Heathkit® Frequently Asked Questions
Big changes, big plans
- Q. Is Heathkit back?
- A. Yes. We're back.
- Q. So are you really going to make Heathkit®
- A. Yes.
- Q. Wow! That simple? “Yes?”
- A. Yes.
- Q. Will Heathkit products include entirely new designs?
- A. Yes.
- Q. Will you revive any old kit designs?
- A. Very likely. Tell us what you'd like – take
- Q. When can I start ordering Heathkit® kits?
- A. They're coming. But it's a long road, and we need every product
we offer to be Heathkit® quality. We will communicate with you,
here and elsewhere, as we make progress. Thanks for being patient
while we rebuild this great company.
- Q. I have great ideas—about products I wish you'd make, and
past kits I'd buy if Heathkit brings them back. What should I
- A. You are our favorite customer. We want to hear from you. Of
course, don't tell us anything proprietary unless you have a
non-disclosure agreement signed with us. But if you want to tell us
about yourself, your favorite past or future Heathkit product, and
what you most hope to see and buy from us: Please—take
Questions about the company
- Q. Who owns Heathkit?
- A. Heathkit® is a trademark of Heath Company,
registered in the US and around the world. Heath Company owns all
Heathkit® corporate assets worldwide.
- Q. I thought Heathkit didn't exist any more.
- A. To paraphrase Mark Twain: The reports of our death have
been greatly exaggerated.
- Q. But I read it on the Internet, and Wikipedia.
- A. Yeah, we saw that too. (Wikipedia once reported that the
Vatican has a Death Star. Who writes this stuff?)
- Q. Magazines also printed articles saying Heathkit went
bankrupt last year, in 2012.
- A. Yes. Bankruptcy is a financial problem where you lack
money. It is not always the end of life of a business. Many
businesses go through bankruptcy and emerge stronger. Heathkit®
is such a success story.
- Q. Who owns Heathkit now?
- A. Heath Company does. (Heathkit® is a trademark of
Heath Company, registered in the US and around the world.) At Heath
Company in 2013, Heathkit's destiny is in new hands, under new
management and ownership. We know the value and trust you place in the
Heathkit® name, and we are committed to making Heathkit succeed
- Q. I thought the name of the company was “Heathkit Educational
- A. This was widely misreported and misunderstood.
“Heathkit® Educational Systems” is a trademarked use of the
Heathkit® trademark, not the corporation name. (This and all
uses of Heathkit® fall under Heath Company's trademarks,
- Q. All these company names are really confusing.
- A. We understand. As devoted Heathkit® fans know, the
parent company name and the ownership of Heathkit have changed a number
of times in the 80 or so years since Ed Heath founded the business. Over
the decades Heathkit has been owned by Daystrom, Schlumberger, and
Zenith and has been independent several times. Really: Unless you're an
industry historian, it doesn't matter. Here's the bottom line: Heath
Company has restarted Heathkit®. High-quality kits, educational
systems and instructional products always have been a major line of
Heathkit's business, and we remain committed to education and the joy of
building and learning as an important Heathkit® value and
- Q. So who are you guys?
- A. More on this later. Notwithstanding this FAQ, we're presently
in stealth. But here's what we want you to know right now: We have
enormous respect for the Heathkit® name, and we know you do
too. We consider ourselves this decade's caretakers of the most
respected name in do-it-yourself and educational electronics and
related products over the past century. It's a terrific opportunity
and a historical responsibility we take seriously, and we want to
preserve and grow this opportunity, together with you. We know we need
to earn and keep your trust every day. Meanwhile, to whet your
appetite: Our new CEO/President, and every member of Heath Company's
Board of Directors, are avid kit-builders and DIYers. We own and
use Heathkit® products ourselves. For those with this interest, it
happens we all are licensed amateur radio operators. (Also happy with
our team will be: car buffs, pilots, musicians & artists,
sports/outdoors enthusiasts, parents, educators, and people who value
community service.) Our management team have substantial experience as
high-tech executives, in startups and public companies, and in
technology and finance. We are carefully growing a team of highly
experienced industry advisors. Most importantly, we want you to help
and advise us too. Ultimately, it is you, with your excitement and
enthusiasm and interest in doing great things with great products, who
will make Heathkit a success.
- Q. Why have you been in stealth?
- A. Efficiency. Here are two business choices. Choice (a) is, early
on we spend lots of money, time and energy on press releases and
marketing and public interaction. Choice (b) is, we quietly assemble a
talented team, learn what our customer community wants, and put all
our energy into creating great products for them. Which sounds
- Q. I heard there is a group called Heathkit Insiders.
- A. Yes, there is.
- Q. How can I join the Heathkit Insiders group?
- A. Take the survey, and provide a valid email address.
- Q. I want to be a Heathkit Insider, but I am concerned about privacy.
- A. We understand. We are big privacy advocates too. You may feel
more comfortable after carefully reading
- Q. I took the survey and entered an email address, but I haven't
received any Heathkit Insiders messages.
- A. There are several possible explanations.
It can take several days for your email address to be added
to the list, since email addresses must be checked and corrected.
You might have entered an incorrect email address. About 5-10% of
email addresses are entered incorrectly or undeliverable. We work hard
to decipher and correct entry errors, but sometimes they are not
possible to fix.
- Your email service may be marking your Heathkit
Insider communications as spam. This problem is especially likely if
you use a very large email or forwarding service like gmail, Yahoo, or
ARRL.net. Your email service provider may have moved valid Heathkit
Insiders messages to your spam folder, or they may block the messages
completely. Presently all Heathkit Insiders email comes from the
(non-human mail robot) address "heathkit-insider-mailing-list-robot-2013"
at heathkit.com, and you may need to "whitelist" this address or add
it to your email address book stored at the service provider's website,
so your service provider allows it to arrive. The ARRL forwarding
service apparently filters email it forwards to you but does not provide
a way for you to whitelist your favorite senders. So if you gave
Heathkit an ARRL.net email address and you have not received your
Heathkit Insiders communications, you may need to contact the ARRL and
tell them you want to receive email from heathkit.com. (We recognize this
is a bit ironic.)
- Q. I read on the Internet that Heathkit publications are in
the public domain.
- A. Not from anyone who understands intellectual property law.
(Again: Who writes this stuff?) The Internet probably is not an ideal
place to obtain primary legal advice. To be clear: No. This is
- Q. Who owns Heathkit's intellectual property?
- A. Heath Company owns all Heathkit® intellectual
property – all trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. (This
includes, for example, all current and historical Heathkit product
designs, patents, manual copyrights, schematics, lines of business, contract
rights, customer lists, relationships, marketing plans, photos, videos, trade
dresses, catalog rights, textbook copyrights, logos, publication
designs….) 100% of it. Under U.S. and international copyright and other
applicable IP law, this also means we own the rights over derivative
works (roughly: if someone copies our intellectual property, we own
rights over their work too). Of course, this is great news for Heathkit
fans and customers. You want all the Heathkit® IP in one place
under one roof. It means Heathkit can keep being Heathkit.
- Q. I read on the Internet that someone else owns the
copyrights to Heathkit® manuals.
- A. No, not correct. (At least Wikipedia got this right.)
Heathkit has in the past given a contractual license to certain specific
parties granting a limited right to reprint and sell paper copies of specific
obsolete Heathkit manuals, to better serve valued Heathkit customers
on those special occasions when you spill coffee on your original kit
manual. Such reprinting agreements are designed to outsource Heathkit's
reprinting operations to smaller companies who can provide
replacement manuals cost-effectively but do not convey Heathkit's
intellectual property, only a big stack of old files together with
permission to reprint authorized paper photocopies. All Heathkit®
copyrights remain with Heathkit.
- Q. So Heath Company owns all Heathkit®
- A. Yes. All Heathkit® copyrights, and all Heathkit
intellectual property, are property of Heath Company.
- Q. What about using the term “Heathkit”?
- A. “Heathkit®” is a registered trademark of Heath
Company. If you want to write about our products and services in a
article, blog, or club newsletter, or participate in the vibrant
hobbyist reseller market for true original vintage Heathkit® products,
we're delighted—please use the
proper registered-trademark notation,
“Heathkit®” whenever referring to us or our products. (On the other
hand: To people who thought they could get away with advertising or
selling their own products or
services using Heathkit's name, logo or
slogans, or who copy or mimick Heathkit's copyrighted works,
falsely represent themselves
publicly on social media or elsewhere using the Heathkit® name without
Heath Company permission, try to scam the public by selling
non-Heathkit® products bearing our trademarked name, or otherwise improperly use
Heathkit® intellectual property: Please cease
- Q. I saw someone clearly misusing the Heathkit® name,
or violating your copyright. What can I do?
- A. If you know of someone doing this, please tell them to stop
immediately. Consider reporting them to their seller venue. And don't buy their products. When people steal or leech
off Heathkit's intellectual property, they are stealing from you,
because money we spend pursuing violators burns up resources
we could have invested in designing another great product for you,
making someone available to answer your questions, or offering your club
or school a group discount. We have to reserve our right to protect our
good name and intellectual property, but truly, as much as we like our lawyers (we
do have some excellent lawyers), we don't want to be in the lawsuit
business. We want to invest our resources in continuing the honorable
Heathkit® legacy by designing and bringing you terrific
products. So please help us out. If you're reading this, you're probably
already a fan of Heathkit®, and you respect the name and you
understand the potential yet to come. Don't let irresponsible people
steal opportunity from you and the Heathkit® community. Stop a
thief today. The kit you save may be your own.
- Q. How can I keep up-to-date on Heathkit's progress?
- A. You can become a Heathkit Insider. If you use Facebook, you also can
"Like" us on the Heath Company Facebook page (visit that
page and click the "Like" button). Facebook then will notify you when we post updates and announcements.
- Q. What else can I do?
- A. Take the survey. Then—since the best way to get us to create products you really want is to convince us there's a
market for them: Share your enthusiasm—tell your friends to take the survey.