben invented (or introduced, like Jobs) a concept of INFLUENCE (profit sharing with community), which is the greatest thing about Quirky. Millions of companies make products and pay to inventors, but only Quirky pays to the "crowd around the inventor".
Andrew Morrow avatar
Andrew Morrow
It's reasonably important to note that this response doesn't address what I feel is OXO's main point. Simply, that Quirky is selling items that are if anything MORE similar to the (earlier released) OXO products than the OXO pan is to the Quirky version. They didn't threaten or push, just pointed out that there was a bit of inconsistent application of outrage to be found. This story was my first exposure to Quirky, and I will make a point to not come back.
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
I found this very interesting... This conversation took place 2 years ago during Broom Groomers ideation (see for yourself at http://www.quirky.com/ideations/18545) Bill: "Hey everyone, This morning Matthew pointed out that he saw a product similar to my 'Broom Groomer' idea (link) Thought it only fair to advise the community so you don't waste a vote on an idea that has an IP issue. Bummer!" Brian Shy: "Bill: There is not really an IP issue here because the idea was originally patented in 1917 (sic), see here: (link) Since patents are only good for around 20 years ANYONE (emphasis mine) can use this idea now, including us, we just can't patent it ourselves."
andrea  zabinski avatar
andrea zabinski
Interesting Mihai, there you have it...it was already out there, what link was it that showed the product was similar?? That would be even more interesting as if it were not OXO's product, the other company could come back and say it was their idea first...all quirky did was "enhance the teeth" and quite frankly the Broom Groom DOES NOT WORK anyway!! Seriously, this was not a fight worth fighting for, now if you had someone from quirky that went to OXO and started making the same products, then you have an issue as it would be a conflict of interest...this product has been out for years (although in different forms)...there is nothing new about it...
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
Unfortunately the link is dead now, but at least this puts things into perspective. No one should have been surprised, much less waged a full out protest, when a similar product was created by another company. And I don't Blame Bill Ward for any of it, he's just a bystander that got caught up in the antics of a trigger-happy company. Unfortunately I think it did more harm than good and I for one would not want my face associated with Che Guevara tshirts or Guy Falkes masks in some sort of pseudo-revolution over a dustpan.
Joshua Driggs avatar
Joshua Driggs
The comments here are amazing. Quirky is crying foul that OXO copied an idea that is already public domain. You people do realize that Quirky is actually making people pay them to steal their ideas? Imagine someone on the street asking you "Hey, if you give me money, I will listen to your idea, share it with the world, prevent you from ever protecting it." If your business is built upon the "First to market advantage" idea, then don't cry fowl when any copies come to market.
Anonymous Quirk avatar
Anonymous Quirk
I have my wake up call! Quirky I don't care what you say now, you look like fools for pulling this crap! You fired the first shot and missed! OXO fired back and and grazed you! Now you want to be the ones to say you won't go tit for tat? WTF are you guys smoking? You started this and don't like how it's going so you want to walk away with your head up high? No! Shame on you! Don't pick fight with someone bigger than you if you don't know Kung Fu! 100% immature all the way all day!
Patrick Hogan avatar
Patrick Hogan
Give up you lost, just admit it and move on. OXO not only refuted your claims of primacy on the Broom Groomer, for which the only enhancement over the nearly 100 year old original, seems to be purely aesthetic, but also points out products they have the Quirky seems to have copied. It's doesn't matter what your beliefs are on intellectual property, the simple fact is you didn't invent it and you've copied other people's idea as well. By the way, most customer probably don't know, and even if they do, probably don't care that OXO was first to put rubber grips on their kitchen utensils.
Artur Tchoukanov avatar
Artur Tchoukanov
So what you're REALLY claiming is that you've made a broom groomer RELEVANT on store shelves again at this time in history. This is not done through product design (contemporary styling aside), but through MARKETING, word of mouth and social media strategies. OXO's marketing team should thank you for warming up the market (and their introduction of their product is just that). But please, the claims that you're throwing around are not defensible and without merit. YOUR only miscalculation (prior to this silly campaign) is not to get enough pre-orders and not establishing your brand, and broom-groomer as the default choice.
Lowkey Sheen avatar
Lowkey Sheen
A commenter here - http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130126/01571221796/oxo-shows-right-way-to-respond-to-bogus-outrage-over-copied-product.shtml#c98 - brought out an interesting moment not in favor of Quirky. "Check out the conversations from 2 years ago between the "inventor" and Quirky members/staff: http://www.quirky.com/ideations/18545 Bill Ward: "Hey everyone, This morning Matthew pointed out that he saw a product similar to my 'Broom Groomer' idea (link) Thought it only fair to advise the community so you don't waste a vote on an idea that has an IP issue. Bummer!" Brian Shy: "Bill: There is not really an IP issue here because the idea was originally patented in 1917 (sic), see here: (link) Since patents are only good for around 20 years ANYONE (emphasis mine) can use this idea now, including us, we just can't patent it ourselves." Very classy, Quirky.
Jonathan Buchanan avatar
Jonathan Buchanan
I had no idea who Quirky was until this news story came out. Not only is Quirky patently wrong on most counts (for instance, OXO is larger than Quirky by something like 20 people), Quirky could just as easily be accused of copying the 1919 patent as OXO could be accused of copying Quirky. Even if OXO did copy Quirky, imitation is one of the main ways in which new products are developed. For Quirky to condemn this practice would not only be hypocritical, but laughable. OXO's version of the product has a plastic head cleaner - hair sticks to rubber, and would be a nightmare to clean. Would I choose not to buy what I predict would be a superior product just because OXO might have copied another company (which itself copied a 1919 inventor)? Of course not. The whole thing is laughable. Kaufman is calling for justice for an inventor with an unoriginal design. Why not call for justice for the original inventor of the broom groomer concept? The irony of it all is that not only am I less likely to buy Quirky products, as a result of their diplomatic response to Quirky's belligerence, I'm actually much more likely to buy OXO products. I'm browsing for them on Amazon at the moment. And I don't usually buy the kind of things OXO makes. So perhaps OXO should issue one final statement, thanking Quirky for acting like such children, and giving OXO a chance to look even better.
Tom Bolton avatar
Tom Bolton
Come on, Ben. Regardless of whether OXO brought to market their product as a pre-meditated "copy," your own ideation forum for this particular product talks quite openly about "improving upon" existing products which already seem to use the Broom Groomer feature. Bill Ward himself commented in that forum that he was concerned that the idea might not be original, and therefore might have limited viability. In turn, OXO specifically cites how their own product is an improvement over the Broom Groomer. This is the way business works. I'm sure your inventor community would be better served helping them effectively compete in the world of business than they are by quixotically claiming that somehow that world isn't fair. In fact that's what OXO seems to be offering in their post: real advice on how to protect IP.
Patrick Hogan avatar
Patrick Hogan
@Pushkin I don't know if they're scared, but I can understand not wanting to accusation of ripping someone off go unanswered. Especially when Quirky to put huge banner on their office stating as much (pretty childish btw). They didn't have to try to make Quirky and Ben look bad, Quirky and Ben did that on their own with their over the top public accusations. All OXO had to do was point out the fact that the Broom Groomer wasn't all that original and Quirky had some products equally similar to OXO's. What goes around comes around. Quirky went to great lengths to shame OXO for allegedly ripping off the Broom Groomer, now OXO is just returning the favor, since as it turns out Quirky was completely wrong. OXO appears to have put no where near the effort into shaming Quirky as Quirky put into shaming OXO. I mean that banner couldn't have been cheap.
J_E_T_ avatar
J_E_T_
I have to agree with Pushkin, I think some of these individuals are associated with OXO. I think the quirky supporters have to remember a few simple facts. First, we now know OXO is looking at quirkys products, quirky tried to contact OXO and they blocked quirky from contacting them. After that, then quirky took action. Quirky never once said they had a patent on the dustpan, however, they did not think the company a few blocks over would stick a stick on it and put it for sale and then block quirky from contacting them about it. Instead of focusing the attention on this, let's talk about the great things quirky has done. For instance, heading to the streets during the hurricane passing out free supplies to people in need. I wander if OXO headed out to the streets passing out thousands of dollars worth of supplies to people in need? I don't know if they did or didn't but let's focus on the positives.
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
Sorry @Pushkin, I'm not associated with OXO in any way other than being a customer (also own several Quirky products, too). So why the passionate disgust? Here is some food for thought for anyone still supporting Quirky in this matter: 1) Get over this concept that you're going to invent something new. Everything has been done, the true measure of invention today is how much you improve something. Apple, a company that Quirky seems to worship, has NEVER invented a single device, they merely iterate upon what is already in the market. 2) Quirky does not respect the process. They file patents late. They ask you to give your ideas out for free in an open forum (also called "working for spec", look it up). They don't do their homework. While they posture themselves as being all about collaboration, they're really all about ownership (which is fine, just don't bullshit us about it). 3) Quirky doesn't "protect" it's humans. That stupid protest did nothing, nor did the tshirts or signs. If they wanted to protect Bill Ward they would have contacted their lawyers (which in the video Ben says they have access to, but they're choosing to do this instead). They knew they didn't have a legal leg to stand on so they decided to go with theatrics. 4) Quirky doesn't protect IP, either. They host an open forum where anybody can read your ideas, in fact it's encouraged. Not only does this instantly give Quirky the right to use and abuse your idea any way it wants, but everyone else in the world, too. Ignorance of common sense laws does not give anyone the right to complain about being wronged, especially the owner of the company. 5) Quirky is all sizzle and no steak. The products look great in photography, and the packaging is sexy, but they are cheaply made and break down (especially the electronics). I am speaking from first-hand customer experience. At lower price points, OXO makes more durable products, albeit not as nice to look at. 6) The profit of a few on the backs of many. The concept of everyone getting paid for their contributions is interesting for sure, but the problem is that it doesn't scale. When you've got thousands of people pitching in there are bound to be some overlapping concepts, tag lines, names, designs, etc. Yet Quirky picks who gets paid for their time and who doesn't. Quirky plays on the desperation of individuals to "get picked" so that it has a huge pool of concepts that it has complete access to. Who do you think makes out as the winner in this scenario? That's like going to 100 doctors and only paying the one who has the best bedside manner. 7) Quirky takes its community for idiots if they thought we wouldn't put the pieces together and say all the things that have been said so many times in this thread. I'm not sure if either they are that dumb or if they think we are that dumb.
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
First, my apologies to all not associated with OXO. The strong language is hard for me to understand for people who dont have a vested interested in exploiting this situation. I still think some among you are. I can't remember who stated it above, (and don't have the time to re-read the thread), but someone talks about "at least OXO pays its employees". That sounds like inside info to me. You know what I mean? . Also, just so it's clear, I'm not arguing that your perspective is wrong. I can see where you all are coming from. just that its surprisingly passionate for a group of people who just read an article, or just bought Quirky products....or whatever. Also, if you knew anything about me, you would know I've had my own issues with Quirky in the past, and have been quite vocal about it. So, I understand how Quirky can inspire that type of passion. It's just that my investment in Quirky is transparent. . @Jonathan Buchanan....um, duh.
Simon Wilkins avatar
Simon Wilkins
I think the lesson here is that if you are going to make out that you are the "David" in some David and Goliath battle, you'd better make sure that you are in the right, or it will backfire. It seems pretty clear that Quirky aren't in the right here. And Oxo's response seems to have been measured and restrained. It's interesting that Quirky hasn't commented at all on the counterexamples Oxo provided. I also think it's rather disingenuous for Quirky to suggest that this is all about Bill Ward and the "community". It's not, it's Quirky's profits too, and what Quirky seem to be arguing for is special treatment because the ideas they implement are crowdsourced from a community of individuals - so is pretty much every other product, it just happens that they are often paid salaries rather than royalties.
Mihai Dragulescu avatar
Mihai Dragulescu
@Pushpin, I was the one who said "at least OXO pays its employees". What I meant by that is at Quirky, everyone who participates in crowd sourcing ideas doesn't get paid. In fact, a very small percentage ever do. Whether or not the work is better or worse is irrelevant, my hour spent is just as valuable as your hour, as his hour, as her hour, etc. Paying people AFTER the work is complete based on an open selection is to the advantage of the payer, not the payee (as per my doctor analogy). I'll give you another analogy: It's like downloading every track from the iTunes Music Store and then only paying for the ones you like most. And even then, I can delete the other tracks, but I can't "return" an idea to you. So my logical assumption is that since OXO does not partake in crowd sourcing that they have paid employees doing their R&D, and everyone gets paid regardless of whether the fruits of their labor go into production or not. I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that OXO does that, since it's how 99.9% of companies work. I don't think I disclosed any trade secrets, there.
Milo Manheim avatar
Milo Manheim
So, without taking any kind of side in this dustup (ooh- accidental, sorry) I'm surprised no one has pointed out the Q's design is terrible. Sorry- banner design. To most casual observers, someone (its not clear who)is ACTUALLY congratulating OXO. The banner looks like an OXO friendly billboard- sure the text is self explanatory, but that 8"-12" text is overshadowed by "NICE JOB OXO, YOU ARE AWESOME!!" in what appears to be 4'-6' letters. I do agree that Q could use some PR help, but also some design assistance from an agency that has experience with large format Out of Home advertising. I hear there are a couple in NYC. Also, full disclosure, no tie to OXO other than one spatula, and maybe a whisk. Prior to this no real knowledge of Quirky. Saw the story on both Wired and Gizmodo.
Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
@Mihai, you make a good point. I understand your analogy and it makes sense. I think I would see it like that if I were a designer or graphic artist that put all the force of my education, knowledge and skills into submitting ideas to Quirky. I'm a therapist who basically loves being creative, (it entertains me), and occasionally comes up with something that others find interesting too. So, I don't submit here thinking I'm going to make money doing it. I might, and that's kind of exciting, but I definitely don't count on it. To me, Quirky is performing a service, (entertainment and a venue to be creative) that is relatively inexpensive. Thanks to all who have responded and clued me into where your coming from, or not coming from : ).
Brenton Fletcher avatar
Brenton Fletcher
It hasn't really come up in your original post/oxo's response, or the comments on this or the previous post, but: Publicly accusing a company of "the appropriation of an inventor’s intellectual property" and of making a "rip-off", and saying that the company has "victim"ized people, especially in such a public forum as billboards and street protests, when in fact the company hasn't done anything wrong, seems to be textbook defamation and libel. This sort of thing can have serious legal consequences, and it seems it's only due to OXO's good will that Quirky isn't in real trouble right now.
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