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This may be signifiacant news for Hart, Pintech products

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  • This may be signifiacant news for Hart, Pintech products

    The high court decided Tuesday to overturn parts of a lower court ruling that had limited a patent's scope. Many inventors, including those who work with tech products, feared the lower court ruling would allow copycats to rip off their products by making only minor changes.

    In Tuesday's ruling in Festo v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Koygo Kabushiki, the high court gave more ammunition to patent holders by allowing them to exert a legal theory known as the "doctrine of equivalents" in certain cases.

    Under the doctrine, a patent owner can assert rights that go beyond the scope of an original claim if the product performed an equivalent function. For example, if a patent owner had rights to a product that contained a copper wire, another company would not be allowed to market a product with an aluminum wire that performed the same function.

    The unanimous Supreme Court ruling overturned a lower court decision that said the doctrine could never be applied to later changes a patent owner made to the application. The high court said patentees who made later changes to their applications could still invoke the doctrine to protect their patents in certain, specific cases.

    Legal experts said the ruling trims the Festo decision but does not eliminate worries about copycatting.

    "Although the draconian effect of Festo has been somewhat watered down, it's still a high penalty to patent holders if they don't draft patent applications correctly," said Richard Gervase, a lawyer with the intellectual property group of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo.

    The case started when robotics and automation system maker Festo sued Shoketsu Kinzoku Koygo Kabushiki, claiming the company infringed its patents on robotic arms parts.

    On Tuesday, the Supreme Court also sent the case back to the lower court so it could apply the higher court's ruling to the Festo dispute.


    Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......

  • #2
    Indeed.
    Never a boring day.

    Being in the robotics / automation industry as well, Festo like many other manufacturers are spitting litigations out quite a bit. On a smaller scale, I designed a 3 robot material handling / welding cell with a robot mounted on the inside center of a servo position table. We had litigation threats from a company called "Genesis" who claimed a utility patent for that design. It is hard to do much these days.

    Erik

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    • #3
      It definately relates to Roland's mesh/COSM patents, I'm curious to see what happens in te next few months. Pintech is paying a lisensing fee to Roland, but I don't think Hart is, nor is Ddrum.
      Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......

      Comment


      • #4
        Ah, back to the IP debate.

        It's getting to the point where patents are accomplishing less and less of what they were really intended for, that is, to promote innovation in the free market, yet accomplishing more and more in the way of securing wealth for an elite few. The US government, for one, shows no sign of slowing down this IP revolution. (Government likes to turn a profit too, you know.) Where will we be in 50 years? Will everyone need to pay royalties before picking up a fork and knife? Will the elements of the periodic table be patented? They're already trying to patent human gene sequences. We're not talking "invention" here, we're talking "discovery". They're already patenting business models, not to mention ideas so simple that they are immediately obvious to anyone who works in the field.

        One thing is for certain. The wider the scope of patent law, the more you and I will pay for the products that we all enjoy. What happened to good old-fashioned competition?
        Roland TD-20 v1.08, various v-drums and v-cymbals, Yamaha KP65's, Axis pedals, Gibraltar hardware, Mackie 1202/SRM450 (pre-china)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sepdrums:
          It is hard to do much these days.
          Bingo...
          Roland TD-20 v1.08, various v-drums and v-cymbals, Yamaha KP65's, Axis pedals, Gibraltar hardware, Mackie 1202/SRM450 (pre-china)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jrcel:
            It definately relates to Roland's mesh/COSM patents, I'm curious to see what happens in te next few months. Pintech is paying a lisensing fee to Roland, but I don't think Hart is, nor is Ddrum.
            I can remember Evans having a mesh head in the early '70s. It was sort of a mustard yellow and was designed for the snare drum to give you a calfskin sound and allow you to use brushes.

            It was a woven material and they applied some type of glue or resin to the back of the head so it would push air. Without the backing it probably wouldn't have made much more noise than the roland mesh heads.

            Making drumheads out of woven material isn't a very original idea. It wouldn't seem to fit the bill as being original enough to qualify for a patent. It seems it could be overturned by demonstrating that woven materials had been used in the past for heads.

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            • #7
              "In Tuesday's ruling in Festo v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Koygo Kabushiki, the high court gave more ammunition to patent holders by allowing them to exert a legal theory known as the "doctrine of equivalents" in certain cases [...].
              Although the draconian effect of Festo has been somewhat watered down, it's still a high penalty to patent holders if they don't draft patent applications correctly," said Richard Gervase, a lawyer with the intellectual property group of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo.
              Yep, that's why I quit law and went into teaching. Best decision I ever made ... besides purchasing my TD-10(s).

              My equipment:
              :: (Expanded, TDW-1 with V-Cymbal Control)
              :: 2x CY-15R, 1x CY12H, 2 CY12R/C
              :: 1x Pad-120, 8x Pad-80R, 6x PD-7, 1x PD-9, 1x KD-120
              :: 1x FD-7
              :: 1x Roland MDS-10, 6x Sonor Delite double cymbal stands
              :: 1x DW 5000 Pedal
              :: 1x Mackie 1202 VLZ
              :: 1x NAD C521 CD-Player

              To be expanded soon ...

              Comment

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