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Copy Cats

Over the past few months we've had a lot of interest from government agencies for the Aerovation CPF® laptop bags, trolley bags and even the brand new backpack.  This is all very good news for us because it's recognition on the part of the US Government that our format is the best for getting you through security screening.

When the US Government wants to purchase something they solicit vendors to bid on their needs, publically.  In August one agency specified the Aerovation products by name using our registered trademark, Aerovation and described the item they wanted by referencing our SKU numbers and our description of these products from this website.  They added the language "Name Brand or equal."

Aerovation is flattered that a US Government agency recognizes that Aerovation designs are the standard by which all checkpoint friendly bags should be judged.  However, by extending the requirement for their procurement with the word "equivalent" they encouraged companies to copy our design.  In one case they actually purchased a large quantity of bags from another vendor who is manufacturing bags "equal" to our design.  Equal is a copy and here's why.

  1. The Aerovation CPF® design is unique in the marketplace.  We are the only checkpoint friendly laptop bag with a top hinge and no buckles, zippers or snaps between compartments.
  2. The Aerovation CPF® Trolley Bag is the only checkpoint friendly trolley bag with a removable laptop compartment and top hinge design.  Again, no zippers or fasteners to deal with.

So, if someone is going to be "equal" they would have to copy the main design features of the Aerovation product to make it work.  Doing this is unethical at the least and unlawful on the part of the government agency at best because they are bound by 28 USC 1498 to pay royalties to us if they purchase the design from someone else.  In this case, I'd say they were sloppy in understanding the law.

Aerovation does not yet have patents on our checkpoint friendly products however, we've been "patent pending" since early March 2008.  The USPTO published our applications before these contracts to other vendors were awarded which means vendors can not only purchase our products and copy them but they can log onto the USPTO website and learn how they are made from our applications.  The government is, in essence, collaborating via USPTO publication and solicitation language encouragement to copy our invention.

You can read our applications by clicking on them at the top of this page.  Aerovation was the first to invent, market, sell and receive USPTO publication for a checkpoint friendly bag.  Our claims are broad and cover every bag currently manufactured that uses a separate compartment to x-ray a laptop computer.  That's pretty much every bag currently on the market.

We understand that there were a lot of companies that submitted prototypes to TSA in early 2008 for evaluation.  These manufacturers all submitted working designs in good faith.  Now, we have a new generation of laptop bag makers who did not spend the money, time or effort to test, develop and bring to market a working product.  Instead, they choose to copy the hard work of others for financial gain and the US Government is glad to enable this behavior.

Aerovation is going to seek all legal remedies for persons who steal our inventions.  This country is based on the independent inventor finding solutions to problems and being able to benefit from commercialization.  Only 2% of patented inventions ever reach commercial success.  The CPF® line of laptop bags are in that minority.  Everyone knows Aerovation is the only manufacturer of checkpoint friendly products to "get it" when it came to designing to the requirement.  Now, those companies are using our hard work for their own gain and we won't tolerate it.

Thanks for your continued support and encouragement!

-Ben and Ginny Bosma

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