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  #31  
Old 01-15-2020, 06:26 PM
B. Adams B. Adams is offline
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Originally Posted by valleyguy View Post
Geez, is there a patent for picks made from plastic? Or nylon, delrin, celluloid, wood, stone, tortex? I could go on and on.......
I found a patent granted for a wood and silk layered pick, as well as a pending application for another wooden pick.

One other guitar pick patent I could find that was specific to the material was V-Picks, which are made from acrylic. Their patent was never approved, and is now listed as abandoned.

I'm not sure if there are others, but it seems like securing a patent for a pick material is unusual. Most guitar pick patents are mechanical things, like holes, nontraditional shapes, and straps or non-slip materials attached to a pick.
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  #32  
Old 01-15-2020, 06:56 PM
phcorrigan phcorrigan is offline
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Originally Posted by HodgdonExtreme View Post
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.
The patent system is broken. Apple won billions from Samsung because somehow Apple got a design patent on smart phones with rounded corners!

The patent system has become just another grift mill, generating millions for people and companies that have not created any value whatsoever.

I have one Blue Chip pick. I won't be buying more.
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  #33  
Old 01-15-2020, 10:02 PM
Allen Shadd Allen Shadd is online now
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Against my better judgement, I will wade into this thread. I know Matthew, spoke with him about this patent some time ago. And Matthew does not do social media, so he isn't going to be on here to defend himself nor bash anyone.

Contrary to what some seem to believe, he is not making millions on his guitar picks. The material used is incredibly expensive. He spent time, money, and effort in R&D for the BC picks before they ever hit the market. As much as I can appreciate a free market, I also think a man should have the ability to protect and preserve what work he has put into a product. I do not agree that someone else should just be able to look at that product and whatever success it has achieved, and decide they should just be entitled to have a piece of that pie. Matthew is only trying to protect the work he has put into it.
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  #34  
Old 01-15-2020, 10:42 PM
Acoustic Wolf Acoustic Wolf is offline
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Originally Posted by Allen Shadd View Post
Against my better judgement, I will wade into this thread. I know Matthew, spoke with him about this patent some time ago. And Matthew does not do social media, so he isn't going to be on here to defend himself nor bash anyone.

Contrary to what some seem to believe, he is not making millions on his guitar picks. The material used is incredibly expensive. He spent time, money, and effort in R&D for the BC picks before they ever hit the market. As much as I can appreciate a free market, I also think a man should have the ability to protect and preserve what work he has put into a product. I do not agree that someone else should just be able to look at that product and whatever success it has achieved, and decide they should just be entitled to have a piece of that pie. Matthew is only trying to protect the work he has put into it.
Good for him, however, as a consumer I will make the choice to no longer purchase Blue Chip picks. Should Martin protect their investment in "inventing" the dreadnought by preventing other makers from selling dreadnoughts? I guess Charmed Life Picks must have been eating into Blue Chip's profits quite a bit for him to issue a demand for Charmed Life Picks to cease and desist production. If he is unable to feed his family, then yeah that's a sad situation but healthy competition is also important and he should find a way to get around that, e.g., by coming up with a different business plan.

I'm not necessarily a fan of Charmed Life Picks either. I've never found their marketing to be appealing (bordering on Taylor Guitars' marketing-speak, whether intended for marketing purposes or genuine heartfelt feelings, I find the constant "go buy Blue Chip picks!" in every message very annoying), however, I support them offering a product Blue Chip does not at lower costs (e.g., thin Vespel picks with free shipping) that ultimately benefits the consumer.
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  #35  
Old 01-15-2020, 11:58 PM
HodgdonExtreme HodgdonExtreme is offline
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Originally Posted by phcorrigan View Post
The patent system is broken. Apple won billions from Samsung because somehow Apple got a design patent on smart phones with rounded corners!

The patent system has become just another grift mill, generating millions for people and companies that have not created any value whatsoever.
All laws enacted by humans will be flawed and unable to appropriately deal with every possible permutation of circumstances that might arise.

There are lots of patents granted to genuinely innovative technologies that ought to enjoy some exclusivity for awhile.
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  #36  
Old 01-16-2020, 12:13 AM
B. Adams B. Adams is offline
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Originally Posted by Acoustic Wolf View Post
Good for him, however, as a consumer I will make the choice to no longer purchase Blue Chip picks. Should Martin protect their investment in "inventing" the dreadnought by preventing other makers from selling dreadnoughts? I guess Charmed Life Picks must have been eating into Blue Chip's profits quite a bit for him to issue a demand for Charmed Life Picks to cease and desist production.
The patent was applied for in 2008, roughly the same time he introduced Blue Chip Picks. Using Vespel for guitar picks was probably a novel idea back in 2008, before everyone knew what the material was.

The patent was approved a few months ago, and became active as of today. Since today is the first day the patent was easily enforceable, it makes sense to me that they began enforcing it. Technically they could have sent a cease and desist order years ago, since pending patents are protected as well, but as far as I know they didn't.

This was almost 12 years in the making, not exactly overnight, and long before Charmed Life was around. The patent office apparently saw good reason to grant the patent, and they took plenty of time to figure it out. The patent application wasn't exactly a secret either, as it's been acknowledged on this forum before.

The situation sucks for Scott, sure, but it was set in motion 7 years before you could buy any Charmed Life pick, much less one made from Vespel. I'm sure Charmed Life will continue doing what they do best, which is Casein picks. I hope he doesn't have a huge stock of Vespel sitting around, because that stuff is crazy expensive. Maybe he can start making Vespel nuts and saddles or something. I'm sure there's a market, and probably not a patent application. Yet.

It seems like some people have had issues with this patent for a while, but I guess it's different now that it's real. Here's a somewhat interesting thread from over 4 years ago with a lot of discussion on the subject:
https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=401433
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  #37  
Old 01-16-2020, 12:21 AM
Acoustic Wolf Acoustic Wolf is offline
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Originally Posted by B. Adams View Post
The patent was applied for in 2008, roughly the same time he introduced Blue Chip Picks. Using Vespel for guitar picks was probably a novel idea back in 2008, before everyone knew what the material was.

The patent was approved a few months ago, and became active as of today. Since today is the first day the patent was easily enforceable, it makes sense to me that they began enforcing it. Technically they could have sent a cease and desist order years ago, since pending patents are protected as well, but as far as I know they didn't.

This was almost 12 years in the making, not exactly overnight, and long before Charmed Life was around. The patent office apparently saw good reason to grant the patent, and they took plenty of time to figure it out. The patent application wasn't exactly a secret either, as it's been acknowledged on this forum before.

The situation sucks for Scott, sure, but it was set in motion 7 years before you could buy any Charmed Life pick, much less one made from Vespel. I'm sure Charmed Life will continue doing what they do best, which is Casein picks. I hope he doesn't have a huge stock of Vespel sitting around, because that stuff is crazy expensive. Maybe he can start making Vespel nuts and saddles or something. I'm sure there's a market, and probably not a patent application. Yet.

It seems like some people have had issues with this patent for a while, but I guess it's different now that it's real. Here's a somewhat interesting thread from over 4 years ago with a lot of discussion on the subject:
https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=401433
So what do you think about other builders building dreadnought shaped guitars? What if Bourgeois also patent the use of torrefied tops? Taylor to patent [insert exotic wood of choice] to build guitars? I'm pretty sure the chords used in Summer of '69 have also been used for other songs as well.
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  #38  
Old 01-16-2020, 12:56 AM
phcorrigan phcorrigan is offline
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Originally Posted by HodgdonExtreme View Post
There are lots of patents granted to genuinely innovative technologies that ought to enjoy some exclusivity for awhile.
Agreed, but there are far too many that should never have been issued.
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  #39  
Old 01-16-2020, 01:03 AM
B. Adams B. Adams is offline
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Originally Posted by Acoustic Wolf View Post
So what do you think about other builders building dreadnought shaped guitars? What if Bourgeois also patent the use of torrefied tops? Taylor to patent [insert exotic wood of choice] to build guitars? I'm pretty sure the chords used in Summer of '69 have also been used for other songs as well.
If they were the first to do it, they could have the right to patent it.

If Martin had thought to patent the dreadnought when they first made it, they may have had exclusive rights to that design for years. It wouldn't affect us too much now though.

Torrefied tops probably could have been patented, if a company could prove that they thought of it first. Torrefied wood in general was patented, but it expired in 2006. Such a coincidence that we didn't see torrefied guitars until after that.

If someone had a crazy wood that significantly improved on guitar design, that would probably be patentable. Several guitar companies have patents on wood composites and processes. Martin and Yamaha that I know of, and nobody here is complaining about them.

Chords and chord progressions can't be copyrighted (unless they're incredibly unusual and probably very complex, which is unlikely). That would be different if the chords contain a recognizable melody. Copyright law is a lot different from patent law though.
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  #40  
Old 01-16-2020, 02:06 AM
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Charmed Life Picks Charmed Life Picks is offline
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Originally Posted by Allen Shadd View Post
Against my better judgement, I will wade into this thread. I know Matthew, spoke with him about this patent some time ago. And Matthew does not do social media, so he isn't going to be on here to defend himself nor bash anyone.

Contrary to what some seem to believe, he is not making millions on his guitar picks. The material used is incredibly expensive. He spent time, money, and effort in R&D for the BC picks before they ever hit the market. As much as I can appreciate a free market, I also think a man should have the ability to protect and preserve what work he has put into a product. I do not agree that someone else should just be able to look at that product and whatever success it has achieved, and decide they should just be entitled to have a piece of that pie. Matthew is only trying to protect the work he has put into it.
Folks, I generally want to stay out of the way in this thread, as I'd prefer everyone to have a free hand in sharing their opinion openly.

However, I wanted to briefly comment on Allen's post.

Allen, I concur 100% with what you're saying here. As the only other company in the marketplace who has worked extensively with this material, I can confirm that BC is likely just squeaking by on their margins. To the best of my knowledge, DuPont Vespel is the single most expensive industrial plastic in the industry. It's absurb. And it's no picnic to machine, either.

Blue Chip has earned the legal right to protect their enterprise from competition. I'd be doing the same thing if our positions were reversed. No, they are not getting rich with that stuff, not at those prices. And I actually think this patent is good for all the high-end pick manufacturers, as it proves that what we're marketing is scientifically valid and demonstrably superior.

Thanks to everyone for their comments.

scott
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  #41  
Old 01-16-2020, 05:45 AM
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Looks like its a US patent only.

So the solution is obvious...."Royal Charmed Life Picks...hand made in England by Her Majesty...."

See you soon Scott!
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  #42  
Old 01-16-2020, 06:13 AM
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Looks like its a US patent only.

So the solution is obvious...."Royal Charmed Life Picks...hand made in England by Her Majesty...."

See you soon Scott!
And a Megan & Harry pick sold in Canada!
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  #43  
Old 01-16-2020, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Charmed Life Picks View Post

Blue Chip has earned the legal right to protect their enterprise from competition. I'd be doing the same thing if our positions were reversed.

Well, there you have it.
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  #44  
Old 01-16-2020, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Charmed Life Picks View Post
Folks, I generally want to stay out of the way in this thread, as I'd prefer everyone to have a free hand in sharing their opinion openly.

However, I wanted to briefly comment on Allen's post.

Allen, I concur 100% with what you're saying here. As the only other company in the marketplace who has worked extensively with this material, I can confirm that BC is likely just squeaking by on their margins. To the best of my knowledge, DuPont Vespel is the single most expensive industrial plastic in the industry. It's absurb. And it's no picnic to machine, either.

Blue Chip has earned the legal right to protect their enterprise from competition. I'd be doing the same thing if our positions were reversed. No, they are not getting rich with that stuff, not at those prices. And I actually think this patent is good for all the high-end pick manufacturers, as it proves that what we're marketing is scientifically valid and demonstrably superior.

Thanks to everyone for their comments.

scott
Scott, thank you for weighing in and once again demonstrating your high-minded attitude. Itís very nice to see.
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  #45  
Old 01-16-2020, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Dwight View Post
Great idea you've got boycotting Blue Chip, we should all join in!
Iím on board and already doing my part.
I wouldnít spend that much for a pick to start with.
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