Hobbico's Patents . . . ? ? ?
Just a few thoughts from a concerned English Modeller . . . http://www.ezonemag.com/disc/frown.gif
I read this morning that Hobbico in the US has exlusive rights to the construction of model aircraft form Corruplast. The Patent that they hold actually states "fluted extruded twin walled plastic sheet" !
That just about covers it, and as was said in the post I read, they just about have it ' all buttonned up '.
I'm rather surprised that a Patent like this would be issued, and even more surprised to find out that said company owns O.S. Engines, Futaba, Hitec and a host of other modelling related companies !
So boycotting the company becomes a little difficult . . . . http://www.contrabandent.com/pez/otn...ed/shrug03.gif
This is said Patent:
I hope that this is not eligible outside of the 'Good Ole U S of bloody A' ! http://www.mpz.co.uk/cwm/otn/confused/aeh.gif
If so this is a serious enfringemnt on the modelling activities of many thousands of individuals, the world over who may one day wish to make a little money from the publication/production of their designs !
This is the page I was looking at . . .
The patent states that the 'invention' was 1995. Anyone done this before that date ?
Ludicrous ! ! !
So much for the notion that America is <U>The Land of Opportunity !</U> http://www.themelee.com/smilies/s/otn/confused/fie.gif
What do you all think ?
I know what I think . . .
Will they be trying to obtain the Patent for the use of balsa next ?
Or Air ?
Or you could buy "knock" off planes at the flea market. http://www.ezonemag.com/disc/smile.gif http://www.ezonemag.com/disc/wink.gif
the good news: Looking at the patent application, it looks like fuselages fall outside the scope. Patents are aimed at companes and anyone is free to use coroplast or similar material for their own use and not for profit. However, if you win a prize with the model .... http://www.ezonemag.com/disc/frown.gif
Rest of the bad news: 1/ Patent is world wide (This globalisation thing again).
2/ I don't think there's another company big enough to take them on unless anyone can prove there was a commercially available kit from a third party prior to the application, or other documented evidence to dispute the applicants' being the inventors.
Just how many more applications are being filed behind our backs. There are a lot of other ideas being aired on the forum that could be fodder for similar sharks.
Hi Guys !
I was about to point out that myself, Martin !
Hobbico are quite possibly reading all these posts with glee !
" Hee hee hee - another idea we can use " ! ! !
The implications do not bear thinking about . . .
All our great ideas could well be appearing on the modelshop shelves soon, no doubt in Corroplast ! ! ! http://www.themelee.com/smilies/s/otn/confused/fie.gif
Maybe even with a Hobbico label . . .
I'm keeping all my ideas to myself from now on . . .
Until I post pics on my website that will show I did it 1st ! ! ! Hehehe http://www.3dpcgames.com/cwm/s/contr.../biglaugha.gif
P.S. - I think I'll look into applying for world-wide patents . . . http://www.ezonemag.com/disc/wink.gif
Just goes to show: Hobbico IS The Evil Empire...
Sorry, but it looks to me like you guys are just looking for another villian here.
here is what I believe is a likely story here- anyone know??
two guys - Ragan and Barker (inventors) come up with what they believe is a novel way to build R/C planes from coroplast (horrible stuff), perhaps they form a company to make these/ (US aircore?) thinking that they will make millions on this venture, they seek to protect themselves against copycats by getting a patent. First applied for in 1991, abandoned, then reapplied for an granted in 1995. At some point the business is aquired by Hobbico? (and worth something or more based on having a patent).
So now we end up with the story not of a couple of guys actually making a little off of an idea for R/C planes, but with a story of evil corporate greed ?
- looks to me like the claims really only cover using cut flutes for control surface hinges or other hinging points - easy to get around.
- if anyone can show they used this method prior to the pat application, the patent is invalid.
- the patent system is used to protect inventors and disseminate technological advances - why don't we think of some improvements to building coroplast planes and patent/use them, preventing Hobbico from improving their designs without infringing on you? (other than it would cost more than the business is worth..)
- patenting a class of usage of a material is almost impossible, suitable materials for a use are normally "obvious" to those skilled in the art and so are not patentable (doesn't stop you from trying though)- a utility patent is how to do something, In order to be patented an invention must be novel, useful, and not of an obvious nature. Coroplast and how to make it is patentable, making a sign out of it is not. A specific technique for making coroplast signs would be.
Maybe we should just let people vote on who is "worthy" of getting patents so no evil types get any anymore.
[This message has been edited by radix2 (edited 07-25-2001).]
Here's a sample of the actual wording.
""United States Patent #5,398,893
Model aircraft constructed with extruded fluted plastic sheet
""7. A method of forming an aircraft control mechanism comprising the steps of: forming an aircraft lift surface having first and second spaced flexible walls and a leading edge and a trailing edge; interposing a plurality of spaced longitudinal web structures between said spaced flexible walls to provide rigidity to the aircraft lift surface; and severing one of said walls between two of the spaced longitudinal web structures such that a lift surface and a control surface are formed with the nonsevered one of said walls forming a flexible hinge therebetween to allow arcuate movement of said control surface with respect to said lift surface.
8. A method as in claim 7 further comprising the steps of: forming an aircraft wing with said lift surface; and forming an aircraft aileron with said control surface when said one of said walls is severed.
9. A method as in claim 7 further comprising the steps of: forming an aircraft horizontal stabilizer with said lift surface; and forming an aircraft elevator with said control surface when said one of said walls is severed. ""
""1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates in general to aircraft and in particular to model aircraft components constructed with twin wall fluted plastic sheet material. ""
I didn't see anything on the patent page about fuse construction, but everything else was covered very carefully. http://www.ezonemag.com/disc/mad.gif http://www.ezonemag.com/disc/frown.gif http://www.ezonemag.com/disc/confused.gif
I think it goes on to cover rudders, etc in a similar fashion, as well as other subtly different constructions of the same items..
The key part of any patent are the Claims- these are the specific things you are saying you have invented, everything else is used to describe and give context to the claims - the usefullness, novelty, practicality, etc.
none of these claims try to cover the basic construction of a plane, only the novel hinging method is claimed
I never siad 'evil' - greedy is the word I used.
It may be the case that the original USAircore people invented the method of construction, but the fact remains that Hobbico own a patent for this particular method of construction that is becoming popular.
I, too cannot see a mention of fuselage construction, having glanced through it a few times, but as I recall the Aircore models were of all Correx/Corroplast construction.
As I understand, we, ( the rest of us modellers ) are breaching Hobbico's patent if we use the material itself to hinge the rudder, elevator(s) or ailerons.
So We will not breach the patent if we build a model wholly from said material, providing that we do not use their method of hinging control surfaces, or use the material to form landing gear etc. as mentioned in a later paragraph ? ? ?
I realise that this is a little overboard, but for anyone intending to produce even a limited run of kits, such as would be needed for a one-design competion ( unless everyone builds their own model from supplied plans ! ) there could be serious implications. . .
How safe would you think you are, Greg, ( Mr. Moderator ) if you ran off 100 of these lovely little racers of yours ?
Novel hingeing method ?
So it is suggested that nobody else is bright enough to come up with simple ideas such as this one ? http://www.ezonemag.com/disc/wink.gif
To me, I think #8 spells out exactly what I'm trying to say:
#8. A method as in claim 7 further comprising the steps of: forming an aircraft wing with said lift surface; and forming an aircraft aileron with said control surface when said one of said walls is severed.
It plainly says forming an aircraft wing with said lift surface; and also adds the hingeing on to the document. I did not however find any mention of building a fuse. Am I missing something, or am I misconstruing this? I realise the law is open to interpretation. I'm suprised there have been no attorneys giving us thier take on all this. I'd like to hear what they say.
In answer to your question, I think I'll just stick to the plans for now. That is, unless someone can explain to me why I'm reading this wrong.
#7 says- 7. >>>A method of forming an aircraft control mechanism <<< comprising the steps of: "
then defines the invention by defining a flight surface, the control surface and the hinge. - i.e. in general how the hinge is to be integrated with the plane.
#8 just extends this specifically to an aileron
remember the purpose of a patent is to share/protect inventions by providing a specific method for implementing the invention, - to be valid, other people who read it need to be able to demonstrate the invention for themselves. You can't just say - here is my patent for a hinge -- , you have to set up the whole thing, the wing, the control surface, so those who follow can build enough of the overall device to demonstrate the novel/patented part.
is it novel ???? (certainly debatable) the pat office said so, if you care to prove otherwise, the patent would be invalid.
Sorry, greedy not evil? I think there is a fair overlap in those terms - I still don't see how a company or person trying to protect their intellectual property is greedy
OK - I retract the 'greedy' !
Protecting your ideas is not greedy.
This whole website is run on the basis of sharing ideas is it not ?
This is the reason I posted the page - the very idea that Hobbico ( or any other company ) owns a patent to stop someone else using an idea, that was not invented by themselves . . .
Well - it just seems to me that this is like Ford buying the patent to Otto & Daimler's Internal combustion engine ideas . . .
I'm sure someone will correct me . . .
[This message has been edited by keven64 (edited 07-27-2001).]
this was a guy that nearly cornered the automobile market by patenting the usage of internal combustion engines in automobiles - he actaully was getting paid by many manufactureres untill old man Ford refused to go along...
scan down to section "An Epic Legal Battle"
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