It's been over two years since Provo Craft filed suit against software companies Craft Edge (Sure Cuts a Lot) and Make The Cut. Since that time, the personal electronic cutting machine market has seen a shift from cartridge-based systems to software-driven systems that allow crafters to cut their own designs through the use of fonts and SVG files as well as other proprietary file formats.
You don't have to be a detective to see that companies like Silhouette and Sizzix are stealing Cricut's market share--it's written on the walls of Facebook, Pinterest and various craft-related forums. A quick glance at Alexa's traffic statistics clearly shows a decline in Cricut.com popularity, while showing an increase in Silhouette's popularity. As of Friday, November 8th 2013, Alexa.com indicates that Silhouette's website is globally more popular than Cricut.com.
Not only that, but blog traffic to Silhouette-related websites is up, while Cricut-related blog traffic is down. I'm willing to bet that Provo Craft is aware of this shift and I believe they are taking the steps necessary to get back in the game.
Provo Craft's Latest Trademark Filings
Yes, we discovered three new patents related to potential Cricut products that may or may not be in the works. And no we didn't get this information from Provo Craft, it's actually public information that is available through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Again, this is all speculation based on public information.
On June 23rd, 2013, Provo Craft registered the trademark "Design Space" with the USPTO (Serial Number 85967419), which according to the USPTO website is "Downloadable computer software, downloadable cloud computer software, and downloadable computer software for use on mobile and cellular phones, all for operation of electronic cutting machines, operation of cutting and printing machines for paper and other materials in sheet form, and for designing and creating customized art images that are cut out and printed by electronic cutting machines and printing machines on paper and other materials in sheet form"
Based on the " designing and creating customized art images that are cut out and printed by electronic cutting machines " description, it sounds like Provo Craft may finally be giving their users the freedom to cut their own designs and/or use designs from other sources (SVGCuts.com etc).
I know what you're thinking! You're still skeptical! I don't blame you, but if we compare the trademark description of the current Cricut Craft Room (Serial Number 85297821) to this "new" program "Design Space", there is one difference. Cricut Craft Room's trademark registration page doesn't include the "for designing and creating customized art images that are cut out and printed by electronic cutting machines" clause, while "Design Space" does. And why would you release ANOTHER software under a different name that does the same thing? Why not simply include SVG import options in the existing Cricut Craft Room? Sounds to me like it will be a separate program that they can cash in on. I don't see them implementing SVG support to Cricut Craft Room. If they did, they'd basically be supporting and paying for a cloud-based infrastructure that people would be using to cut content from other sources. Doesn't make sense from a business standpoint.
We also discovered trademark registrations for a cutting machine called the "Cricut Explore" (Serial Number 85967411) and a new technology called "Aircut" (Serial Number 86080152). Aircut registration was filed on October 1st, 2013 and the description may indicate that they are working on a way to link tablets and other mobile devices to their cutting machines. Could it be wireless cutting from an iPad or Android device? Don't know! This is all speculation based on the USPTO filings.
We're not publishing this information because we want you to get excited about a company that may have rubbed you the wrong way a few years ago. We're publishing this information because we get dozens of emails on a weekly basis from Cricut users that want to use our files. Their prayers might just be answered with the filing of the "Design Space" trademark and we wanted to be the first to provide the potential good news, especially for those of you that don't see yourselves dishing out money on a new machine.