Patents & Past Decisions

My latest–and last for a while–patent showed up on my doorstep yesterday.  What odd timing.  I’m proud to say that this is my eleventh patent, and this one involves solving a problem with truck suspension.  So while it’s not Catfish related, the patent ethos is still something I use during the design process  every day.

When I decided to make a car of my own, I explored my options by building a couple cars, including an MEV Sonic 7.  The Sonic is an exciting car, and one that helped me form my opinions about building cars, frames, design, etceteras.  I became friends with Stuart Mills of Mills Extreme Vehicles, and he even offered me the exclusive rights to the Exocet in the U.S.  I declined.  Not only that, but I declined Stuart’s offer to receive a sample kit at a discounted price because I knew that I’d be building my own car, and the last thing I wanted was for Stuart (or anyone) to think that I copied his design.

Copies are everywhere, and actually smart if it’s a successful design.  It’s a normal process in the U.S., and China is world-famous for it.  You can actually make more money by just copying someone’s work and selling it for less, even if your copy includes the design failures of the original.

But it’s just not the path we follow.  For now, I’ll be working with our fabricators to make our own designs, which take longer, are more expensive, and require revision after revision after revision.  And in the end, we hope you’ll find the results worth it.


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