Building Blocks: U.S. Patent No.
Everyone has defining moments in their lives, whether it be a pivotal decision or a view-changing experience. Although the content of this article shares details about my lessons learned, the information contained herein is authentic and strategically aligned to Reasor Precision's aspiring legacy to develop original, purpose-built solutions for our industry. With the recent issuance of one of my proudest achievements, we have decided that it is time to share the Gamechanger story with our community so they can make thoughtful consumer decisions regarding a concept that I invented to make positional shooting more enjoyable and ultimately reduce the barriers of entry for aspiring marksmen.
With a national level competition fast approaching in the Spring of 2016, I had exhausted every option on the market that was conventionally designed for positional shooting. Just a few weeks before the event it was make or break time, so I hit the drawing board and began crafting solutions that offered support for my rifle to the level that only required the minimal application of pressure to steer which eliminated all the wobble caused by conventional body mechanics. Believe it or not, I started with a set of woodworking clamps that were creatively attached to an existing bag but quickly realized this prototype was beyond the realm of current equipment standards in the sport.
Fortunately my wife had a portable sewing machine and kindly taught me how to thread the tiny bobbin. So it began and in one long week I had gone through numerous yards of locally sourced Duck fabric with scraps everywhere and loose poly beads spilled all over the house. After several trips to the range where I tweaked nearly every measurement multiple times, the design was finalized. At Woody's PRS match in mid April, I used my hand sewn project to earn my highest ever placement to date in a national level match. Due to the weight and shape of the support bag, first impressions by most were heavily criticized and nicknames were aptly earned due to the unorthodox appearance, however "Gamechanger" stuck because it just works. That’s where it began…
Fast-forward to August of 2016 where previous months had been filled with exhausting nights fulfilling hundreds of orders and marketing a new concept that was sparking interest all over North America. This second full-time business had become overwhelming due to capacity limitations and capital expenditures to keep everything moving. A gentleman that I once admired and respected from a well known bag manufacturing company reached out to me and offered an OEM relationship that was exciting and meant that I could potentially support the demand that had grown across the country. What most people don't realize is that the shape of this bag is very difficult to sew from a durability standpoint and everything I taught myself had to be shared for them to execute the product. Not only that, but I was naive to believe that a "handshake" agreement was all I needed to protect my intellectual property given my initial investment in a Provisional Patent Application for the Gamechanger's "Grasping Front Support Bag for Firearm Stability" concept that I developed.
Running a business, especially a secondary venture, is a stressful endeavor when self-funded by a construction worker's and schoolteacher's salary; trying to keep up with a fast growing customer base while equipment, material, labor, marketing, shipping, accounting, and legal expenses rapidly accumulate demanded substantial cash and time. Don't get me wrong, Reasor Precision is a profitable and financially savvy company, but our goal was long term stability and it was evident that in order to remain on our career paths and stay relevant in a market that we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into that something had to change.
That change, Tom Fuller of Armageddon Gear, approached us at the perfect time in January of 2017 and I am proud to be affiliated with such a reputable and quality company to this day. Tom Fuller is passionate about delivering the best products to his customers and inspiring the creation of new ideas based on customer feedback and our own experience in the shooting sports. Our partnership was never a malicious attempt to take market share from anyone as the previous OEM relationship was requested to never be unveiled publicly during our prior business transactions in order to protect one another. My business decision was based on the ability to serve my customers with the best product, service, and experience to expand our reach internationally and ultimately recoup our initial investment someday. Although that decision was not respected by my previous OEM and they have elected to launch their version encompassing the “Grasping Front Support Bag” utility with a few minor aesthetic tweaks and market it as their own, I find peace in knowing that my new partnership results in more support for our community.
The soft goods market especially for shooting bags has low barriers of entry from a business perspective and historically very little consideration for intellectual property; therefore, I chose to pursue a formal Non-Provisional Utility Patent via a respectable IP firm in order to maintain exclusivity of my design for the 21 years after issuance that our great nation has chose to regulate via the United States Patent and Trademark Office. That journey has been both expensive and rewarding because I finally understand the “American Dream” that attracts so many people to be innovative. Anyone who has been through this process understands that it takes years of back and forth mediated communication and subtle revisions in order for an examiner to understand the conveyed concept from their outside perspective.
Fortunately, I am proud to announce that Reasor Precision has been granted their Utility Patent and assigned number 10,048,034 for the Grasping Front Support Bag for Firearm Stability technology as of August 14th, 2018 and steps are underway to further secure the future of our product. Reasor Precision performed their due diligence in notifying offenders that have infringed and continue to infringe on our intellectual property through proper legal channels. Altering a textile or claiming to dissect an existing product does not make anyone innocent from employing a specific and detailed concept that has been claimed by its inventor. We are protecting our design in an effort to avoid the market becoming overran with watered down, less functional, inferior products claiming to be the same or “better”. The Gamechanger was designed with very specific dimensions and has been extensively tested with nearly every form of fill and textile that maintain the application of its design and ensure durability. Due to our passion for never settling, this product will continue to evolve. We are only getting started…
I expect this information to be met with criticism as every company has its fan-boys, but the basis of this article is not to seek pity or stir up controversy, rather to share my experiences with an audience that I respect and appreciate so they can make their own consumer decisions based on the facts rather than #FakeNews. Let's raise a pint glass to having the guts to do something unorthodox and overcome challenges through innovation. It’s not just another bag…
By: Clifton Reasor