Last October Pressy “the Almighty Android Button” – crushed their crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter raising just under $700,000 on a $40,000 goal. The Pressy team had designed an elegant android button to facilitate manual actions on Android phones. With a simple approach and an integrated app it was a quick hit with the Android crew. The excellent pitch video helped to do the trick as over 28,000 backers signed up to support the campaign and capture a reward. The Pressy was scheduled to ship March 2014 – but the creators have now pushed back delivery to sometime in April.
Meanwhile someone else thought the idea had merit and began working on a “clever little Xiaomi gadget” – a device that is yet to have an official name.
TechinAsia didn’t mince words one bit. In an article describing the copycats TIA simply stated; Xiaomi rips off a Kickstarter Project to Give Your Smartphone an Extra, Configurable Button. Hmmm…
Even more galling is the fact the cloned product is expected to ship at a fraction of the price of the yet to be shipped Pressy. How do the backers feel about this? Well as you may imagine there is some grumbling involved;
“Loved the idea of this project but I’m starting to feel scammed. They have the worst communication as in none, and March has come and gone with no product but more importantly no updates or information at all. This is my first Kickstarter fail every other project has come through many late but with decent communication on the delays.”
“was the patent filed and/or granted, if yes when? i cannot find it under your name.
If it wasn’t then you shouldn’t cry about Xiaomi copying, like it or not that’s the business!!”
“What’s the status on this, we going to see it anytime soon? The knockoffs are already beating you to market! What’s going on?”
Great ideas are inevitably copied and speed to market is paramount in the tech world. Few can afford entering the octagon of a drawn out patent battle as IP warriors draw their swords.
The guys at Engadget posed the question to Pressy which garnered a response indicating they have secured IP rights;
“Though the knock-off versions were anticipated, we did not expect to see it from such a respectable and known company … We have IP rights for the design and functionality of Pressy, and are considering our next moves to handle the situation.”
So yes – the next move is Pressy’s. Perhaps the first move would be to ship their product soon.
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