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Old October 24th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #1
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Patents

Wondering if anyone has knowledge of what exactly has been patented in terms of the 35mm adapter market. I believe its the technical drawings for complete products that have been patented-- not the GG motions. Anyone who knows more about this, please let us know.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 07:55 PM   #2
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Hi Sheldon,

The clever guys from P+S Technik here in munich patented ALL the "motions of the gg" for Europe & USA. The movietube guys from germany patented the wax-gg + the prism apparatus for Europe & USA. Normally i think the letus35, sgpro, redrock m2, g35, ... are sold illegal because patent infringement. Only the brevis35 is extra because its sold from canada. So if you want to earn money officially with 35mm adapters you have no chance because its already patented. Correct me please if im wrong.

Daniel
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Old October 25th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #3
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Patents cover importing and exporting too by the way.

When I asked our patent attorney he said there isn´t such thing as European patent. For every country where product would be manufactured, sold or licenced the patent should be taken separately and will cost about 3000-4000 EUR per country.

Patents also cover the area of usage if patent is taken for video application it covers video application if not it will not cover it.

One can of course patent a wax gg as something else than it`s intended application.

As P+S for example doesn`t have consumer or entry level DOF adaptors it makes sense to have all those other adaptors around and when it comes to big bucks and projects the price of P+S seems cheap not to mention the quality or service. Two week rental fee for S4 primes is the same as the price for P+S...

Cheers,
T
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Old October 25th, 2006, 04:40 PM   #4
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Thats cool.
I will build some 35mm adapters and sell them as special vibrating calaidoscope toy with a wax-gg replacement.

:-)
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Old October 25th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #5
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The key words above "entry level" are worth noting.

Once an alternative product evlves to the point of o longer being entry level but directly competitive, then trouble may be expected.

As legal cost lots of money and there are such things as viable evidence to be assembled and loss proven, the small volume of product from alternative makers probably does not yet constitute sufficient demonstrable loss yet.

I would like to think that exposure of many new people to the "system" via the entry level products might even benefit people like P+S and thus keep them from banging on the door of the entry level manufacturers too hard.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 02:18 AM   #6
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Do you have any document saying that letus35 is illegal? If that the case, I will stop producing letus35 adapters. Please help me to locate that document, thanks.

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Old November 7th, 2006, 04:35 AM   #7
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I cannot actually find a patent relating to the oscilating area, below is a translation of their patent:

The invention refers to an optical Resolution system for a camera in accordance with the generic term of the patent claim 1. With the camera it knows itself thereby around a camera, a movie camera in particular for the professional Employment or a video camera acts. An optical resolution system, of with that Formulation of the generic term gone out is, is well-known from the EP-A-0 690,327. Further one would genericin accordance with-eat resolution systems are from the US-PS 5,469,236 or 4.867.549 admits. On these Block letters expressly purchase becomes the explanation of all here in detail not described characteristics taken. All well-known optical resolution systems is together that the normal photograph objective, which is “otherwise directly at the Kameragehäuse” to that One sets for resolution systems, so that it - depending upon Training of the resolution system - one more or has less large distance from the Kameragehäuse. Thereby in particular if it concerns with the photograph objective a zoom, those becomes Operation for the operator makes, there it more difficult for the Brennweiten-Einstellung the objective and for those Operation of the camera of elements in a comparatively large distance to handle must. Further it is unfavorable with the well-known systems that it not in simple way to different Setting of tasks to be adapted can. Like that it is for example not possible, for in and the same system as “straight” and after simple re-equipment as to begin bent system. The invention is the basis the task to form an optical resolution system for a camera in accordance with the generic term of the patent claim 1 in such a manner further that the handling is facilitated, and that it in simpler Way for different tasks to be reequipped can. A solution according to invention this task is in Patent claim 1 indicated. Training further that Invention are the subject of the requirements the 2 following. The relay system is according to invention in such a manner developed that it implements more than one illustration, and that directly at the camera body arranged the objective Zoom is. Thus only the focusing and one cannot possible Bilddrehung “camera near” made become, but also the choice of the screen window. In particular the zoom a Varioobjektiv can its, thus an objective, with itself with one Change of focal length the focusing does not change. By this training further the optical can Resolution system comparatively simply reequipped become. In particular it is possible, those Article width between the illustration of the Photograph objective and the first picture so largely too it selects that into this range further systems, how for example returning units to be brought in can. It is particularly preferential, if the returning unit between photograph objective and relay system arranged is, there then in the photograph way before the returning unit arranged optical system comparatively small and so that is easy. During a further arrangement the returning unit exhibits two elements, from those at least one that Optical path around 90 DEG returns. In particular a “disalignment” is possible for the Z-axis, by photograph situations also complicated with this arrangement, how they for example with macro photographs are present, also the resolution system according to invention to be solved can. In particular the element can Surface mirror and the other element Returning element with picture reversal its, so that one a sidecorrect picture to an intermediate illustration receives. Those training managing specified does not only permit a disalignment of the Z-axis, but also Swivel the transferred Z-axis. For this is an element as well as the photograph objective in such a manner tiltable that the respective angle of traverse of the Photograph objective twice as largely like that Angle of traverse of the tiltable element is. That tiltable element can thereby in particular that Surface mirror its. With a preferential the relay system three points Objective one and the zoom up, whereby in particular between first and the second objective Prism for Bilddrehung is arranged. The two Objective ones, which are arranged to the Bilddrehung and the zoom between the prism, are preferential homogeneously trained and symmetrically as that Centre plane between them arranged. The invention becomes following without restriction of the general invention thought on the basis of Remark examples with reference to those Design exemplary described, to which regarding revealing everything is in all other respects referred in the text details according to invention not described more near expressly. Show: Fig. 1 the structure in principle one Remark example, Fig. 2 a modification in Fig. 1 represented Remark example with a disalignment of the optical Axle of the photograph objective and the relay system, and Fig. 4 schematic diagram with the influence that Illustration by different article distances Fig. 5 an execution form with surface mirror with the zugehorigen path of rays, with same in and Angle of reflection at the mirror. Fig. 6 the influence of the path of rays one System in accordance with Fig. 5 by independent Angle change of the tiltable one Surface mirror. Fig. 7 an execution form with a transfer gear to automatic image position reconciliation. Fig. 1 shows a first remark example of the invention, with which the relay system is in such a manner developed that it implements more than one intermediate illustration. For this are between a photograph optics 1 and one Image plane 8, in the one film or a video receiver intended to be, relay optics 3, 4 and 6 as well as a zoom shot optics 7 can arranged. The photograph optics 1 produces a picture in a first intermediate image plane 2. This picture becomes from the first relay system, which from the relay optics 3 and 4, which form a tandem system, exists into the second intermediate image plane 5 shown. The picture produced in this image plane becomes of the second relay system, that from the relay optics 6 with firmer Focal length and the zoom 7 exists, in the film and/or video receiver level 8 shown. That Zoom permits thereby an attitude of the Screen window, without the operator due to the relay system removed far Photograph objective to serve would have. Fig. a second remark example shows 2, with that resembles elements as in Fig. 1 with the same Reference symbols are provided, so that on a renewed One does without to conception. With these remark examples are between that first intermediate image plane 2 and the first relay system, which consist of the relay optics 3 and 4, elements planned, an Z-axis 9 of the photograph optics 1 opposite an Z-axis 10, those shift the optics 3, 4, 6 and 7 together have. These elements a surface mirror is 11, which is tiltable around one to the Z-axis 9 senkrechte axle 12, and in Roof Kant prism 13 with picture reversal. Furthermore for Bilddrehung between the relay optics a prism 14 is arranged 3 and 4. The photograph optics 1 is common with that Surface mirror 11 in such a manner tiltable that that respective angles of traverse of the photograph optics 1 is twice as large like the angle of traverse of the surface mirror 11 around the axle 12. Fig. a remark example of that shows 3 Roof Kant prism 13. Fig. 5. Above towards. Resolution system can be so trained that due to a firm mechanical coupling of the angles of traverse of the tiltable element, i.e. in the rule of the surface mirrors, is always half as large as the angle of traverse of the photograph objective. Fig. 6. To the Erweitung of the photographic Organization possibilities is of advantage it, those Possibility of a decoupling of the angles of traverse to plan, so that the surface mirror 11 to be independently moved can. By it made possible influence of the sharpness depth is in the Fig. 4 and 5 shown. Fig. 7. Automatic picture reconciliation Without image position reconciliation, which produced picture over the photograph optics 1 on the image plane 2 over the relay optics 3 and 4 transferred to the image plane 5. Becomes that Schwenkkopf 30 toward A-B turned, then rotates also the picture on the image plane 5. With image position reconciliation, that with the Schwenkkopf 30 connected cone gear rim 31 floats when swivelling the bevel gear 32 on. This is firmly connected with the gear wheel 33 and propels over teeth 34 the Tubus 35. Over the Differenzialgetriebe, teeth 36, Bevel gear 37, and cone gear rim 38, become that Pechanprisma 14 (also DOVE prism can be) also half angular speed to the rotating speed turned by the Schwenkkopf 30. (The cone gear rim 38 is firmly connected with the housing 39).

Their patents cover the US and Europe but I am still unsure as to what is being infringed by your adapter or any other DIY adapter on the market. The other P + S Technik patents relate to actual cameras so...........? The best best would be to contact them under a false name or something and say that you are looking to invent a DOF adapter but you want to make sure that you are not infringing any patents, they should be happy to give you the patent numbers relating to the MINI35 and PRO35 as it would be in their interest to protect their products. Just dont tell them that you already make and sell them.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:29 AM   #8
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That is a heavy piece of translation.


If the patent issue is to become of concern, then perhaps it might be time for all interested parties to talk, maybe something along the lines of agreement for builders of emulative devices intended for "profitable" sale as against builders of a "breakeven" product to service engineeringly challenged enthusiasts, to stay out of certain market areas, not to evolve the emulative devices beyond entry level, pay a reasonable tribute, levy or licencing fee for use of the principles, any audiovisual producton to be free of encumbrance or liability for claim due to it having been originated through use of an emulative device.

The real-world circumstance might be that if current makers of the Mini35/Pro35, Movietube and other specialist scientific devices which employ a similar principle, launch a test case against an individual builder, there might emerge, a consumer backlash or user resistance of such magnitude as to do more long-term financial harm to any litigants than any loss that might be provable relating to emulative products and any compensatory relief that might be granted in a judgement.

There is not a lot of public sympathy for, or law in support of, monopoly or anti-competitive behaviour.

With the evolution of larger format electronic imaging systems, the days of all groundglass based image relay devices are numbered. A patent brawl over groundglass based relay imaging would probably push most enthusiasts in that direction of R & D pretty damn quick.

With the rewards likely to be meagre if at all, a fight may simply not be worth the pain and effort.

My own personal feeling on the matter is that if the makers of the original and benchmark professional products were going to do something, we would have heard something by now, more than likely in this very forum.

Vendors and renters of the products also visit dvinfo and are even sponsors. There has also been some cross-over into the threads specific to the Mini35, of discussion about emulative devices. There is probably very little not known about them as they all have been heavily and openly discussed here over time.

Conversely, keywords Mini35 and Movietube turning up in discussions here have likely created cross-promotion of those products money could not hope to buy.

Realistically, I don't think there is yet any emulative device being sold which is directly competitive with the real things in terms of proven robustness, expectation of reliability, integration across many systems, aftersales service, supplied technical information, handling notes or experienced product support likely to endure for the seven years or so customarily expected for mainstream consumer and commercial goods.

On the other hand, due to costs, rental or purchase, I doubt whether any of the professional products are getting the same amount of wear and tear as the collective of the emulative devices, made-for-sale and home grown, by people learning and evolving the skills to operate them, becoming intuitive and creative with them, therefore equally to understand and better able to operate the real things and know their advantages and limitations.

There is room I think for co-existence. I imagine it is already going on in a sort of "I see nothing" manner and may continue to do so provided no one gets too greedy or aggressive.

Actual raising of the subject formally might lock the patent holders into taking some sort of restraint action lest by not doing so they may later be deemed to have consented to infringement.

In a backhanded sort of way, it is probably more beneficial to P+S Technik and Movietube to have the "entry level" home grown and small volume for-sale devices to become the best they can be so that people who become exposed to the concept are not discouraged by disappointing results.

--------- just a few thoughts on the matter.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 10:55 AM   #9
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I have spoken to many rental houses regarding the success of the MINI35 and MovieTUBE and the amount they sell to rental houses and private buyers x the cost of each one brings them an incomes of £millions+, they are in it purely for the money, hence the reason for the patents (to stop others profiting from their design basics) I do not see them coming to an agreement with us DIY'ers as it would not benefit them. I can only guess that they are not really in the know concerning the other DIY adapters but my guess is that it will only take a matter of time until patent infringers are eventually served upon which some sort of legal action.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 02:55 AM   #10
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About P+S mini35...

I think that P+S knows quite well what`s going on because DVInfo hosts the official P+S Technik forum featured in official documentation of mini35.
Mizell Wilson of ZGC, Inc. is the offical monitor of that forum.

Image plane conversion itself cann`t be patented as one can not patent oxygen or the letter "a" for example but the ways of writing the letter "a" can be protected by law.

Until any patent application is completely approved after a year and a half, any other manufacturer can legally use the basic concepts behind any product or technology. Even the use of "Patent Pending", surprisingly enough, does not fully protect the inventor or manufacturer from competitors.
It is up to would-be entrepreneurs and inventors to investigate the USPTO's or the similar archives of patented or patent pending products before investing time and money in a similar concept.

BTW using the term "Patent Pending" knowing a patent application has not been made is considered a federal crime in and can mean major financial fines and/or prison time. It can be tempting as an independent inventor with little investment capital to create a false "Patent Pending" designation, but this could lead to a serious charge of patent infringement.

Local TM registration is subject to local laws in every country.
Any international trademark related protection is regulated under the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the protocol relating thereto. International trademark registration takes 18 months at least to take full effect too.

T
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Old November 13th, 2006, 08:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toenis Liivamaegi
Patents cover importing and exporting too by the way.

When I asked our patent attorney he said there isn´t such thing as European patent. For every country where product would be manufactured, sold or licenced the patent should be taken separately and will cost about 3000-4000 EUR per country.

Patents also cover the area of usage if patent is taken for video application it covers video application if not it will not cover it.

One can of course patent a wax gg as something else than it`s intended application.

As P+S for example doesn`t have consumer or entry level DOF adaptors it makes sense to have all those other adaptors around and when it comes to big bucks and projects the price of P+S seems cheap not to mention the quality or service. Two week rental fee for S4 primes is the same as the price for P+S...

Cheers,
T

Toenis,

You can infact protect your patent in more then 30 countries in Europe by applying using the European Patent Convention (EPC). You can apply through the European Patent Office (EPO) where they will process all the applications. A patent will be processed as a single application, but once granted it becomes separate patents in the countries you designate.

You can get protection in individual countries in Europe by applying to the national office of each country. This is advisable if you only want protection in a few countries.

You can claim priority from an existing patent application if you apply abroad within 12 months of your original application. Your later application will be treated as if you applied on the same date as the original application.

You may have to file translations of your patent application in order to obtain patent protection in certain countries.

Thanks,
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Old November 13th, 2006, 08:44 PM   #12
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Quote from P + S Technik patent:

The screen (fig 50) can be for example a ground-glass plate or a fiber board. Ground-glass plates or Fiber boards, in addition, other surfaces suitable for the production of an image have a structure, which can be perceptible perhaps in the noted video picture, at least however one disturbing smeared and/or indistinct impression leaves. In order to prevent that the structure is perceptible in the noted Videofilm for a viewer of the film, the screen (fig 50) in the image plane of the photograph objective (fig 60) is moved according to invention, thus toward perpendicular to the optical Axle, which is dash-dotted represented.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 09:42 PM   #13
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I don't think the homebrew 35mm adapters are necessarily illegal. It may be for the courts to decide that (if anyone ever gets sued). Just because a company has filed a patent does not mean that it is a sound patent. For example, there are arguably many frivolous patents that probably would not hold up in court (i.e. do a google search on frivolous patents).

This isn't to say that the ground glass patents mentioned won't hold up in court or that they're frivolous. I'm just saying that just because the patent exist, it doesn't necessarily make the homebrew stuff illegal. What the patent system does protect are inventions that are novel and non-obvious (with some exceptions). Is the oscillation of the ground glass something that's novel and non-obvious? Also, has it been done before (prior art)?

2- Anyways, this is my limited understanding of patents and I am not a lawyer. There's also probably other issues to consider (i.e. patent law and practices are different between jurisdictions).
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:07 AM   #14
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Doesnt the SG Pro and M2 rotate and not oscilate? Therefore they wouldnt fall under the MINI35 patent making them LEGAL. The MINI35 patent says something about groundglass and fiberboard?...... fiberboard? that as much transparent as lead underwear isnt it? but it also goes on to say about oscilating any screen suitable for a focusing screen.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Relph
Doesnt the SG Pro and M2 rotate and not oscilate? Therefore they wouldnt fall under the MINI35 patent making them LEGAL. The MINI35 patent says something about groundglass and fiberboard?...... fiberboard? that as much transparent as lead underwear isnt it? but it also goes on to say about oscilating any screen suitable for a focusing screen.

I think the first generations of the Mini35 were spinning GGs like the 200 and 300 series. But the new 400 series is oscillator. So I don't think P+S would be too worried about their old designs. But the Letus and Brevis are oscillators and so may be more of concern to P+S. The Letus flip even looks like a Pro35 clone from the outside implying that the flipping system is very similar. Thing is P+S is an established company. The Mini35 is just a fraction of their profits. They make other stuff for film cameras and other high-end stuff. If they wanted they could most likely crush all those little backyard companies, including Redrockmicro. Even if P+S wouldn't win, the legal fees alone could bankrupt the homemakers or force them to just desist. This game only goes on while P+S wants, because P+S is so quiet about it. Just by searching this forum they can get enough proof all designs started based on their own. Redrockmicro's founder for example has posts all over the place from before he founded the company during the Agus era and it's obvious they all started knocking the Mini35 off. The question is why is P+S so quiet? They may be actually benefiting from this. One thing that I know having used a M2, which is one of the best-built adapters from the bunch along with the Brevis and SGPro, is that I would take a Mini35 any day of the week. The M2 is a work around of a 35mm adapter at best. It's so cheesy and annoying to set up, so fragile you have to handle it like a bunch of roses. It's just not on pair with high-end professional stuff, which the Mini35 is. Te Mini35 is built just like an Arricam. It's like a tank and it works out of the box and it's a mature product. The M2 is just a better-made homemade product and you see it when you use one. Too many screws to mess with, to many home solutions, you need to open the box and mess with it to adjust it and then when you open it you see how homemade it really is. So maybe P+S is getting a better grasp of the higher end market and rental houses because professional people buy or use these cheap adapters and see the Mini35 may be worth the investment after all and they go to the Mini35. Maybe people that have always wanted to try a 35mm adapter and never did because they thought it was too expensive are buying the el-cheapo adapters, liking the effect but getting disappointed with the product and deciding to go the Mini35 distance. Or a sort of stigma is forming around the situation pointing that the el-cheapos are for hobbyists and the Mini35 is the real thing. I don’t know, but there must be a reason for P+S being so quite and that’s not because they can’t do anything about it. They don’t seem to want. Because they sure have the money and right to sue any of those homemakers. Why aren’t they? Makes you think.
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