Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Hero Pens - Why?


Blue_Moon
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hero (along with many other Chinese pen companies) got their start during periods when China didn't trade with other countries much for political reasons, yet still needed pens (along with every other kind of good) and so internal companies got started. Hero now continues, just like every other company including US/EU companies, by making old products that have features consumers like (hooded nibs and slip caps for example) while also making some new products and offering features at lower price points than previously. I don't know of a single Hero product that mimics an item still under patent protection, or one that is a fake (they mark all their products with their logo and don't try to sell them as some other company's work). They certainly don't deserve the kind of insults that they tend to get for providing pen features that other companies won't (you'll notice no US/EU company sells hooded nib pens anymore, or at least none that I've seen) at a decent price.

 

This is not a new thought or an interesting discussion, 5 minutes of thought or research would have told the OP why Hero exists and what it offers, this whole thread is basically full of baseless slander.

Edited by WirsPlm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 171
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • FarmBoy

    6

  • wastelanded

    8

  • TSherbs

    16

  • paultyler_82

    10

.....This is not a new thought or an interesting discussion, 5 minutes of thought or research would have told the OP why Hero exists and what it offers, this whole thread is basically full of baseless slander.

well, it could be made more interesting, maybe, if we could take the original question about "existence" more philosophically. Or maybe with legal humor: "If corporations are people, who is Hero's daddy?"

 

(my humor sucks, and I agree with your slander charge. I think some of the impetus is nationalistic at best, racist at worst)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is not a new thought or an interesting discussion, 5 minutes of thought or research would have told the OP why Hero exists and what it offers, this whole thread is basically full of baseless slander.

 

Guess I haven't thought about it for five minutes, and guess I haven't researched it (much). I disagree - the slander is not baseless. I still have the same opinion in which I started. Although some good points have been made, it comes down to an issue of principle for me.

Franklin-Christoph, Italix, and Pilot pens are the best!
Iroshizuku, Diamine, and Waterman inks are my favorites!

Apica, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine make great paper!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Guess I haven't thought about it for five minutes, and guess I haven't researched it (much). I disagree - the slander is not baseless. I still have the same opinion in which I started. Although some good points have been made, it comes down to an issue of principle for me.

Which "principle"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As often happens in discussions of this type, many people seem confused over the difference between patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade dress. These all fall under the general heading of "intellectual property", but they are all different things!

 

As far as I know, Hero do not use any patents that aren't already expired. (Patents have pretty short life span.) As far as I know, they don't violate anyone's copyright -- which hardly even applies to fountain pens, unless you were to copy their instruction manuals or ad copy. That leaves trademarks and trade dress.

 

As far as I know, Hero don't use the Parker (or Lamy) names or logos, so that scratches trademark infringement off the list.

 

That leaves trade dress, which would include the Parker arrow clip or the distinctive shape and appearance of the Lamy Safari. However, I'm not sure if such things are even covered by the IP laws in China, or internationally. Even if they do, it's relatively minor in the scheme of things. Even if Parker or Lamy were able and inclined to hassle them over it, Hero could make some minor cosmetic changes and continue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Guess I haven't thought about it for five minutes, and guess I haven't researched it (much). I disagree - the slander is not baseless. I still have the same opinion in which I started. Although some good points have been made, it comes down to an issue of principle for me.

" they copy legitimate companies' designs " - nope, as we've discussed repeatedly in this thread and elsewhere, Hero does not copy protected designs. If you're going to try and claim (in defiance of all accepted intellectual property theory) that copying anything, ever, is wrong, I hope you designed your own computer and keyboard to post with, sew your own clothes and make your own writing implements (can't buy a pen from Parker, Sheaffer or several other companies who copied designs as soon as the patents expired). Oh, and you also can't use generic medications (like most antibiotics) or toilets (original patent owner isn't even in business anymore as far as I know).

 

I'm pretty sure you're also conflating Hero with other Chinese companies (Jinhao typically does Montblanc lookalikes, I don't think I've seen a Hero one like that).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with your slander charge. I think some of the impetus is nationalistic at best, racist at worst)

Yeah, I think there is a definite strain of that in the anti-Chinese-pens sentiment, especially when people start talking about Parker or Sheaffer (who blatantly engaged in the same kind of 'copying' that Hero does of similar features and body shapes) and forgetting that these US companies did precisely the same thing that Chinese companies do now (and European companies before them, this kind of thing is how intellectual property is supposed to work, eventually the useful inventions lose protection and get copied, this is why we have cheap life-saving drugs and indoor plumbing is common).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hero exists because there is a big market (relatively, needless to say the fountain pen market has shrunk so much over the past dozen of years) to support it. Parker, LAMY, and all other pen makers may have the right to sue Hero, but they don't have the influence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hero exists because there is a big market (relatively, needless to say the fountain pen market has shrunk so much over the past dozen of years) to support it. Parker, LAMY, and all other pen makers may have the right to sue Hero, but they don't have the influence.

It's not about the right to sue or influence, it's about whether the behavior is legal (basically yes) or ethical (basically yes, but some people don't understand why intellectual property laws were made), in most countries anyone can sue anyone and influence is not that big a deal once you get in front of a judge (unless you're talking about the ability to get an international judgement enforced in China, then I agree, most foreign laws and judges are ignored by the Chinese police).

Edited by WirsPlm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remember that the Chinese don't subscribe to the idea of intellectual property. You can find clones of everything from guitars to Mercedes-Benz manufactured in China.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People approach this topic with a modern western mindset of what is and isn't ethical or 'right' and fail entirely to take cultural (communist in this case) influence into account. To put it bluntly, they don't really think copying design is wrong and doing so is far more efficient than hiring a designer.

I also would note that I find a lot of the same people that express outrage at Chinese brands using designs from western firms also express outrage at the outsourcing of manufacture to China by western companies, usually blaming the Chinese for stealing "our jobs." I would urge that position be reconsidered, there are persons in much greater positions of blame for that sort of thing than some vague Chinese job-stealing cartel. Personally, that also smacks of racism; blame them because they're different, not executives and shareholders, they're my countrymen.

<em class='bbc'>I started nowhere, ended up back there. I caught a fever and it burned up my blood. It was a pity, I left the city; I did me some travelin' but it's done me no good.</em> - Buffalo Clover "The Ruse"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the standards set here, everyone INCLUDING Mac users is an offender. I seriously doubt anyone is accessing this forum via a Xerox Alto.

 

Apple paid Xerox for the rights.

Edited by GeneralSynopsis

--“Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
Giordano Bruno

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I think there is a definite strain of that in the anti-Chinese-pens sentiment, especially when people start talking about Parker or Sheaffer (who blatantly engaged in the same kind of 'copying' that Hero does of similar features and body shapes) and forgetting that these US companies did precisely the same thing that Chinese companies do now (and European companies before them, this kind of thing is how intellectual property is supposed to work, eventually the useful inventions lose protection and get copied, this is why we have cheap life-saving drugs and indoor plumbing is common).

agreed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apple paid Xerox for the rights.

Not exactly, Jobs visited PARC, used the idea ideas presented in the Alto and Star without asking or crediting Xerox on both the Lisa and the Macintosh. Xerox's efforts to reach a licensing agreement with Apple were rebuffed and ignored. When Apple attempted to sue Microsoft over Windows, Xerox had enough and sued Apple. Apple didn't give Xerox squat until Xerox sued, before that, Apple didn't think they owed Xerox anything, despite trying to make the same argument against MS.

Jobs was not what most make of him, he was a pitch man, plain and simple, he knew how to sell other peoples' ideas. He was also notoriously difficult to work with on occasion, one of the many reasons he was sacked from Apple once.

 

Back on topic, the current Mac OS, OSX, is heavily based on yet another OS that, going by the standards in this thread, is an offender. OSX is based upon large parts of NeXTStep, an OS that Jobs yet again copied design from Xerox, Apple and MS, for the NeXTBox computers made by his own post-Apple NeXT Computer Company.

Edited by paultyler_82

<em class='bbc'>I started nowhere, ended up back there. I caught a fever and it burned up my blood. It was a pity, I left the city; I did me some travelin' but it's done me no good.</em> - Buffalo Clover "The Ruse"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not a PC fanboy, by the way, I've enjoyed Macs among many different computers over time, PCs and UNIX have their dirty laundry too, I just find that less people are familiar with Apple's dirt than MS's.

<em class='bbc'>I started nowhere, ended up back there. I caught a fever and it burned up my blood. It was a pity, I left the city; I did me some travelin' but it's done me no good.</em> - Buffalo Clover "The Ruse"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the standards some are trying to apply here, everyone running a computer with a graphical user interface with windows and mouse/other pointing device (other than Apple kit ...).

 

Apple was indeed the first to steal it. Does that make it an original?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

R.e. not suing Hero:

 

Besides international IP issues, it doesn't seem to me that Hero is really cutting into the profits of these other pen companies. When I spend hundreds of dollars on a pen, I'm doing so because I specifically want that pen. I do it because I know that X brand makes quality pens, or because X pen has interesting materials, or, as in the case of pens like the Lammy 2000, Parker 51, etc. that particular pen is iconic or has an attractive design. Sometimes people even spend hundreds of dollars on pens just to be able to say "I spent hundreds of dollars on this pen."

 

In all of these scenarios, it's the specific pen that I'm looking for. I don't decide that I want something along the lines of a Parker 51 and then find the Hero 616. I decide I want a Parker 51. I haven't ever purchased a Hero, but I have purchased other "cheap" pens without brand recognition (such as Duke). When I purchase those pens, again, it's because what I want is a $10 pen that I can use to practice smoothing and adjusting flow, or just to knock around.

 

As far as I've seen, when people set out to purchase a luxury pen, they are not swayed by the existence of cheaper pens, and vice-versa. I've never seen someone parade a 616 around and say it's a 51. People that purchase Hero pens wouldn't suddenly spend hundreds of dollars more if the only pen companies that existed were Parker, Waterman, and Montblanc - they just wouldn't buy the pens.

Edited by Beckwith
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanted a nice pen, and I learned of the Parker 51 from this site. I ended up getting 2...along with a couple Parker 45s along the way. I use more than one color ink in a day, but I'm on a budget. I picked up a few Hero 616s on sale to cover those needs. The Hero is a decent pen, but the Parker demonstrates why it's a classic. So, it looks like I have 3 of the same pen, but it's only the Parker that has black ink and is my workhorse pen. I love writing with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share








×
×
  • Create New...