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Jason Christiansen - prezes & CEO Rigid Industries

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- Jason Christiansen. I'm the President/CEO of Rigid Industries. In the lighting industry, it's crazy to think that there are so many copycats. We continually are designing new products, new parts, that we try and protect as much as possible. We file as many design patents as we can, and we are continually fighting that battle. It's very, very tough, because you can change just a little bit and make a gray area there. But we do as much as we possibly can in all of our new designs and creating that IP so that we have that foothold. But it's a tough process. It's something we continually struggle with. Being a linear-based system, we have anything from a four-inch light all the way up to a 52-inch light. With that, the IP is protected within that series of lights. So there might be 17 or 18 different products within that product family. All of the IP is covered in all of those 17 or 18 products. We're trying to design as much IP into that as we possibly can for production, whether it's the way we cool something, maybe the way the circuitry is designed, our optic, maybe the way it's put together. So you try and develop as much IP as you can into a new product, so that you do have that protection. So when somebody does try and come out with something that's extremely similar, or maybe it's a true copycat or a forgery, we have that foothold to be able to stand up and say, hey. Wait a second, you guys are doing this, and you're not allowed to because of this. The big problem we have is a lot of the offshore-based companies that they don't really care of the US IP. We have a company offshore that is selling product that uses our name. I've seen a box with our logo on it, and copying some of our videos that we've done, and they use our pictures. They use our light graphs. They've copied our catalog. I've seen our instructions, our wiring harness, our switch, absolutely everything. Your knee-jerk reaction is I'm flying over there and we're gonna have a sit-down. That's just not something you can do. They really don't care. And this is one company. And there's two or three companies that we deal with, and we're very, very diligent on keeping up with that. Our distribution base will contact us immediately if they find somebody that is selling something in the states, even in Canada, for that matter. A little bit harder to enforce some of that on the worldwide market than it is domestically. Anybody that we find we automatically send a C&D to, and we very much respect other people's IP. We definitely are focused on making sure that we don't step on anybody else's toes. I think we did once. We immediately stopped, and we changed our design, and I sent a nice apologetic letter with a nice gift card, and we were all good after that. They knew it was an honest mistake, and we weren't trying to be deceitful or hide anything. That's not the type of company we are.