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Old 04-21-2011, 04:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Oh No no no, be my Conspiracy!

(heh, name who sang that song!)

Ok, down to business... Lately through my Pseudophedrine modulated senses; I have noticed a possible Grand Conspiracy:

Remember years ago, when Smart Parts released the SFT Shocker? A fair to middling gun that they immediately got pro teams to use, the big one of the day was Dynasty, and then they began the boondoggle with the law suits and forcing companies out of business, but fewer people cared becase since all the Pros were shooting Shockers and you could get those cheaper because they were the flag ship gun from SP?

Well, fast forward to this foul year of our Lord, 2011. And, now KEE has acquired the intellectual property of Smart Parts, released this fair to middling gun and got a million Pro teams to endorse it so all the AGGlets think it is the hottest thing since that time I burned my hand.... Do you think the law suits are far off?

Do you think KEE is going to make a dastardly, bastardly SP like move and try to get everyone to pay THEM so they can make a Electronic Gun? Is THAT why Bob Long is making a pump? And, will they, the other companies pay KEE since the main stream of the sport is so mired in electronics?

(queue up the X-Files theme music.)

Last edited by breg; 04-21-2011 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe not the law suits, but if not for to collect royalties, then why own the rights?
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I fail to see the connection between The Gardner Bros.' abusive prosecution of their IP and the release and sponsorship of the Shocker, or how that could relate to the new Axe.

Everyone's anxious to see how KEE chooses to utilize the SP IP, but I think for the most part the scheme will continue as it was. The other major electronic gun manufacturers will probably continue to pay them their licensing fees and KEE will benefit from no longer owing fees to anyone else for selling their own guns.

The real question is what will happen with DYE, because under the old scheme DYE was able to secure a reduced, if not free use of the SP IP in exchange for not prosecuting SP for using technology covered by its own Matrix bolt patents, which the Ion and Shocker were apparently using. Because KEE, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't manufacture or distribute anything that would be covered under the Matrix patent, DYE may need to re-negotiate some sort of agreement with KEE to continue marketing electronic guns.

One more worrying prospect is the idea that KEE, as a market force, is far more powerful than Smart Parts ever was, especially now with the economy slowed down as it is and the paintball market in general being smaller and more vulnerable. Whereas Smart Parts could not have possibly met the demand for electronic guns on their own in the mid 2000s, when they were pursuing their litigation (making licensing in conjunction with their own manufacture the optimal situation), KEE may not have that limitation. Their capacity to produce markers in Taiwan, import, and sell them is massive.

On the bright side, KEE themselves have greatly scaled down their product line as of late, so if they were to move for ending the licensing agreements and attempting to establish a monopoly on electronic guns, at least until the patents expire, they are far less well positioned to do that now than they were in the past.

On the other hand, when I see a company like Tippmann releasing a mechanical-only version of their Phenom, which in my estimation is a gun no one was asking for, I have to wonder if some major players are anticipating a possible sea-change.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Kee's marketing is definetly working, the last time i played at my local field every player except me and someone with an etek had an AXE or MINI along with a Proph
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Inflicted View Post
I fail to see the connection between The Gardner Bros.' abusive prosecution of their IP and the release and sponsorship of the Shocker, or how that could relate to the new Axe.

Everyone's anxious to see how KEE chooses to utilize the SP IP, but I think for the most part the scheme will continue as it was. The other major electronic gun manufacturers will probably continue to pay them their licensing fees and KEE will benefit from no longer owing fees to anyone else for selling their own guns.

The real question is what will happen with DYE, because under the old scheme DYE was able to secure a reduced, if not free use of the SP IP in exchange for not prosecuting SP for using technology covered by its own Matrix bolt patents, which the Ion and Shocker were apparently using. Because KEE, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't manufacture or distribute anything that would be covered under the Matrix patent, DYE may need to re-negotiate some sort of agreement with KEE to continue marketing electronic guns.

One more worrying prospect is the idea that KEE, as a market force, is far more powerful than Smart Parts ever was, especially now with the economy slowed down as it is and the paintball market in general being smaller and more vulnerable. Whereas Smart Parts could not have possibly met the demand for electronic guns on their own in the mid 2000s, when they were pursuing their litigation (making licensing in conjunction with their own manufacture the optimal situation), KEE may not have that limitation. Their capacity to produce markers in Taiwan, import, and sell them is massive.

On the bright side, KEE themselves have greatly scaled down their product line as of late, so if they were to move for ending the licensing agreements and attempting to establish a monopoly on electronic guns, at least until the patents expire, they are far less well positioned to do that now than they were in the past.

On the other hand, when I see a company like Tippmann releasing a mechanical-only version of their Phenom, which in my estimation is a gun no one was asking for, I have to wonder if some major players are anticipating a possible sea-change.
There might be some answer to this in the increased price of the G-1. Granted you get more in the box, but maybe a little of that increase is going to Dye.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Maybe. But the G-1 is a somewhat more expensive gun to manufacture than the SP-1 was, what with its multiple feed blocks, longer barrel, CAR stock, stainless screws, and carrying case.

I'd offer that the SP-1 was always curiously under-priced anyway.

The fact that the Vibe/Envy is virtually unchanged yet is $30 more expensive than it was tells more of a story.

That does bring up an interesting question though: Where the sale of the IP to KEE leaves GoG?

Does anyone know if the Gardners were able to buy the SP IP back from the bank after the seizure, and then sold it to KEE, or did KEE buy it directly from the bank? If the former I would imagine that they retained the rights to utilize the IP for themselves. If the latter, then they could be in the amusingly just position of being liable for infringing "their" patents.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Inflicted View Post
The fact that the Vibe/Envy is virtually unchanged yet is $30 more expensive than it was tells more of a story.
This could just be a result of the way the economy is shifting. High gas costs increase transportation of materials from raw material suppliers to manufacturers and eventually to us. I wouldn't be surprised to see all MSRP's to step it up a little soon.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This could just be a result of the way the economy is shifting. High gas costs increase transportation of materials from raw material suppliers to manufacturers and eventually to us. I wouldn't be surprised to see all MSRP's to step it up a little soon.
That's inflation, which is another cartel - er, conspiracy entirely.
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you're referring to the axe, agglets don't love it
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Is THAT why Bob Long is making a pump?
What? That's news to me.
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On the other hand, when I see a company like Tippmann releasing a mechanical-only version of their Phenom, which in my estimation is a gun no one was asking for, I have to wonder if some major players are anticipating a possible sea-change.
I've been wondering the exact same thing.
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