I should point out that patent laws allow you to make any product or item that is patented for your personal use only!! You may not sell said patented items for profit. That being said the following link is provided for your viewing pleasure.
Just go here and do a search for the following patent number:
And Joel2018 is Joe from spinit, account was created sep. 5th 2005. He will be using that user name to try to scare the knock-offs away from ebay by threat of legal action. He also is user: spinitgame.
Steve I did a search for your auction that you ended. I have to tell you a link to a fitting that can be bought at a hundred websites is absolutely not patent infringement.
A patent document contains a description of the invention (usually with drawings), which explains how the invention can be built and how it works. It also contains a set of specific "claims". The claims define what the inventor seeks to protect with his patent. So, for something to infringe on a patent, it needs to match the definition given in the claim.
Patent laws in most countries require some sort of commercial exploitation of the patented invention for the exploitation to be patent infringement. So, a private person can infringe if he, for example, makes the invention and sells it to his friends, or puts it on an advertisement-sponsored website. But if he makes it for himself out of curiosity, and only uses it himself, there is no infringement.
So by definition alone, showing someone where to buy an off the shelf component so they can make their own version of a patented product is by no means patent infringement.
Being that we are talking about “spinit” lets continue our example. Let’s say that they really do have a patent. Buy altering the patented item so that it no longer matches the claim of the original patent, you may now file for a patent on the new design. This is a common practice that happens every day. It only becomes infringement when you copy the exact patent claim. So for “spinit” to say that a game made with four (4) rungs is in direct violation of its original claim is false.
Let me explain in more detail, for “spinit” to say and I quote “We did not specify the number of rungs on the wheel, knowing someone would try to make a similar game.” Would be a complete violation of patent laws, patent claims must be specific, and patent drawings must be specific to the letter.
So if a patent is held for a five (5) rung spinning game, then an infringement must actually violate a trademark, or an exact duplication of the claims. If you want to get a patent on a 3,4,6,7,8 rung spinning game you will be awarded the patent if none exists. Also if you want to make a five (5) rung game that would only spin in one direction or had curved rungs or moved the rung support arms from the center of the device to the front, you would be awarded a patent.
If the patent office left a patent open no one but Henry Ford could ever make a car. Ford could say that Chevy was in violation because Chevy has four (4) wheels. Do you see how this works? Chevy can make an almost identical product as long as it’s just a little different. But they can’t use a ford logo or exact body style. Look at all the cars on the road today, how many of them have four wheels? How many of them look almost but not exactly like a model made by another car company? This is true from cars to blenders to any product you can find.
This is one of the primary reasons design patents are worthless. You spend 4 to 5 years and up to $35,000 dollars. And all you really get is a piece of paper saying you invented something. Then the next guy comes along and makes a small modification to your idea and gets a patent on it. Sure it pisses you off but there is nothing you can do about it.
I feel obligated to give my input here. I have been involved in the patent process for over 15 years. I know for a fact that this is not infringing on a patent. It would only be infringement if you made an exact copy of a patented product. Spin-it even admits to not having a patent yet on their web site when they put “patent pending”. This statement alone tells me that Ebay ID: Joel2018 is just trying to push out the competition. Please visit this link www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/doc/general/patpend.htm
Notice this is a quote from this link “Patent Applied For" or "Patent Pending." These phrases have no legal effect, but only give information that an application for patent has been filed in the Patent and Trademark Office. The protection afforded by a patent does not start until the actual grant of the patent. False use of these phrases or their equivalent is prohibited.” If it is protected with a patent ask for the patent number!!! This guy is just being pissy. And if it was me that got the email I would kindly point him to the above link. And ask him to have his legal department provide me with said patent number and then and only then would I remove my action.
Also here is a list of patent numbers for ladder golf or similar games (his is not in this list)
Also to show the true competence of this person, they do not even have any trademarks on the product or on any of the following (spinit, spin-it, spinitgame, spin-it-game, spin-itgame, ect.). Trust me when I say I have done my homework on this. I do patent drawings for a living.
My advice is put the auction back up. If they are willing to provide a patent number they remove it. Until then he is just blowing smoke!!!!!
PS: If I sound pissed its because I run into this scenario all the time.
I have found that the PVC pipe is a real tight fit in the fittings. So much that they do not go all the way together. And even worse, won't come back apart without a fight. Any ideas on how to solve this propblem?