Thanks, Roger. I've edited the post to add an explicit link to Trail Design's website, so it highlights their excellent Caldera Cone. All I'm trying to do here is extend the potential use of their Cone by addressing one of its few limitations, sharing ideas in the spirit of the MYOG community.
A couple of points.
- I'm not selling anything; the Strata is public domain information, and may be freely used by anyone wishing to extend the use of their Caldera Cone.
- Tradenames (e.g. 'Caldera Cone') are not covered by patents; concepts are (and, in UK, and thus RoW other than US, a patent title may not contain a tradename). TD might take offence at a potential trademark violation (but see below).
- Part of the original intent of patents was to spur the sharing of information, to encourage what we'd now know as innovation. Thus, freely sharing the ideas encompassed in a patent is not a violation of that patent. Only commercial exploitation of that idea is a patent violation.
- Trail Designs do indeed have patents pending on the Caldera Cone, although, on a cursory search, I've not been able to find what they are in order to check what it is that they have applied for a patent on (purely out of curiosity); they're certainly not listed on Trail Design's website. If you have details of the patent application numbers, I'd appreciate it.
Besides which, if you do an internet search (including BPL), you'll find plenty of other references to the use of 'Caldera' to mean a cone-style pan support, including DIY articles, and I've not heard any cases of Trail Designs pursuing these in the courts; if anything, it's free publicity for them; I'd suggest that the number of active MYOGers is far, far smaller than the number of people who read MYOG pages, but end up buying their gear due to lack of confidence, time, ability or inclination... If TD want to take the Strata and make it, they're free to do so (just not exclusively).
If this thread causes BPL a problem with Trail Designs, then, of course, you're free to take it down. But I think you'd have to take down quite a lot of other threads and posts, too... Rand actually joined in a discussion entitled Caldera Clone, so my guess is they're pretty relaxed about the issue, and, judging by this thread, I think they appreciate the discussion and development of their product.