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Q: Why Didn’t You Patent Violet Wand Inventions?

Q: Why didn’t you patent violet wand inventions?

I get asked this one pretty often, especially after someone finds out exactly how much I and my husband have invented that has been copied over and over until everyone is using them today.

The answer isn’t really all that simple. In hindsight, if I had known where the violet wand business would be at, right now, I might have done it. But let me give you a picture of ‘back in the day’.  The violet wand community was still tight knit and cooperative, and everyone shared. We shared knowledge and info and we ASKED before expanding on something someone else had done. I asked the inventor of the first makeshift lightbulb adapter if we could improve his idea and go into production. He agreed. Nobody at that time, would have thought to ‘steal’ someone else’s idea.  This was the violet wand community in 2000.

But yes, things change.  As we began inventing different pieces of violet gear and even new violet wands, for more than a decade no one copied our ideas. We shared the information freely to the community. I did not envision a time when someone would take without asking.  It was a full TEN YEARS before the first competitors started stealing our ideas. Should I have seen it coming? Probably. But A) patents are expensive and the small niche market of violet wands doesn’t make it worth it to patent violet wand innovations or inventions. And B) I decided to remain ‘old’-fashioned. And C)–well let me explain this one a little more….

The first to infringe was ‘the new competitor in the top hat‘ in 2008.  In 2006 he had approached my husband at TES and asked how we made lightbulb adapters. Dralion loved to share his insights and went into great detail….and by 2008 ‘Top Hat‘ had copied not only our lightbulb adapters, but many of our inventions. Not a crime, since we had no patent violet wand, he was legally free to do so. But, he had stolen the pictures of our inventions from my website, and those were copyrighted.  When confronted, ‘Top Hat‘ said he forgot where he got the pictures.  Except there was only one place in the world to get those pictures…me. Nobody else had those products. We invented them.  And he was the first to try to copy them.

Well, he took the pictures down finally, but it had started a new paradigm of taking without asking. After ‘Top Hat’,  then a year or two later other new competitors started doing the same copying.   Now there are more all the time and they are still are doing it of course–but its not really a detriment. No one has to feel bad for me.  I’ll explain…In 2013, I answered  ‘poly potpipe guy‘ by email (still have the mails) how to make violet wand electrodes; what we use to affix the endcaps, how we use a hydraulic press and a custom die to make our endcaps, and what to put inside electrodes that we had already experimented with; from sand to ball bearings to glass beads. He entered a contest to get one of our special custom electrodes, and won.  I saw it coming, and sure enough, in 2016 he began selling electrodes using my knowledge and ideas.. and I made it possible.

In my mind, the only unsavory aspect is the sexism of these men (and others, including YOU ‘german ex-pat’) who have used me and my knowledge to further themselves—that even though they have learned at my feet, they not only wont acknowledge that I gave them, paved for them, or specifically taught them what they needed to know—but they spend a great deal of their time denying it and disparaging me in public. I  get it— they are as dependent on me as they once were on their mothers, and they resent that dependence.  They couldn’t do without me; they know it and I know it. To be honest, at this point I don’t let them forget it because I take perverse glee in watching them feed on my trail of crumbs and be simultaneously so angry that they have to.  (Is that bad?  It feels so good though!)  And that brings me to……..C) the above-mentioned third reason I don’t patent violet wand ideas even now, when the business could afford to invest in patents.  Because even though they copy, steal, or live off my ideas and inventions, and deny about how I have helped them be where they are, it doesn’t actively matter since they still can’t do what I do.

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