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  1. #1
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    Jun 2020
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    Default Can You Build a Playground and Sell It Using Someone Else's Plans

    I have a building plan that I purchased to build an outdoor wooden playset for my children. The building plans include multiple different playset configurations, but none of them were exactly what I was looking for. So, I modified the plans a built it slightly different. Could I use my modified plans to build and sell playsets as a side job?

    The original plans were designed by a Wisconsin based company called Playstar and they have multiple patents in both USA and Canda on the last page of the building plans.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    8,238

    Default Re: Can You Build a Playground and Sell It Using Someone Else's Plans

    Quote Quoting jnels
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    I have a building plan that I purchased to build an outdoor wooden playset for my children. The building plans include multiple different playset configurations, but none of them were exactly what I was looking for. So, I modified the plans a built it slightly different. Could I use my modified plans to build and sell playsets as a side job?

    The original plans were designed by a Wisconsin based company called Playstar and they have multiple patents in both USA and Canda on the last page of the building plans.
    You're going to need to show the original plans and your plans to an intellectual property attorney for advice on whether you will infringe on the rights of that other company. If you end up infringing on any of the rights of that other company that can end up really costing you later. So think of the cost of the legal review here a good investment in risk reduction. If you get it right from the start you have a lot less risk of trouble from the other company down the road.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,901

    Default Re: Can You Build a Playground and Sell It Using Someone Else's Plans

    The plans may be subject to copyright and a building something from them is making a copy. There's no "tweak" you can do to a copy that will cause it suddenly not to be a copy.

    If there is some part of it that is covered by an active patent, you'll need to license that as well in order to use it.

    TM's advice is sound (as usual). In addition, if you're intending to sell these things no matter where you get the design, you may wish to also contact an attorney about your product liability issues.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2020
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    Default Re: Can You Build a Playground and Sell It Using Someone Else's Plans

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    The plans may be subject to copyright and a building something from them is making a copy. There's no "tweak" you can do to a copy that will cause it suddenly not to be a copy.

    If there is some part of it that is covered by an active patent, you'll need to license that as well in order to use it.

    TM's advice is sound (as usual). In addition, if you're intending to sell these things no matter where you get the design, you may wish to also contact an attorney about your product liability issues.
    A melody can be 'tweaked' to make it not a copy of a another song.

    A car can be 'tweaked' to make it not a copy of another car.

    So why can't a swing-set be changed in a way to make it not a copy of another patented swing-set?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Can You Build a Playground and Sell It Using Someone Else's Plans

    Quote Quoting jnels
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    Could I use my modified plans to build and sell playsets as a side job?
    I agree with TM and FlyingRon that there is a potential infringement issue. But I also agree with Harold99 that it shouldn't be too difficult to overcome by making your design unique or generic.

    Once you get past that, you have an even bigger problem - a products liability exposure. If I child gets injured while using one of your sets, you'll be sued no matter how perfectly constructed your set is. For that exposure you'll need products liability insurance which is likely to be quite costly for someone selling equipment that children use. Factor that into your business plan.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Can You Build a Playground and Sell It Using Someone Else's Plans

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    A melody can be 'tweaked' to make it not a copy of a another song.

    A car can be 'tweaked' to make it not a copy of another car.
    You should ask Vanilla Ice about the former and do you have an example of the latter?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    750

    Default Re: Can You Build a Playground and Sell It Using Someone Else's Plans

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    You should ask Vanilla Ice about the former and do you have an example of the latter?
    Go stalk someone else, troll.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Can You Build a Playground and Sell It Using Someone Else's Plans

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Go stalk someone else, troll.
    Calling out when you give incorrect information in a legal forum is not trolling.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    750

    Default Re: Can You Build a Playground and Sell It Using Someone Else's Plans

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    Calling out when you give incorrect information in a legal forum is not trolling.
    One car design does not inspire another?

    One melody does not inspire another?

    One toy or swing-set cannot inspire another?

    Troll on, stalker.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    4,301

    Default Re: Can You Build a Playground and Sell It Using Someone Else's Plans

    Quote Quoting Harold99
    View Post
    One car design does not inspire another?

    One car design does not inspire another?


    One melody does not inspire another?
    But that isn't what you wrote. You wrote "tweaked" which isn't the same as inspired by. Vanilla Ice tweaked the "Under Pressure" and it cost him an undisclosed but very large amount of cash.

    tweak
    /twēk/
    Learn to pronounce
    verb
    past tense: tweaked; past participle: tweaked
    1.
    twist or pull (something) sharply.
    "he tweaked the boy's ear"

    2.
    INFORMAL
    improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it.
    "engineers tweak the car's operating systems during the race"

    3.
    INFORMAL•US
    become or cause to become agitated or excited, typically from taking amphetamines or another stimulant.
    "I just about went crazy yesterday—I was totally tweaking out"

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