Is Paluski Kayaks borrowing their designs from North Water Paddlesports Equipment?

Monday, 08 September 2008
I was surfing around on the interweb the other day and stumbled on some products that looked very familiar. Both of these products from Paluki Kayaks look extremely similar to safety equipment that North Water has been putting out for several years.

Northwater Deckbag Paluski Deck Bag

Northwater Paddlefloat

Paluski Paddlefloat

North Water Paddlesports Equipment Paluski Kayak

It leads me to that interesting question, "How close can you make something look like another product before you are copying it?"

I completely understand that there are only a few different ways that you can layout a newspaper before it is going to look like the other daily in town but these two different products look extremely similar especially when you look at the fine details.

I know that this is something that Nike always has to deal with, they spend a pile of money on research and development and develop a new shoe and 3 months later, that technology (or something very similar) has been worked into all of their competitor's footwear.

Nike is big business and they are able to copyright their designs and will fight tooth and nail against competitors who are "stealing" it. In the very small business of the outdoor industry where profit margins are razor thin, it is nearly impossible to monitor; let alone go after another company that has product that looks similar to yours.

I know that something very similar happened to Werner Paddles earlier this summer when a company offshore decided to make paddles with very similar designs to theirs. I talked about it on the blog here.

I talked to a representative from North Water and they acknowledged that they are aware of it and have been in conversation with Paluski Kayaks. He wouldn't confirm what the next steps of action would be.

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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