We were just in Shenzhen to talk to the owner of the factory that makes our heated glove liners and socks, because we found out that he was also making a 90% copy of our liner, we do not make heated liners in China, and a copy of our glove liner for a company we were already selling too and one that owes us a bunch of money. So we are sitting in his show room and there is the liner and there is an exact copy of our gen 4 heated pants. The glove liner and the pants also have copies of the labeling that Sue designed. In November of 2009 we did happen to sell them one of each size of our glove liner and one each of each gender of our Generation 4 liners. The Taiwan guy that runs the factory is a really good guy and did not go and get our stuff to copy, it was sent to him. This is pretty upsetting to Sue who designs all our gear to see it hanging in a Chinese showroom for anyone to buy. While the glove liner is a copy, the heat level is not and anyone using them will find out soon enough. Since we sell this American company our heat-trollers that they deny that it is just a relabeled warm & safe product, it is getting confusing as to what is our design and made by us and what are copies made in china or what is our products but private labeled.
So I am asking to please let people know that if it does not have the Warm & Safe name on the product then the chances are it is not ours no matter how much it looks like it. that is why the First Gear Heated Products have Warm & Safe on the label and while the heat-troller sold at this point by Powerlet are just relabeled heat-trollers, other products may look like ours but are not. There is a lot more to this. I am actually working on a bit about the gloves and why they are a copy. But there is a bit more to that as anyone buying them will find out. We are also asking people to file a complaint with customs on the fact they put the country of origin, China, on the back side of a label rather than the front where it can be seen. The website to do this is https://apps.cbp.gov/eallegations/allegations.asp The RN of the importer is 121937 both Powerlet and Active Heat. Addresses can be found on the internet.
Is the powerlet jacket a copy of the Warm & Safe Heated Liner? Let me count the ways. In November 2009 we shipped powerlet samples of our heat glove liners in each size and a men's and women's generation 4 liner.
1. When we made our first liner for testing we put a zipper in the bottom, back, inside to access the inside of the liner. No one did that before us. And frankly it was there only for working on the liners as we developed them. When we started manufacturing it was left in by accident. Since it was in the first batch of liners, we left it in. Sort of like adding a useless part to a circuit board to prove that it is a copy. Since the part does nothing, there would be no reason that someone developing and not copying would put the part in. So given it is in by mistake, it is interesting that it is in the powerlet one. So since there is no real reason to have it except to get inside the liner to do repairs something our liner does not need but when you hand the liner to some one in China and say copy, it gets copied, even the parts left in to prove it is a copy.
2. The zippers on the sleeves for the glove plugs is a copy of what we have done from the beginning.
3. The zippered hand pockets, the location of the panels, the sleeve ends and the stretch panels. The stretch panes that are identical to what we have been using from the beginning. All of these features are ones we developed for our liner.
4. The upper back neck panel was a design we created to deal with the stretch panel. Open our oldest liner and you will see it. and they copied it.
5. The slash chest pocket that we were releasing this year came from the softshell jacket we sell and sold to powerlet. We told them that we were adding this to our new liner design.
How is it different?
1. The outer shell is a urethane coated, non-breathable, moisture holding material. In an attempt to not pay the duty rate of non-waterproof jackets, they decided, like others, to use a cheap way of waterproofing. But the problem is that customs should ask for a sample and investigate the fact that it does not meet the lower duty rate since the panels are not waterproof. We do not claim that our liner is waterproof and when we do come out with one that is, we will make sure it meets the rules and it is fully breathable.
2. Packs bigger, heavier, bulkier than our liners. Is the powerlet glove liner a copy of the Warm & Safe Heated Glove Liner? Let me count the ways. Let me give you all a little background on the glove liners we sell which they say is not a copy or rebrand. In November of 2009 we did send one of each size glove liner to powerlet. We ran into these gloves in a discussion with a Taiwanese guy who is running a factory in China. Nice guy actually. He was doing heated glove liners and heated socks for Japan. We liked them but there was a few changes we needed to make. So out of respect for him having come up with the product, which seems a bit humorous now, we decided to work with him.
So tell me if these changes are not in their glove liner.
1. First we changed the plug. The original was side to side, we had him change that to straight on and changed the size to a 2.5mm to be compatible with all the heated liners we make.
2. We had him turn the fabric inside out so the smooth side of the fabric was on the outside so that it would go into a glove easier.
3. Then Sue designed the labels. The care and content, the country of origin, the size and most important the L & R tags for left and right. That was all Sue's idea.
4. The fit and sizing is the same as we designed. Oh yes and the color. The original for japan was two color. We choose the present one color. The same color they use.
5. The new sewing of the heating element is the design of the manufacturer and is in all his glove liners now.
How is it different.
1. The resistance is related to the heat. We use 18 ohms which we feel is a safe heat. They use 10 ohms with heat on the top of the hand. We feel that is not right but only time will tell.
You also have to wonder about their packaging for the gloves. "This item may be covered by one or more patents...". Very good. They are not actually lying. It may be covered. It may not be covered. The fact that the glove liners are not covered by any patents listed misses the point. It does say "may be". But it sounds good. Sort of like saying, "As seen on TV". It gives you a feeling there is something special about it when it is just another Chinese made product. Something the Chinese make for others. Something we had them make for us and now it is copied.
Then there is the copy of our heated pants. In 2008 we developed heated pants for Powerlet based on the heated pants we were selling. They were sent a prototype for feedback. They said it did not meet their requirements and yet they sent it to China to be copied.
Powerlet claims that the heat-trollers they sell are made in the same factory as ours but to a different spec. Since we make them and just stick their name on it we know the truth and the truth is that yes it is a different spec. an old one. they got the old design because they wanted a private label and to do that we require them to buy 1000 units. But in the time it takes to sell that many by them, we have moved on to newer designs.