Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums banner

21 - 40 of 148 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,299 Posts
HAHA I emailed Vince about the patent tried calling Tracey, going to get something for you guys hopefully by tomorrow if not next week.

But fuck that name is as hilarious as this kid I went to summer camp with Benjamin Matthew Dover, yep Ben Dover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
it's much easier to get a patent than it is to defend it. if they were to try to sue anyone, i don't think they would be successful. other companies like lib tech were developing similar designs at the same time.

that said, i think it's pretty silly of them to patent anything in snowboards. their boards are an evolution of technology other board companies pioneered. if they were try to license it, then they should start paying royalties to every other company their products were evolved from. hopefully, they just wanted the bragging rights for marketing purposes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
i agree that it is hard to sue someone successfully. however, just because others are developing similar designs at the same time does NOT mean they can not get sued. u can start just 1 months after mine but if i successfully obtained my patent then you can not use my design period. the fact u started almost same time as me is irrelevant.
instead, your argument would be that your design is significantly different from mine or creatively unique in another way. those would be your arguments, not that we both developed at the same time...
actually, if another company is sued for patent infringement they can challenge the validity of the patent in the first place. if they can show that the patented a technology was not unique to them, the patent can be declared invalid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
PS... here's a brief explanation of how patents are declared invalid.

What Could Make My Patent Invalid?
A patent can be deemed invalid for a number of reasons. Usually, a patent will be found to be invalid during infringement cases where an accused infringer defends himself by claiming your patent is invalid. Some of the common reasons patents are found to be invalid are:

The invention was not actually patentable - if someone can bring evidence that your invention lacked the requisite novelty, utility, or non-obviousness required for a patent, the USPTO can declare your patent invalid.
http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/patent-duration.html

Other snowboard companies can argue the patent is invalid on two grounds. 1) It lacked novelty (other companies produced similar designs at the same time). 2) It was an obvious evolution. They could claim that it was an obvious solution to the lack of stability in reverse camber boards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
but that is actually harder to do than sueing for copyright infringement because u r a basically calling the US patent office ppl idiots and they will back up their reasons for allowing the patent to go through. remember that for patents to go through, it is publicly posted for like a year for anyone to challenge the validity. if no one challenges during this time frame, it is harder to do it later (not saying its impossible). it happens but it'll require even more legal cost.
bottom line is, intellectual property is a major part of business and economy in the capitalistic society we live in. it is a good way to protect and reward the innovators of respective industries. just because u can try to challenge the validity does not take away from the facts noted above
you're kind of all over the place. patents and copyrights are two different things. it wouldn't be difficult to argue the validity of a patent in court. it happens all the time. short of agreeing to pay a licensing fee or agreeing to stop manufacturing RC boards, that's their only option if they are sued.

for the companies that developed similar designs independently, there's no way in hell they're going to turn around and pay a fee to someone else or quit producing their boards. so they would challenge the patent's validity if sued. in all likelihood, never summer won't try to enforce it for this reason. if they did and it were declared invalid in court, not only would they lose the patent, they'd look like idiots.
 

·
Veteran Member
Joined
·
11,533 Posts
Keep in mind, this is just for the rocker/camber design, not all rocker designs. NS was at least a year out before other companies started getting on this bandwagon. Yet C2 won a product innovation award after the fact NS had been producing RC for a year. Though I am intrigued by Phillip's (Mike's) statement about Banana's having slight camber on the tips of their boards originally. I didn't get on a banana in their first generation so maybe they did. Lib had certainly abandoned it before then.

Also, it is not the easiest thing to challenge a patent once it's granted. NS was able to prove they came up with something original. Just like Mervin did with Magne. Magne has been a very enforceable patent for Mervin and I suspect the RC patent will be for Neversummer if they choose to go that route. Mervin was also trying to snag the patent on this tech, so it does give NS a good degree of protection.

How much resistance you'll see on this is going to be interesting. Mervin has big bucks and big lawyers on their side, but even they don't want a big fight over it. If it gets to court, nothing is a sure thing. My guess is they would settle for a reasonable fee and only take it all they way to a court room show down if NS pressed it. I also think there is reasonable grounds to believe that NS is going to do not much in regards to their patent.

This of course is all hypothetical. It's not my business. If it was me, I'd try to get some ducats out of it, just like Mervin and Burton have for their proprietary designs. Nothing wrong with the small guy reaping some benefit. If it's a reasonable fee, the industry will probably play along.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
I really have no problem with real patents like this. You know it is a good idea when others copy it, and the innovator should get something out of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,967 Posts
I think NS should sell the right to use the patent to other companies just like Mervin has done with Magne Traction

It's either do that and the other companies play along like Kill is saying, or step up and enforce the patent.... Other companies will pay for the right to use the patent, I'm sure of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
There's arguments to be made on both sides. If it comes down to it, it'll be up to a jury to decide. My own personal opinion is that's the way snowboard technology was going. They didn't invent the reverse camber board, which had stability issues. And this was probably an obvious solution. It sounds like Lib may have even beat them to the punch with the Skate Banana. Hopefully, it'll never come to a legal battle. I'd rather have as many companies as possible trying to improve their boards without worrying about being sued.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,967 Posts
I'd rather have as many companies as possible trying to improve their boards without worrying about being sued.
That's just not how things work when a lot of money is involved....
 

·
Veteran Member
Joined
·
11,533 Posts
By "settle" I mean that Mervin and others would pay a license fee. Just as Jones snowboards and other do for Magne.

Mervin may have used something similar in their first gen banana but they also clearly abandoned it for a awhile. It was also not nearly as radical as the NS design. Reading between the lines on Mike's post. I guess Mervin could use that initial design and have grounds to stand firm with that. I doubt it gives the results they would want either.

With patent's it's not always the guy who came up with the idea first, but it's the guy who got behind it as part of their business. Time and time again more than one person has come up with something similar but it's the guy who was most ready to roll with it that won. Pharmaceuticals have this sort of fight all the time.

I also don't really see a big fight brewing over this. At most Neversummer will probably ask a license fee for it. Just like Burton does with their binding systems, or Mervin with Magne. Neither one of those guys have had a problem getting other companies to play along, and gear costs didn't shoot through the roof either. Going to a lawsuit to get a company to stop doesn't make sense. No one wins in that case except for the lawyers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
put it in laments terms. i kind of compare ur challenge to patent's validity to instant replay
you have to have overwhelming evidence to over turn the decision already made. except in this case, this decision was not an instant judgement call. it is something that has been decided on over several yrs of research, documentation and challenges ....etc
I assume you mean layman's terms. Which ironically you are one. Anyway, that's not how civil cases work. In a civil case, the burden of proof is a preponderance of evidence. That is, the majority of evidence must be on your side. That's a far lower standard than a criminal case, or your assertion that it's analogous to instant replay. In instant replay, you need indisputable evidence (100% certainty). Here, the standard is more like 51%, if you want to look at it in those terms.

And what I'm saying in no way suggests that patents are worthless. I'm simply saying that in this instance, there's evidence to support the argument that their patent was either not unique or that it was an obvious next step. Never Summer has evidence on their side to argue the contrary. Until they attempt to enforce it, there's no way to know how strong their patent is. To try to argue the strength of it here on way or another is pointless.
 
21 - 40 of 148 Posts
Top