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Antec patently upset

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by The_Pope, 12 Apr 2004.

  1. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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  2. Oclocker

    Oclocker New Member

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    Antec are taking the pish big time - as a modder I stuck LEDs in fans years ago - proving that may be difficult - but the patenting idea is crazy now - will someone patent breathing?

    April 1, 2004 date of Overclocker cafe article?
     
  3. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    I'm sure we'd find that no manufacturer would enter the great expense and commitment required to launch a product without protecting themselves through some sort of patent application... what grates is their claim to have invented the idea, and their pursuit of people who are potentially doing no more than they did originally...

    And the Overclocker Cafe article is dated 8th April - it's the letter from Antec that is dated April 1st. And I think in this case, that was just a random Thursday, and the guy had work to do! :D
     
  4. Oclocker

    Oclocker New Member

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    Yes but a Patent is designed to protect an original unique idea/design.
     
  5. webchimp

    webchimp New Member

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    Does this mean that a person couldn't buy a fan and a bunch of LED's and "combine" them without infringing the patent?

    If selling the fan and light(s) separately for self assembly gets around the issue I don't think it will be long before we see fan and light "kits".

    On the whole it seems a rather bizarre course of action fo Antec to have taken. Fan lights are purely decorative, the light serves no real function, it's rather like Ford suddenly deciding to patent fury dice.
     
  6. TMM

    TMM Modder

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    Sure you can do it all you like... but you can't SELL them

    I don't blame Antec.. but maybe going a little far with this one
     
  7. Oclocker

    Oclocker New Member

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    Well I do - I almost certainly wasn't the first to do it - so Antec have no right to claim the idea!
     
  8. coorz

    coorz Miffed

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    Crazy move by such a big name in modding business. Well their LED fans suck bigtime anyway.
     
  9. m2c4u

    m2c4u New Member

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  10. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    I was wondering when this would come out. I swear either someone on here or PCmods did it first, and it was reviewed on here first.
     
  11. BoogerBomb

    BoogerBomb New Member

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    I still don't understand why a company like Antec who caters to the computer enthusiasts out there, which comprise of most of the modding community, would do something that they know will piss off their customer base. This is a really stupid move on Antecs part and it will backfire on them. There are too many other companies out there who will be more than willing to pick up the customers that Antec is going to lose all so they can control a $3 market.
     
  12. Oclocker

    Oclocker New Member

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    Istill find the April the 1st date a bit suspicious :)
     
  13. Manitowic999

    Manitowic999 New Member

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    Antec should let their name sell their products. I buy Antec fans because I know they're of good quality. I don't think a company should have to strong-arm other companies to get you to buy their product. But it all comes down to the patent, if they got it first, they win. :sigh:
     
  14. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    I had a great little email from Cliff Anderson of www.fanbus.com:

    Unfortunately, here are a couple of snags:

    1) Applying for a patent involves government and patent office fees that can total around US$1,000. You are also likely to need the help of a patent lawyer etc in order to make your application water tight, and you also need to fund comprehensive research to weed out any "prior art" or previous patents similar to yours. This will increase your costs to between US$2,000-10,000 :blah:

    2) You have to apply for the protection afforded by a patent in each territory that you wish that protection. In plain english, if I applied for a patent in Britain, that does not protect my invention from manufacture in China and sale in USA. This would explain why Antec's original patents cover Taiwan & China - the two most likely countries of manufacture, and the subsequently USA - probably the largest market for their product.

    3) Even if you hold a patent, it's going to cost you a load of dough in legal fees to pursue any company thought to be infringing it. In the perfect world, they would either contact you first, or when you point it out to them, they would agree to some sort of licensing deal. In reality, the Big Fish is likely to just steam ahead, safe in the knowledge that the Small Fish lacks the funds to chase them. :miffed:

    It's something of a tangent, but there's a great quote from this page (http://wwwhome.cs.utwente.nl/~schooten/patents/) which relates to the on-going debate about software patents:

    "Patents do not protect the ideas of creative people, but only increase the power of large companies."

    Though you *might* take comfort from this news: http://www.photonics.com/todaysheadlines/XQ/ASP/url.lookup/id.4630/QX/today.htm

    :D
     
  15. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    actually.. they have every right. Whoever patents it first, gets the right to do just that. That's the law. If someone thought of it first, then they should have patented it it.

    In real life however... I think you can expect everyone to just carry on making LED fans as usual. Just a company flexing some muscle.. I wouldn't take it all too seriously, and you will almost certainly be able to buy LED fans made by anyone else I would think. PLus.. there's nothing to stop you making your own.

    WHy is everyone so amazed by this? Sure.. they weren't the first to put a LED in a fan. However, it would appear they were the first to PATENT it... which just means whoever DID first put a light in a fan... was an idiot for not patenting it! Seeing as it costs relatively little to do, whoever did invent it is probably kicking themselves now.

    Plus... i doubt ANtec have the rights to it in all territories. ALl manner of comapnies own patents on things that are clearly not their inventions... it means little in practice.
     
  16. metarinka

    metarinka New Member

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    Patent or not, I feel It destroy's the modding spirit. This all sorta ties into the pre-mod shananigans. You see it again and again where people from bit-tech and other sites come up with some sweet Ideas. Then company capitalize on them. I dont think it would be healthy to stop these companies, but when they start throwing patents at them, trying to claim they are the only ones who should make them. thats bogus. These companies offer some quality products and I know I wouldn't want to have to make every LED fan I wanted in my cases nor would I want every fan to be antec brand. Claiming ownership over these pretty common knowledge mods, is just wrong.
     
  17. ouija

    ouija Trust me, I am doctor!

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    They can try what they want, no-one will be able to prevent people from creating similar effects "on the cheap". That's what modding is all about. Just look at bard's illuminated vandal resistant switch. Not patented, I know but what if it was?
     
  18. Oclocker

    Oclocker New Member

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    Whats right and the law rarely tally thesedays. Patent law was designed to protect unique inventions not obvious things like LEDs in FANs - I did my first one just before I started baybus.co.uk years ago - I also sprayed a fan blade with chrome paint and got a damned nice effect - did I patent that - nope and it would be ludicrous to do so. You wait someone will patent breathing through the mouth .. So we will have to breathe through our noses ALL the time. Heaven help anyone getting a head cold.

    Patents are getting out of control..
     
  19. Blackshark

    Blackshark New Member

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    Not really their fault - US patent system is &*^%

    Unfortunately the US Patent system is now woefully short of being adequate. If you think this example is bad you should check out New Scientist and Scientific America where the examples are horrific.

    Not being American I have not tried this, but any Americans out there give it a go. I am almost sure its a winner, patent breathing. I gaurentee that the US board will pass it through and then you can take everyone to court.


    There are very few, if any, checks done. There are currently three different, international patent formats that are not compatible. Logging in on the three systems, the search criteria are completely different in format. Its no wonder its a mess.

    Forgive Antec, if they tried to use the patent they would lose. It is unfair of them though since some individuals will not know the above and assume that Antec will sue and possibly they might stop producing their own LED fans. In effect, a bit like MS and Lindows. MS can tie up Lindows with so much red tape, that in effect, Lindows becomes alost a frozen asset.


    Grrr, I must jump off the soap box

    Regards all
     
  20. Cliff A

    Cliff A New Member

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    As The Pope noted, a patent can set you back almost 10,000 US dollars, with no guarantees of protection. It is oftentimes hard to tell the potential of a product in its infancy. When I invented the original fanbus, it was a wood block with a few wires and a molex connector. I considered patenting it after I had sold about a hundred of them. 2 grand for a design patent (which basically protects only what it looks like, not its function), over ten grand for a utility patent (that is actually supposed to protect the "function" if you wil).

    At any rate, if a product is in the public for more than a year, no one can patent the utility. At least, they're not supposed to. You may see a lot of "patent pending" signs on things, but it really doesn't mean jack.

    So what's the solution?

    Be a better businessman. Sell so many of your products that a little competition doesn't matter to your bottom line. If your product is better, and cheaper, then people will buy it, patent or not. These large corporations are in place to get products to market fast, before the novelty of whatever product they are selling dies off. A successful inventor not only has to have a good idea, he has to know who to talk to. If I had known companies exist to manufacture stuff (and they don't really care what they are manufacturing) I would have approached one of them to make my fanbus' and baybus'. Then they would make them and I would profit. Don't assume you have to have a patent in hand before you approach a manufacturing company. Most of these electronics firms just want to make stuff. That's how they stay busy. Borrow the money to make a few high quality prototypes, and then pitch it to a company like Antec (or half a dozen others), and skip the patent. By the time people start making things to compete with you, you've already invented something else :thumb:

    My two cents...
     
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