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Improve on Old, Many have Re-Used Idea, Perhaps Knock Off

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Improve on Old, Many have Re-Used Idea, Perhaps Knock Off

Post  hockeyref on Fri 15 Feb 2013 - 15:57

Hi Folks,
I have some original ideas as well. But I also am attempting to better protect young hockey players from serious brain injuries and in as fast a manner as possible too. There are simply too many kids and young men and women whose brains are at needless risk of worst case injury right now. And so, sometimes the best idea is to not waste too much time re-inventing the wheel if you catch my drift. Furthermore, I have seen a few patents when searching but the majority of them seem very "generic". And if you look in the stores or know the major vendors' product lines unfortunately not a whole lot has changed over the past few decades. The best examples I can give are for two different kinds of gear. So, to me at least it seems that many of the vendors have been all using one another's designs and basic shapes, concepts for many years now anyway. It's really hard to get a read on this as to what is the real intellectual property of one verses another party here and more importantly WHY? Based on WHAT? Darned if I know until the most recent rash of still inadequate in most cases helmet designs. Two great examples here and what I am actually interested in pursuing and designing and bringing to market for many positive and safety reasons.

1) the Typical two piece Helmet that slide together seam in the middle for sizing adjustments in-between the major three or four sizes from X-Small to Large or X-Large. Similarly, the side "Slings" that bow down around the ears to then allow a chin strap to attach to it for fastening. But there are a few unique variation on the theme and one of the better ones no longer made (except for one piece of necessary replaceable hardware last I knew still in production) for Many years now, mid to late 90's if I'm not mistaken was extremely strong and for various engineering basics was actually a lot better than many of the expensive models on the market today. Not as HIP looking but strong and impact deflecting.

It is my idea to use much stronger, impact resistant materials (usually simply like an ABS like plastic unfortunately for our present players) with this great older models kind of a design. And to some of us old guys part of the attraction would be that it looks a lot like the old model many of us and the start wore back in the 80's & '90's. It will easily pass the less than adequate testing standards of the US and Canada (HECC & CSA respectively) especially when made with these stronger nearly indestructible materials and much improved padding and materials choices there as well.

So if one safe to make such a re-pop from the old still in business vendor and can one perhaps with mild variations of their own, protect themselves as they now attempt to prod a lazy self protecting industry into the modern ear of improved materials and actual real safety improvements? Again, like anything public I don't want to go too nuts here on first post out loud. In case such as this is it simple the cut, shape, basic model cues, perhaps other very small differences including silly things like Logos that make all the difference. Change the shape of the Grill and fenders of a car and now call it your own? Or is it assumed in such a market there is only so much variation that can actually exist and so being very similar but slightly different is "Enough" in such cases? And if so, then does that mean that once I tweak it here or there like all the others, I too now have a "different" product that is now MINE to similarly patent and protect as these others have been doing?


2) The Typical two piece molded skate boot with various liners for protections, comfort and mild shape variations. Again, back in the 70's thru the mid 90's for awhile there were a number of pro's and others wearing molded skates with nice liners. In many ways these skates offered many advantages. And with the present push in today's skate design, IMHO the time has come again, to apply some modern materials and tech like thinking and re-consider offering a molded skate for players to choose from as a valid option.

A great example in this sport is the design and supposed differences (Not!) in goaltender masks. If you were not an actual goalie or parent of a goalie who reads catalogs and websites, you would be hard pressed to tell me the difference in models and brands. Yes, in these cases as they go up in price the use different materials, but so do all the other guys in very similar fashions. So simply the number of depth of the ridges in the crown, or the placement and shape of the vent holes in them enough to call it Mine instead of His or Hers??? Now I use these kinds of very slightly different holes and BAM, Now I too have a New Patent-able product as compared to all the other guys out there?

Much like the helmet question before, these things seem so darn "Generic" and lots of companies made similar things so similar that to the untrained eye of even someone who follows the sport but doesn't know certain model lines or what have you, one could very well be fooled or not tell the difference. So again as before, what are the boundaries, pitfalls and what is allowed and in good ethics, decent business practices for such things?

Thanks so much and sorry for the long post here,
PB

hockeyref

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Join date : 2013-02-15
Location : Liverpool, NY

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patent

Post  Admin on Tue 19 Feb 2013 - 6:56

hockeyref this is not legal advice, it is our opinion. In most of what you posted could be explained by he party either not getting a patent, licensing the existing patent to make their own version or simply a design patent. Inventors get surprised all the time by people going around their patent or simply going around their design patent by changing a few areas and getting their own design patent.

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