Do you know the story of MultiCam and Scorpion AZ? BLUF: the US Government copied the intellectual property (MultiCam) of a private American business (Crye Precision).
We recently experienced something that looked and felt like the start of similar behavior from a different US Government Agency: The Wright Brothers Institute. This article is our effort to bring transparency to a part of the military-industrial complex that has been opaque for too long.
We received an order from The Wright Brothers Institute on 17JUN 2022 at 0922 EDT. They ordered the following products:
IMS Pro Combo (MultiCam)
IceVents Classic Plate Carrier Ventilation Pontoons
IcePlate Curve (Standalone)
Our Customer Experience Team is top-notch. They noticed the Wright Brothers Institute in the shipping address and immediately brought the order to my attention. After looking at the order, something felt off. I reached out to a friend of the company who is a senior engineer at a national laboratory to get another perspective. Our national laboratory friend suggested I reach out to WBI. The entire email conversation that followed is posted below.
First email thread: Justin reaching out to WBI.
Second email thread: discussion about intellectual property
If you don't want to download the PDFs, we put JPEGs below.
Was the Wright Brothers Institute on a mission to copy our intellectual property? Who knows. We cannot say absolutely one way or the other.
What we can say is we had a close friend who is a senior engineer at a national laboratory and intimately familiar with how the US Government handles intellectual property coach us through this interaction with WBI. We can also tell you that this didn't pass the sniff test for us or for our senior national laboratory engineer friend, especially in the wake of the MultiCam/Scorpion AZ fisaco to come out of Natick/PEO Solider.
What do you think WBI was up to? Were their intentions pure, with the intent to inform Air Force leadership about tools that could help their Airmen and other American Warfighters? Or, was their intent nefarious, intending to make Qore Performance a victim of intellectual property left just like Crye Precision? Did their actions simply provide more evidence for Americans to not trust their own government?
Let us know what you think in the comments below!