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  #1  
Old 01-15-2020, 12:47 PM
thegreatgumbino thegreatgumbino is offline
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Default Charmed Life Brown Picks No Longer Available

I got on CLP's website yesterday to pick up a couple spare brown picks after misplacing mine a couple times. Turns out they don't list them any longer. I figured they were out of stock and emailed Scott to check. Turns out Blue Chip received a patent on them and notified Scott, accordingly. Thus, CLP's pulled them from the line.

I'm really hating this as I don't play with anything else any longer. I've tried Blue Chip picks in the past, but their thinnest .89mm is still too thick for my likes (.70-.75 is my sweet spot).

Hope they can figure out an amicable solution that will allow CLP's to start making them again.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:54 PM
JC. JC. is offline
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If the patent covers the use of vespel to make guitar picks, perhaps Scott can go into the business of making "small brown things useful for a whole range of household chores."

Wish I'd patented using glass to make windows.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:01 PM
Goat Mick Goat Mick is offline
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I don't know how Blue Chip can have a patent on a raw material. I could understand if they had a unique pick shape that they cut because that would their own design. But to have a patent that says they're the only ones that can shape vespel into something resembling a guitar pick. That would be like Goodyear getting a patent stating that they're the only ones that can use rubber to make tires. I guess now I own a "lawsuit" Charmed Life Brown pick, wonder if that will make it more valuable?
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:03 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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What?? How is this possible? You would think that as long as a patent has not been granted, anything is fair game. I mean, that's like, I come up with a song in my head and carry it around with me for a while but never record or publish it, and someone else happens to have a similar idea, but they can no longer record their song, just because I was the first to have the idea? I don't think it works that way. This makes no sense. Or am I overlooking something?
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:06 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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I hope for a good outcome, but as for me, I've decided to no longer buy "boutique" picks and rather make my own. I have already ordered two sheets of casein. Hadn't had a chance to work on them yet, but I'm looking forward to getting started. I have no plans of selling those picks, though. This is just for my own supply. I'm currently looking into a certain way of machining them, too, but it's a novel approach, and I'm not sharing my idea. I may, down the road, if it turns out to be practical. Or, maybe I'll put a patent on it. Haven't decided.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:15 PM
Denny B Denny B is offline
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I'm not sure how you could patent the use of a specific material to manufacture a specific common object like a guitar pick?

Why would the use of Vespel for picks be any different than the use of celluloid or casein?

My understanding is that Vespel is a product manufactured with resins only made by DuPont, and it's used to make a vast number of products...

But I'll wait, wonder and not say a whole lot more till the whole story is heard straight from BC or Scott at CLP...I have picks from them both, so I'm naturally curious...
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Last edited by Denny B; 01-15-2020 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:22 PM
HodgdonExtreme HodgdonExtreme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertTwang View Post
I mean, that's like, I come up with a song in my head and carry it around with me for a while but never record or publish it, and someone else happens to have a similar idea, but they can no longer record their song, just because I was the first to have the idea? I don't think it works that way. This makes no sense. Or am I overlooking something?
I know nothing about the music industry, but in the engineering industry - it does work EXACTLY like that.

If you can demonstrate you had the idea first, you are protected.

Also regarding patents; many companies get patents that are legally unenforceable. They are often still effective because competitors don't want to get into litigation.

I suspect CLP probably isn't interested in putting a lawyer on retainer to begin what could very easily become a long and trying litigation process.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:22 PM
tnez13 tnez13 is offline
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If anyone can read lawyer speak, I believe this is the patent in question.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20090249938A1/en
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:30 PM
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FWIW, I was personally barely able to tell the difference between Scott's brown and black picks. So if the brown ones have been pulled, I'd recommend that anyone give the black ones a try. They're technically a different material, and I can't guarantee there isn't some subtle difference. But there sure isn't MUCH of a difference and one I'm sure I wouldn't be able to detect in a blind test...

-Ray
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:37 PM
HeyMikey HeyMikey is offline
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This is pure BS on Blue Chip’s part. Nothing more than legal bullying so they can continue to overcharge for a common commodity made from a premium generally available material. There is no “invention” here. I guess when you are unable compete in a free market you have to try to kill any competition.

Yeah, I won’t do business with a company like that. I will throw more business Scott’s way.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:39 PM
HodgdonExtreme HodgdonExtreme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnez13 View Post
If anyone can read lawyer speak, I believe this is the patent in question.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20090249938A1/en
They have patented the use of any polyimide material for the making of a pick/plectrum for a stringed instrument.

It'd be like patenting the use of any "iron-based alloy" for the purpose of making any wheeled vehicle.

I'm an engineer (with patents) and NOT a lawyer, but I highly doubt this patent would hold up to litigation - but litigation costs LOTS of money.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:42 PM
619TF 619TF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyMikey View Post
This is pure BS on Blue Chip’s part. Nothing more than legal bullying so they can continue to overcharge for a common commodity made from a premium generally available material. There is no “invention” here. I guess when you are unable compete in a free market you have to try to kill any competition.

Yeah, I won’t do business with a company like that. I will throw more business Scott’s way.
The "invention" and what allows the patent is that it is an "improvement" upon the design and materials of a standard pick (also BTW covered under separate Patent).

This is how intellectual property law works folks. You might have seen the "original" idea a million times but a small change can mean a whole new Patent. Add that to the fact that if the Patent holder lets people in the marketplace duplicate their invention means they lose the right to stop anyone from copying them in the future. This isn't bullying, it is someone who took the time and money to create something new (by improving on the old), registered it as they should have, and who now has to go tell everyone else that their product exists and is protected by law. Use it or lose it.

Last edited by 619TF; 01-15-2020 at 01:48 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2020, 01:44 PM
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Charmed Life Picks Charmed Life Picks is offline
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I'll try to keep this short. Thanks to the OP for his post and for all the thoughtful responses. We're grateful for your friendship and support.

I'd prefer any specific conversation to be conducted privately, via email or phone. I'm happy to kick around some ideas. If anyone wants to chat, please take it off the board and contact me directly (Please don't PM me here; I'm just too dang busy these days and sometimes go days without being on the board.)

If interested, please email me directly at charmedlifepicks @ gmail. Please don't PM me here.

This matter is not concluded. I'll leave it there for now.

Most of you have known me for years. You know I've always taken the high road in situations like this. I will continue to do so. You've seen the hundreds of times I've recommended this company and its products right here in these pages, for many years now. That won't change. And I hope you will continue to support them and their products. They've earned it through their hard work and integrity. Whatever the long-term outfall from the current circumstances, that will remain my position.

BTW, we're in very strong financial condition going forward, always have been. One must take things in stride. Our future is very bright.

Best to all of you,
Scott & Rhonda Memmer
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Last edited by Charmed Life Picks; 01-15-2020 at 01:53 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2020, 01:46 PM
Dwight Dwight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyMikey View Post
This is pure BS on Blue Chip’s part. Nothing more than legal bullying so they can continue to overcharge for a common commodity made from a premium generally available material. There is no “invention” here. I guess when you are unable compete in a free market you have to try to kill any competition.

Yeah, I won’t do business with a company like that. I will throw more business Scott’s way.
Great idea you've got boycotting Blue Chip, we should all join in!
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2020, 01:49 PM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmed Life Picks View Post
I'll try to keep this short. Thanks to the OP for his post and for all the thoughtful responses. We're grateful for your friendship and support.

I'd prefer any specific conversation to be conducted privately, via email or phone. I'm happy to kick around some ideas. If anyone wants to chat, please take it off the board and contact me directly (Please don't PM me here; I'm just too dang busy these days and sometimes go days without being on the board.)

If interested, please email me directly at charmedlifepicks @ gmail. Please don't PM

This matter is not concluded. I'll leave it there for now.

Most of you have known me for years. You know I've always taken the high road in situations like this. I will continue to do so. You've seen the hundreds of times I've recommended this company and its products right here in these pages, for many years now. I hope you will continue to support them and their products. They've earned it through their hard work and integrity. Whatever the long-term outfall from the current circumstances, that will remain my position.

Best to all of you,
Scott & Rhonda Memmer
Thanks for weighing in, Scott. I'll hold a good thought for an outcome that hopefully works well for all concerned.

Best,
Jayne
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