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Matt Bacon AMPS

Farewell innovation?

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29 minutes ago, Gerard-NYNY said:

Not really.

It is not known if Lectro consulted attorneys before releasing their product...

Actually, it is known, but I don't want to go any further.

On another note -- and this is not aimed at anyone in particular, IMHO, people choosing up sides rather than letting this properly play out in the legal arena, are hurting our industry much more than the lawsuit is.

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Due to the nature of litigation, no-one involved will be able to make any comments here...  so we're left with fruitless banter. 
If there's anything useful left to discuss, this thread should be moved to General Discussion.

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I'm not a court, judge or jury. I am a member of this sound community for almost three decades. I have supported both Zaxcom and Lectrosonics. I have had Lectro wireless on my cart for almost three decades. Tried Zaxcom wireless early on and had issues. Was to invested with Lectro to make a changes when Zaxcom stepped up the game.. but Zaxcom did they raised the bar with many of their wireless products and offered the sound community many different options and products with wireless digital and recording transmitters that sounded great.

 Zaxcom recorders have been my main recorders for since the Deva II came out. I still believe the Deva 16 was the best recorders Zaxcom every manufactured and I recorded many major motion pictures on that recorder. Some in our community are on one side or the other concerning this law suit/patten violation because of who they favor, Lectro, Zaxcom, or Sound Devices. We all have our favorites/preferred manufactures.  I truly believe that Lectrosonics, Zaxcom and Sound Devices have carried our community into the future with friendly completion.

With what is going now saying someone violated my patent... (which I read and don't think so) again I'm not a judge, lawyer or jury. I am disappointed because we sound mixers and audio engineers are the real losers here, not the big guys with their patents that they can not work out.. yes Zaxcom I'm calling you out because Glenn has been after and putting down Lectrosonics for 10 years or more I still don't know why they did not sue you for libel and slander, you threatened others in our community on their opinions on Zaxcom and your products.  This has been on the web and websites as well as presentations and so on... now there is a lawsuit/patent violation against Lectro. WE ARE THE REAL LOSERS HERE. Zaxcom and Lectro are going to have to hire lawyers and pay court cost and so on... also the loser pays, this will go on for around 2 years and 2 million dollars or more.  But my patent was violated is what we will here ... was it really? I don't think so. Lectro and their lawyers I think they knew what they were doing. 

So all of this money is being spent on both sides to defend their patents, ideas and so on, why could not some work around work? Thought Lectro did. We the sound community loose out, they are spending all this money defending products, lawsuits and ideas and concepts and we are the ones that suffer. They are now having to spend their money on lawsuits and lawyers instead of R and D for new and better products for our community. 

This is my opinion, that JW allows me to post. I am not debating it with anyone here. It is here and I'm sure there will be many other opinions, concerns, ideas, and opposite views. Thanks for still having free speech! 

Whit Norris

 

 

 

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US patent are well protected by the patent office (otherwise they would loose credibility) and there is no US juge who will give a foreign claim some value against an US patent. Call it protectionism.

Some manufacturers decided not to go at war against such patents as it takes time and money against developing new equipment. 

The only way for those manufacturers is to skip (with regrets to their loyal customers) the market belonging to Zaxcom's patent (US). 

The patent law is made to protect innovation, but it's up to everyone to decide who is the winner and who is the looser in this patent litigation.

Pat 

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7 hours ago, Whit Norris said:

This has been on the web and websites as well as presentations and so on... now there is a lawsuit/patent violation against Lectro. WE ARE THE REAL LOSERS HERE. Zaxcom and Lectro are going to have to hire lawyers and pay court cost and so on...

I agree completely with Whit here. I like Glenn Sanders and have used Zaxcom products in the past, and I also like all the guys at Lectrosonics and think they're a terrific company. The moment I heard about the Zaxcom dispute with Tascam, I thought, "this should not be enforceable: a tiny timecode recorder that could attach to a wireless mic, that does not have a transmitter in it... that shouldn't violate any patent." I feel the same way about the Lectro PDR. (I'm told Lectro was served the legal papers on the NAB Show floor.)

I'm not a patent attorney at all (though I "play one" on TV), but I think the Zaxcom patent is too broad and should not be enforced. If Lectrosonics made a transmitter with a recorder in it, then that might be another thing... but a separate box? Naw, that should be allowed. All this does is discourage competition and annoy users. 

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Zaxcom has innovative products. That's where the love affair begins and ends with me. This whole thing just makes me 100% certain I will never buy Zaxcom products. I have been on the fence a few times, and considered some products to supplement my gear, but no more. This has truly left a sour taste in my mouth. Going after Tascam was one thing, but to be very whiny about a small company with a history of serving our tight-knit community, just shows that Glenn is missing the big picture.

I am grateful for the ability to express my opinion here, and I have tried to do it delicately and with polite consideration and criticism. But this just sucks.

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3 hours ago, RPSharman said:

 Going after Tascam was one thing, but to be very whiny about a small company with a history of serving our tight-knit community, just shows that Glenn is missing the big picture.

Glenn is seeing the big picture from his side of the desk. He is not only defending his patent against Lectro, he is defending it against other manufacturers as well.

Lectro is leading the charge and trying to open a door for themselves and all the other manufacturers, including big ones, to copy and market the same patented product.

Thus, gripes and hates are a bit off center when this issue is viewed as just Zaxcom vs Lectro. It is a much broader issue.

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I'm not a court, judge or jury. I am a member of this sound community for almost three decades. I have supported both Zaxcom and Lectrosonics. I have had Lectro wireless on my cart for almost three decades. Tried Zaxcom wireless early on and had issues. Was to invested with Lectro to make a changes when Zaxcom stepped up the game.. but Zaxcom did they raised the bar with many of their wireless products and offered the sound community many different options and products with wireless digital and recording transmitters that sounded great.
 Zaxcom recorders have been my main recorders for since the Deva II came out. I still believe the Deva 16 was the best recorders Zaxcom every manufactured and I recorded many major motion pictures on that recorder. Some in our community are on one side or the other concerning this law suit/patten violation because of who they favor, Lectro, Zaxcom, or Sound Devices. We all have our favorites/preferred manufactures.  I truly believe that Lectrosonics, Zaxcom and Sound Devices have carried our community into the future with friendly completion.
With what is going now saying someone violated my patent... (which I read and don't think so) again I'm not a judge, lawyer or jury. I am disappointed because we sound mixers and audio engineers are the real losers here, not the big guys with their patents that they can not work out.. yes Zaxcom I'm calling you out because Glenn has been after and putting down Lectrosonics for 10 years or more I still don't know why they did not sue you for libel and slander, you threatened others in our community on their opinions on Zaxcom and your products.  This has been on the web and websites as well as presentations and so on... now there is a lawsuit/patent violation against Lectro. WE ARE THE REAL LOSERS HERE. Zaxcom and Lectro are going to have to hire lawyers and pay court cost and so on... also the loser pays, this will go on for around 2 years and 2 million dollars or more.  But my patent was violated is what we will here ... was it really? I don't think so. Lectro and their lawyers I think they knew what they were doing. 
So all of this money is being spent on both sides to defend their patents, ideas and so on, why could not some work around work? Thought Lectro did. We the sound community loose out, they are spending all this money defending products, lawsuits and ideas and concepts and we are the ones that suffer. They are now having to spend their money on lawsuits and lawyers instead of R and D for new and better products for our community. 
This is my opinion, that JW allows me to post. I am not debating it with anyone here. It is here and I'm sure there will be many other opinions, concerns, ideas, and opposite views. Thanks for still having free speech! 
Whit Norris
 
 
 

Harumph

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37 minutes ago, Gerard-NYNY said:

Glenn is seeing the big picture from his side of the desk. He is not only defending his patent against Lectro, he is defending it against other manufacturers as well.

Lectro is leading the charge and trying to open a door for themselves and all the other manufacturers, including big ones, to copy and market the same patented product.

Thus, gripes and hates are a bit off center when this issue is viewed as just Zaxcom vs Lectro. It is a much broader issue.

Cart in front of the horse.

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>Lectro is leading the charge and trying to open a door for themselves and all the other manufacturers, including big ones, to copy and market the same patented product.<

Lectrosonics is not leading a charge, they issued a new product, one which Zaxcom says violates their patent.  We will see how it plays out.

 

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I'm still waiting for anyone to help explain how a small recorder with TC and a TC input, SD card and an Output infringe on anything...  I do not at all understand the position Mr Glenn has taken... Anyone...  ?

To me, from MY side of MY desk, I don't see the same patented product. Am I alone here?...  Maybe..

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As many have stated, this will eventually come out of our pocket. I think everyone wants to see advancement in innovation and the continued success of both these manufacturers. Let's find a way together to keep this a "family" argument as a loss (in judicial court) for either side will just leave deeper wounds! Seems that this is something that could be rectified by a temporary boycott (for the good of all) to force mediation instead. I've been planning a 10k+ upgrade and will hold off on my wireless decision to start the ball rolling. Anyone else in the same position willing to do the same?

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I also think the scope of the patent is too broad.  Of course a broad patent is legal dillagence, and time will tell what the court thinks.  Patenting a transmitter with a recorder built in is protecting the invention and is reasonable imo.  But it seems the patent covers the idea of using multiple recorders on each sound creator, that could be combined, wireless or not, and that doesn't seem like an invention as much as a workflow.  Patenting a workflow doesn't make sense to me.  

I fully support the protection of innovators and their inventions, but I also feel there are some deep issues in how US patent law is implemented. 

This may be a necessary move for Glenn, but I think it's quite possible to have a negative outcome for us, the end users of these niche products.

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Tiny bit of perspective - Patents exist not to enforce a monopoly, but to allow the inventor to profit from their invention, possibly a subtle disintinction.
A patent lawsuit puts into motion the first step, which is discussions to settle the dispute before going before a judge.  The outcome of those discussions can be one of 3 things - pay the inventor a mutually acceptable license fee, modify the product to no longer infringe (worst case drop the product from the market), or go to the next step of going in front of a Judge, i.e. a Trial.
Going in front of a judge can be either with or without a jury, and that's the point at which you get to argue whether the patent is enforceable, and/or how much infringement is actually taking place, and thus the judge decides for you what you couldn't decide on in the first place.

I'm going to defend Glenn here a little bit as well - the totality of the patent does cover a unique way of solving a problem that existed - commanding all the remote wireless recorders to playback their content again, in sync, so you can capture or re-do the mix if the first mix had problems such as rx hits or just a bad mix.   You'd be unlikely to do that now, you'd just grab the files from each recorder and send them to post and say "here you go", but if your job was to provide a mix, this equipment provides the ability to re-do.

The way patents are worded, it's built up in steps, so at some point you have the description "recorder with timecode", and then you start to argue whether the patent covers that, or just the use of that component as part of the whole.

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2 hours ago, Tom Duffy said:

Tiny bit of perspective - Patents exist not to enforce a monopoly, but to allow the inventor to profit from their invention, possibly a subtle disintinction.
A patent lawsuit puts into motion the first step, which is discussions to settle the dispute before going before a judge.  The outcome of those discussions can be one of 3 things - pay the inventor a mutually acceptable license fee, modify the product to no longer infringe (worst case drop the product from the market), or go to the next step of going in front of a Judge, i.e. a Trial.

I wonder if a reasonable compromise would be to just pay Zaxcom X dollars per unit as compensation, just to kill the lawsuit. If it were a small fee (say, $10 or less), it wouldn't be that big a deal to anybody. I just think sound mixers and other users benefit from competition and from having a choice between manufacturers.

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16 minutes ago, Marc Wielage said:

I wonder if a reasonable compromise would be to just pay Zaxcom X dollars per unit as compensation, just to kill the lawsuit. If it were a small fee (say, $10 or less), it wouldn't be that big a deal to anybody. I just think sound mixers and other users benefit from competition and from having a choice between manufacturers.

It will be interesting to learn if this is even an option. I guess we won't find out until any settlement is made. Anyone know if Tascam were offered the opportunity to license the patent from Zaxcom?

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1 hour ago, Marc Wielage said:

I wonder if a reasonable compromise would be to just pay Zaxcom X dollars per unit as compensation, just to kill the lawsuit. If it were a small fee (say, $10 or less), it wouldn't be that big a deal to anybody. I just think sound mixers and other users benefit from competition and from having a choice between manufacturers.

Like a licensing fee? Seems like a good way to open a revenue stream for Zax, but from all I've seen over the years I doubt it's about the money with them. Just my 2 cents. FWIW, lawyers get rich, not small companies in this type of thing.

CrewC

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I cannot address the immediate issue of the validity of the Zaxcom patent or its applicability to the Lector PDR; even if I knew all the specifics, I am not an attorney. But I have a couple of brief stories that may be of interest.

The movie business in California developed in large part because of a patent dispute. The Patents Company of Eastman, Edison and their partners held a patent on the intermittent movement that smoothly pulled down film, frame by frame, and permitted exposure of each image in regular succession. Part of the patent language specifically identified the use of a loop of film to permit a frame by frame advance without tearing the cellulose base. Independent moviemakers came to California in large part because it was far from New York and not heavily patrolled by Pinkerton detectives. Once here they found the climate to their liking. While making The Squaw Man, Cecil DeMille would safeguard the contraband camera and carried it each evening on the pommel of his saddle as he rode through Laurel Canyon to his rented house. On one occasion he said he was shot at.

I've heard two stories regarding breaking the stranglehold of the patent:
1. When contested, a judge found the patent invalid because the use of a loop to feed the gate was an obvious solution, not an ingenious invention.
2. I've also heard that a consortium of independents researched the development of motion picture cameras and found a French design that predated the Edison/Eastman design, making their patent invalid. This seems more likely if less emotionally satisfying.

At the beginning of my career, I worked at a camera store for a few years. We rented Ektagraphic slide projectors, the professional version of the popular Carousel. The Ektagraphics had a lock on the slide show market. The Kodak projectors were the only design to use a gravity feed; all other makers used some form of sliding gate to load and unload each slide. The gravity feed permitted the use of large capacity (carousel) magazines of slides and was very reliable. Eastman Kodak had patented that very element, the use of gravity to feed slides. Even Leica was forced to use a more cumbersome mechanism. I understand that the patent on that design was eventually challenged by the claim that gravity was an obvious element that could not be protected. Of course, it could just be that the growth of video made the issue of slide presentations no longer valuable.

David

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David, I was aware of the Kodak patents, I thank you for spelling it all out so thoroughly --- you and I are both students of history. Most of the discussions happening here and on other social media regarding this specific patent dispute, seem to be happening amongst people who are not terribly interested in understanding history, patents, law and so forth --- an in depth understanding of some of these fundamentals might sway their support away from the side they haver already chosen. It's all well and good to support the companies that you favor but what is needed here is support for the legal process of defending a patent. I have been tempted to give some of the history of the Nagra and Neopilot sync (a sync system which Kudelski invented and patented) and how that patent affected several other companies that wanted to develop a recorder to compete with the Nagra. There are lots of interesting facets to this but I'm not sure anyone else is actually interested in knowing about these things and having it possibly affect their current point of view. People have already chosen sides, they are very sure who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, and they're rooting for their team!

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2 hours ago, Jeff Wexler said:

 People have already chosen sides, they are very sure who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, and they're rooting for their team!

Including yourself Jeff!

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I sometimes find it very difficult to get rid of my own loyalties toward a company. My parents always had a BMW and to this day I find it more difficult to criticize BMW than any other car maker, even though there are good reasons for doing so.
With my gear it's even worse. When I started out I always had my eyes on a Schoeps mic, but could neither afford it nor justify it. But for a long time there I was longing for a Schoeps mic, and again now I find it difficult to not like anything that Schoeps does. Although... of course we all know that whatever Schoeps do is beyond reproach

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6 hours ago, Jeff Wexler said:

David, I was aware of the Kodak patents, I thank you for spelling it all out so thoroughly --- you and I are both students of history. Most of the discussions happening here and on other social media regarding this specific patent dispute, seem to be happening amongst people who are not terribly interested in understanding history, patents, law and so forth --- an in depth understanding of some of these fundamentals might sway their support away from the side they haver already chosen. It's all well and good to support the companies that you favor but what is needed here is support for the legal process of defending a patent. I have been tempted to give some of the history of the Nagra and Neopilot sync (a sync system which Kudelski invented and patented) and how that patent affected several other companies that wanted to develop a recorder to compete with the Nagra. There are lots of interesting facets to this but I'm not sure anyone else is actually interested in knowing about these things and having it possibly affect their current point of view. People have already chosen sides, they are very sure who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, and they're rooting for their team!

I would be very interested in the patent stories surrounding the Nagra and other recorders, regardless of what opinions I hold currently, it's still an interesting story.  Please do share.

I also find David's patent stories interesting, thank you David for that bit of history.

I'm not sure I believe that support for the legal process of defending a patent, and support for the companies you choose to work with are mutually exclusive things.  We can all have feelings/opinions around this process, but those don't (can't / shouldn't) interfere with the legal process, or the end results of such.  

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