Students dispute copyright for house cleaner

patent-trademark-news-DUYTHO.jpgTwo 11th-grade students are in a dispute for the copyright of idea for house cleaner.

In 2004-2005 Phan Chau Trinh High School in Da Nang encouraged its students to participate in a national youth creativity contest, whereby five ideas were selected and submitted.

Among them Tran Hoang My, a 10th-grade student invented an ‘automatic house cleaner’. My presented her idea in class, requesting feedback from her classmates; however at the last minute My withdrew her entry believing the invention still had some shortfalls.

Later as an 11th-grade student, My received information about another student from her high school who won a high prize in the contest with a similar idea for an ‘automatic house cleaner’.

Many, including My, were shocked to learn that the winning student, Thai Quoc Huy, was in fact one of My’s classmates during 10th-grade.

Huy though has insisted: “It’s my product. I had the idea for the cleaner a long time ago, but I didn’t reveal it because I didn’t want anybody to contribute their ideas to the product or steal it for themselves.”

“From now until I enter university, I’ll perfect the product to turn it into a commercial one,” he added.

“Early this school year, Huy told me that he sent the house cleaner to the contest and won first prize. I thought that he was joking so I only said that ‘it meant a copyright infringement’ and didn’t pay any further attention. Now I know that it’s true, and I am very angry,” My responded.

Huy’s cleaner looks a little different from My’s original design, but has the same operational principle and disadvantages.

“I am seeking justice. To realise my idea, I worked until 12pm making the drawing on computer and spending many days seeking materials. I devoted my heart to it, but now it has turned into someone elses product” My said.

My’s family has sent complaints to many bodies, her father explaining, “This is an issue of faith. Losing faith in the system, how can my daughter continue to study and create?”

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