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Old 07-16-2017, 11:39 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by martix_agent View Post
I definitely would not have guessed that.
It's definitely not an exact copy, to be clear, but similar enough to be easily recognized when you pull the bolt assembly. Very different in actual dimensions.

What I find funny about all this is that for as much as GI wants to go after Valken for allegedly copying their products, look at the new GI "Brigade". Basically a blatant ripoff of the Valken Corps program.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:52 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Was thinking of buying an Empire EVS mask. With this latest debacle, I am not sure I could look at myself in the mirror knowing I supported the evil GI empire.
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:42 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Well JKR if you can find out the exact people and faces who originally designed the stuff You could just nab the item used on eBay and then pay homage to the original designer individual without paying full-price retail to the Faceless One
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:37 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by theangrydragon View Post
How many guns out there use essentially the ion valvetrain? Which is basically the same concept dating back to the mag where the forward movement of the bolt dumps an air chamber.

Do any of the similar ion designs still have to pay royalty to GI (who ended up owning the Smart Parts intellectual property)?

I would think since Gino has gone after so many other people's products for infringing on Kee intellectual property he'd at least be able to create knockoff markers without being sued.
Well, I'd expect that Dye still owns the bolt design IP. So I doubt GI collects any royalties on it at all. That was how Dye got out of paying royalties to SP, as SP had infringed on the Fuse bolt patent.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:48 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Well, I'd expect that Dye still owns the bolt design IP. So I doubt GI collects any royalties on it at all. That was how Dye got out of paying royalties to SP, as SP had infringed on the Fuse bolt patent.
I knew Dye owns the patent for the original matrix spool valve design and I've heard of them generally going after any spool valvetrain in paintball.

But I mistakenly thought SP had the IP to the Ion valvetrain, which got passed onto NPS>Kee>Empire>GI.

https://www.google.com/patents/US20060124118

According to Google Jerry Dobbins (of Indian Creek Designs) came up with the design (it looks like the freestyle) and sold it to NPS.

So technically Valken has ripped the trade dress of the Axe on the outside and a patent that still belongs to GI on the inside.

We hear about the broad smart parts patent and subsequent court cases, but what about Dye's spool valve patent? Was their any agreements between Dye, SP, and what was formerly Kee/empire before the GI merger?

It's amazing how incestuous and backstabbing the paintball industry is. Like GI stands for Gardner (brothers) Italia (Richmond). Richmond's company originally owned the Matrix design IP, until he sold it to Dye. Dave Dehaan married into the family that started JT that also eventually got owned by Empire. And of course Gino was formerly at the head of Kee. Throw in the spurlocks and their overseas manufacturing connections and that makes up the rest. And they all love to **** each other over.

Last edited by theangrydragon; 07-16-2017 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:46 PM   #36 (permalink)
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We hear about the broad smart parts patent and subsequent court cases, but what about Dye's spool valve patent? Was their any agreements between Dye, SP, and what was formerly Kee/empire before the GI merger?

It's amazing how incestuous and backstabbing the paintball industry is. Like GI stands for Gardner (brothers) Italia (Richmond). Richmond's company originally owned the Matrix design IP, until he sold it to Dye. Dave Dehaan married into the family that started JT that also eventually got owned by Empire. And of course Gino was formerly at the head of Kee. Throw in the spurlocks and their overseas manufacturing connections and that makes up the rest. And they all love to **** each other over.
I believe Dye's patent was very specific on the design.. I don't think it was a broad "Spool valve" patent. IIRC it had to do with the tail of the bolt closing off the incoming air to the dump chamber. Which is why when SP went after Dye for their electronics patent, Dye countered with the Ion infringement.


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Old 07-17-2017, 03:58 PM   #37 (permalink)
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From my observations as an Ion owner, Dye apparently had the rights to a spool valve that shut off the air supply while venting the 'fire chamber'. In other words, an ion bolt with a single tail o-ring was fine but, an Ion with a double tail o-ring required licensing from Dye (which Orange Paintball explicitly called out on their nano extreme kit).
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:24 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PistolRogue View Post
It's definitely not an exact copy, to be clear, but similar enough to be easily recognized when you pull the bolt assembly. Very different in actual dimensions.

What I find funny about all this is that for as much as GI wants to go after Valken for allegedly copying their products, look at the new GI "Brigade". Basically a blatant ripoff of the Valken Corps program.
The bolt assembly is completely different, but the lawsuit isn't concerned with the internal functionality. I internally, I think the code is an evolution of the Proton/Aura. It's a shame the body had to become so much uglier, I thought the Proton (with all it's flaws) was a prettier and more ergonomic product than the Mini/Axe series.

The Valken Corp program was created by Ryan Sexton, who was later released from Valken and the Valken Corp Program was allowed to slump with him gone. GI then hired (and still employs) Mr. Sexton to create and run the GI Brigade program which he described as an improved version and competitor to the Valken program. Valken has since tired to kick their Corp program back into gear. Both programs benefit the players, and players can be part of both programs without penalty!
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:33 PM   #39 (permalink)
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In this whole mess where did Ben Tippman go? I know Empire owned BT, which would seem like a waste after the GI merger. But I see Valken makes a marker identical to the 98's.

I guess the agreement their was Ben Tippman was allowed to use his own designs in exchange for not being part of the agreement when Dennis Tippman sold the company.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:18 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Makes me happy that for once, smart parts didn't sue FEP when they made the quest.

Mega companies at each others throats... sucks for everyone.
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