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Forums › General › Paintball talk :: Archives › Just to clear things up... :: Archived

Just to clear things up...
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exno-killa
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Joined: Jun 18, 2004
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:30 am    Post subject: Just to clear things up...

Since there are a lot of people being idiots about smart parts and how their patent screwed up the market I decided to do research. From the War Pig website, written by Bill Mills is what the patent and paintball buisness is really like.

Taken from Warpig


What did happen....

PneuVentures built the original Shocker for SP, and patented it jointly with SP.

PneuVentures went out of business and SP became sole owner of the patent.

SP sent letters to companies it believed were infringing on their patent.
Some companies (National Paintball Supply, DYE, Planet Eclipse, etc.) made arrangements to pay royalty fees to manufacture products under SP's patent.

DYE bought the Matrix patent from its original owner.
SP filed suit against ICD, and the two companies came to an agreement before the case was tried in court. ICD now makes the Bushmaster licensed under SP's patent.

SP filed suit against AKALMP, and the two companies came to an agreement before the case was tried in court. AKALMP will stop selling their electropneumatic paintguns when their supply of parts runs out.

SP filed suit against WDP. WDP found the engineer who designed the electronic circuit board for PneuVentures. This man did the work in trade for shares in Pneu Ventures. Although a record was found showing that he received the shares, the contract was not found, and he claimed to have never signed the contract. The judge stated that because there was no proof he signed away the rights to the PV/SP Shocker patent that he legally owned a portion of the patent. He sold that portion to WDP, making them part owner of SP's patent.

WDP filed suit against SP claiming that some of their products infringed on the Angel LCD patent. WDP won this case, and SP had to stop putting reprogrammable boards in their guns (basically they had to destroy or block the programming port.) As I understand it this decision was later overturned by the judge.

DYE filed a suit against SP claiming the Shocker and Ion infringe on the patent that protects the Matrix. I was told by someone in the industry a couple of weeks ago, that the case was dismissed, but haven't seen that confirmed by court documents yet.

When SP first filed suits, a lot of people were upset, and started a campaign of SP hating. This was fueled by the reality of what SP was doing, as well as by a number of rumors.

Some of the rumors:

SP was suing anyone who made a paintgun with an electronic trigger - not true. In fact I've seen no evidence of them going after any electronicaly triggered popet valve paintguns (Autococker, Spyder, etc.)

SP was charging outrageous license fees like $2million downpayment then $50 per gun licensing fee. Well, look at the price of guns they did license, like the Intimidator and the Bushmaster - they didn't jump up. I was also told in private by one manufacturer the license deal they were offered. If that was the standard deal, it was so small it would probably not affect consumer pricing at all.

SP's patent claims were based on the patent protecting the use of a power switch to disconnect the paintgun from its battery. Think about this one.... The PVI Shocker didn't have a power switch, so it wouldn't be protectable. Not to mention that if that were the case, companies could get around it by taking the power switch out of their design and just requiring the user to unplug the battery.

A suit by SP killed the AGD E-Mag - False.

Industry leaders including Dennis Tippmann, Tom Kaye and Bud Orr invented items and patented them and never enforced the patents because they saw the good it would do the paintball industry - False. Both Tippmann and Kaye have either charged licensing fees for products that infringe on their patents, or used the patents as legal leverage to stop competing products. While Orr didn't patent the Autococker, he did file a trade dress suit against AKALMP in an attempt to force them to stop producing their cloned Autococker body.

Does that make Smart Parts good or evil - that's your position to decide, but those are the events that led to the campaign of hate.
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Bill Mills - WARPIG Technical Editor
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DoctorSolo
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Joined: Aug 11, 2005
Posts: 187
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:46 am    Post subject:

Patent laws, lawsuits, and license agreements are all a part of buisiness. So all the shtuff I've been hearing about how much SP sucks is basically because they are savvy buisiness people? heh, funny...these kids should see what kind of lawyers Disney has...
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exno-killa
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Joined: Jun 18, 2004
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:42 pm    Post subject:

The reason why most companies don't like to speak of this is beacause they believe that the more chance of people hating Smart Parts and buying their goods. SOmetimes its the people in the company that fuel the hate to try and generate more customers to their products.
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DarrylHadfield
Just Some Guy
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Joined: Jan 03, 2004
Posts: 4234
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: INCORRECT.

Quote::
PneuVentures built the original Shocker for SP, and patented it jointly with SP.

PneuVentures went out of business and SP became sole owner of the patent.

Incorrect. The original shocker was patented to an individual, one Dr. Hensel.

The other patent co-holders were the Gardner brothers (owners of SP) and they really had nothing to do with it - Dr. Hensel could show where he got the idea, his development notebooks, the whole bit - whereas the Gardners had nothing but the suggestion that they invented it.

SP tried to sue on the basis that the principals, the Gardners, were sole owners of the patent.. which was invalid - which is why WDP won the suit, hands down.

Further, the issue wasn't that SP was going after any marker with a switch in it; they were after any marker for which a solenoid was used to control the firing sequence.

AGD's liability against SP was questionable.. but Tom Kaye decided the risk of getting sued and losing was too great, so they stopped production.

D.

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