In a letter to marine media, Steve Potts, president, founder and CEO of Scout Boats, addressed what he said are misconceptions some might have about a recent center console/T-top design trend his company began developing more than a decade ago.
"In 1999, Scout started the development of a new look in T-top styling and function," he wrote. "We did so by using 'D'-shaped extrusions for the T-top uprights. We also introduced curved shapes to the upright legs, which softened the look to give it more of a stylish look and feel. This was first introduced in the fall of 2000."
Scout, he said, incorporated this design into all of its center console models for the next six years. During this time most, if not all, center console builders used round straight-legged tubing.
"The third and final phase of the Scout design, which is being copied by several brands today, began in the fall of 2006," he wrote. "We began experimenting with the use of tempered glass as an integral part of the T-top's structural integrity. We also built in the 'D'-shaped structure to the line of the console in the form of pockets in the corners of the fiberglass console."
Scout was awarded a design patent on Dec. 15, 2009.
"While we are flattered to have been imitated, we feel as though this may be creating some confusion about the origin of our design, look and feel. To be clear: It started with us," Potts wrote. "While other brands may claim their designs are different in the way they created vent features, there is no disputing the look and design of what Scout created."
Many editorials and ads have misstated these facts, Potts said, explaining that he was writing to set the record straight.
"Why am I so passionate about this? Because there's only one thing that matters to me as much as providing our consumers the best-looking, most innovative, most fuel-efficient models on the water today ... and that's our reputation," Potts added.