Hello, and welcome to my website.  I'm sixty five years old and now reside on the outskirts of Greenville, SC.   I'm a former resident of New York State and retired from government service there as a computer programmer and systems analyst.

While I have a variety of interests, currently my most passionate one is collecting knives, especially those made by Spyderco.  I concentrate primarily on their folders with plain edge blades and front locks.  The pictures here represent the bulk of my collection.

The Spyderco Kiwi, shown on the right in a variety of "flavors" is a particular favorite of mine.   The Kiwi Crossing sign in the photo was a gift from Phil Melhop, a friend and fellow Spyderco collector from New Zealand where the Kiwi is a national symbol.  The Kiwis in this picture are just  part of my Kiwi collection, click HERE to see them all.

I also enjoy visiting many of the knife-related forums on the web. I have learned a lot of very useful information from the folks there, get to share my opinions with others and, on rare occasions, am able to help someone by sharing my limited knowledge.

The views expressed on this website are mine, and mine alone.  I do not represent any company or other interest group on either a formal or informal basis. 

Thanks for coming, I hope you enjoy your visit here.

 

 
The photo above was taken at the Spyderco Booth at Blade Show 2008 in Atlanta. With me are Sal, Eric, and Gail Glesser of Spyderco.
 
 
If you are wondering my reason for requesting that you BOYCOTT BENCHMADE it is because Benchmade saw fit to disregard Spyderco's trademark on the round opening hole with several models they introduced.   I believe that those who attempt  to justify their continued support for an ethically bankrupt company use arguments that are unsupported by the facts to assuage their consciences and defend their morally reprehensible position. 

Fact: Spyderco's now expired patent was for a depression in the blade of a pocket knife that allowed the thumb to open the blade - the trapezoidal depressions in the C27 Jess Horn fit the patent description just as the round hole opener does. The patent neither required the depression to go all the way through, or precluded it from doing so.  Spyderco's trademark, on the other hand, is for a single specific implementation of the patent, the one they have used on their folding knives, to the exclusion of all other implementations (except the single specific one noted above) since they began producing knives.

Fact: As mentioned above, the round hole opening device has been used as the opening device on every FOLDING knife except one that has been marketed under the Spyderco label from their first, the C01 Worker to their latest release. The sole exception was the C27 Jess Horn.  It has therefore become, to many people, the most certain way of identifying a folding knife as a Spyderco, since it is always visible, from either side, whether the knife is open or closed. 

Fact: A company's use of a trademark on one distinct group of products (in this instance folding knives) and their non-use of it on other distinct product groups (fixed blade knives, kitchen sharps, sharpeners) does not impact the legitimacy of the trademark.

Fact: Companies are allowed to have more than one trademark, so the existence of other Spyderco trademarks, such as the "bug", does not does not impact the legitimacy of the round hole opener as a trademark.

Fact: Functional features CAN be given trademark protection, as long as the functionality of the trademarked feature does not confer a functional advantage over other implementations of the feature.  As an example, paint on a vehicle serves a functional purpose, but John Deere has a trademark on a specific color of green.

Fact: Other knife manufacturers, including Benchmade, who have used oval and other shaped opening holes have asserted, and continue to assert in their advertising that their opening hole is superior to the round one. By that assertion, they have eliminated the argument that the round hole opener has a functional advantage over other shaped holes.  The fact that ANY hole opener of reasonable size, regardless of shape, has a functional advantage over thumb studs, disks, nail nicks, etc. is beside the point, since there are myriad ways to implement the functionality (hole opener) without violating the trademark by making it round.

Fact: Companies are allowed to license the use of their trademark to others, but such license always includes the provision that the trademark be acknowledged when it is used.  An example of this would be the Boker 2006 Annual Knife, with its damascus blade and Spyderhole opener.

Fact: "Agreements" made after the fact may decriminalize a person or company's behavior, but they do not make it moral or ethical.

   
 

 

On the knife related forums I am known as "The Deacon".  This forum nickname, and the avatar that sometimes goes with it, are carryovers from my days of playing pinochle obsessively online and are derived from the artwork shown above.  It is a type of painting known as "Nose Art" and this particular example graced the engine cowling of a U.S.A.F. P-47C Thunderbolt that was based in Great Britain during World War II.  The pilot was both lucky and skillful enough that both he and his aircraft survived the war.  Sadly, the plane did not fare so well in peacetime and, like so many of its sisters, fell victim to the scrapper's torch.  Thankfully, the artist who painted it, a gentleman named Don Allen, saved copies of this, and many other examples of his work and recreated them for the AMC Museum in Delaware.

 

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?  You can email: paul@paulberetta.com

 

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Last Revised July 8, 2011