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Thread: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

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    Senior Member Pterodactylus's Avatar
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    Default FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    To my surprise I noticed today that FPR took over my EMF mod and sell EMF modified nibs now as “Ultra Flex” nibs.

    https://fprevolutionusa.com/blogs/ne...ltra-flex-nibs

    All of their flex nibs are now available also in the EMF modded version.

    https://fprevolutionusa.com/collecti...-and-nib-units

    I came up with the EMF mod in 2013 and posted my experiences on FPN, first starting with the Noodler’s flex nibs, a little bit later with the FPR flex nib.

    http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/fo...lex-mod/page-1


    To be honest Iˋm a little bit disappointed that they did not even give proper credit to me when taking exactly over the EMF mod, just rename it and make a new business out of it.

    Ahab_Ease_My_Flex_Mod_response_33 by Ptero Pterodactylus, auf Flickr

    Ahab_Ease_My_Flex_Mod_response_32 by Ptero Pterodactylus, auf Flickr


    One vage sentence in their announcement blog:

    “This half-moon cutout from the shoulders of these nibs was inspired by various "ease my flex" experiments on www.FountainPenNetwork.com”

    is imo more than poor, I would have at least expected that they give proper credit to my idea.

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    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    I mean if they're going to say they got an inspiration from somewhere, and actually had enough of an attention span to remember the name of it and which board it came from and how to do it, they could most certainly take a minute to see the name of the person who came up with it.

    But yes, rather poor taste and seems deliberate (how do you go thru all that and even create it without taking the time to do that?).

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    Senior Member Empty_of_Clouds's Avatar
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    Feel it. Sympathise too.

    A long while back I suggested to a pen maker (via a private email thread) the idea of retrofitting Zebra G nibs into Jowo #6 housings. The idea obviously of allowing people the choice of buying a custom pen with the Zebra fitted, or of buying the Jowo nib unit now sporting a Zebra G that would fit a wide range of custom pens (Jowo #6 being a common nib unit among pen makers). Now, while I did suggest this as a business idea and didn't really expect any other involvement, an acknowledgement of my input would have been appreciated.

    Perhaps it's jut the way of the world these days?

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    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Feel it. Sympathise too.

    A long while back I suggested to a pen maker (via a private email thread) the idea of retrofitting Zebra G nibs into Jowo #6 housings. The idea obviously of allowing people the choice of buying a custom pen with the Zebra fitted, or of buying the Jowo nib unit now sporting a Zebra G that would fit a wide range of custom pens (Jowo #6 being a common nib unit among pen makers). Now, while I did suggest this as a business idea and didn't really expect any other involvement, an acknowledgement of my input would have been appreciated.

    Perhaps it's jut the way of the world these days?
    Perhaps, seen others do similar things. The general feeling seems like if you credit someone to such an extent more than just inspired (but somehow not enough to name them), it somehow feels like you owe them (but if you did anything less, you owe them at least credit). That and some people just want to be the first name to concentrate on rather than leading people elsewhere.

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    Senior Member dfo's Avatar
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    This is a mildly infuriating tale. I remember seeing your thread and the grind is exactly the same.
    "Love is the final fight."

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    Senior Member SIR's Avatar
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    How long have Nakaya been doing their 'elastic' nibs with cut out shoulders?


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    Senior Member grainweevil's Avatar
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    Quote Originally Posted by SIR View Post
    How long have Nakaya been doing their 'elastic' nibs with cut out shoulders?
    But by their own admission, FPR were not apparently inspired by those.

    I dunno, the whole thing seems a bit odd - I'd expect a company to not mention their inspiration at all, rather than just half-bake the credit. But hey ho, there it is. If you don't market your ideas yourself, you can bet someone else will without a thought.

    As a happy EMF-adopter I know exactly who to credit. Thanks, Ptero.

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    Senior Member AzJon's Avatar
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    I honestly had no idea that Ptero was the EMF modification. It is done, however, across the pen world with no credit to Ptero at all. There are also a lot of companies doing essentially the same thing and FPR is a late-comer to that game. I doubt they saw your design and decided to rip it off, but saw other companies take on it and did it as simply as possible.

    Same to you, EoC, and I mean no offense, but your thought was dropping a Z nib into a fountain pen was not unique to you. It is something that I think any lover of flex on a dime budget tries at one point or another as evidenced by multiple pens built to house dip nibs specifically and all of the ways to mod a Jin Hao to house a Z nib.

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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    Pendleton was doing his Angel Wings mod, a similar concept, at least as far back as 2012.
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyIvan View Post
    Pendleton was doing his Angel Wings mod, a similar concept, at least as far back as 2012.
    That’s true, I saw a picture of one of his nib mods, which inspired me to start with the EMF.
    I also mentioned that in my very first post on FPN.

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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    Pterodactylus, have you contacted FPR and asked if they would credit you appropriately?

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    Senior Member Pterodactylus's Avatar
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    Quote Originally Posted by AzJon View Post
    I honestly had no idea that Ptero was the EMF modification. It is done, however, across the pen world with no credit to Ptero at all. There are also a lot of companies doing essentially the same thing and FPR is a late-comer to that game. I doubt they saw your design and decided to rip it off, but saw other companies take on it and did it as simply as possible.

    Same to you, EoC, and I mean no offense, but your thought was dropping a Z nib into a fountain pen was not unique to you. It is something that I think any lover of flex on a dime budget tries at one point or another as evidenced by multiple pens built to house dip nibs specifically and all of the ways to mod a Jin Hao to house a Z nib.
    Personally I think there is no doubt that they saw the mod on FPN of their and the Noodler’s nibs (their blog entry is about this), they saw that many people liked it and saw that it increases the flex dramatically without compromising the physical integrity, and as flex sells they saw the business opportunity and took it over.

    In general nothing wrong with it, I came up with the thing to enable more people to get a real flex experience without the need to spend a lot of money.

    I had never the plan to commercialize the idea (even if quite some people asked me in the beginning to modify nibs for them).

    And yes there were similar mods to increase the flex before, but to my knowledge not in this form and not on these type of nib (what Noodler’s and FPR call flex nibs with the long slit).

    And yes over the years I noticed every now and then that somebody tried to make a business out of it, but all that I saw were quite obscure references, unknown one man shows, which comes and go.

    FPR was the first „real“ company which took it over.

    Maybe I expect too much these times if I would have expected a proper credit from them.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    There is also the Marlen Aleph nib, which now appears to have been totally copied in the Conklin Omniflex nib.

    The unfortunate truth of the fact is that the line between hobby and business is a moving target, as we all know various people who pick up our interest for fun and eventually realize they could do more with it as a business. I've seen the situation noted by Ptero demonstrated over and over again in the music world, where some person will have an interesting idea and someone with more capital, drive and business motivation do (essentially) the same thing and take it over. As others have noted, I do find it very odd that they gave lip service to the original source, which I can't quite figure out - did they think that would be enough to make it cool?

    There was a great old guy who made a handful of unique percussion accessories that we saw at the largest perc trade fair one year. He happened to be located just around the end of the row of booths from one of the largest producers in the world. As my friend and I were playing with one particular product, the head of the other company was strolling the aisles and watched what we were doing. The maker said "Just watch, within the next year you'll see my product in their catalog."

    He was abolultely right: it came out later that year in a barely modified form, no credit (of course, this guy was a very, very savvy businessman) and our old friend ceased operations. There *are* protections available, an avenue anyone can choose to pursue or not. Had the EMF been copyrighted, would this situation have been avoided? I honestly don't know the answer. However, while I find it as mildly sad as any of a million similar stories, it is a common thing and one that should be expected even within what we consider a convivial hobby.
    Last edited by Jon Szanto; December 5th, 2018 at 11:25 AM. Reason: One or two typos...
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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    Quote Originally Posted by AzJon View Post
    Pterodactylus, have you contacted FPR and asked if they would credit you appropriately?
    No I did not, and I will not.
    I do not beg for it, either it comes or it comes not.
    I just wanted to share the fact with the community and how it felt for me.

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    Exclamation Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    There is also the Marlen Aleph nib...
    Basically, if you want to protect your design or earn royalties, patent or copyright everything before you do anything, or forever be an altruist.

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    Default Re: FPR took over my EMF mod and sells it now as Ultra Flex Nibs

    In the words of Picasso, "Good artists copy; great artists steal."

    Such is the nature of things.

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