With four days to go in its Kickstarter campaign, BetterBack is nearing the $1 million crowdfunding mark with over 13,000 backers supporting the project. If it hits a million it will join a rather elite group of just over one hundred campaigns that have passed this threshold. BetterBack received a nice boost when it was selected as a “Kickstarter Staff Pick” – something that doesn’t hurt in generating backer interest.
But this crowdfunding success has generated some sour grapes from competing product NadaChair that published a press release last week calling BetterBack a “blatant knock off” of its established product.
According to the release, inventor and back relief products entrepreneur Victor Toso woke up one morning to an in-box full of astonished customers. A Kickstarter project featuring an ergonomic back support device called BetterBack looked almost identical to Toso’s original NadaChair and had hundreds of thousands of dollars in pledges.
“I don’t know what Katherine Krug was thinking,” said Toso, whose NadaChair line has seven unique ergonomic-back pain relief products. “I can’t see how she could have misled so many people representing BetterBack as a new and unique product.”
Toso questioned Krug’s adherence to Kickstarter’s terms of service and “truth pledge”. Toso stated that supporters did not realize that Krug’s project does not meet Kickstarter’s strict terms and conditions or Truth Policy.
“While BetterBack uses the same knee form as the Nada Chair (which is in public domain; the patents expired years ago), the knee pads, straps and back pad are a different design and construction, based on over 6 rounds of prototyping, the talents of two amazing Industrial Designers and the feedback of over 60 beta testers. I please encourage you to actually learn about BetterBack. The best way to do that is to read through my Kickstarter page itself, but here also some of the ways BetterBack is different.”
Toso has decided to fight fire with fire launching his own crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Launched on May 4th, his project is hoping to raise $250,000 by June 18th. As of today his project, entitled “your BetterBack ErgoChair” has raised just $1305 from three backers.
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