Hobie kayaks wouldn't be what they are today if not for the patent system. It costs time and money to develop new products -- those engineers don't come cheap! Patent protection allows inventors a certain amount of time to recover those costs. Memory Maker is absolutely right!
I think they would be better, who can build it best.
For instance have you looked at the accessory catalog and seen the panel mount Ritchie compass (72020004 page 25 of the 2011 catalog)shown installed on a pro angler hatch lid? Look at the picture and tell me how that compass can be installed without interfering with the inner liner? Why don't they just mold an area for a compass? Is it not worth it to change their molds maybe??? Well if there were another people making them they would do it to gain market share in my mind.
Maybe a redesigned hatch cover...hello Hobie
, opps I suppose this couldn't be patented now that it's public...have at it knock off folks
, maybe make it seal better so you don't get so much water inside the hull if you capsize while your at it.
And if there were no patents they wouldn't be cheap knock offs they would just be cheaper exact copies. Also when it comes to research doesn't the government give grants for research.
Once again if you check the rescue balloon patent (pn.3746285)ask yourself would this have saved lives and yet where is it?
I chose this patent number because of it's age (1973), try a patent search Term1: rescue
and Term2: balloon
and you will see more current exsisting patents. Still no product available, why?