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Old 05-13-2012, 10:05 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Thank you Alpha! I kinda figured that much, but I had forgotten to speak to Simon about it that last time we were talking.

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Old 05-13-2012, 10:19 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I have no doubt that a small customizer wouldn't run into conflict with KEE if they decided to make a small quantity of special valves, priced above KEE's possible market point.

My feeling is that KEE doesn't care... They just don't want anyone competing with them.

That said, the nature of MQ valves is that they pretty much cannot be produced in a small quantity. You're talking custom electro-mechanical assemblies. Minimum order of 5000 from a qualified manufacturer.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:20 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by erspimp03 View Post
I was more coming from the perspective of 'guy with a lathe' type thing. There's money to be made, but not that kind of money.
That's what I meant when I said "small shop". Anything short of a professional machine shop.

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my aim is not to make money but to expand on a product that fills an important niche, and as such I am willing to invest significant assets to see this become a reality.
Then my market arguments are invalidated. If you're willing to throw money at the project indiscriminately for personal reasons, then by all means.

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the amount made from licensing will be less than the cost of drawing up the paperwork.
This does not surprise me at all based on my previous market arguments.

To erspimp03, this also severely hampers your ability to make any sort of money on the project. You could legally offer upgrade parts to existing MQ2's, but you could not legally sell new MQ's. If you do you run some risk of being sued flat. More likely they'll just send a cease and desist letter. But there's a risk associated with it. Is making a negative amount of money on a neat project worth getting sued into the ground?

Again, no problem if this is a personal project and you're not selling anything.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:00 PM   #24 (permalink)
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First. Kee is the current assignee of this patent. You would need to get licensing issues straight with them, or risk being sued by some fairly powerful and financially well off people.
I haven't seen the patent, but assuming it has any sort of specificity to the operating mechanism, my design will circumvent it. Frankly, if KEE is willing to make an issue of it they will prove once and for all to me that they have no interest in furthering the paintball industry whatsoever and are solely interested in making money.
If this occurs, I'll be happy to provide them with any statements proving that my profit margins are either zero or negative, simply out of spite.
Also, I live in Canada. I suspect the patent is not valid up here.

The plan is to make it a 'drop in' valve that will simply need to be clocked. Hopefully this will deal with any tuning and reliability issues. Not going to go into details, but nothing custom order is involved.

I expect this to take at least a year from when I purchase the lathe so don't anybody get too excited.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:13 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Ok. Than I need a valve body, poppet, spring, pilot housing, pilot and standard spacer. But, by-golly, I don't want to buy a complete valve assay. BTW, can I buy this as a kit?
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:16 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by erspimp03 View Post
I haven't seen the patent, but assuming it has any sort of specificity to the operating mechanism, my design will circumvent it. Frankly, if KEE is willing to make an issue of it they will prove once and for all to me that they have no interest in furthering the paintball industry whatsoever and are solely interested in making money.
If this occurs, I'll be happy to provide them with any statements proving that my profit margins are either zero or negative, simply out of spite.
Also, I live in Canada. I suspect the patent is not valid up here.

The plan is to make it a 'drop in' valve that will simply need to be clocked. Hopefully this will deal with any tuning and reliability issues. Not going to go into details, but nothing custom order is involved.

I expect this to take at least a year from when I purchase the lathe so don't anybody get too excited.
I am absolutely *FOR* the invention of new products that furthers our game and makes it more fun/entertaining/interesting/easy to maintain/etc... I simply did not want you to get a cease and desist or worse from the folks at Kee.

All of the above being said... Go for making a new design. There is always room for improvements, and there is definitely a market for MQ-esque valves. I would be happy to see someone fill that increasing void in the marketplace.

Ty
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:30 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Yes, do not construe anything I'm saying as me trying to convince you not to do it. I just want you to enter into this endeavor knowing all the legal snafus.

You would need to read the patent to be sure it does not violate it. It's likely to be generic enough to cover what you're doing if there's a solenoid involved and it's truly drop-in. Don't count on the patent not being valid in Canada. It likely is since Kee also markets their products there.

But again, if you intend this to be a personal project and have no intention of selling, then no problem. But simply showing that you're not profiting from the sale does not satisfy the law. By doing so you're encroaching on the patent holder's market, whether you're making a profit or not. This is bad for their business. Furthermore, it doesn't matter that their market is non-existent. Patent law does not discriminate based on market size or availability.

Now you do have me intrigued as to what you've got up your sleeve. I do hope you go through with it, even if it's just a personal project. I like seeing innovation and such, even if I'll never use it - and I won't, no batteries for me.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:11 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Once I have a working prototype, I will worry about the legal issues. As I've stated, this has been a desire of mine for some time and it's going to be done whether or not I can sell them.
Then again, I do appreciate the legal advice and you've brought to light a few distinctions that I wasn't even aware of, so thank you.

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Now you do have me intrigued as to what you've got up your sleeve. I do hope you go through with it, even if it's just a personal project. I like seeing innovation and such, even if I'll never use it - and I won't, no batteries for me.
You'll probably never use version 1. All I'm going to say.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:40 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Sweet! A battery-less version of a drop in balanced valve system... I am most interested.

Keep us informed as to your progress. I am sure there will be more than a few of us looking for your updates.

Ty
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:17 AM   #30 (permalink)
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The problem with creating a copy of the MQ's is that it took a specially ordered solenoid. If it was an off the shelf part, it would be a lot easier and there would probably be 5 different folks giving it a go at any given time.

Now a mech MQ-ish thing, that's something I'm game for.
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