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  1. #21
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    Sorry to hear your experience. The fellow that came to you has no way of knowing how you may react. Some have said he is bluffing and that could be the case. Did you file any kind of patent on it yourself? Too when they copied your part did they do that themselves and wait until now?

    Some use lawyers a lot to get what they feel they need. Bill Gates himself was very adept using them building up Microsoft. The man who came to you may not have activated his lawyer yet as in paying him to begin.


    In this case he wishes to get you to act and it does not hurt him to do so plus he can then say he warned you and sought to avoid sueing. Someone mentioned changing the feature somewhat as a option if possible. It is good to review how you should proceed. This is often how competition is strong armed into submission more frequent than it should ever be. People do it especially if they can pay the costs of the challenge and it continues to pay off. This is how bullies in business rise.



    If someone like him has money often there will be a lawyer that will do the work. People are right that these kinds of things are too common and yet they must yield results otherwise there is no benefit in doing something like this.

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    Thank you all for your responces, many things to ponder. I always appriciate all of your input on every topic i read.

    the website, nor the product have have stated patend pending stated on them, a requirment as I understand it.

    the claimed "millions to develop" and "millions to protect" he stated is a pin in a hole to prevent rotation of an object. the objetct is not his subject, but th pin in the hole? as far as he would devulge. likely compleatly unable to be patented, but as one of u stated, they will patent anything sometimes. prety much the simplest type of latch mechanism possible IMO

    likely just a bully whome i should put a restraining order on for a rude phone call and a suit for defimation for talking with a company i sell to negetively about me/my product. hopfully though it will be the only call i receive and we can go back to making what we do and simply compete againt eachother.

    thank you all again

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stirling View Post
    Thank you all for your responces, many things to ponder. I always appriciate all of your input on every topic i read.

    the website, nor the product have have stated patend pending stated on them, a requirment as I understand it.

    the claimed "millions to develop" and "millions to protect" he stated is a pin in a hole to prevent rotation of an object. the objetct is not his subject, but th pin in the hole? as far as he would devulge. likely compleatly unable to be patented, but as one of u stated, they will patent anything sometimes. prety much the simplest type of latch mechanism possible IMO

    likely just a bully whome i should put a restraining order on for a rude phone call and a suit for defimation for talking with a company i sell to negetively about me/my product. hopfully though it will be the only call i receive and we can go back to making what we do and simply compete againt eachother.

    thank you all again
    Probably what they are having trouble with - with the examiners for having their patent go to grant are a whole slew of (what are called) 103 style objections.

    This is where the Patent examiner cites one patent for one part of the invention and then cites another different patent for some other device or aspect - where the examiner asserts that the combination of the two is obvious - (to someone of "ordinary skill in the art".).

    AND therefore not patentable.

    What "They" have to overcome - usually to bust a 103 style objection is to prove that patent citation 1 (cited by the examiner as "Prior art") does not teach of the combination of methods taught in patent citation 2. (nor vice versa; AND then they have to argue that the combination of the two is manifestly non-obvious : this can be tricky if the Patent examiner is not familiar with the technical area one / they are working in.).

    A pin in a hole... would qualify for being "Non-obvious" unless there is something astoundingly non-obvious about said "Pin-in-hole" being implemented ? (I.e. it sets up a whole new set of non-obvious methods and processes as a result, that no-one else ever thought of before. ). [?????] [Metal pin in (metal) hole to stop rotation of an object at least 4000 years old ?]


    For an invention to be patentable it has to be.

    1. New / novel.

    2. Useful.

    3. Non-obvious.

    ^^^ All three.

    __________________________________________________ _______________________________


    ~ "Prior art" -stuff that's gone before that can be plainly seen in the patent literature and academic literature and trade literature etc. [Prior to the filling date of the provisional patent application.].

    ~ "Of ordinary skill in the art" - So if someone tries to patent a "Hack" that most any normal machinist or whatever-ist (depending on technical subject / category) would easily come up with as being fairly obvious then that should not go to grant, but OTOH if you have come up with something that is waaaaay beyond the "ordinary skill in the art" and therefore probably novel this helps the "Non-obvious-ness" arguments of the invention with the patent examiner.

    Sometimes it's the luck of the draw what kind of examiner you get and what subject areas they are versed in. But after ten years of back and fourth with a patent examiner an application would normally be abandoned.

    @Stirling check to see if their patent application has been abandoned with the relevant patent office [If they have patent numbers ]**. - It could be an unscrupulous patent lawyer has just been taking these guys money for a really long time racking up the fees with pointless continuations with the relevant patent examiners. i.e. racking up charges through perpetuating false hope. [That can happen.].

    The people / group that are attempting to threaten you may have been given very bad legal / patent advice.


    __________________________________


    ** In some territories (legally) you have to put / print or mold the patent numbers on the device being sold - even provisional patent numbers (in some cases). i.e. the guys making this product that are saying you - (@stirling) are infringing, THEY need to display their patent numbers, or patent applied for numbers / status on the articles they are selling.
    Last edited by cameraman; 03-24-2021 at 04:23 PM. Reason: fix you vs they.

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    So twice here.
    The very first thing I did was tell the person on the phone that we had no idea that we may be violating a patent and surely we would not do such on purpose.
    Could they please send the patent and relevant information.
    Do the shy puppy dog thing in all communications, makes them think they have the upper hand.

    First thing is look at the dates and when you began selling such item.
    In my cases I knew darn well I was violating a patent on one but hoped to break it. Lost there and paid.

    In case number two I had been actively selling the product a full year before the other guy even began the patent process. Easy win here.
    Then it gets strange with offers of money to stay quiet as they are after shutting down or getting royalties from others also.
    By this time the product had already been to the Detroit tool show. (and laughed at by many, many attending.... that not fun)

    The whole non-obvious thing I find weird. It is obvious to me as I thought of it on my own in case two.
    If I put a slot in the top of the insert for the clamp to pull back as tightened obvious since no pin hole for a traditional pullback clamp? Case one.
    Bob

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    Is this your livelihood or some small-time side project? If it's small-time I wouldn't be forking over big bucks to a lawyer.

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    RE: I said: [If you truly infringed then it is past history and he has to act on it. Nothing is going to change with rushing into throwing money out the window.]

    He doesn't have to act on it ..He will only do so if he thinks he can stop you from making it. and /or thinks he can get some payment from you, being higher than his costs.

    The entire thing may be patented and claimed to be a new invention, or features may be claimed.
    You should search the patent to know what is claimed and consider if he has some actual rights to something you offended.

    Nothing stops him from telling you it is patented and that you should stop making it. He could as easily tell you to stop wearing blue shirts.
    If me I would do my own search to know where I stand. I would not hire a lawyer until I got a summons, or at least a legal letter showing his patent and what claims I offended.

    Something shown on his patent drawing like a pin, but that pin is not a claim..then the pin (prior art) is not a part of his patent.

    *RE:.... a call today from a competitor stating ill get getting a call from the lawyers. That is bull because lawyers don't call..they compile a case and send a registered letter...that alone makes me think this is just a bluff to get you to stop making it.
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 03-25-2021 at 04:10 AM.

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    I got a patent because of the non-obvious part. When I showed it to my lawyer he asked "How the hell did you think of this?" When we filed the patent examiner couldn't figure it out, had to convince them to look at pictures not part of the filing. A Canadian company came to me and said "We've spent $30,000 trying to engineer a way around your patent, can we just buy a license for Canada?" I knew of another company hated by all their customers. Their patented part of whole system was really clever and I couldn't find a way around that one either except by making the product too expensive.

    In regards to this case I'd wait to see written notification by certified mail kind of thing stating precisely what they claim the infringement is. Once that happens, if you are in fact infringing a valid patent then you'd better stop, because doing that means you are doing the right thing.

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    I agree with all who said to do nothing but wait and see what the other guy does. He is probably hoping to have you scared and running around like a chicken with no head, throwing money at all the lawyers you can find in a panic while the rest of your business is on hold. Dont fall for it and just wait.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    I agree with all who said to do nothing but wait and see what the other guy does. He is probably hoping to have you scared and running around like a chicken with no head, throwing money at all the lawyers you can find in a panic while the rest of your business is on hold. Dont fall for it and just wait.
    ya i told him clearly on ht phone that i look forward to his letter from a lawyer stating his patent # so i may better evaluate his claims. im a pretty calm dude even if my heart rate is up, expecially on the phone. i think it took him by suprize as he came in all guns blazing like a goof and was more mild tempered at the end. personally i think its BS, but its my first upset of this nature and is good to hear optionions.

    thankas again all!

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    The fact that he contacted you directly rather than through his attorney (if he even has one) screams BS.

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    Any patent is only as good as your first lawsuit.

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    Do not make any statements of any kind to any lawyers, or anyone else who is a potential adversary. Be polite and say goodbye.

    The call from your competitor was bullshit, ignore it.

    Do not engage an attorney. The attorney will just waste your time and look for a way to generate "billable hours". None of these billable hours will be in any way useful to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stirling View Post
    Thank you all for your responces, many things to ponder. I always appriciate all of your input on every topic i read.

    the website, nor the product have have stated patend pending stated on them, a requirment as I understand it.

    the claimed "millions to develop" and "millions to protect" he stated is a pin in a hole to prevent rotation of an object. the objetct is not his subject, but th pin in the hole? as far as he would devulge. likely compleatly unable to be patented, but as one of u stated, they will patent anything sometimes. prety much the simplest type of latch mechanism possible IMO

    likely just a bully whome i should put a restraining order on for a rude phone call and a suit for defimation for talking with a company i sell to negetively about me/my product. hopfully though it will be the only call i receive and we can go back to making what we do and simply compete againt eachother.

    thank you all again
    Sometimes with these kinds of things it is a case of a bully with too much spare money and a malicious and actually crooked nature to do this kind of thing. This happens a lot which is why people get so mad about these kinds of frivolous lawsuits. Despite that it does not slow this kind of thing down much at all. It is viewed often as good intimidation.

    The guy will be deceptive as hell and try to instill fear in you. Take everything that you learn and prepare yourself the best that you can and do not overreact as that is what he probably would take advantage of and sue you for something completely different. Do no bad mouth the guy be cool.

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    One point is that you cannot ignore court papers ....if you fail to appear ,or to provide a reasonable answer to the matter ,then a finding will likely be made against you.......I dont know about the US,but proved patent infringement does carry substantial penalties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jscpm View Post
    Do not make any statements of any kind to any lawyers, or anyone else who is a potential adversary. Be polite and say goodbye.

    The call from your competitor was bullshit, ignore it.

    Do not engage an attorney. The attorney will just waste your time and look for a way to generate "billable hours". None of these billable hours will be in any way useful to you.
    Meah.. "depends".

    "Big corp" I had learnt the value of keeping heavy artillery on retainer. Didn't have to always be a BIG retainer. Didn't have to be in-force all of any given year. Just had to keep each other in-view over long years so there was a place to re-open a familiar path to, and quickly.

    Took the habit with me to small corp. Any risks were closer to BONE. My bones.

    It paid off. Because I was even MORE careful to AVOID trouble.
    And just as well armoured if trouble tried to find me.

    "Send your letter to the attention of _____, Senior Partner, Contracts, 100 New Bridge Street London ..... "

    "That's what we pay them for.

    "G'day."

    ..generally resulted in NO letter ever being generated and never hearing another peep.

    So it was near-as-dammit free.

    It wasn't one of the SMALL firms at that address. And they are just not most folk's idea of a "soft target".

    "Billable Hours?' Yabut... recent experience. My side @ right about double the hourly rate of the other side. But billed but half as MUCH time to review the same thing. Higher-level expertise is exactly what the record has already proven. You don't engage just "a" lawyer.

    You do YOUR homework and engage a proven winner. Then, in the fullness of time? His son. When HE proves as good or better.

    Hire the cheapest Lawster?

    May as well hire a plumber to do heart surgery, yah?
    I mean .. its all just liquids, and it's all explained in the BOOKS!

    EVERY American as has an internet connection knows more about medicine than Doctors and more about the Law than Jurists.

    Just ask them and they'll tell you.
    So how hard can it be?

    Would you believe "fatal"?

    The plumber and the heart surgery case as well.


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    I would still not talk to an attorney until I saw a paper from an attorney on his behalf,

    but if your product is exactly the same size shape and design, and you did measure one on his to make your same thing then shame on you is likely due.

    Even though it is legal to do that if his product does not hold a patent.

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    Lots of good thoughts above.
    As others noted, wait for a letter. Fair chance they are bluffing and just want an easy way to eliminate some competition.
    Again noted above - if the letter happens, take a look at the alleged violation of patent? Is is truly a violation of the patent claim? Then, is the patent even valid? See note above about adding a radius to a clamp. In court, there might be a decent chance that would not hold up when challenged. I know of a patent granted that is a copy, with minor alterations, of a similar part. I'm pretty sure if that was challenged in court, and someone pointed out the prior art, any claims of infringement would not be successful. Caveat, I'm not a lawyer, and sometimes puzzled by the conclusions reached by the court system.


    Anecdote - several years ago a customer reached out to me for help(out of the blue) regarding claims made against them by a company alleging they were violating a patent. Some of the claims were mud thrown on the wall, and those went away quickly after I pointed out the claims were erroneous. I was quite surprised, as one of the claims involved a self locking taper, which was mentioned in the oldest machinery's handbook I had, and I'm sure it would have been mentioned in older versions. I'm sure they would not have wanted that part to go to court after I pointed that out.

    Good luck!

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    Hi there,
    this is not about this thread, although I found the link you provided very useful, but rather about your post from 2018 about 2004 CNC machine DMU 80T.
    Someone in California is selling it, I would like to know more from you, as it seems to me you guys were the original purchaser.
    I sent you a private message and you can reach me on 760/917-6502 or my email [email protected]
    Any help, I would greatly appreciate. I am willing to pay in sufficient amount of beer or bourbon,
    Best regards
    Ves

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    A patent is only as good as the money you have to go fight it in court. I have seen people patent something that in their lifetime would be lucky if they even made $10-20k profit. You really think someone like that is going to go spend $5-10k on lawyers, highly doubt it, its just a scare tactic.

    If its been Patent Pending for 10 years, thats an even bigger joke, I have seen people do exactly that, just leave patent pending on something forever cause they don't have the money to fully patent it or fight it.


    I would sit tight, until you get letters from a lawyer and a court date, if they call again I wouldn't say anything, don't get in an argument just say yup, yup, yup. Even a letter from a lawyer, I wouldn't be too worried, they can just pay $500 to a lawyer to send a letter, everyone does that. Make them spend several thousand $$ for the lawyer to build a case and start the court motions, then I would start worrying.

    Even bigger red flag is that the person called you, if I was in their shoes and was paying a lawyer to begin fighting it, there is no way in hell I would be calling you, that's what your paying the lawyer for. Them calling you makes me think they are just going to pay a lawyer $500 to send a letter, and the lawyer isn't doing much else, otherwise the lawyer would have called.

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    I would suggest collecting all the historical design data and see if everything was dated. i worked for a company that was sued for patent infringement and showed in court that they in fact sketched out the concept 1 day before the plaintiff did, and it end up that the plaintiff had to pay royalties to the company I worked for, even though they patented it first. It is important to date even hand sketches and save in the design file, just in case something happens years later. Having a witness also sign the sketches helps also. But in all lawsuits it comes down to how much are you willing to spend to defend your product.

    From how you describe the problem, it sounds like a scare tactic, but it still will cost you a lawyer to make it go away. Request all patent information form them so you can look it up. If their literature does not list any patent pending and if they have publicly sold and advertised their product without patent protection, could void a patent. Again you will need a patent attorney to advise you.

    John


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