By Roszan Holmen, Victoria News, February 12, 2012
Victoria city’s unique lampposts have caught the eye of an estate owner in New York state.
Back in 2003, council granted a request by the American to reproduce the patented design. Now, the estate owner wants 12 to 16 more lampposts to be installed on his residential estate.
“We are now interested in having additional lights manufactured by the Achinback Foundry (in Victoria),” wrote Georgia Fotopoulos on behalf of her client.
Council reviewed the request last week.
“We own the intellectual property,” said Coun. Chris Coleman. “There may be a revenue stream,” he said, arguing the product could be marketed internationally.
Coun. Ben Isitt suggested selling the rights at a cost of $100 per lamppost.
“I just wonder whether or not that’s enough,” said Coun. Marianne Alto. The city should evaluate the patent’s worth before setting a precedent too low, she added.
In the end, council agreed to support the request from New York without charge, despite the processing time required of staff.
Achinback Industries & Foundry Ltd “would benefit from this additional contract,” noted Robert Woodland, director of legislative and regulatory services, in his staff report.
The opportunities for charging to reproduce patented designs held by the city will be explored in the future.