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Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells being knocked off?

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Implacabilis

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Feb 19, 2020
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Hey guys. I wondered if someone would be so kind as to take a look at a patent that has been enforced for a product i was selling. I knew bowflex had designed the initial concept but stupidly didn't think they would have an active patent in place. So of course naturally I am no longer able to sell the cheaper imports from China. Even although they are dam good quality!

Bizzarley I have just been reading up on design protection and patent law for my own product due to be released soon. So I understand why these things are in place. I lost my job due to coronavirus and have a 9 year old girl to support as well as best laid plans for 2020 that have been shattered. I was just trying to adapt and make a little money on the side with the dreaded dropshipping! Hate doing it but managed to import from Europe so customers don't have to wait to long. But now this!

Anyway long and short of it, is this patent active in the UK? Bearing in mind we are no longer part of the EU. And, does this patent allow bowflex to stop these being mass produced and sold all over the web. Mainly Alibaba. As far as i can see this only covers the US? But difficult to understand some of these parents.

Initial Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell Patent

My website is www.home-fitness-world.com if anyone would also like to suggest improvements on building websites. I'm new to this also.

Thank you in advance for everyone's time.

Gareth.

PS take it easy on me! My world has been turned upside down and only just recovered from 1 month of falling ill to this horrid thing! But you adapt and thrive right!? Or try.
 

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ravenspear

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There have been plenty of adjustable dumbbells from companies besides Bowflex. Must be something specific with the design. It would seem unlikely that an active patent has prevented others from entering that space, as I’ve definitely used other brands, both plastic and iron.
 

Entre Eyes

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Hey guys. I wondered if someone would be so kind as to take a look at a patent that has been enforced for a product i was selling. I knew bowflex had designed the initial concept but stupidly didn't think they would have an active patent in place. So of course naturally I am no longer able to sell the cheaper imports from China. Even although they are dam good quality!

Bizzarley I have just been reading up on design protection and patent law for my own product due to be released soon. So I understand why these things are in place. I lost my job due to coronavirus and have a 9 year old girl to support as well as best laid plans for 2020 that have been shattered. I was just trying to adapt and make a little money on the side with the dreaded dropshipping! Hate doing it but managed to import from Europe so customers don't have to wait to long. But now this!

Anyway long and short of it, is this patent active in the UK? Bearing in mind we are no longer part of the EU. And, does this patent allow bowflex to stop these being mass produced and sold all over the web. Mainly Alibaba. As far as i can see this only covers the US? But difficult to understand some of these parents.

Initial Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell Patent

My website is www.home-fitness-world.com if anyone would also like to suggest improvements on building websites. I'm new to this also.

Thank you in advance for everyone's time.

Gareth.

PS take it easy on me! My world has been turned upside down and only just recovered from 1 month of falling ill to this horrid thing! But you adapt and thrive right!? Or try.

First of all Congrats on what you have accomplished thus far.
I can not comment too much on patents but I visited your website and overall it looks great but it never enticed me to click anything.

You have Call to Actions all over the place that is a thumbs up but they do not look like buttons they actually blend right into the content.

Also the wording is very generic. When you get a chance, spend some fun time here...


The first thing people should experience on your site is a helpful freebie opt in and you have one..sort of..very generic box wayyyyyyyyy down at the very bottom. :)

Do you know if you spend more time on building a list, little bit of copy writing, and irresistible lead magnet freebie you could be promoting all types of affiliate products and high ticket premium training as an affiliate and would not even be worried about that dumbell my friend.

More Digital less physical better profit margins. Especially if you ever decide to create or have someone create your own info-product/service/app.
 

Implacabilis

New Contributor
Feb 19, 2020
9
4
11
Scotland, Edinburgh
Hi guys. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

The website feedback is just what I'm looking for! Some very valuable constructive feedback. You ask family and friends and they just tell you the nice version. I don't need the nice version! I need people being honest, pick it apart! Thats how you learn about these things. What looks ok to you, may make no sense to everybody else!

Listen thank you so much for that feedback. I can see exactly what you mean about each point you make. It all looks a bit scattered and disconnected somehow. I was a personal trainer back in my day, so I may bring a very basic fitness online consultation to the top of the website to entice customers in, even if just to have more of a look at the website. If I'm helping others get fit without sales, so bit it. It may lead to something down the line. With regards to the buttons, I get what you mean. I think I will have to learn a bit of coding or download a more premium website builder to amend these. But all is great advice! Best bit, you are spot on, way way too generic! I need to tell them how, and why we can get them fit, and in what area! Making generic statements like that just comes across as spammy!

Reading books on neuromarketing and what makes people buy or make an emotional connection to site, brand or protect before they buy! A lot to learn but fascinating!

I will get to work straight away! Thank you so much. If anyone else wants to take a look and pop over a comment for improving it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Gareth.
 

VincentV

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Also consider creating and posting video's with your products. Make it personal to gain trust and start the relationship. Also good for conversion.

Good luck :thumbsup:
 

AgainstAllOdds

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I lost my job due to coronavirus and have a 9 year old girl to support as well as best laid plans for 2020 that have been shattered.

Product based businesses take time and reinvested capital to build.

If I was you, I'd consider trading time for money until you're in a position to pursue this venture. If you're low on cash, and that's the problem you're trying to solve, then drop shipping is not the best solution.
 

MrBounceBack

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Apr 13, 2020
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Agreed with AgainstAllOdds. I've actually used these Bowflex alternatives:

https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...a2700.galleryofferlist.0.0.38d4e2c1LU2TdS&s=p

I was surprised at the quality for the price, especially compared to BF. Keep in mind, the majority of your cost will be associated with the freight so your best bet is LCL; or a pallet shipped on the water, obviously air freight is out.

I'm not familiar with the UK fitness market, but I'd assume there would be solid ROI, and less saturation than the U.S.?

Most manufacturer's will white label or apply your logo free of charge especially if they see future potential. This is ideal for minimizing your overall risks, and allows you to test your market before committing at a level that may not be necessary off the bat. I understand your situation, along with the need to make something happen ASAP, but I encourage you take your time, and to consider sourcing your products from a manufacturer who offers white label/branding services + small MOQs.

I used to be in the freight/logistics industry and can refer you to a couple solid freight forwarder options if you want to shop rates for importing into the UK. If you can deal with the transit time of ocean freight, this may not be a bad move; and you may be able to negotiate a lower MOQ if you reach out to the manufacturers. I would have them quote you all in with freight, and shop a couple FF as well. Good luck to you!
 
Sep 26, 2020
1
0
1
USA
Hi Gareth, I know your post is a few months old, but I'd like to add some context if I may.

[Quick disclaimer: I'm neither an expert about patents nor an attorney. The following information is based on my own research, experience and observations.]

What you are/were doing appears to be the sale of a patented/trademarked product. Here in the States, the Courts generally seem to allow for the manufacture and sale of repair parts that extend the useful life of a product, as well as parts that enhance the usefulness of a product. Where they seem to draw the line is the wholesale replication of a patented product, and selling knockoffs.

As to whether Bowflex can stop the mass production of knockoffs...I imagine that depends on its patent rights in the country of manufacture. In this case, Bowflex/Nautilus and all of the knockoffs appear to be made in China at the moment. I've not researched the company's patents nor rights in China.

Can it stop the sale of these knockoffs elsewhere in the world? Again, it depends on its rights in the country of sale/resale. There are quite a few companies in China pumping out Bowflex knockoffs and those knockoffs find their way into markets around the world. Craigslist/Amazon/eBay here in the U.S. is filled with knockoffs. Importers are clearly able to get them into the country. Somehow, some way people learn of these imports, buy a couple dozen pairs at a time and sell them on eBay, Amazon and CL among other sites.

I wish I could help you out with UK specifics. Thing is....it doesn't matter whether Nautilus (the patent holder and Bowflex's parent company) can stop every instance of the manufacture/sale of copies. Fact is, if they were to send a cease and desist it doesn't sound like you'd be in a position financially to attempt to fight it. And you'd be unlikely to win even if you had the means to fight it. I think many of the people selling knockoffs simply do so hoping they're small enough that Nautilus won't waste time pursuing them.

Good luck over there. I hope things have begun to improve for you since your original post.
 
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Walter Hay

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@Implacabilis I suggest you check to see if the product is patented in the UK or EU. Many people think that if a product is patented in the USA that covers the invention worldwide, but as I understand patent law (I am not giving legal advice) it only covers the invention in the USA.

As a matter of interest, I am surprised that the US patent was granted, because the patent application contains grammatical errors that could possibly make it unenforceable. To be certain on that matter you would need to consult a patent attorney in the US.

I have added numbers so that my comments below will be easy to relate to what @MrBounceBack has written.
1. Most manufacturer's will white label or apply your logo free of charge especially if they see future potential. This is ideal for minimizing your overall risks, and allows you to test your market before committing at a level that may not be necessary off the bat. I understand your situation, along with the need to make something happen ASAP, but 2, I encourage you take your time, and to consider sourcing your products from a manufacturer who offers white label/branding services + 3. small MOQs.

4.
I used to be in the freight/logistics industry and can refer you to a couple solid freight forwarder options if you want to shop rates for importing into the UK. If you can deal with the transit time of ocean freight, this may not be a bad move; and you may be able to negotiate a lower MOQ if you reach out to the manufacturers. I would have them quote you all in with freight, and shop a couple FF as well. Good luck to you!
My comments:
1.
That is quite correct.
2. Manufacturers who advertise that they will private label will attract many people who will automatically become your competitors, buying the identical product. The result is almost invariably a price war.
3. It is far better to source from manufacturers and negotiate orders for less than their MOQ. I have taught thousands of importers how to do that. See my AMA in the sticky threads at the top of the Inventing, Importing, Sourcing forum. .
4. Yes, sea freight is always a better option for heavy items. Make sure you get any quote from a freight forwarder in writing. You should ask for the quote to include all costs door to door, but remember although that will include their services in paying duty and VAT on your behalf, you will have to reimburse them for that before they will deliver to you. Don't even think of using a Chinese freight forwarder.

Walter
 
Last edited:

Lucky Lu

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@Implacabilis I suggest you check to see if the product is patented in the UK or EU. Many people think that if a product is patented in the USA that covers the invention worldwide, but as I understand patent law (I am not giving legal advice) it only covers the invention in the USA.

As a matter of interest, I am surprised that the US patent was granted, because the patent application contains grammatical errors that could possibly make it unenforceable. To be certain on that matter you would need to consult a patent attorney in the US.
Absolutely on point as usual.
 

JAJT

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Product based businesses take time and reinvested capital to build.

If I was you, I'd consider trading time for money until you're in a position to pursue this venture. If you're low on cash, and that's the problem you're trying to solve, then drop shipping is not the best solution.

100% this.

I've launched a few product based businesses now and if I had to identify a "common denominator of failure" up to this point, it's been my inability to reinvest nearly 100% of profits back into the business and my inability to infuse the business with funds over and above what the company was producing on it's own.

In short, I would not start a new business without a solid source of additional income first.
 

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