Jeff Caplan @ Craftoptics
Interviewed by Elizabeth Townsend Gard
Jeff chatted with us about his life in optics -- which began in creating specialized glasses for dentists. Yes, those glasses. His dad began the business (which was sold off), and he got into making lighter versions for crafters. He talks about the business, about their strategy for selling, and the role of patents and trademarks in the business.
He's delightful. .. I tried the glasses at the Quilt Market and loved them. They are on my wish list.
Commentary by Elizabeth Townsend Gard
Patents play an important role in Craftoptics' business, but it was interesting to hear that trademarks play as great a role. Branding gives Craftoptics the competitive advantage as much as patent protection.
Patents last 20 years from date of filing (although that was not always the case). Once the patent expires, anyone can use that patent. It's the idea that society benefits both from the inventor taking the time to invest in making new things society will like, but that society also benefits from building on the "shoulders of giants."