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Thread: Cataloging your fly-tying names - by Randal Sumner

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Cataloging your fly-tying names - by Randal Sumner

    I think ianhughscott and flyfishbds had it pretty much right. There's a lot of misinformation going around about intellectual property such as patents, copyrights and trademarks (as well as trade secrets, which hasn't come up in this context). First off, a trademark does not bar someone from tying the same fly (despite what Randal said in his article opening this thread) - only calling it the trademarked name or close variations would constitute an infringement. And unless someone made and sold those trademarked flies by their trademarked name or close variations, it's hard to imagine what the damages would be for infringement of the trademark.

    As for copyrighting the "recipe" for the fly, it doesn't take much to legally circumvent a copyright. Copyright infringement generally involves literally copying word-for-word someone else's written work (in this context) for commercial gain. Substantially rewording the process for tying the fly would probably be enough to avoid copyright infringement.

    Last but not least, whether a fly could be patented depends upon a number of factors, not least how "obvious" the concept of that particular fly is, whether it has been previously disclosed publicly (by anyone) a year or more prior to patent filing, etc., keeping in mind that the mere granting of a patent by the U.S. Patent Office is absolutely no assurance at all that it will withstand invalidation by the courts. And I would think a patented fly - if such even exists - would be very easy to legally "design around"; after all, much of fly-tying (at least in my case) seems to be coming up with alternative materials and methods for tying a particular fly I'm trying to emulate.

    Bottom line: unless you are tying commercially or writing books on fly-tying, I don't see much to fear in tying flies for your own use that you've seen elsewhere.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Cataloging your fly-tying names - by Randal Sumner

    A fly recipe would have to be Patented, not copyrighted. What is copyrighted is the name Kaufman. You can't resell a fly who's name includes a copyrighted name such as Kaufman, Orvis. etc.
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  3. #13
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    Thumbs down Re: Cataloging your fly-tying names - by Randal Sumner

    Quote Originally Posted by swirlchaser View Post
    A fly recipe would have to be Patented, not copyrighted. What is copyrighted is the name Kaufman. You can't resell a fly who's name includes a copyrighted name such as Kaufman, Orvis. etc.
    I think you have it wrong. Flies using the name of Kaufmann would be trademarked. The recipe with that name could also be copyrighted, but the main name protection would be by trademark. As I said in my previous posting on the subject, securing a bulletproof patent on a fly would be quite difficult to do, although it would give the inventor the best protection against imitators, since copyright protection on a fly recipe is easy to write around. The value of the trademark is just in the name, so its protection value depends upon how valuable just the name is to selling the fly. If you could even patent the fly, in most cases it would be easy to design around and thus worthless, unless the tying of the fly incorporated some unique process or material, and even then, those unique factors would be easy to design around.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  4. Default Re: Cataloging your fly-tying names - by Randal Sumner

    If a tyers alters just one element of a recipe, he has a new fly and patent means nothing. As far as name. calling it "--------like" is sufficient to get around that as well.

    Happens all the time.


    "As The deer Thirts For Water, I thirst for you Oh Lord"

    North Woods Wanderings
    Adventure into the North Woods.......

    "Aroostook Flyers and Tyers"

  5. Default Re: Cataloging your fly-tying names - by Randal Sumner

    A couple months ago I hired Hogan Brown as a guide on the Lower Sac you know the guy that has all the flies named after him like Hogan's S&M, Hogan's Red Headed Step Child and a bunch of others that are famous around the world. According to him as actually I asked him about it "you cannot copywrite a fly pattern." However, as in the Case of Kaufmans you can for instance trade mark make a trade mark that has your name in it and know one can copy it. This came up, because I was speaking about a well known fly in NorCal tied by another well known NorCal guide. You can file a trade mark that includes your surnames in it, but that does not preclude someone else from using there same last name as yours in the name of a fly. If I name a fly Wilson's Fat Guy Fly, but if your surname is also Wilson that does not legally stop you from naming a fly Wilson's Skinny Guy Fly. According to Hogan Brown, Idlewild which is the company he commercially ties for and which distributes the flies with his name just does that to give him credit as the originator of certain flies. However, any other company can tie a S&M fly using the same materials and pattern.

    As for this article, I don't really want give an opinion more than to say I don't agree with it. I think its fun to share my original patterns, though I only have 2 so far. Call me vein or whatever, but I include my first name in the names I've given those flies. I personally hope others use my flies and are as or more successful with them than I. However, IMO I'm not exactly a talented tier so I doubt anyone besides those I share them with will ever know them.
    -Tom Wilson
    Attention New Fly Fishers and those just wanting to improve- Join a Fly Fishing Club. They have classes on every aspect of fly fishing for beginners to advanced for free or cheaper than offered elsewhere. Some offer mentor programs. You will make friends with other fly fishers. Clubs often have outings in which members pay special group rates for guides or to fish prime private access areas.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Cataloging your fly-tying names - by Randal Sumner

    One of the great joys of my life is giving my flies to my friends to fish, including those I've designed. It's just great when they hook up with them.
    Gary

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Cataloging your fly-tying names - by Randal Sumner

    I've been tying for about 45 years and can't really say that I've seen many "original" flies. There are variations, especially when new materials are discovered, but most of the flies we use today are very similar to the flies used 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years ago. It makes me laugh to see the "new" flies in the many catalogs with a persons name on them, and I've seen something before that was basically the same fly, except maybe they changed some material in it.

    I tie most of the flies I use, but will sometimes buy flies I see & like how they look, especially if they're tied by a fellow fly angler. (As opposed to mass produced imported flies!) I have no qualms about copying a fly for my own use either.

    I recently bought some flies that I had not seen in awhile. These were advertised in many of the fly fishing & outdoors magazines at one time. I remembered the name, so decided to buy them, and the price was good. I actually bought them more so to collect than to use!

    They're mounted on a card in a plastic sleeve & on the card it says the design is registered, with a US trademark number & a copyright number. However, I know I've seen hundreds of flies in catalogs, & listed on various websites that are so similar to these, and with other names on them, yet they could be called the same design.

    I would bet a trip to court would not be worthwhile!

    I understand "marketing", I tied commercially for 15 years. Tiers want to be recognized for their "creations", because that type of "fame" may lead to bigger & better things, and no one trying to make money tying flies wants to be known as the person who only ties other folks flies. But fact is, most of us do just that!

  8. #18

    Default Re: Cataloging your fly-tying names - by Randal Sumner

    can the total of something be greater than the sum of it's parts ? oh, the angst of the postmodern era......
    http://outdoorsnow.blogspot.com

  9. #19

    Default Re: Cataloging your fly-tying names - by Randal Sumner

    Kaufmann's Streamborn is no longer

    the universe in a drop of water

    Norta Mudzoory

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