I am interesting in the production of a dovetail jig at a very good
There is a lot of maker of dovetail jig: Sears Craftsman, Porter
Cable, Keller, Stots, etc... And there is also several patents
regrading dovetail jigs.
I can't imagine that some manufacturers pay someone just to have the
right to produce a dovetail jig. Despite Their models are quite
What do you know about that?
Is it possible to sell a Carftsman/Porte Cable look alike?
Any help needed.
Thank you very much.
Your question is interesting but not one with a simple answer - I am not an
attorney but have worked on several projects where a patent surfaced after
the product shipped - it was messy and NOT CHEAP to resolve. This is NOT
legal advice but comments based on my experience.
If you are aware of a patent (you cannot claim you did not know due to your
statement below) then if you were sued and lost you would have to pay triple
damages plus court costs. Most infringement suits cost $500K to $750K to
conclude (they take place in Federal court not a local state or county
court) and even if you "win" you still pay the court costs.
Your best bet is to employ the services of a GOOD intellectual property
attorney to review the patents and advise you of pitfalls you may encounter,
design arounds, or improvements that you could patent yourself.
If there is an applicable patent that has not expired (remember, patents are
only good for a limited time, IIRC 37 years but do check with the patent
office) then your choices are to license the patent or design around it.
Designing around it is tricky and is as much lawyer-work as engineer-work.
And yes, manufacturers do pay license fees to other manufacturers if they
cannot successfully design around the patent. The license fee is then
built into the selling price.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Glad somebody caught that. I was wondering if the ghost of Sonny Bono
had been working his
magic on patent law.
Having been on both sides of patent disputes there are a few thoughts:
-- nobody wants to go to court; most disputes are settled out of court
by licensing agreements
-- I don't see the domestic (U.S.A.-centric assumption) market for
dovetail jigs as being all that large so unless the OP really has a
significant improvement (which may itself be patentable) I would
*guess* it's not a pretty market to get into. If OP has a patentable
improvement then license that back to somebody who is already tooled
up for manufacture and has an existing market presence.
-- Certainly for practical purposes, you can copy ANY patented device
or implement any patented idea so long as you don't share your
implementation or make money from it; keep a low profile. If you
violate a patent for a $200 dovetail jig one time for your own use
it's not worth the legal fees to even write a cease-and-desist letter.
I seem to remember there being a fair use clause that may even
explicitly allow this -- but that might not be US patent law. The
original purpose of patent is to provide commercial advantage enough
to cause new products to appear in the marketplace. (Of course now
the purpose is to lock out you competitions business model --- having
nothing to do with providing improved goods.)
Read the patents. The particulars of the patent are called out and you can
tell exactly what features are covered. The patent holder may be a design
engineer that works for the manufacturer or they may have bought the right
from an individual.
You may be able to sell a "look alike" as long as the particulars that are
patented are not the same. Just keep in mind that Sears and Porter Cable
have a lot more money than you do. They have lawyers on retainer or on staff
that are very willing to go after an infringement. Unless you are very
wealthy, you don't have enough money to win.
I used to work for a guy that had many patents to his name. One in
particular he licensed to about 10 other companies to manufacture the item
in their region. We used to laugh at how simple it would be to get around
the patent. It was a molded plastic part with holes in it to save material
and cost. All they had to do was put a thin wall of material where the
holes were. The only thing viable in the paten was the holes. No on ever
thought of it and they paid royalties.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.