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Topaz

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The discussion is getting tangled up in the difference between IP law and IP reality.

In IP law, in the United States, you cannot legally build a copy of a patented item or process even for your own use, unless that use is legitimate research.

In IP reality, you can do anything you like so long as the IP holder does not object and doesn't come after you. If they find your behavior enough of a threat to their livelihood (and they get to define that, not you, so that they can define it by any level of personal paranoia or pragmatism they want), and they can afford the legal action necessary to get you to stop (which ranges from the "cease and desist" letter on an attorney's letterhead to full-blown court action - you get to define how much is necessary to make you stop), and have the IP protection necessary to enforce their legal action (patent, copyright, etc.) then they can make you stop, force you to pay money for your use of the IP, or any other remedy that they can convince a judge to rule upon, including recovering their cost of enforcing their IP protection on your behavior. If you lose, you generally lose in a very big way.

The reality of this is very similar to the reality of Part 103 enforcement. Can you build a "fat" or two-seat ultralight and fly it? Of course you can. Right up until you get caught. Then the FAA decides whether or not to enforce Part 103. If they do, you probably lose, and the penalty is $1,000 per violating flight. You lose bigly.

We can go back and forth on the legal technicalities of it all day long, but the reality is that it's up to the IP holder to enforce their IP. If you make them take you to court about it, you probably lose, and lose bigly. Or you illegally use their IP, they either never notice or don't care, and nothing happens.

How lucky do you feel?
 

Topaz

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One of the developments that always puzzled me was how Piper and Beechcraft came up with the Tomahawk and Skipper, which could be clones. From completely different design departments.
Very similar requirements. If the requirements sets are virtually the same, professional results will often be virtually the same. In the case of the Tomahawk and Skipper, both companies did exhaustive surveys of the flight instructors and flight schools of the time, looking to define the right mix of qualities, requirements, and specifications for a then-modern training aircraft. Very likely they talked to a lot of the same people, and got the same answers.

Thing is, you can't patent an entire airplane or vehicle design. If it has some unique artistic quality, you can try for a "design" patent, but those are virtually unheard of in vehicle design. Vehicles are considered "practical items," not artwork, in the realm of the law, and so what it has happened (Ferrari, in a single case that I know of), design patents for vehicles are almost non-existent. If you can show that your design was derived from a full, complete, and independent development process, it doesn't matter that it looks virtually identical to someone else's design. You're clear.
 

Turd Ferguson

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One of the developments that always puzzled me was how Piper and Beechcraft came up with the Tomahawk and Skipper, which could be clones. From completely different design departments.
Other than the basic shape, they have nothing in common. It would be like saying all sedan automobiles are copies of each other because they are all the same basic shape. The Skipper predates the Tomahawk by at least 2 yrs so if you have to accuse one of copying the other.......
There's was also another manufacturer that proposed a plane around the same time with the same basic shape as the skipper and tomahawk. It never got past he conceptual stage.
 

Dana

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Thing is, you can't patent an entire airplane or vehicle design. If it has some unique artistic quality, you can try for a "design" patent, but those are virtually unheard of in vehicle design. Vehicles are considered "practical items," not artwork, in the realm of the law, and so what it has happened (Ferrari, in a single case that I know of), design patents for vehicles are almost non-existent.
There was the kerfuffle between Chrysler and AM General about the grille design, Chrysler claimed that the multiple vertical bar design was a Jeep trademark and made AMG stop using it. But that was a trademark issue, not a design patent. Mooney might claim their backwards swept rudder as a trademark, except that Aero Commander also used it.

But what about the word "Cub"? Piper cared enough to make Wag Aero stop using the word, "Cuby" (back in the 1980s IIRC), but today there's Carbon Cub, Legend Cub, Cubcrafters, etc...
 

12notes

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There was the kerfuffle between Chrysler and AM General about the grille design, Chrysler claimed that the multiple vertical bar design was a Jeep trademark and made AMG stop using it. But that was a trademark issue, not a design patent. Mooney might claim their backwards swept rudder as a trademark, except that Aero Commander also used it.

But what about the word "Cub"? Piper cared enough to make Wag Aero stop using the word, "Cuby" (back in the 1980s IIRC), but today there's Carbon Cub, Legend Cub, Cubcrafters, etc...
Piper cancelled the "Cub" trademark in 1986, and the "Super Cub" trademark expired in 1997.

Wag Aero did just about every single thing that could make Piper go after them, from ripping off their bear logo, to calling the plane CUBy ( the "Y" was much smaller), to selling data plates that said "Piper Aircraft Corp, Lock Haven, PA", but I think the most overlooked reason they got the hammer dropped is that they started selling "genuine Piper parts" for multiple Piper aircraft that they got from their own sources, rather than from Piper, with no way for the customer to tell they weren't genuine.

They weren't poking a sleeping bear, they were slapping a wide awake bear repeatedly, with predictable results.
 

Topaz

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Piper cancelled the "Cub" trademark in 1986, and the "Super Cub" trademark expired in 1997.

Wag Aero did just about every single thing that could make Piper go after them, from ripping off their bear logo, to calling the plane CUBy ( the "Y" was much smaller), to selling data plates that said "Piper Aircraft Corp, Lock Haven, PA", but I think the most overlooked reason they got the hammer dropped is that they started selling "genuine Piper parts" for multiple Piper aircraft that they got from their own sources, rather than from Piper, with no way for the customer to tell they weren't genuine.

They weren't poking a sleeping bear, they were slapping a wide awake bear repeatedly, with predictable results.
^ This. Trying to slip under the radar is one thing. Doing everything you can do to dare an IP holder to come after you is quite another.
 

Pilot-34

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Lol yep sure has but have you ever seen it done Down a well ?

By the way the idea I described is not pumped storage but it is where I got the idea

Now I challenge You to come up with a idea that illustrates a new process that could be patented ,using common established Objects .
You have 60 seconds from the time you read this
 

Lex

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You can patent a new arrangement of existing components, providing the new arrangement is novel, useful, and non obvious.
yes - but it may not be enforceable, especially considering you would be using common off the shelf products/components where the manufacturers of these components are interchangeable, to say that one day you use Home Depot buckets and the next day Lowes buckets. Best advice is to speak with a patent attorney or, at least an attorney period, to ask the lawyer how easy it would be to defend your ownership of a "process." Not to burst your bubble but I have seen the bucket, rope and generator combo in a few slightly different configurations.

If you do seek a patent, avoid the places that advertises on the television and magazines with "Got an Idea!?" (they normally show a cartoon of a caveman chiseling out a wheel from stone). My father used them to patent a line of highway safety equipment and he paid six thousand for that - but it only covers the first two years. He did not make any money or sales in the first two year so when it came up for renewal, he let it lapse; but the patent agreement between (inventor) my father and the patent representatives is written so that the ownership of the patent will default to the patent company in those types of cases. Some of the safety equipment is now being produced and used... guess who didn't even taken out to dinner first.
 

pwood66889

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BJC asks:
"Would you ask a lawyer a technical question about HBA design?"
Pilot-34 says:
"Yes indeed.
Specially if he was a aviation lawyer or engineer."
rv7charlie chimes in:
"I submit that the answer to 'What can I patent?' is: 'How good a
patent lawyer can you afford?' "

Which leads me to propose:
"Want a patent attorney that flys?" A `coupe, of course... :)
 

Geraldc

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Also I believe you can not patent something that has already been published in a magazine or similar.
 
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