Friday, September 3, 2010

Counterfeit

The debate is always open: how far can anyone go in copying things? Where do we set the line between inspiration and counterfeiting? Is it honest to buy a counterfeited good?

My previous chronicle spoke about the Platinum Knock 18, the capless pen manufactured by Platinum in 1965. As I said, Pilot’s threats of legal actions made Platinum to discontinue this model.

Is this a counterfeit? Platinum's Knock 18 (1965).

But, was Pilot the inventor of this push-pull system? Pilot certainly filed some patents in the US for a “Retractable Nib Fountain Pen” in 1964 and in later years.

The "Retractable Nib Fountain Pen" patent by Pilot in 1964 (published in 1966).

However, about twenty years before, some Grover C. Smith had already patented a similar invention:

A capless-like patent from 1944, published in 1946.

So, can we say Pilot was completely original in its creation? No, definitely not. Was Pilot the most successful? Yes, certainly.

I do not have the answers to the questions I asked in the beginning of this text. But by now I know that there are very few original ideas in the world of fountain pens. Accepting some copies as legitimate but not others is at anybody’s discretion.

Montblanc and non Montblanc torpedo pens.

Would we like to see copies of the Pilot Capless in the market? Do we enjoy torpedo-like pens not made by Montblanc? And what about Chinese-made copies of well-known pens?

A China-made Montblanc. Does anybody ever think this is a real Montblanc?

We should not forget that plagiarism is accepted when it becomes assassination.

With thanks to Grafopasión forum member Estilográficas.

(Platinum 3776 music nib – Sailor Red Brown)

Bruno Taut
Inagi, September 2, 2010
[labels: Pilot, Platinum, Montblanc, fora]

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