Emerson "Wave Shaped Feature" Announcement

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Ernest Emerson, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. blade dude

    blade dude

    890
    Nov 8, 2015
    so what you say is i buy a knife from someone, put a wave feature on it and sell it back to them for more if i want. and claim the wave is not what caused it to go up in price?
     
  2. Charlie Mike

    Charlie Mike Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob) Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 1, 2000
    I guess I can accept that I can no longer wave mod my knives. That's actually a relief. When I go to resell, I might actually get close to what I paid for them. There are plenty of knives that come waved.
     
  3. SpeedHoles

    SpeedHoles

    Jan 18, 2015

    There's a patent on bow-tie placement? :p


    Better not wave the hood so it opens up everytime you pull out of the garage.
     
  4. Danke42

    Danke42

    Feb 10, 2015
    Run this by the attorneys. Starting a business selling shirts and products with Chevy bowties and the like. Be sure to be clear you won't be licensing what you're using. Ask for the "there is nothing anyone can do about it" in writing for when you need it later.
     
  5. Brummie

    Brummie Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Patent law is there to protect functional inventions. Patents expire, because if they didn't the modern world simply wouldn't exist.

    Trademark law is there to protect branding and logos. If you are using trademark law to try to protect a functional feature beyond the expiry of a patent then you are abusing trademark law. I don't see how Mr Emerson could use trademark law to prevent anyone from creating anything that functions as a wave, because the whole point of the law is only to prevent things that look the same. That would be like McDonalds preventing anyone using the letter "M". (And BTW, I'm not claiming he is - I haven't see how his trademark is defined - I'm just talking in generalities.)

    We had this same discussion on the Spyderco forum, and Sal clarified that it is only a round hole that Spyderco has trademarked. I think that is reasonable, as it is perfectly possible to make a fully-functional thumb hole without it being perfectly circular. It is the circle that Spyderco are protecting as part of their branding, not the thumb hole.
     
  6. Urban redneck

    Urban redneck

    393
    Sep 4, 2015
    What about a guy that buys a stock truck and customised it instead of buying it with similar accessories from the factory? Is he not allowed to resell? Just playing Devils Advocate here
     
  7. Jens Schuetz

    Jens Schuetz

    Jun 24, 2013
    If he violates patents while machining certain features from scratch he wouldn't be allowed to resell as I understand iz.
    If however he only buys 3rd party stuff and attaches it to his car it's fine as long as they didn't violate any patents.

    If I buy some cheap benchmade axis lock copy in China and the original is still protected I shouldn't be able to resell it in the US too.
     
  8. Chris Larrikin

    Chris Larrikin

    Jul 19, 2012
    I think this is very important clarification. If a feature functions like a wave but looks substantially different from the Emerson Wave then it shouldn't be covered under the trademark. Having said that, courts are known to make really weird and potentially ill-informed decisions when it comes to trademarks; upholding the exclusive use of a symbol which is thousands of years old (pi) when on an article of clothing comes to mind.

    Trademarks on knives are extremely important though and it stands to reason that the most recognisable feature of a particular branded knife should be its trademark. Brand protection is important.
     
  9. Brummie

    Brummie Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    The Spyderco version of the wave might be covered under the patent, but I'd be surprised if it were covered under the trademark, as it clearly isn't designed to fool people into thinking they are buying an Emerson.
     
  10. Kybosshog

    Kybosshog

    135
    Jan 11, 2012
    How much for a bottle opener ? Just kidding
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Brummie

    Brummie Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    That is strange, unless it only applies to a certain font and styling. Pi is not just a relict symbol, it is letter in an alphabet still used by several languages. But then laws can be abused and US courts often seem to serve the interests of legal professionals more than society at large - the patent trolling business is proof of that.
     
  12. Jens Schuetz

    Jens Schuetz

    Jun 24, 2013
    Trademarks purpose is to protect the brand, well the trademark. Lol.
    If one puts a talon hole on a vacuum cleaner nobody would think it's a Busse and Busse sales would not be influenced negatively by that. Therefore it would be fine. You could still get sued but would very likely win in court.

    Of course it gets harder very fast. What if you put a wave feature on a fixed knife which the original brand's fixed knives might not have?
    Would a normal user think it's an original and thus maybe buy this one instead of a real one without a wave?
    Would anybody not even a knife nut really think they bought a Spyderco only because there is a round hole in the blade? Why then does it say Easterco on the blade? I think putting a hole on a blade which doesn't say Spyderco and is clearly something different doesn't harm Spyderco's trademark. I would however see a patent violation if it were patented. The trademark is just abused as a crutch these days. I'd prefer longer patents instead of bending another law to get indefinite protection for some feature which then is pretended to be a trademark. I'd buy Spyderco's even without the hole but since it's a trademark they now have to put it everywhere. Does the wave now have to be on every Emerson knife. After all its now the trademark for Emerson knives.

    Maybe a bit off topic but a fun thought experiment from law class.
    If a Lady opens a "Claudia Schiffer" hair salon should she pay fees to Claudia Schiffer, holder of that trade marked name, or even close her store if asked to, even if the famous Claudia Schiffer has no hair salon herself and couldn't be mistaken to run this store?
    What if the hair salon owner's name is Claudia Schiffer as well?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  13. MrPocketsOfSteel

    MrPocketsOfSteel

    582
    Mar 13, 2012

    First time in a longgg time I've been on BF. You know my feelings on this particular subject matter CM. I do not understand you doing that.
     
  14. MrPocketsOfSteel

    MrPocketsOfSteel

    582
    Mar 13, 2012
    You are not missing a thing. It is what it is.:thumbdn::thumbup::)
     
  15. Brummie

    Brummie Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I'm with you on the abuse of trademarks, but why would you need longer patent periods on a knife feature which involves very little R&D cost and time? A standard patent is 20 years - about half a person's working life. That should be more than enough time to recoup a healthy profit on an innovation that can be brought to market very quickly. IIRC, Emerson's wave was designed as a blade catch, and only accidentally discovered to be useful for opening a folder. Very little effort and expense went into developing it, so why should it need to be protected for more than 20 years?
     
  16. matus

    matus

    638
    Apr 24, 2009
    Some heated discussion here. I am wondering whether anyone actually read the patent in question ... I may do that when I get back to work next week out of curiosity :)
     
  17. matus

    matus

    638
    Apr 24, 2009
    I would just add that most patents are abandoned before those 20 years. The reason that the fee which at the beginning is relatively low grows over time. The reason is simple - it pushes companies not to sit on patents they may not really need, but could possibly be interested to others.
     
  18. MrPocketsOfSteel

    MrPocketsOfSteel

    582
    Mar 13, 2012
    Nailed it.:thumbup: That is the first thing in a longgg list that they need to focus on. But will not. Hey.....when you're busy knife fighting some guy in the back alley the last thing you will be thinking about is how many times you have or have not lock-tited your Emerson Fighting Knife pivot or when you go to slash and the movement of your "world's toughest knife" causes the lock engagement to slip and fold back on your hand and you scream like a school girl so loud that the bad guy is scared to death by the scene of blood and your blood curdling scream that he high tails it out of there. etc. etc. etc.

    Just know that no one else has your "Remote Pocket Opener." Ha! Having said that I have the 7bw in my left pocket and own the Super7. So I do currently own two Emersons but not a real happy owner.:cool:
     
  19. Brummie

    Brummie Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Certainly no heat from my side. I just find that some of the discussion about IP on Bladeforums gets a bit irrational because people are more concerned with loyalty to their favorite companies than the principles upon which IP laws are based.

    If you can dig out what Emerson's new trademark actually covers, it would be interesting.
     
  20. Charlie Mike

    Charlie Mike Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob) Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 1, 2000
    Just to prove a point... that what I'm/was doing is not about money.
     

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