Another “clone war” have started on RC Heliscene, this time it’s Synergy and Matt Botos having comments on new addition to market, Tron Helicopters.
The core of the issue seems to be Matt is saying Tron’s upcoming Tron 5.5 uses parts from Synergy Matt have designed.
Here’s the upcoming Tron 5.5:
(Picture is from their Facebook-page)
Synergy’s point of view
Matt Botos Facebook-comment under the Synergy R/C Facebook-page:
I’m going to clear the air for everyone concerning the recent questions and speculation between Synergy, Yintech, Tron, and the TG520. When I first took over Synergy from Todd Bennett, I was in search of a high quality, small machine shop with high moral standards. I found a shop in China that used to make a small amount of parts for the N9 way back in 2006. I offered them the Synergy project with really good pricing (higher than any other China cnc shop) and they accepted. Shortly after our agreement, I helped him rename the company “Yintech” and even created the logo for them. A few years later after much success manufacturing my designs they moved into a new facility and bought many new cnc machines. Everything went well for another few years but around 2014 the market dropped by around 50%. Yintech over extended their business and was in search of additional business to make up for the decline. Without my permission, they used my 516 design to partner with an investor to make the TG520. I initially thought this was a clone but after investigating found that it was my own cnc shop that had betrayed me. Words were exchanged and we moved on. This brings us to the present Tron 5.5 situation where there are indeed some parts from my designs which I did not authorize and I will likely not receive any compensation. We are talking months of design time and over a year of testing for each model. Now you tell me, is this acceptable for a cnc shop to essentially sell your hard work to another customer? Over the years I’ve had numerous offers from many different cnc shops to manufacture Synergy parts at better pricing. I chose to stay with Yintech because I am a loyal person. I have not yet decided what to do about this situation but since the start of the debacle I’ve had three machines shops approach me asking for the work. I can tell you this, I am not happy and I am very motivated by anger. Ask yourself this question before buying anything in this industry….Do you really want to support a company with this low of moral standard in business ethics? Operating with low moral standards can never last.
This of course get’s support, as an example a comment from Luca Invernizzi (Lynx):
Matt I understand you a lot.. probably more that others. I undertand the threat, and the dishonorable way of many company that stole idea and design from those who really try to invent and create new innovative heli. The Tron is a threat for our industry.. with your frame and head design and my oxy tail.. is to easy made money STEELING ideas and experience resources. I understand that in our side, less or nothing can be done to stop this from happening.. but CUSTOMERS can.. I just wish that customers around the world will support us.. talking and telling the truth about those copy and paste dishonorable companies that have just one drive.. make money, easy money without ethics, without original ideas, and without customer support. You and I are still in this industry for the love of heli. We are passionate, demand quality, and work day and night to provide the best for our customers. I only hope our customers understand and continue to support us
Also comment on “How sad that Tareq promotes Tron” etc.
But, are people too quick to judge?
It is always very common for people to “go with the flow” and judge the case straight away. If justice is to be served both sides need’s to be heard, so it’s only correct that counterpart, Tron, get’s their word out.
Here is the answer from Mr Yin, the owner of Yintechfactory making Tron, taken from Tronhelicopters Facebook-page:
according to the current situation, which includes offending and blaming us based on wrong given statements and information by Synergy USA. We have no option left, even we have tried everything to avoid such conflict and unnecessary action. The following statement provided by Mr. Yen the owner of Yintec will show you the real story behind Synergy and Yintec:
Hello，I’m Mr. Yin, the owner of Yintechfactory. When I saw what Matt had said, I thought it was important to let the public know about SYNERGY.
First of all : Synergy wasn’t and isn’t a U.S. company, and it doesn’t belong to Matt Bottos. From day one, it was owned and funded by Stephen Fan, a Hong Kong citizen.
Matt is not the boss of SYNERGY.
In 2004, Todd Bennett and Jason Krause teamed up with Stephen Fan (Hong Kong) and Albert Liu(Hong Kong) to create TJSL R/C LTD in Hong Kong. Stephen Fan is the majority shareholder and boss of the company, while Albert is the second shareholder and created SYNERGY, a Hong Kong helicopter brand. Due to Steven’s death in 2010, TJSL company was unable to pay its debts. As the largest creditor of TJSL, I undertook and paid all the debts of SYNERGY for TJST, and then took over the operation of SYNERGY! Prior to 2010, Stephen was TJSL’s largest shareholder and the boss of its product, SYNERGY N9. After 2010, I was responsible for the development of all production molds, part of prototype design, prototype production, prototype testing, mass production, packaging carton production and so on. Helicopters and parts are also provided to the factory pilot. Matt just bought the Kit of various models from me without paying me any other fees! Matt was first hired by TJSL as the designer of SYNERGY. After Stephen’s death, TJSL stopped paying him（5000dollars per month） and let Matt sell SYNERGY in the US.
In 2005, I met Stephen Fan and he wanted me to produce all the CNC parts on the N9, so I started doing business with TJSL to produce all the N9 CNC parts. In 2008, TJSL started the 50 nitro helicopter program. So Matt Botos, the designer hired by TJSL, came to our company to discuss the new design and production and introduce the SYNERGY N5 plan. In 2009, in addition to upgrading the N9, I also completed the prototype N5 and 1000 CNC parts, which were all delivered to TLSL in December of the same year. After the holiday on New Year’s day 2010, I received the very sad news that Stephen was killed in a serious accident during a lightweight sports car race at the zhuhai international circuit. After the New Year, TJSL informed me to attend the debt meeting on TJSL in Hong Kong.
At this time, I went to Hong Kong as the largest creditor to participate in the TJSL debt meeting. TJSL’s sole shareholders at the time (Todd and Jason had already left TJSL), Albert Liu said TJSL every month should pay high salary (the manager Mr Ye and Matt) and the rent, have no ability to repay debt owed, he also said he won’t invest into TJSL, wish I could take over SYNERGY, finish the N5 of unfinished work, sales N5 helicopter, the sales revenue as pay my debts. TJSL will stop paying Matt as a designer and let him sell SYNERGY in US. With Roger Hamilton’s sales in UK, the situation would not be too bad, so I agreed.Therefore, I paid the debt owed by TJSL to the injection molding factory and Mr. Zhou’s debt, and officially released the N5 to the market. In June 2010, Albert said he was too busy to help me with SYNERGY business, and I started to take over all SYNERGY business operations.
Finally, I solemnly declare that SYNERGY, TG, Tronare the products of our company, I have the right to use any parts, there is no plagiarism, cloning problem!! If Matt does not stop his unfounded accusations against Yintech, TG and Tron, I will hire another designer and take back Matt’s distribution right!! Thank you for your attention.
And, as you guessed it, the clone-war is on.
Black and White?
According these post’s there’s a bit of a question who own what and has right to what. According Synergy’s (Synery R/C in US, not Synergy in Asia) website Matt Botos is the sole owner of Synergy R/C Helicopters and funding it through his company Botos Design & Distribution Inc. Synergy website confirms Synergy R/C getting distribution rights to Synergy heli’s.
According Mr Yin Synergy is now owned by Yintec and Matt was a employed designer for Synergy then owned by TJSL R/C LTD.
So, we have Synergy in Asia and we have Synergy R/C in US.
Where to from here?
A few things will happen for sure. Tron will get a lot of crap online even if it would be justified or not, Synergy (R/C) has a big following and those people will make sure of it. Also we are living in social media age nowadays. This means that quite a lot of comments are written in ager and people are saying a lot of stupid things in very wrong way, without even knowing all the facts. Second, my prediction is that regardless of Tron being a clone or not, the judgment on that is already done, unfortunately.
Second, since both parties already are taking this into public I hope the quick resolving in good manner would be known publicly too. You know me, optimism is a good thing!
Let’s see what happens, in the mean time reading Facebook is at least revealing to people’s way of thinking…