My Caldera Clone
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Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
My Caldera Clone on 01/05/2012 12:07:21 MST Print View

Out with the old-
old windscreen

In with the new-
caldera clone

I built it using Captain Paranoia's fantastic Caldera Clone post script file. He's done an impressive amount of work on his project.
http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/forummessages/mps/UTN/22357/URN/5/dt/4/srchdte/0/cp/1/v/1/sp/

I modifed the closure detail to a design I've been playing with lately... It's ok- I like the way it looks and works on smaller diameter windscreens, but probably isn't as secure as CP's original design on something this large. I used it on a traditional winsdscreen for my beer can pot as well, as detailed in this post http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,2712.0.html
closure

I also had to make the bottom part of it in two pieces because the pattern wouldn't fit on my 6" wide roll of roof flashing. I used some rivets that I had laying around from a previous project to fasten it together.
rivets

After doing a whole mess of tests yesterday, I've concluded the clone is definately more efficient. During these test I was getting around about a 9:30 boil time with my old windscreen, and an average of about 8:50 with the clone. The best I can tell, the average burn rate of the fuel stayed pretty close to the same so it's not just making the stove run hotter.

BM

Edited by Ultra_Magnus on 01/05/2012 14:34:16 MST.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
My Caldera Clone on 01/05/2012 12:31:49 MST Print View

BM,
Yeah, I can believe that your cone would show a bit better performance. The CC is more or less a standardized form. Looks Good!

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Wait! on 01/05/2012 13:19:00 MST Print View

I forgot to post a pic of its most important feature that sets it apart from a Trail Designs CC! When disassembled, it all fits INSIDE of my pot, neat and tidy.stowed cone

BM

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Nice how it nests on 01/05/2012 13:24:26 MST Print View

That is sweet! Almost no room lost, because you still have the pot volume to pack other stuff into.

I like that a lot because if you have a bigger pot, your efficiency typically increases and I like doing one big batch of hot water or snow melt instead of many small ones. And with that snug, efficient fit, there's very little volume penalty for a larger pot.

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
Re: My Caldera Clone on 01/05/2012 15:32:48 MST Print View

> "I built it using Captain Paranoia's fantastic Caldera Clone post script file. He's done an impressive amount of work on his project."

Seriously? Fantastic? Impressive? *HIS* project? Seriously?

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Re: My Caldera Clone on 01/05/2012 16:13:00 MST Print View

As far as I know, he wrote the post script file. It's a seriously impressive piece of work. You enter in your variables as outlined by the readme file, save it, and send it to your printer. BAM, there's a pattern for a clone. Have you looked at it? I guess the development of the post script file was helped along by many of the outdoorsmagic forum members.

I'm not taking anything away from the Caldera Cone- it's a good piece of kit, but as I mentioned in my previous post, fitting inside my pot is an essential criteria. To have a big pot like my 1.3l evernew, and then have to store the windscreen in a separate bulky container is a no go.

Making a complete system that works together takes a bit of work, and a lot of fiddling. The Trail Designs kit is a very convenient one stop shop- drop down a chunk of change and a few days later everything shows up in the mail and you are a happy camper. But I'm quite handy with a hole punch and a pair if scissors, and have at least 100 alcohol stoves I've made over the years (not counting the ones I've thrown out) to choose from to play with so a DIY route is more up my alley. Plus I drink lots of soda so I've got plenty of raw materials for future stove building at my disposal.

BM

Keith Bassett
(keith_bassett)

Locale: Pacific NW
Looks great, nice rivets. on 01/05/2012 16:17:21 MST Print View

I just got the clone script from him today. Nice to see that someone else is using the narrow flashing. I like the rivets as a way to hold them together. Good thinking and a seriously solid connection.

Do you think you could get by with just two rivets?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: My Caldera Clone on 01/05/2012 16:20:44 MST Print View

Ultra,

The previous poster (Rand) is one of the owners of Trail Designs who OWN the patent AND name Caldera Cone.

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Looks great, nice rivets. on 01/05/2012 16:29:15 MST Print View

I dunno- I used three because it looked good. I had the 1/8" diameter rivets left over from an previous project. I only needed 12, but they only come in bags of a 250 or something... I would look at getting maybe some smaller ones for material this thin. And they are real, smash with a hammer rivets, like in aviation. I got that from McMaster. I love that place- too bad they don't have a walk in retail store you could browse the aisles like a Home Depot- only they'd make Home Depot look like a corner market in comparison.

Rivets- http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-rivets/=fog8pf

BM

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: My Caldera Clone on 01/05/2012 16:34:46 MST Print View

"The previous poster (Rand) is one of the owners of Trail Designs who OWN the patent AND name Caldera Cone."

Yeah, I figured that. And I've read through the Caldera Cone patent- but if you read carefully- I wrote "Caldera CLONE".

See thread- 500+ posts
http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/forummessages/mps/UTN/22357/URN/5/dt/4/srchdte/0/cp/1/v/1/sp/

Rand made the Caldera Cone. Props to him.

CP wrote a post script file. I mean, the name should have given it away, but I never even once thought for a moment that post script was an actual scripting language.

BM

Edited by Ultra_Magnus on 01/05/2012 16:39:53 MST.

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
Re: Re: Re: My Caldera Clone on 01/05/2012 16:49:18 MST Print View

> as I mentioned in my previous post, fitting inside my pot is an essential criteria. To have a big pot like my 1.3l evernew, and then have to store the windscreen in a separate bulky container is a no go.

....and that's exactly why we developed a solution that fits inside the Evernew 1.3L pot.

Rand

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: My Caldera Clone on 01/05/2012 17:11:47 MST Print View

"....and that's exactly why we developed a solution that fits inside the Evernew 1.3L pot."

But it's takes up most of the space inside the pot, leaving little room for anything else. If you look at my pictures of the stowed clone, my windscreen is put away without needing to be rolled up so tightly, and leaving my post pretty much empty for whatever else I want to stuff in there. I like my 1.3l pot to bake with, but that requires a very slow burning stove (while keeping a close eye on thermal run-a-way) so with my setup I could fit a couple of stoves, baking cups, measuring cup, dish towel, scotch brite pad, lighter, fork/spoon, etc., with room to spare.

You make good products. I have nothing against you or your organization. But I do mechanical design for a living. I'm almost never satisfied with off the shelf anything, and am ALWAYS looking to fix things that aren't broken. I mean, I couldn't even leave CP's post script file alone. I entered my basic dimensions, then using a Linux command line program (pstoedit- it's available for Windows but I couldn't get it to work) converted it to a dxf file. Then I opened it up in SolidWorks DWG editor (lame AutoCAD clone, but it's all I have at work to edit dxf files) and spent a good part of the day tweaking it (when I should have been working :o... ). The ps to dxf conversion was real sloppy and took a while to clean it up into something I could work with, just so I could change the closure detail... Call me crazy...

BM

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
My Caldura Clone on 01/05/2012 18:27:55 MST Print View

BM,
The cone is a basic shape and is taught as part of many math programs in elementary schools and high schools. As long as you don't distribute the clone you do not infringe on any patents. You are free to do anything for yourself.

I tend to do the same as you. I fix things, new, out of the box. I repair my car by removing 20 parts and replacing them with 16. Postscript is indeed a standard language. Most printers these days speak it, as you found out. Not that easy to work with, though.

Anyway, I like your cone set up. Please avoid Trail Design's involvement by not using their names for something. They make a good product and do not want it confused with engineering prototypes, good or bad.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: My Caldura Clone on 01/05/2012 19:27:05 MST Print View

>"As long as you don't distribute the clone you do not infringe on any patents. You are free to do anything for yourself."

True in a practical sense - going after someone for a one-off, what are damages? The gross or net profit on one stove? $10-20? Plus legal fees if successful, so it all about the putative aspects, not the compensatory. You've caused so little harm, you're unsueable.

Eli Whitney's cotton gin is an example - it was tremendously insightful to turn the process around - picking the cotton from the seeds instead of the seeds from the cotton. Ironically, he had hoped to make slave's lives easier but it revitalized the whole plantation cotton industry. But any handiman who'd seen one could make one himself so Whitney made nothing from it.

But if you fall within the scope of a patent, yes, you're infringing, even if you are making it for yourself. Now, personally, I dislike how the patent office has gone to largely granting patents to anyone who fills out the forms correctly and for which is not obvious prior art. And letting other claimants fight it out in the courts. I wish they would enforce the "non-obvious" clause more. Because an awful lots of minor ideas and tweeks get patents. Things that, to me, any skilled designer could have come up with. Stuff that is hardly the first transitor or airplane (or thermarest or free-standing tent in our realm.) I have NO opinion of Trail Design's stuff. I'm not familar with their product line or their patents. I'm just saying, in general, we're granting too many patents and while that employs many laywers, it can stiffle innovation.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Clone on 01/05/2012 21:39:20 MST Print View

"but probably isn't as secure as CP's original design on something this large. "

Just curious: What did CP design? And what was original about it? What does your improved design weigh? And how much water are you boiling in your tests?

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Clone on 01/06/2012 09:50:00 MST Print View

"Just curious: What did CP design? And what was original about it? What does your improved design weigh? And how much water are you boiling in your tests?"

I'm referring to his folded slot/tab closure as compared to mine. I've used my closure method on smaller diameter windscreens before, and because of the small diameter there's more tension on the joint giving it a more positive "snap" when engaged, and it stays put really well. I can play catch with my Heineken windscreen without it popping open. On this clone setup, it's not as secure. Excessive wiggling will cause it to pop open, quite annoyingly, making my pot fall onto my stove. I've bent it around a bit to make it more secure, but still, I like how it looks but it's not perfect.

BM

Thomas Budge
(budgthom) - F

Locale: Idaho
uncoated flashing on 01/06/2012 11:37:04 MST Print View

Anyone know where to get uncoated aluminum flashing? I bought some aluminum flashing from Lowe's to make windscreens out of, but it had some type of coating on it that turned brown and emitted some wicked fumes during stove operation. The flashing at Home Depot has the same coating.

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: uncoated flashing on 01/06/2012 13:08:33 MST Print View

I have no idea, so can't help you there. I just use the coated stuff and just deal wiht it when it burns... But I do have one secret I can share...

Have you ever noticed that when the flashing starts to burn, the windscreen gets all deformed? The flashing wants to be more or less flat (slight curvature from coming rolled up) and wants to stay flat. When it gets hot, the aluminum first starts to stress relieve, and in that area the stress will relieve (and when it burns it will anneal), and the areas that are still under stress try to flatten out, making a bit of a mess of your windscreen. So, my very simple solution- stress relieve your windscreen under controlled conditions before you use it the first time in the field! Assemble your windscreen, and toss it in a 350F - 400F oven for a little while. Then it will evenly stress relieve, so when one side starts to burn, it won't get bent all out of shape. This technique can also be used to fix an already warped flashing windscreen. Just tightly wrap the flashing around a cylindrical object that's slightly larger in diameter than the assembled size of the windscreen. Fasten it tightly with binder clips, bailing wire, whatever, and toss it in the oven. When it comes out, it will be more or less fixed.

BM

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: uncoated flashing on 01/06/2012 13:10:38 MST Print View

You might try using aircraft paint remover. Pretty good (nasty too) stuff.

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Re: My Caldura Clone on 01/06/2012 13:49:28 MST Print View

"True in a practical sense - going after someone for a one-off, what are damages? The gross or net profit on one stove? $10-20? Plus legal fees if successful, so it all about the putative aspects, not the compensatory. You've caused so little harm, you're unsueable."

Interesting point- but what if there's no loss of sale? For the form factor reason's I've already outlined, and that fact that I'd never pay $35 plus tax and shipping for something so relatively simple to make, with tools and materials I already have on hand (my only purchase was a $7, 1/16" diameter arts and crafts hole punch to make a nice termination of the flissure joint cuts).

"Eli Whitney's cotton gin is an example - it was tremendously insightful to turn the process around - picking the cotton from the seeds instead of the seeds from the cotton. Ironically, he had hoped to make slave's lives easier but it revitalized the whole plantation cotton industry. But any handiman who'd seen one could make one himself so Whitney made nothing from it.

But if you fall within the scope of a patent, yes, you're infringing, even if you are making it for yourself. Now, personally, I dislike how the patent office has gone to largely granting patents to anyone who fills out the forms correctly and for which is not obvious prior art. And letting other claimants fight it out in the courts. I wish they would enforce the "non-obvious" clause more. Because an awful lots of minor ideas and tweeks get patents. Things that, to me, any skilled designer could have come up with. Stuff that is hardly the first transitor or airplane (or thermarest or free-standing tent in our realm.) I have NO opinion of Trail Design's stuff. I'm not familar with their product line or their patents. I'm just saying, in general, we're granting too many patents and while that employs many laywers, it can stiffle innovation."

The current patent process really frustrates me. I deal with it on a day to day basis, and my company's primary source of income is by collecting royalties on patents we own and license to other companies. Let us look at this from the consumer's standpoint: for example, Trail Designs doesn't offer a 2 piece cone for sale, yet their patent covers it. Obviously there's a market for 2pc cones, or that thread on OM wouldn't have over 500 posts. So what are potential consumers supposed to do? Live without their needs being met? Spend their money on a product that's ok, but not quite what they want? I (or anyone else besides TD) can't make and sell 2pc cones to them. The handy ones can make their own from CP's script, but everyone is SOL. How is that fair?

How about this hypothetical situation- pretend TD makes crap cones. Let's say their quality, manufacturing and materials, is total rubbish. For the sake of the argument let's say that I have the manufacturing capabilities to laser cut them from premium materials, cnc form the closure details, and because of my superior manufacturing capabilities can offer them at a lower price point. But I can't w/o infringing. So then what are consumers to do? Suffer a poor quality product, or no product if TD went out of business for making shoddy gear, until the patent expired in 20yrs?

(Please do not accuse me of accusing TD of making shoddy gear- just a hypothetical scenario. I've never seen TD cones first hand, but have heard nothing but good things about them from various blogs and consumer reviews.)

BM

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: My Caldura Clone on 01/06/2012 14:11:05 MST Print View

BM: I know you're speaking hypothetically here.

In the "they have the patent but don't manufacture it" situation, well, yeah, that innovative is potentially off the table for 20 years.

In the "They make it but they did a lousy job" scenerio, again, maybe everyone suffers.

But in both cases, a contractual deal could resolve the issue. They issue a license or a limited license to another firm that does have an interest in marketting it or manufacturing a better quality item.

And, in both cases, if you copy their design for their own use AND YOU DON'T TELL ANYONE, you're unfindable and therefore untouchable.

Also, in both cases, if you have better idea or better manufacturing, you can similarily make it for yourself with impunity.

Note: My thoughts on making one for yourself being unenforceable isn't always true. If Shell starts using a process that Chevron patented in one of their refineries, Chevron is going to find out. And go after them.

Regarding "but what if there's no loss of sale? . . . I'd never pay $35 plus tax" That wouldn't cut the mustard in court. Their patent, they get to decide the price. Also, factoring in your time at your billing rates, I'm guessing that's a $300 stove you've got now! I know mine are.

I'd like to see a range of patent periods. Somehow related to the design cycle. A drug that took 7 years to develop, test and get approved should have a longer protected period (15 years?) than a couple of fins on a pot (5 years?). Also the pace of change of the industry should be factored in. Should the primary patent on white LEDs (blue being the last color to be figured out) or more so, something in integrated circuits hold up everyone else or bleed revenue from all other firms and consumers for 20 years/18 months = 13 life cycles? Whereas, if you really do invent a better mousetrap or lawnmower or plow, sure, have 15 years to market it.

Editted to address another point you made: "I (or anyone else besides TD) can't make and sell 2pc cones to them.": But you could patent the 2-piece design. You couldn't market it without a license from them. And they couldn't market the 2-piece version without a license from you. That happens all the time in automotive and electronics manufacturing - multiple or reciprocal licensing agreements between firms.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 01/06/2012 14:15:42 MST.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Intellectual property on 01/06/2012 15:03:41 MST Print View

I give Russ and Rand (Trail Designs) a lot of credit for going after a patent on the Caldera Cone. First of all, few people know how much work and cost is associated with issuing a patent. Issuing a domestic patent (for a large company) use to cost upwards of $10k and internationally the costs were over $80k. Additionally, there are maintenance fees associated with maintaining the patents. The patent process takes a lot of time and energy and they did a great job. As a cottage industry, they took it upon themselves to stake a claim and defend their rights to their original thoughts. This is regardless of the product quality or if they bring the idea to market. I don’t know for sure but I suspect you would be violating their claims IF someone decided to just sell patterns of a CC. The purpose of a patent is to provide a timeline where the owners of the intellectual property and recoup their investment. How long do you think it would take to make a $10k profit in a cottage industry?
As others have said, if you like your split cone idea you should talk to TD about a licensing agreement. That way you can make it a win-win scenario for everyone. If they like it a lot, they might consider compensating you for your idea (I said might). That also would make it a win-win for everyone.
Legally, you can review their patent in detail and come up with a new implementation that is functionally effective yet doesn’t violate the patent claims (this is very common in the industry). BTW, if the CC was an absolute winner, then I would suspect a bigger company (like MSR) would come in and do exactly that. Even if you could circumvent their claims, you may be hard pressed to sell many due to the interesting nature of the UL community (think Boilerwerks / mKettle).
The bottom line is, build a better (legal) mouse trap yada, yada,yada…

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Intellectual property on 01/06/2012 15:25:19 MST Print View

Jon: I agree with everything you say.

For myself, here's my win-win:

When on company time, I keep my ideas in-house. Not to patent, but so we're smarter, cheaper or more competitive than the competition.

When on my own time, I just blab about my ideas and hope someone takes them and runs with them.

IME, there's no shortage of clever ideas and I'd rather be brainstorming new ones and testing stuff in the garage, the wilderness, or a toxic-waste site than filling out forms, and spending time in court to enforce a patent. But that's just me.

-David

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
Re: Re: Re: My Caldura Clone on 01/06/2012 15:45:59 MST Print View

> Trail Designs doesn't offer a 2 piece cone for sale, yet their patent covers it. Obviously there's a market for 2pc cones,....So what are potential consumers supposed to do?

Not true....Trail Designs does offer, builds, and regularly sells a 2 piece cone system. We don't offer it through our website but we are selling 2 piece cones all the time. We posted all kinds of stuff about it here on the BPL Wiki.....but that's gone now. There's all kinds of comments and threads about it here on BPL....just search for our "Fissure" product....there are posts on it going back for years and even someone picked it as their "2011 Readers Choice". We don't advertize it much because its a pain in the ass to make and so we handle it on an as requested basis. Here's a youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnUKbbt6Ev8

Rand

Edited by randlindsly on 01/06/2012 15:47:53 MST.

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
Re: Intellectual property on 01/06/2012 15:51:28 MST Print View

...oh...yea....and it was WELL over $10K to get the patent....as much as you may hate the philosophy of the patent office....try and actually get one.

Edited by randlindsly on 01/06/2012 15:54:06 MST.

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Re: Intellectual property on 01/06/2012 16:17:59 MST Print View

Wow- that's ridiculous. I guess you don't have to answer, but have you sold 1000 cone setups yet?

I personally don't own any patents, but I have been involved in getting a few patents filed. My first original "invention" is in the patent process right now. It is a total pain in the butt, and I really dislike the way our patent attorney writes patents.

BM

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Intellectual property on 01/06/2012 16:20:59 MST Print View

Patent law is a complex area in most countries, presumably also in the US: personally I wouldn't be commenting on it or making any presumptions about enforceability or legality of a patent unless I was an experienced practitioner. Bush lawyering aside, from a non-lawyer perspective I'd suggest the smell test: if it doesn't smell right then don't do it.

Personally I think that making something that so clearly copies someone else's product is clearly wrong. I had thought several times over the years about how the principle which Trangias operate on could be used to make a lighter product. At the time no-one at TLB or BPL was interested because, since Trangias were and are little known in the US, it wasn't understood that it wasn't simply a case of whacking a windscreen around a meths burner: there is a different process at work in a Trangia. I also remember repeatedly posting that you got better burning by turning the Trangia's holes into the wind (and that you could add water to the methylated spirits) but to no avail. There were some earlier products like the Clikstand but they didn't get the design principle. So, in my view, what Trail Designs came up with WAS original - it's a brilliant, elegant design because it works and it's as simple as it needs to be. It wasn't a minor change or refining of an earlier product (like most "soda can" stoves or the cut-down Trangias that some people used) but a new approach.

Can the same be said for the clones?

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
Re: Re: Re: Intellectual property on 01/06/2012 16:27:46 MST Print View

> what Trail Designs came up with WAS original - it's a brilliant, elegant design because it works and it's as simple as it needs to be. It wasn't a minor change or refining of an earlier product

Thanks! :-)

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Re: Re: Intellectual property on 01/06/2012 16:31:19 MST Print View

The cloners calling their projects "Caldera Cones" says it all.

By the way, the new website looks great, Rand!

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
Re: Re: Re: Re: Intellectual property on 01/06/2012 16:42:12 MST Print View

> By the way, the new website looks great, Rand!

Thanks again! :-)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
My Opinion on 01/06/2012 17:02:41 MST Print View

Many people don't care for my opinions, so here it is anyway...

"Interesting point- but what if there's no loss of sale? For the form factor reason's I've already outlined, and that fact that I'd never pay $35 plus tax and shipping for something so relatively simple to make, with tools and materials I already have on hand"

TD came up with the design that works. Lots of R&D invested here in addition to the costs associated with a patent. TD RISKED a lot of money to bring it to market, with no guarantee they would make a dime. By posting your design and a link to a template is stealing... IMO a moral issue, aside from the legal.

------------

"I'm just saying, in general, we're granting too many patents and while that employs many laywers, it can stiffle innovation."

Does it? There were lots of MP3 players before the iPod. There were millions and millions of cell phones before the iPhone. Those two products made Apple on of the most valuable companies in the world. Build and better mousetrap, don't copy one. If something is in the public domain, then legally you can use it to develop your mousetrap.


-----------

"So what are potential consumers supposed to do? Live without their needs being met? Spend their money on a product that's ok, but not quite what they want? I (or anyone else besides TD) can't make and sell 2pc cones to them. The handy ones can make their own from CP's script, but everyone is SOL. How is that fair?"

How did backpackers exist before the Caldera Cone? TD owns the patent, the public's need has nothing to do with it at all... other than if it serves a need they can purchase a Cone from TD. This is why they developed it, so they could sell it to the people who need it. They own it, it is their's and that is the most important point. And that is why I pointed this out early on. Same goes for life saving equipment and drugs... just because some may benefit from an invention/product does not mean they have a right to it; what would they do if the person/company did not invent it in the first place? A consumer has a right to a product if they enter into a buyer/seller agreement. And that is why people/companies develop new products, to make money. If a product costs $1 or $10 million it is the same; the invention belongs to the owner. Lastly, IMO, a patent should run forever unless the owner (person/company) perishes intestate.

P.S. I have 3 Caldera Cones, all purchased legally. Fantastic product. Thanks Trail Designs!!

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Intellectual property on 01/06/2012 20:06:39 MST Print View

>"as much as you may hate the philosophy of the patent office"

I don't hate the idea, I'm in favor of it. But I think the procedures and time frames of 50 years ago were better than they are today, likewise with copyrights.

Extending copyrights to 75 years and then beyond just to save Disney from Mickey Mouse going into public domain?!? I see how it benefits Disney, a progressive, creative company and a nice place to work. But how does it motivate creativity? Disney (the man) is dead. Everyone who worked on the Steamboat Willie is dead. Why should their heirs (and more commonly the companies that bought the rights) continue to tax the consumer for the creative work of dead people, who were financed at times by shareholders who are now dead?

The New York Philharmonic can record Beethoven or Bach, and they have rights to THAT RECORDING but not to the original work, nor did they have to pay some Austrian who is the 4th cousin, 5 times removed of some dead composer who died childless. And I think that is appropriate. Disney picked of the bones of Hans Christian Anderson (Little Mermaid), and so many other classic tales (Snow White, etc) as they are now doing with A. A. Milne's Pooh. Yet they want their creations to remain theirs forever. I disagree with that double standard.

Patents have been following the trend in copyrights as corporate interests try to capitalize on historic intellectual property. The framers of the constitution allowed for patents and copyrights and clearly saw there needs to be a balance between motivating creativity but not letting one entity lock up a concept forever. I think that balance has swung too far towards corporate interests and away from socetial interests.

Again, none of this is to speak for or against TD's work. I'm giving my thoughts about patent and intellectual property in general.

And I think for truly innovative work - not tweaks on prior art - it shouldn't cost an inventor >10k to get through the process. Innovation happens in the lab, design group, and on the drawing board, not in a lawyer's office.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: My Opinion on 01/06/2012 20:16:32 MST Print View

>"There were lots of MP3 players before the iPod. There were millions and millions of cell phones before the iPhone. Those two products made Apple on of the most valuable companies in the world."

My recollection of the 1970's is that Apple became the faster company to reach $1,000,000,000 worth in the history of the world on the strengths of the Apple II. I've built a few Apple II from bare boards (they used to sell bare circuit boards), and there's a little bit of stuff in their from HP but more from Atari. So while Jobs was a incredible marketeer decades later and Woz was the ubernerd in the 1970's, it's not like they they didn't pick a few bones themselves.

Obviously we're aware of tremendously successful companies. That doesn't mean the process couldn't be better. I see cases where a company shies away from using a technology because another firm has a broad, somewhat vague patent on the process. Okay, maybe that company should be more aggressive, and challange the patent's validity, but often that doesn't make financial sense. I'd rather see the patent office set a higher bar in terms of being truly innovative and especially the "non-obvious" clause. Because breakthough ideas should get some protection but derivative ideas and basic good engineering and design should now. IMO.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
<By posting your design and a link to a template is stealing... on 01/07/2012 03:59:14 MST Print View

I don't agree it's stealing.

The common idea is using a cone shaped windshield to support a pot - CP gives full credit to TD for this notion and warns against using the template for selling cones - they are for self use/experimentation only.

I have made a few clones for my own use using this template.

2 years after making the first one I finally saw a TD cone in the flesh - they appear to have a different shape (proportions), be made of different material, have different air hole arrangement and have a very different fastening than anything I have made...

So it's not a direct copy - it's the concept that has been 'copied'

I guess CP's main error IMO has been to associate with the template, the name Caldera and the word 'clone' (which suggests a direct copy of the product - it's not) Naive maybe, but not a 'for profit' crime.

The clone script is designed from bottom up as far as I can see - not copying the design, but starting from the same concept (I don't think the idea of a potstand/windshield all in one per se was particularly new)

If anyone else feels worked up about this, maybe they should read the OM thread - they will see it's in the same freesharing spirit as many MYOG threads on here and not a 'stealing exercise' http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/forummessages.asp?v=2&urn=5&utn=22357&umn=


Plenty times on this forum have I read of folks MYOG projects which are modified copies of existing gear? Often that gear will have been measured, manufacturing details copied and then modified.

It'd be just as easy to say that many UL pack makers have stolen from Ray Jardine....
and that the original Chimney Kettle maker was stolen from by Kelly Kettle or the Backcountry Boiler maker.... (I agree M Kettle did appear to steal specific details/designfrom the latter!) How many folk out there are using a non-TAR self-inflating mat?

Someone has to invent a notion first - The folk at TD did so for a UL cone and then developed the idea and have a great range of products. Personally I wouldn't buy a basic cone from them, as I prefer to make/modify my own and make my own alcohol stoves. I also think they are too expensive/vulnerable/awkward to pack for me. So they are not losing my dollar by me using the template.


But, I do hope to afford to buy a Ti-Tri inferno or Sidewinder one day soon... Looks a very versatile piece of kit.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
A Couple of Things to Add... on 01/07/2012 05:17:38 MST Print View

I've been giving this a lot of thought lately myself--definitely a timely thread.

First, I want to say how impressed I am with TD's Caldera Cones. I had a tough time talking myself out of a JetBoil Sol Ti, but once I saw (and understood) the Caldera Cone system, I no longer wanted another canister stove. The design is simple, elegant, and a much more responsible use of resources. It's also (relatively) fast and reliable. While I haven't bought one yet, I've got my eye on an Evernew 900mL pot and either the Ti-Tri or the traditional system with esbit stand. As far as I'm concerned, they have earned the patents on their system and deserve a lot of business because of that.

All that said above, I do want to add a couple of relevant points that haven't gotten the attention they deserve yet in this thread.

One of the reasons that I think people are responding strongly to UM and others like Captain Paranoia making Caldera-type clones is the nature of the cottage industry. Rand & Co. are active here on the forums, and--by all accounts that I've seen--they make an excellent, reliable product and are readily available to help. They even go out of their way to make things like the Fissure which takes far more labor and attention for (what I'm guessing) is only a marginal increase in profit. I have yet to see any bad press about their customer service, communication, or products. They're a small, cottage company that knows the BPL community well and that the BPL community knows well.

In other words, if someone figured out a relatively easy way to make a NeoAir-like pad from readily available materials and then posted that method on the forums for others, our reactions would be very different. (This isn't a perfect analogy. Obviously, the NeoAir is a far more complicated product to produce than the Caldera Cone system. Though, I don't see degree of technical ability as relevant to my argument.) Therm-a-Rest is a big company, and it's owned by the even larger Cascade Designs, who owns MSR, Platypus, and other major players in the outdoor industry. First off, any hit to their bottom line by MYOG NeoAirs will probably be minimal. Even if it were wildly popular on BPL, Whiteblaze, Outdoors Magic, etc. the few who make rather than buy will be much smaller as a percentage compared to Trail Designs.

To add to that, while I've also heard of several excellent reports on TAR's customer service and availability, we don't know them like we know the Trail Designs Crew. We're not as personally invested in their development as a business. Like I said, we just don't know them, and our interaction here on the forums with the real players at TD (versus some customer service rep on the phone or by email at TAR) really means something--personally and commercially. It's immensely satisfying to use something on the trail built by someone you feel you know and whose care and attention to detail you don't doubt.

This connection between between business and customer makes them both people again (a more classical model of capitalism, versus the impersonal megacapitalism that emerged from the Industrial Revolution). I think it's admirable and a big part of why I want to purchase from Trail Designs in the future.

I think the other thing that has been missed in the discussion so far is that the cone itself is not really what Trail Designs is selling. What they offer is the whole Caldera Cone system--the 12-10 stove comes bundled with each of their cones. The stove itself is designed for exactly the conditions which the cone creates--high heat, low oxygen. Not only that, but it is has become the benchmark for alcohol stove efficiency. Take away the cone, and that drops dramatically. Or as Rand has pointed out on other threads, using another stove with the Caldera Cone isn't going to work nearly as well either. (If I remember correctly, he said it more strongly than that--no other stove will work well at all.) The 12-10 stove is an essential part of the simplicity and reliability of the Caldera Cone.

So when it comes to making your own cone, I don't see the moral problem (the legality of patent laws is beyond me, so I'll leave that for others to comment on). The cone is a basic geometric shape, and while it is innovative and creative to use the cone as TD does (and clearly patent-worthy), making one for your own personal use shouldn't be considered a moral failure. Frankly, all the skills you would need to make a basic cone are taught in freshman geometry. And any student with above-average intelligence, a formula chart, and a decent calculator ought to be able to do it well before that. Of course, to make one functional, you'd need some understanding of wind and oxygen flow that are easily gained again in high school, through trial and error, or on the trail (of course, others more knowledgeable could help you out, too). Taking that into account, I just don't see how making your own cone is so wrong--especially when you also consider that you haven't replicated the Caldera Cone system, just its most basic geometrical aspect.

As for Captain Paranoia's postscript, I think the issue is a little less clear, but not much. You measure your pot, input the numbers, and it generates a template for a cone template that you can print out. Basically, it does all that 9th grade math for you. My TI-83 Plus in high school could have done that. Sure, it adds an option to do a Fissure-like cone, but again, that's cutting a cone in half (basic math) and adding some tabs. The joint pattern is different and based on common knowledge, and the venting holes are different. It does leave a space for your pots handles very much like the Caldera Cone, but an average freshman could make that modification to a cone with nothing more than a ruler and some scissors. In other words, CP's postscript does nothing that a reasonably intelligent person with a freshman-level education couldn't do given more time (and some error). That doesn't meet the minimum requirements for infringement on intellectual property, in my humble opinion.

All that being said, if CP offered a set of instructions for building your own 12-10 with the cone, I could see that being a much more salient issue. As it stands, he's only duplicated the most basic part of the CC system, all of which stands well within the realm of common knowledge.

I will say, though, that I'm not a fan of the name "Caldera Clone." For one, it clearly takes the Caldera trademark, using Trail Designs' intellectual property to garner notice. Second, it unnecessarily muddies the waters. Caldera doesn't own the geometric shape of the cone, and CP offers nothing that isn't already in the public domain.

Like I said, I love what Trail Designs has created, and I look forward to purchasing their set-up some time in the (hopefully near) future. They are an excellent company, and I'm glad to support them because of their products and their personal connection. But I see no problem with others making their own cones or using Captain Paranoia's postscript. Personally, full disclosure, I also plan on making a making a cone for my Foster's can pot with help from CP postscript. I'm looking forward to the learning process of designing and testing different stoves for it. It's one more step toward my goal of taking a trip with only (or almost only) gear I made myself.

/*/Edited for clarity and grammar/*/

Edited by GlacierRambler on 01/07/2012 05:29:31 MST.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: A Couple of Things to Add... on 01/07/2012 06:41:46 MST Print View

Clayton,
I agree. The geometry is pretty basic. The stove is a variation of the older Brasslite, probably some others before that. Nothing really new. The IDEA of using it as a windscreen, pot support, heat reflector together certainly deserved a patent.

I do not see a moral issue if you as an individual, wanted to make one for yourself. Or play with stove design. You can tweak Trail Designs designs to somwhat higher efficiency. Suit yourself. If you want someting you can simply buy and use, Trail Designs cones are about the best. The system they offer has all the essentials for a really well performing system. You don't really need to do anything. For the majority of BPers, this makes it worth it. Well worth trading an hour or two of labour (measured in dollars) to have something that works.

For others, those on a budget, those retired, time is not much of an issue. A half a day spent tweaking a program, printing a template, cutting parts, assembling them, means you can have roughly the same performance: sometimes better, sometimes worse, depending on your exact system. Another half day on the stove, maybe more, depending on the exact style, size, and performance you expect. Hell, I spent a couple months building brasslite clones, only to later find the 12-10 stove was close to what I was looking for. Here is a picture of an early model:
stove1

Note that this is also a chimney style stove, drawing air from the bottom, and feeding into the top...very similar to TD's 12-10. It works well in clones sized to fit the taller stove with a slightly better efficiency, just over a half ounce for two cups as opposed to just under 5/8ounce for TD's 12-10. But, the 2 grams is really not worth raving about, nor worth the effort involved. The cone and stove are both heavier due to the extra height needed. More than offsetting the fuel savings. Generally this stove is a failure.

Anyway, one of the things about the 12-10 stove that is not widely advertised, is that it IS a two walled stove with cooling air being drawn up the sides. This gives it a big advantage in their cones. It does not overheat easily and is not susepible to the IR reflection happening in a cone. It works well. Kudos to Rand, et al, again, for good system engineering.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
RE Caldera clone name is a free ad for trail designs. on 01/07/2012 12:57:07 MST Print View

In my opinion the name "Caldera clone" name is a free advertisement for the commercial Trail Designs Caldera cone: the clues in the name: anyone reading the OM thread would learn of The Trail designs cone and in that thread CP gave thanks, credit and a web link to Trail Designs for coming up with the idea of the Caldera Cone in the first place.

I think the Trail Designs Caldera cone is a good idea and it is good it is commercially available: I bought one before trying a "home-made frustum stove".

If I had invented the caldera cone ( unlikely :) ), it would not have occurred to me to patent it, as I would have viewed it as having nothing patentable (apart from the modern TD closure method which looks novel to me and thus might have seemed patentable but I wouldn't have thought of it :) ). There was and old European stove with a conic windshield on whose rim the pot was supported, although the windshield cone was inverted with respect to the Caldera.


It seems in most other (non-USA) countries patents simply don't cover making stuff for you own non-commercial use, i.e. making your own caldera clone (homemade frustum windshield) is not an infringement because you are not selling it commercially.

Patents and their defence are expensive: with a first to file patent system, an alternative is to publish the design thus gaining prior art to preventing someone else patenting your invention, and relying on brand name/trademark, quality etc, to keep customers.


NB TD=Trail Designs

Edited by ahbradley on 01/07/2012 13:06:55 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: RE Caldera clone name is a free ad for trail designs. on 01/07/2012 13:55:18 MST Print View

"In my opinion the name "Caldera clone" name is a free advertisement for the commercial Trail Designs Caldera cone: the clues in the name: anyone reading the OM thread would learn of The Trail designs cone and in that thread CP gave thanks, credit and a web link to Trail Designs for coming up with the idea of the Caldera Cone in the first place."

I am going to respectfully disagree. And I want to point out that many others have created similar threads, so I am not picking on Mr. Ultra.

The original post did not give credit, reference, or mention that the Caldera Cone is patented by Trail Designs or that "Caldera" is a registered Trademark of Trail Designs. As a matter of fact he gave kudos to someone named Paranoia. I believe that "Caldera" is the registered trademark, not Caldera Cone. If that is the case, then the entire picture changes, to include the original subject line.

As a matter of fact (IMO and I am not an attorney), using Caldera, Caldera Cone, or Caldera Clone is "genericizing" the product, which could eventually cause Trail Designs to lose the trademark if they allow it to continue. One case that comes to mind is the Otis Elevator Company. At one time they owned the name "Escalator," and moving stairways were often referred to as escalators, when in fact the only "escalators" were the moving stairways built by Otis. Otis compounded the problem by referring to "escalators" in a generic way in their advertising. Otis lost a VERY VALUABLE trademark because of this.

Now here is the problem as I see it, Rand is such a nice guy he usually does not make a stink about it. But he should.

If you want to build your own version of TD's product, there isn't much they can do about it, as long as you do not sell it or publicize it. However, posting it could be problematic as you are showing people how to "reverse-engineer" it, and encouraging people to build a product whose design belongs to TD.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
RE: RE Caldera clone name is a free ad for trail designs. on 01/07/2012 15:27:08 MST Print View

Nick Gatel said
"The original post did not give credit, reference, or mention that the Caldera Cone is patented by Trail Designs or that "Caldera" is a registered Trademark of Trail Designs. As a matter of fact he gave kudos to someone named Paranoia. I believe that "Caldera" is the registered trademark, not Caldera Cone. If that is the case, then the entire picture changes, to include the original subject line."

But I said "anyone reading the OM thread would learn of The Trail designs cone and in that thread CP gave the thanks, credit and a web link"
i.e. was referring to the OutdoorsMagic.com Thread detailing the postscript development. However, even on this thread, I think any initial misunderstanding of what was CP was being praised for (the postscript) and that Trail Designs created the commercial Caldera cone first (for which they are applauded) was quickly cleared up.

Nick Gatel said
" "genericizing" the product, which could eventually cause Trail Designs to lose the trademark"
"Caldera cone" and "caldera clone" are different phrases escalator is one word: I don't know . If Rand (Lindsly) had a preferred alternative to the name "caldera clone" he could say: no need to be "not nice" when no malice was intended or offered from the original OM thread, and those on this thread quickly attempted to clear up the misunderstanding.

Nick Gatel said
"posting it could be problematic as you are showing people how to "reverse-engineer" it, and encouraging people to build a product whose design belongs to TD."
The patent itself does just that: anyone can read said patent on-line and see the structure of a caldera cone. Anyway, the concept of a truncated cone does not belong to TD, its a basic shape.

Edited by ahbradley on 01/07/2012 15:34:09 MST.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
My Caldera Clone on 01/07/2012 15:44:52 MST Print View

I'm not interested in buying any of the existing Caldera Cones, chiefly because of the bulky way they pack up. However, I would like to buy Ultras Caldera Clone, since it fits in the pot without taking up any room. Can Rand simply copy Ultras design since he has the patent?

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
re Ultra Magnus windshield on 01/07/2012 16:07:42 MST Print View

I don't know but there is now an aluminium sidewinder.

http://www.traildesigns.com/stoves/caldera-sidewinder-system

Edited by ahbradley on 01/07/2012 16:09:50 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: My Caldera Clone on 01/07/2012 17:07:52 MST Print View

Casey,

I think Rand said he already makes cones that are two piece, they are just not posted on his site. One of the great thinks about small companies is that they are often willing to make custom items. Give him a call.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: RE: RE Caldera clone name is a free ad for trail designs. on 01/07/2012 17:15:54 MST Print View

"If Rand (Lindsly) had a preferred alternative to the name "caldera clone" he could say: no need to be "not nice" when no malice was intended or offered from the original OM thread, and those on this thread quickly attempted to clear up the misunderstanding."

---------------------------------

Anything related to a stove that includes "Caldera" is trademark infringement, unless it is a product manufactured by Trail Designs (note: I am not an attorney, it is how I understand it to be).

I cannot speak for Rand, but in the past he often lets these things run their course... he really is too nice of a guy.

I am not saying that anyone had any ill intentions at all. What I am saying is that we must respect the property of others. Sort of like the ads at the beginning of some videos regarding pirating movies, "You wouldn't shoplift, would you?" To me it is the same principle.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: <By posting your design and a link to a template is stealing... on 01/07/2012 17:35:44 MST Print View

"I don't agree it's stealing.

The common idea is using a cone shaped windshield to support a pot - CP gives full credit to TD for this notion and warns against using the template for selling cones - they are for self use/experimentation only. "


Yes, but prior to Trail Design's work were you using a cone shaped windshield to support a pot? No? So the idea came from TD. Dyson make bladeless fans: did the principle of the impeller exist before then? Yes. Had anyone thought to use an impeller as a fan, with all the advantages it provides? No. So, can everyone now just turn around and start using bladeless fans (or bagless vacuum cleaners) on the basis that, hey, it's just a principle of physics and their adoption of the principle is just a coincidence?

Those who want to use a Caldera Cone but not pay TD for one can rationalise it how they like, but it is stealing.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: <By posting your design and a link to a template is stealing... on 01/07/2012 17:55:30 MST Print View

"I cannot speak for Rand, but in the past he often lets these things run their course... he really is too nice of a guy."

I think Rand is very nice, but also very smart. From a business standpoint there is no upside for him to make a stink out of people cloning his design. If he comes onto a forum and makes a stink about it, most will view it negatively and not take their business to TD. Then, copy his design anyway. If he tried to legally enforce his patent against someone posting their "clone" it's going to take a lot of time and legal fees for very little result. Then, folks will copy his design anyway.

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 01/07/2012 17:56:06 MST.

Patrick S
(xpatrickxad) - F

Locale: Upper East TN
Re: Re: Re: <By posting your design and a link to a template is stealing... on 01/07/2012 18:19:43 MST Print View

I think it looks great! You took a design of a product on market, tweaked it to fit your personal wants/needs and made one for yourself. Just like almost every thread in the MYOG forum.

It turned out real clean and seems to be what you were wanting. Keep it up.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
What a bunch ok crooks on 01/07/2012 19:27:32 MST Print View

Glad to see so many of you guys are ok with stealing.

It DOES NOT matter if you like the patent system or not. You are infringing on a guys patent. That is illegal. That is theft.


As for the the claims that this like everybody does..well if another post is helping and encouraging patent infringement that is wrong too. But many of the so called same things thrown around are different. Because they aren't protected by a patent.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
d on 01/07/2012 21:54:34 MST Print View

<del></del>

Edited by asdzxc57 on 01/25/2012 17:32:42 MST.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
An issue that will only get worse on 01/07/2012 22:20:07 MST Print View

With the advent of 3D printing, powerful (and relatively inexpensive software), and 3D scanners, there is little doubt in my mind this will become one of the major issues in the future. Already, people are "printing" 3D objects. Complex 3D objects.

I suspect the same will happen in the future with more common objects. The obvious endpoint being the ability to take a photo of an object, run it through software and make a nearly identical copy. Granted, the insides of such an object won't magically be produced, but one could see the day when instead of ordering and waiting for an object to show up, I can order and print it.

Ah, the future. For now I will purchase a new Caldera Cone. The thing is if we want innovation in the cottage industry, we need to make such an industry viable.

Dirk

a b
(Ice-axe)
Trail Designs Heinekin Caldera Stove System on 01/07/2012 22:48:42 MST Print View

Bought my Trail Designs Heinekin Caldera Cone setup at the ADZPCTKO in 2009.
ADZPCTKO=Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off.
I am not sure if it was Rand himself who sold me my Caldera kit but the fella was awesome! Explained all about the 12-10 stove, how to fix the cone if it got bent, tips and tricks for using a Caldera in the wind, how to rehydrate food while simultenously making a hot drink.
That guy was not just selling me gear.. He was totally enthusiastic about the Caldera stove kit and what it could do for hikers on the PCT.
He was right, it is an awesome stove and i will never sell mine!
Here is a picture of my Trail Designs Heinekin stove.
By the way, I had a hard time trying to figure out why people keep saying the Caldera cone is "bulky" or hard to pack.
My Original Trail Designs Caldera Cone fits entirely into the Heinekin Beer can pot and is capped off with the 12-10 stove itself.
I thought i would show everyone my Original Trail Designs Caldera Cone Complete Kit.
.Trail Designs Caldera Cone Heinekin.
.12-10 Stove comes off first
.Caldera cone comes out second
.Remove the Heinekin Can Pot from the insulated plastic cup (rehydration vessel)
.The Pot lid fits in the bottom of the plastic cup
.Assembled parts make a complete system in seconds
.The whole kit fits in the green bag.
.
The beauty of the complete system Rand made was that you can be rehydrating your meal in the insulated plastic cup and be drinking a hot cup of coffee out of the Heinekin can pot at the same time.
This stove system is tough. Mine spent time on the PCT and CDT and I still did not manage to kill it though I have just recently replaced the Heinekin can pot.. (burp).
Anyhow, back to the petty bickering.
Just thought I would share my experiences with an Original Trail Designs product.
P.S. I occurs to me that my bloody kitchen is a mess! Sorry for that!

Edited by Ice-axe on 01/07/2012 22:52:35 MST.

Nicholas Martin
(namaniac)

Locale: SoCal-High Desert
to steal or not to steal... on 01/07/2012 22:59:30 MST Print View

I think the big gripe is that the word Caldera is being used.
As far as patents go, they do run out. I think it varies from product to product...
i think some mechanical ones last like 15 yrs or something like that...sooo maybe stop calling it a clone...just call it a MYOG stove which is what it is...
Is it stealing to make a cuben down quilt?
Or your own tarp or tent modeled almost exactly after a cottage manufacturer?
Some may say yes-100% theft. Others may say no.

Regardless if it works and Rand(who really is a super nice dude) doesnt give you any guff for it...keep doing what your doing...heck maybe he will buy the design from you!!!
Making it a true caldera clone!!!

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Error Correction on 01/07/2012 23:03:45 MST Print View

So, I looked up Trail Design's patent (U.S. Patent #7,967,003--Google it if you want to read it yourself). It turns out that part of what I said was most definitely wrong. The patent basically covers the windscreen/pot support, i.e. the Caldera Cone, by itself without the accompanying 12-10 stove. It's a complicated read, but it's clear from a quick skimming that the patent is about the CC, not the whole system (which was what I said earlier was worthy of a patent).

I still think much of what I said still stands, but I wanted to correct this error. Trail Designs deserves it.

/*/Edited for clarity and grammer/*/

Edited by GlacierRambler on 01/07/2012 23:06:03 MST.

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F - M

Locale: Armpit of California
RE Heinekin on 01/07/2012 23:04:49 MST Print View

Matthew where did you find the Heinekin keg can at, I've been trying to find one now for a couple of monthes with no luck, if you have a source I'll buy the beer, just need the beer can. Thanks, Jack

a b
(Ice-axe)
Heinekin Cans on 01/07/2012 23:11:02 MST Print View

NM

Edited by Ice-axe on 01/09/2012 20:57:31 MST.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Actual US Patent Law on 01/07/2012 23:15:47 MST Print View

I'm no attorney, but here it is:

35 U.S.C. 271 Infringement of patent.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States, or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent.

(b) Whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as an infringer.

..........

(g)...A product which is made by a patented process will, for purposes of this title, not be considered to be so made after -

(1) it is materially changed by subsequent processes


Now, does Captain Paranoia's adaptation apply to the G1 provision of US patent law? I don't know. Maybe----but then, maybe not.

Still, the cone is a basic shape long held within the public domain. Morally, regardless of legal wrangling, is it right to use Trail Design's idea of a cone with bottom and top vents as both a pot support and windscreen? Does the fact that a high school student could recreate a similar cone change the issue or not?

(All quotes taken from http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/appxl_35_U_S_C_271.htm)

/*/Edit - forgot to add link!/*/

Edited by GlacierRambler on 01/07/2012 23:17:38 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Actual US Patent Law on 01/07/2012 23:36:32 MST Print View

"Does the fact that a high school student could recreate a similar cone change the issue or not?"

US patent law does not allow for exceptions for high school students, or anybody else for that manner.

If Trail Designs were _applying_ for the patent, you could try to legally stop it if you had good grounds. Once the patent is granted, you cannot un-ring the bell.

--B.G.--

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Actual US Patent Law on 01/07/2012 23:44:33 MST Print View

>"US patent law does not allow for exceptions for high school students, or anybody else for that manner."

Agreed, there is no mention of high-school student in US patent law. The relevant phrase is "non-obvious", which, if we graduate 5,000,000 high-school students each year, might be related, but one would have to make that argument in court.

In this particular case: Could I have done the calcs as a HS student? Sure. Did I (and produce a scaled drawing)? No. Could most HS students? No.

a b
(Ice-axe)
The Original Invention on 01/07/2012 23:48:27 MST Print View

Seems to me the infringement was when it went from this:
.
Just a windscreen with some tent stakes through it to support the pot
.
To This:
.
Windscreen AND Pot support with identical ventilation holes
.The Original Invention. Pot support AND Windscreen AND ventilation calibrated to 12-10 stove
.
This is the Original Invention.
Oh yea.. the entire Trail Designs system; from the stove, pot, cup, cozy, lid, and storage bag weighs 5 ounces.

Edited by Ice-axe on 01/07/2012 23:54:32 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: to steal or not to steal... on 01/07/2012 23:50:48 MST Print View

Nicholas Martin,

The problem goes beyond the name. This is infringement of a design. Copying a quilt or tent exactly is ok legally IF it isn't under a paten or other protection.

Right wrong on copying unprotected item is completly different thing. What we have here is illegal, wrong, and literally encouraging others to steal from Someone.

It is discouraging to see so many ok with it.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: to steal or not to steal... on 01/08/2012 06:02:13 MST Print View

"I think the big gripe is that the word Caldera is being used."

Actually the issue is that they're copying something that isn't theirs to copy.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
MYOG is MYOG not commercial on 01/08/2012 06:15:17 MST Print View

If (as stated on other threads) Trail Designs don't mind people making their own homemade cones (frustums to be correct) for personal use (i.e non-commercial use) then what is the point of getting annoyed on their behalf? If they're happy then I don't think accusing MYOGers of stealing is either helpful or nice.


The general ethos of most cottage manufacturers has always seemed to be that when someone posted a "here is my MYOG version of said companies", eg a tent, for personal use, general congratulations are offered. Some companies even post make your own instructions.

About the name caldura clone Rand (Lindsly) said
" the community has adopted the adorable label "Caldera CLONE" to refer to these DIY activities. While still a violation of the trademark, it at least helps folks understand that they are not getting a real Caldera Cone but something else." Note the word adorable.


NB I did mention conic stove windshields existing before the caldera cone although they weren't ultra lightweight.

Edited by ahbradley on 01/08/2012 06:36:31 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: MYOG is MYOG not commercial on 01/08/2012 11:03:08 MST Print View

So rand, what do you think of someone aiding and encouraging people to copy and steal your design?

Are you "happy" people are ripping off your patent?


Adam I read that adorable quote as much less than a ringing endorsent of said theft. As in well at least they are admitting they are ripping off our patent. Since we can't really stop it, well that is better than nothing..,

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: on 01/08/2012 12:10:46 MST Print View

MYOG is MYOG not commercial

Hence the YO

Edited by kthompson on 01/08/2012 12:11:31 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: MYOG is MYOG not commercial on 01/08/2012 12:25:25 MST Print View

"So rand, what do you think of someone aiding and encouraging people to copy and steal your design?

Are you "happy" people are ripping off your patent?"

----------------------

This is kind of an unfair question. Of course he is probably not happy about it. But answering the question here may not be a "win-win" situation. Instead of putting the onus on Rand, it should be on those who steal, whether it be a legal, moral or ethical issue. For me it is so obvious that I can't believe it happens.

If Trail Designs wanted people to copy their design they would post instructions on their Website. I think that Gossamer Gear and Tarptent did this with a couple of obsolete products.

And if one is smart enough and willing to risk the time and capital, build a better system that does not infringe on the patent and go into business yourself.

If someone wants to rip-off another's design then keep it to yourself. I am shocked that some people see no problem in stealing Tyvek envelopes or condiments among other things from companies.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: MYOG is MYOG not commercial on 01/08/2012 12:55:18 MST Print View

I agree nick. I just find it odd that somebody would act like they are happy about it.

Probly lose lose alright....

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
My Caldera Clone on 01/08/2012 12:56:37 MST Print View

People are allowed to make anything they have the ability to make.

Patents don't come into play until you try to distribute what you make.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: My Caldera Clone on 01/08/2012 13:08:21 MST Print View

"People are allowed to make anything they have the ability to make.

Patents don't come into play until you try to distribute what you make."

--------

I am not an attorney, but that does not jive with the quote posted earlier from the law.

However, I don't think anyone cares if a person builds a Caldera clone at home and keeps it to themselves.

I see a problem when the DIY project is posted, which encourages people to do the same.

Another question may be whether or not the BPL moderators have a responsibility to monitor these kinds of postings?

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: My Caldera Clone on 01/08/2012 13:16:49 MST Print View

Not really Cameron.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: MYOG is MYOG not commercial on 01/08/2012 13:24:30 MST Print View

Nick,
Privacy is privacy. What you do in your own home is beyond question without a court order. People are allowed to feel differently, indeed, activly encouraged to think for themselves. Morality? Ask Clinton. Ethics? Ask our lawers. 'Nuff said. This is way off topic.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
Other countries on 01/08/2012 13:44:18 MST Print View

Again in most non-USA countries patents dont cover MYOG.

I wonder if the USA coverage was unintentional.

Posters are behaving as if a company has been set up to compete against Trail Designs, only MYOG has been discussed, in a MYOG forum:


You might as well object to all MYOG of commercially available items, as they may well be replacing a purchase.

Some homemade frustum windshield makers, like me, will already have bought a Trail Designs cone: howevwe, if somehow prevented from such MYOG, I suspect most would/could find a different solution: eg conic pot and cylinder windshield or cylinder windshield and trangia style overlapping lid.

A frustum (truncated cone) windshield is a simple idea: if the usual simple foil cylinder windshield based stove was patented would MYOG cylinder windscreens be frowned upon: I don't think so, that would see unreasonable.


Nevertheless, it seems a pity to get upset by MYOG on a MYOG forum.

Edited by ahbradley on 01/08/2012 14:58:37 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Other countries on 01/08/2012 14:46:55 MST Print View

Alan how do know that patents in most non-US countries don't cover manufacturing? And does that matter to most posters on here who do happen to be in the US?

Nobody is acting like a rival company is setup

And for what seems like the billionth time, there are plenty of legal myog projects. This one started with linking to and praising a guy that is giving you a blue print to infringe an existing patent.

What is a shame is that you are ok with somebody getting ripped off.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
d on 01/08/2012 15:29:25 MST Print View

d

Edited by asdzxc57 on 01/25/2012 17:35:57 MST.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Stagnation on 01/08/2012 15:35:57 MST Print View

<del></del>

Edited by asdzxc57 on 01/25/2012 17:05:45 MST.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
My sins on 01/08/2012 15:45:29 MST Print View

I have, at various times, done each of the following:

Let someone else watch my Blockbuster DVD rental before returning it.

Brought a snack into a theater instead of buying their $8 popcorn.

Used a McDonald's or service station restroom without patronizing them that day.

Made my own gear without an extensive patent search for someone else's prior art.

Camped or backpacked contrary to some park regulation.

Bought something shipped directly from Hong Kong.

Patronized Walmart with their minimal respect for workers in general and for minorities and women in particular.

Taken a rock or stick or shell from a National Park.

Killed a mosquito in a Park that only allows fishing (with a license), but no other hunting. And a tick. And stepped on an ant.

Eaten a cheeseburger, worn mixed-fiber garments, and trimmed my bread which are clearly forbidden by the Bible.

Bought a Toyots despite Japan's record on industrialized whaling.

Each of which is a behavior that could be abhorred by others and most of which would be viewed as stealing by some.

And yet I consider myself a pretty moral person. I try to leave the world a better place. I donate a lot of money. I volunteer my time. I teach a lot of classes for free. I try to increase other people's choices. I campaign to increase human rights and their more universal application.

I could do better. I consider my actions and consider changing them. I appreciate a thoughtful discussion of grey areas and try to grant that other moral people can have different opinions, experiences, and perspectives. And I fail at that sometimes, too.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
RE no support for ripoffs on 01/08/2012 16:28:29 MST Print View

"Alan how do know that patents in most non-US countries don't cover manufacturing? And does that matter to most posters on here who do happen to be in the US?"
I looked it up. I don't live in the US, and were I live that is the case, and it would appear other places too.

"And for what seems like the billionth time, there are plenty of legal myog projects. This one started with linking to and praising a guy that is giving you a blue print to infringe an existing patent."

It would be appear that might be technically the case (ie illegal) in the US, although it sounds like it is essentially unenforceable there, but is not necessarily illegal elsewhere. In my view companies get patents as a defence against other companies not a few MYOGers.


"What is a shame is that you are ok with somebody getting ripped off."
I resent that.
MYOG frustums are not a rip-off, whereas selling a replica caldera cone would be, and I would definitely oppose that, irrespective of any patent.
Infringing the Trail Designs patent for MYOG (and I not sure if the script generated frustums do: lawyer(s) etc required for that) might not be technically legal in the US, but otherwise its no different from any other MYOG. MYOG is normally a friendly collaborative activity, and Trail Designs have been friendly to the MYOGers.

I think selling copies of patented items commercially is wrong (as well as illegal), as patents are a deal: in exchange for making their design public, the patent holder is offered a commercial monopoly for a limited period. Even with no patent I think most people would choose Trail Designs over a commercial clone, and so would I, but MYOG is OK, and if legal in your region, it is no different from any other MYOG.
Note I bought a cone first, I like the product, Trail Designs is successful, they are a nice company, if anyone asked about my homemade frustum windshield, I would mention them.
However, I think the US patent laws are wrong to include MYOG as an infringement (even if not enforced) that is not purpose of the patent "deal" described above, but I don't live there.

A frustum windshield is a simple idea, after that the postscript generated stoves deviate from the real caldera, so the "caldera clone" isn't actually a clone, its a snappy title for the original forum thread: perhaps "Caldera Tribute" would cause less grief whilst retaining a good will pointer back to Trail Designs).

"Nobody is acting like a rival company is setup"
I disagree.
A few MYOGers aren't a threat to Trail Designs, a rival company would be.
In my view companies get patents as a defence against other companies not a few MYOGers.

Edited by ahbradley on 01/08/2012 16:29:15 MST.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
Re: cylinders on 01/08/2012 16:49:18 MST Print View

"Alan -- read the patent. It covers the cylinder with a sierra cup."

I didn't remember that but you are right.
That seems much to simple to be allowed as a defendable patent, rather alarmingly so.


What if the conic vessel isn't a sierra cup: is that an infringement ?
I had such an idea before reading the patent, would I be banned from using it in MYOG if I lived in the US: I would hope not.

I'm glad that where I live using patented ideas for MYOG isn't illegal. It would of course be polite to mention the inventor (unless their legacy is common knowledge).

I am depressed by this threads view of a harmless and friendly MYOG project, which is known to Trail Designs, as an attack on Trail Designs.

Edited by ahbradley on 01/08/2012 16:57:50 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: RE no support for ripoffs on 01/08/2012 17:19:38 MST Print View

Alan.

Color me dubious. How many countries have you researched patent laws in? Easy to come on here and claim "most". Harder to prove.

It isn't just "technically" the case in the US. It is the LAW. It isn't unenforceable. It just isn't economical to enforce it against individuals usually. In many ways it is like napster with the script writer being napster and the op being a downloaded of music. It might become worth enforcing if enough violators use the script to myog caldera cones.

So the music industry at least cared about protecting their intellectual property against individuals. Why? Because individuals add up.

Do you not understand that by enabling a multitude of users to make their own patent infringing products instead of buying them has the same end result: robbing the patent holder of their income stream from their patent!

It isn't just somebody making money on a stolen patent. It is the patent holder losing income.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: My sins on 01/08/2012 17:29:10 MST Print View

And here are a list of my sins:

I have lied to people I love and who love me.

I have intentionally driven my car above the posted speed limit.

I have misrepresented the facts for my advantage (see above).

I have streamed movies online from an unauthorized source.

I have downloaded mp3s from Napster, et al.

I have stopped at a red light, waited for a few minutes, looked both ways, and then driven through it.

I tasted alcohol before I was 21.

I have judged others while considering myself above judgment.

The truth is, I have a lot of sins on my list. Unfortunately, that list does grow from time to time. Some of those things are illegal, and some of them are legal. Still, the preachers I grew up with would use them to condemn me.

But, something I learned a while back, it's difficult to fault a person for doing the best they can while trying to understand as much as they can. That's why I'm happy with honest, thoughtful disagreement.

The attitude that (most often) prevails on these forums is rare. I hope that we can try to preserve that--even when we disagree--without the personal attacks. By all means, share a strong opinion. But please don't do it in a way that belittles others and only makes them aware again of their many sins.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
patents on 01/08/2012 17:58:23 MST Print View

Some here dont understand patents.

In exchange for DISCLOSING an invention, the inventor is granted the sole rights to profit from it for a period of time, provided they keep the patent registration active.

The reason it is DISCLOSED is so that others can take it, modify it, and further technological advancement from it. That is a GOOD thing and is the intention of the process.

Not that you need a disclosure to figure out something so simple, just saying. For those that think there is something wrong with making your own, etc, get over it.

Edited by livingontheroad on 01/08/2012 18:00:01 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
But on 01/08/2012 18:09:04 MST Print View

Alan

Of course if it is legal to myog in your neck of the woods then go for it I guess. In the us it is illegal.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: patents on 01/08/2012 18:12:00 MST Print View

Martin

That isn't the intent in the US.

You have to disclose so it can be protected. It is protected so you can make $$$. This encourages innovation and research.

You have it assbackwards.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
Re Disagree.. on 01/08/2012 18:45:32 MST Print View

"It isn't just "technically" the case in the US. It is the LAW."
By technically I meant that its essentially unenforceable, either because it is viewed as unjustifiable (an undeleted bad law) or as you say it just isn't economical to enforce it against individuals, and thus no-one, not even patent holders expect to use that rule.

"In many ways it is like napster with the script writer being napster and the op being a downloaded of music. It might become worth enforcing if enough violators use the script to myog caldera cones."
I disagree.
Also, music is copyrighted not patented, and wouldnt it be more like playing the song (from ear) on your own instrument(s), in private.
In the unlikely event that Trail Designs started suing MYOGers, the MYOGers would probably just use a different solution, and it would almost certainly create bad feeling against Trail Designs but that is beside the point.


"Do you not understand that by enabling a multitude of users to make their own patent infringing products instead of buying them has the same end result: robbing the patent holder of their income stream from their patent!"
You don't need the script to make a MYOG frustum windshield, its just a tool (that is useful for other frustum based things). It is also offered on a request basis ie limited.


"It is the patent holder losing income."
Assuming MYOG persons wouldnt simply use a different solution.
Any MYOG has this effect on companies selling stuff.
If you object to be people making their own frustum windshields on the basis of loss income on a commercially available item, you may as well object to all MYOG of commercially available items.

I think the goodwill and ideas from MYOG should help the company.


I don't see the point of continuing this discussion:
I like Trail Designs.
I like the script writer.
The above two groups are not in dispute with one another.


NB as it is you who is accusing others in non US countries of infringement, I think its best if you look up their rules.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
Re: Re: patents on 01/08/2012 19:23:24 MST Print View

"Martin

That isn't the intent in the US.

You have to disclose so it can be protected. It is protected so you can make $$$. This encourages innovation and research.

You have it assbackwards"

Not really.

For instance, you might patent a cone-like stove windscreen/support device with a row of air holes at bottom, if you are stupid enough to make your patent that narrow.

I can patent essentially the same device with two roles of air holes if I claim it as an improvement. I can claim it as an improvement, and no one even verifies it either. They take my word for it, I make up some data and its a done deal.

The only thing protected is the *usually* narrow specific claim in the patent, until someone else challenges it. Because I improved it, I am allowed to claim that improvement. That is the reality of how it works. If I want, I can prevent YOU from selling any improved versions of your own invention, without paying ME a royalty, if I try hard enough, and companies do every day. I can own any improvements to YOUR device, even if you own the rights to the basic device.

Since the object of all business is continual improvement of your product, as to not become out-dated, what did disclosing your patent accomplish? Did it protect it, yes, but in a very very narrow sense.

For many things, there are existing examples of prior art too that negate patents when challenged. Especially for simple things like ....maybe having a windscreen that also supports your pot. It does not matter that no one ever SOLD one before, if a picture, or article or something shows that some form of X ever existed, a patent can be ruled invalid. Happens every day.

The truth is, patents offer very little protection unless you have lots of $$$ to defend them. And to do that, it has to make A LOT $$$ to be worthwile. Obtaining one is cheap and easy. Defending it is $$$$.


Many companies, will NOT patent proprietary processes because they do not want to disclose them to competition that they have a technological advantage over. Doing so does NOT protect them, at all. It THREATENS them, because there is usually a way around almost every patent. Especially in electronics and chemical processing industries.

Edited by livingontheroad on 01/08/2012 19:32:28 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: patents on 01/08/2012 19:47:55 MST Print View

Sorry Martin. You are wrong in your post I replied to. Go look up the law, the framers writing at the time of the constitution...You misstated the INTENT of patents. So all the rest is pointless. I understand it quite well.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re Disagree.. on 01/08/2012 20:00:22 MST Print View

Alan you can argue All you want. Name me some countries since you threw out most. Heck, you haven't named one. Are you hoping since I'm American I just won't know? US which is most relevant is not. Canada reads the same IMO. So that is most people on here.

Yeah. Reread my post on napster. I clearly state intellectual property rights. The analogy is good. One was individual users violating copyrights. The other was violating patents. The economics didn't support a suit on individuals other than to set an example and scare potential violators into paying up.

Again you keep trying to lump all myog together. Only protected by patents are relevant. Non patented items are fair game.

It doesn't matter if violates claim they wouldn't violate. Legally you don't just assume this. The violator already violated the patent. They don't get to claim they only did it because it was free. You can sue for lost income. There are several methods available to recover lost revenue and this is one. Believe me I have seen it done.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
patents on 01/08/2012 20:02:24 MST Print View

I understand it very well too.

In my line of work I have multiple patents, and also occassionally take part in defending them, as well as studying others patents, circumventing them, and boxing the competition up.

The bottom line in businees is continual improvement. That is what makes the world go-round.

It is specifically the allowance for ME to modify YOUR patent, and then claim THAT as my own that makes things work.

Edited by livingontheroad on 01/08/2012 20:05:46 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: patents on 01/08/2012 20:05:09 MST Print View

True Martin.

And yes nearly everything ;) in your post is gospel

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
restated on 01/08/2012 20:48:44 MST Print View

Maybe I should put it a different way:

Yes, patents provide protection. Limited protections. As long as you keep paying the fees and keep the registration active, you have sole rights to exactly what was specified in your patent. No more, but possibly less. For a limited period of time, or until someone else successfully challenges your patent.

Patents are granted with little review by government patent examiners. Many are not valid if challenged. It is granted upon request basically, and just left for lawyers to really decide later if its someone else is interested.

But by designed limits, the allowance is made for others to learn about your disclosed invention, modify your inventions, and then claim those modifications as their own. And the reason for that is..... innovation and progress.

What the OP was doing, was exactly that, and for himself no less. And even if he wanted to find a way to patent and sell an improved version of the Caldera cone somehow, he would be within his rights, the law, and the spirit of our patent system.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: patents on 01/08/2012 22:47:26 MST Print View

Michael, you clearly feel very strongly about this issue. On the point of disclosure having a societal benefit and that being one of the intents of setting up a patent system, your idea disagrees with what I've read in patent law, discussed with patent attorneys and seen in legal historeis and from constitutional scholars. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia's summary of that one (of four) intents of patent law:

"In accordance with the original definition of the term "patent," patents facilitate and encourage disclosure of innovations into the public domain for the common good. If inventors did not have the legal protection of patents, in many cases, they would prefer or tend to keep their inventions secret. Awarding patents generally makes the details of new technology publicly available, for exploitation by anyone after the patent expires, or for further improvement by other inventors. Furthermore, when a patent's term has expired, the public record ensures that the patentee's idea is not lost to humanity."

Other intents of patent law do include motivating inventors by allowing them to profit from their ideas. But that is not the only intent.

Interstingly (or not?), I've had this argument arise in two romantic relationships. In each, her father had been a smart, clever guy - an elite university prof in one case - who each fancied themselves an inventor. Now, while they pursued patents and got some (including a hybrid vehicle circa 1970), they never made any money at it. I quickly learned to avoid the whole topic, but I inferred there'd been a husband-wife conflict in each case. He arguing that a clever invention would be a financial windfall and she experiencing more single-parenting, expenses, and NO windfall, ever.

The rub, in my relationships, is that they would push me to patent my ideas, despite their father never having profitted. I found it akin to Catholics believing in miracles without ever experiencing them and consistently being denied the miracles they so often prayed for.

Beliefs (in miracles, fantastic rewards from patents, the Great American Novel, etc) are strange - not only do they deny any evidence or statute to the contrary, they get even more entrenched by pesky, annoying facts to the contrary.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
The Smell Test on 01/08/2012 23:20:12 MST Print View

Let me explain a perspective that might help resolve this discussion. First of all, my background is in mechanical engineering and I have been issued over 30 patents domestically and more worldwide. I have written disclosures, given depositions and created defensive patent strategies. For many years, I worked with Ralph, a patent attorney and he gave me key advice with respect to patents, circumventing patents and challenging patents. His simple statement was “will it pass the smell test?”. His view was that people tend to look at the trees and not the forest.
The law is very clear. Patents are issued and have associated claims that give the inventor (or rather assignee) rights to the intellectual property. This is the easy part; TD has claims on the Caldera Cone and the claims are very defined and specific. Beyond the clear cut case, other uses must pass the smell test.

If bought a Caldera Cone , made an copy of the pattern (say for the Snow Peak 700) and made a copy for myself would that pass the smell test? I believe that it does.
If I sent this pattern out all of members of BackpackingLight, Sierra Club, Hammock Forum and every other UL backpacking site, would that pass the smell test? Probably not. My opinion (and mine alone) would say that no, because, I feel that that would potentially be taking away income from the inventor. They earned the right to make income from their patent and I respect that decision.

Now for the greyer area. Take the first case: I buy a Caldera Cone and make a copy for myself. I am fine with that. Now should I be able to make say copies and give them out to friends of mine? My answer is no: It doesn’t pass the smell test. Why would I make copies when I can show them the TD site? Am I trying to save them money?

Now, a script is written to make a frustum shape to hold a pot. The script allows you to input your pot size, stove to pot height, vent patterns and a way to split the frustum. Does this pass the smell test? At the end of the day, your actions need to pass the smell test with your peers and people you respect. Can you hold your head high and say I feel good about my action and that I believe what I am doing is acceptable. If you have any doubt, you better think about it again. If you are planning to use this pattern, read through this thread and see what your peers say about it.

I myself might consider using the pattern for educational reasons in order to understand how the thing works and what I like about the concept (I like to tinker). If I were looking for a backpacking solution, I would buy a Trail Designs product. Both decisions pass my smell test.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: patents on 01/08/2012 23:23:23 MST Print View

"United States patent law was established "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;" as provided by the United States Constitution."

--so there the US patent rationale.

Interesting the part you pulled from wiki is the SECOND rationale. The first and third and fourth are aligned exactly with what I already harped upon too much - incentivize the inventor to invent and commercialize new and improved ideas by offering a temporary monopoly and legal protection. So it would seem the second intent you pulled is a hmmmm secondary reason for patents.

Patents history from wiki

"In 500 BC, in the Greek city of Sybaris (located in what is now southern Italy), "encouragement was held out to all who should discover any new refinement in luxury, the profits arising from which were secured to the inventor by patent for the space of a year."[5]


Patents in the modern sense originated in 1474, when the Republic of Venice enacted a decree that new and inventive devices, once put into practice, had to be communicated to the Republic to obtain the right to prevent others from using them.[8]"

--not really sure what basis or rationale your sources are using to contradict listed examples of historical reasons for patents.


-//. And to my feelings. Very strongly might be too much. Strongly would be more correct. But honestly it is one area I feel capable to comment upon. I can't advise on stoves or sewing but I feel compelled to share my knowledge when I have it.

I want to make sure people realize that there are real and mrasurable repercussions of infringIng on patents. It disincentives future innovation. Trail designs might slash R&D since people copy their product instead of buying it. People may go the route of trade secret and we all lose (reason 2 for patents) the benefit of shared knowledge. Ripping off a patent is hurting somebody. It isn't ok.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: The Smell Test on 01/08/2012 23:25:33 MST Print View

Very good post Jon.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: The Smell Test on 01/09/2012 01:13:41 MST Print View

Excellent post. Bravo!

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
UK links for: private use exluded from infingement on 01/09/2012 04:59:11 MST Print View

For the UK
private use is excluded from infringement:
http://www.lawdit.co.uk/reading_room/room/view_article.asp?name=../articles/9121-IXA-General-Exceptions-To-Patent-Infringement.htm.

the act itself:
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/patentsact1977.pdfhttp://www.ipo.gov.uk/patentsact1977.pdf

The script writer did attempt to not tread too heavily on Trail Designs toes (friendly MYOGness): the script access is limited, time has passed, Trail Designs are established and still going, and not in dispute with the script writer.
There are other tools that will make frustums, the vents cutouts joins etc are easy to add yourself, so somehow banning the script would achieve little. And, of course, such a tool is not even required, if maths is a weak point, you could just ask someone who knows the maths for making a frustum to write it out. Actually the zen stoves site has shown that maths.

A frustum windshield or cylinder windshield with conic cup is a simple idea: I don't think a company should be allowed to prevent private MYOG use. However, as Trail Designs invested effort and time in bringing their entire system (eg 12-10 stove and vent configurations) to manufacture and market, a (time-limited) defence against other companies stealing said work seems reasonable: they put in the work to bring to market: a lot different from private MYOGers cutting a frustum from foil. Hopefully, their patent offers that protection (I don't think you ever know for sure till the patent is challenged in court). They are also protected by goodwill: I don't think a hostile company set up by carbon copying Trail Designs products would succeed.

I think there is room for both MYOG and Trail Designs frustum stoves: there will always be people (almost certainly the majority) who will never have time or don't want to build such mechanical things and will buy off the shelf. The two should complement each other: MYOGers can make useful suggestions to Trail Designs.


Also, in the UK, patents must "have an inventive step that is not obvious to someone with knowledge and experience in the subject":
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/patent/p-about/p-whatis.htm


I think US patent laws are wrong to count MYOG it as an infringement, it is interfering too much with an individuals freedom, any small (if any I say) commercial effect is not worth such unpleasantness. A viable company should be able to withstand a bit of MYOG, and may even benefit from it. But if that is the US population's informed democratic choice then that is their choice to make.

I still think it is of no help to anyone to get upset by MYOG.

Edited by ahbradley on 01/09/2012 12:06:30 MST.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
Angry people - Please explain on 01/09/2012 10:30:23 MST Print View

I don't know anything about patent law whether in the US or UK. I thought I understood patents to be a way to stop someone making money by copying someone elses invention?

But.

Having used the script (for my own use) to make a cone for an MSR Titan Kettle and seen/handled a 'Real' Caldera cone for an MSR Titan Kettle, I can say that they are different in shape(proportion) and has different fastenings. The aluminium used in the CC is different from any I have been able to buy. I also do not use a 12-10 stove with it (or a copy of one ;) )

so, the only thing shared is the concept of a cone shaped windshield supporting a pot

Question: Is it the basic concept which is covered by a patent?

And if there is nothing being sold by the MYOGer's, do MYOGers really really infringe the patent and 'Rip Off' TD?

I am quite puzzled why some folks are getting so upset.

Especially as they appear to not really know (or have chosen to find out?) about what the script helps MYOGers to make and it's development.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Angry people - Please explain on 01/09/2012 10:45:41 MST Print View

From my reading of the patent, the use of a frustumic shape as both pot stand and windscreen, with vents at top and bottom is covered.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
OK on 01/09/2012 10:49:47 MST Print View

OK fair enough - thanks

and my second question - does it break the patent if nothing is being sold?

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Angry people - Please explain on 01/09/2012 11:09:07 MST Print View

>"I am quite puzzled why some folks are getting so upset."

Generally, when people are getting upset, it is about beliefs, not facts.

If I tell you that Greenland produces most of the world's citrus fruit you might point out my error, but if I persist, you'll write me off as an idiot and move on.

But if I state that society should provide medical care for all its members - something that can't be proved or not - you might see me as brillant or a moron AND we can argue about it endlessly while getting nowhere.

Posters are clearly valuing innovation, disclosure, societal benefits, personal freedom, inventor interests, corporate personhood, return on investment, and being legal at all times differently from other posters. I value the first four more and the last four less. But other people would rank them differently because their values or experiences or assumptions differ. Their past experiences won't change, their values rarely do, and their assumptions can change only if they're willing.

I thought I knew (I assumed) personal use was an (unenforceable) infringement on a patent but I now find out that while it is true in North America, it is not everywhere else. I learned something.

And I've had reaffirmed something I've long known:

IP is an emotional issue among creative people.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Angry people - Please explain on 01/09/2012 11:13:34 MST Print View

"But if I state that society should provide medical care for all its members - something that can't be proved or not - you might see me as brillant or a moron AND we can argue about it endlessly while getting nowhere."

Now where would you get an idea like that..... ;-)

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: OK on 01/09/2012 11:19:23 MST Print View

>"and my second question - does it break the patent if nothing is being sold?"

"it" = the script to assist in generating the pattern?

No infringement - the patent itself has to disclosure all the tricks (but not the math). Disseminating patent info or mathematics isn't patent infringement, although it may facilitate someone else's infringement.

Someone could tell me about a cool cave or hot spring on private property. They haven't trespassed. I can choose to trespass or not. I usually chose not to in the past and I always choose not to now. But people differ in that:

"As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me" -Woody Guthrie

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Angry people - Please explain on 01/09/2012 11:37:27 MST Print View

I at least am not upset. I am however concernced with some people's callous dismissal of intellectual property rights (and I find the discourse interesting). Property rights are one of the major underpinnings of our society in the US.

david thomas,

Are you sure that the script would not fall under, "One also commits indirect infringement if he actively and knowingly induces another to infringe, and is liable for that infringement."


I am not an expert to know if the script does or does not infringe. But if it does, then I would have thought that the author could be encouraging others to infringe. Just because a patent is not economical to enforce on a small scale doesn't mean people should have carte blanch to violate imo.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Am I stealing? on 01/09/2012 11:45:11 MST Print View

Interesting discussion so far about patents and intellectual property protection. I recently bought a Caldera Cone from Trail Designs for my Evernew 900ml Ti pot. I tried it a couple of times but was unhappy with the difficulty in packing the Caldera Cone into a small compact package and with the entire weight of the system. Heck, the plastic tub that comes with the system weighs more and is bulkier than the 10-12 stove and the Caldera Cone combination. In order to improve the situation, I created by own cone-shaped windscreen for use with a different stove. My stove (a fancee feest stove purchased from Zelph Stoveworks) has a built-in pot stand so the first design change I made was to drop the pot support capability of my cone-shaped windscreen. Seond change is that my windscreen doesn't come all the way up to the rim of my pot rather it stops about an inch short of covering the entire height of the pot. It still touches the pot with a tight fit put doesn't support the weight of the pot. I can now roll up my cone-shaped windscreen (made from Ti foil I purchaed from TiGoat) into a tight tidy package that actually fits inside my stove and the windscreen and stove fit neatly inside my pot. In addition, if I'm planning on using less than 4 fl oz of alcohol on my trip I can even slip my small fuel bottle inside my stove. This lets me pack stove, fuel, windscreen, measuring cup and matches inside my cook pot making my entire cookset a neat little packge no bigger than my cooking pot.

For me, my new cone-shaped windscreen is an improvement over what I purchased from Trail Designs. I still have the Trail Designs Caldera Cone but it sits unused on a shelf in my garage. My stove and MYOG cone-shaped windscreen is giving me the same efficiency (fuel used and time to boil) as the Caldera Cone system but fits into a much smaller space and is a few grams lighter than the combined weight of the 10-12 stove and Caldera Cone windscreen combo.

That's a long rambling set-up to my question, did I steal from Trail Designs by building, what for me, is a better cone-shaped windscreen than the one I bought?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Am I stealing? on 01/09/2012 12:03:48 MST Print View

Since no one here so far has stated they are a patent attorney, it is all speculation to some degree.

Go back to the "smell test." Does it smell? That is a personal decision that each individual needs to make. No need to post your rationalizations, or seek approval/disapproval from the community.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Angry people - Please explain on 01/09/2012 12:05:53 MST Print View

>"Property rights are one of the major underpinnings of our society in the US."

Michael, Agreed. I think if the West manages to maintain any lucrative economic activity in this century (in light of China's dominance in manufacturing) it will be through IP. Because while China has done everything to facilitate manufacturing and knock-offs, they are doing everything wrong for home-grown IP. They prohibit most international web links and many reference materials, including Wikipedia. Their very long school days (I taught some classes there this summer) focus on rote memorization and not on independent problem solving. And once they finish high school, and get into a "good" university, they coast compared to the US. It will be an interesting few decades.

I'm sure diseminating script does not fall under: "One also commits indirect infringement if he actively and knowingly induces another to infringe, and is liable for that infringement."

Inducing someone to infringe certainly would include hiring someone to make copies. Or if you offered $50 for the first non-TD cone-like thing someone could send you. I wonder if inducement includes knowingly buying a knock-off. It seems like it should. And maybe it's in the law for that reason. You can't go after some off-shore infringers, but you can go after their commercial customers at home.

But to facilitating another's design work, or documenting / discussing something in a patent isn't an inducement. Inducement would have to include some reward or incentive for the behavior.

Since conspiracy to commit a act is always an offense if the act itself is a crime, generating the script could be conspiracy to infringe on a patent IF there was a prior agreement: "you write the script, so I can make an copy that falls under the patent claims." But lacking prior communications, the script might facilitate another's choices, but it doesn't provide incudement. One person can do a lot, but one on their own can never commit conspiracy.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Re: OK on 01/09/2012 12:18:10 MST Print View

Patents promote dreaming by protecting realized dreams from theft and putting a price on sharing those dreams.

"Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then
Sayin’, 'Hey I’ve been havin’ the same old dreams
But mine was a little different you see
I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me
I didn’t see you around'

"Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody’s having them dreams
Everybody sees themselves
Walkin’ around with no one else
Half of the people can be part right all of the time
Some of the people can be all right part of the time
But all of the people can’t be all right all of the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that
'I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours'
I said that.' "

Bob Dylan, Talkin' World War III Blues

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
It's clearer now - thanks on 01/09/2012 13:41:36 MST Print View

David T Thank You for your thoughts. Liked em.



I myself might consider using the pattern for educational reasons in order to understand how the thing works and what I like about the concept (I like to tinker). If I were looking for a backpacking solution, I would buy a Trail Designs product. (Jon Fong)

Really? Even if what you made turned out better for your backpacking needs (or cheaper)than what TD offer? And it's in your hand right now? Good on you :)



Edited by MoleJ on 01/09/2012 13:43:19 MST.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
clearer now pt 2 on 01/09/2012 13:43:55 MST Print View

Edited by MoleJ on 01/09/2012 13:46:31 MST.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
try again on 01/09/2012 13:47:12 MST Print View

try this instead!

Edited by MoleJ on 01/09/2012 14:03:43 MST.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
! on 01/09/2012 13:47:56 MST Print View

sorry folks - having issues getting forum to accept my text!

Edited by MoleJ on 01/09/2012 14:05:10 MST.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
try again on 01/09/2012 13:53:42 MST Print View

So, if someone starts selling a stove system which utilises ‘a frustumic shape as both pot stand and windscreen, with vents at top and bottom’ (including those based on the script), (in just the US?) then the patent law is being broken and that person should be prosecuted. That seems to be clear.

But that isn't what MYOGers are doing

Smells fine to my 'callous' mind!

Edited by MoleJ on 01/09/2012 13:56:19 MST.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: try again on 01/09/2012 14:25:09 MST Print View

In the U.S. it is a patent violation to make it if you don't own the patent or aren't licensed by the owner. That's pretty cut and dry. The only exception I've found (and I'm certainly no expert) is for research purposes. But it's a narrow provision, and once it is used practically, then it's a violation. (Someone else please correct me if I misread that.)

Whether or not you agree with the law, and how you handle that disagreement is a different matter.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: The Smell Test on 01/09/2012 18:46:22 MST Print View

<del></del>

Edited by asdzxc57 on 01/25/2012 17:05:08 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: The Smell Test on 01/09/2012 19:48:17 MST Print View

Timothy. Jon can answer but it has to do with taking steps to defend it. My understanding has been that if you don't take timely steps to defend it once you realize your patent is being violated, then you are basically saying it is ok for everyone to violate.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Re: Re: The Smell Test on 01/09/2012 20:10:06 MST Print View

A patent holder must pay a maintenance fee in order to keep the patent active. They have the right to enforce their patent and usually first do so by have a lawyer send a notification of the violation.

With respect to patents, businesses are usually concerned about: staking out a claim that provides them with a competitive advantage and building a branding (trademarking).

Trail Designs have been active in this area: they have requested that people not use the name Caldera Cone™ when referring to their MYOG projects. This is important because if someone copies the MYOG design and it doesn’t work, you can diminish their brand. Given that Trail Designs works hard to help peoples and have given a lot back to their customers, I am surprised that people don’t respect this request.
To take legal action to defend your claim takes time and resources. If I recall correctly, lawyers still charge on 10 minute intervals. You can burn a lot of revenue going after every person that violates your claim. This money is better spent on Marketing, R&D, Sales and Manufacturing. These are value added activities. I would hate to see them divert money from R&D to go after small scale patent violator.

I still stick by the smell test, if it seems wrong it probably is. Also, “what goes around comes around”. I also believe that believe that “you make your own heaven and hell”.

My last comment is that I think that this thread has gone on way too long. Why don’t we (as a group) do something more pro-active like design a better windscreen or a supper fuel efficient stove or a low cost sub-zero quilt.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Moving on on 01/09/2012 21:10:18 MST Print View

>"My last comment is that I think that this thread has gone on way too long. Why don’t we (as a group) do something more pro-active like design a better windscreen or a supper fuel efficient stove or a low cost sub-zero quilt."

Jon, Or at least try to morph back into something that helps our backpacking efforts?

To wit: I've made a jig to bend aluminum flashing into corrugated fins and the J-B Weld is curing right now between the fins and a 24-ounce Rockstar aluminum bottle. Even without the J-B Weld, it took almost 2 minutes off the pint boil time and I'm planning on a compact little windscreen cold welded to the HX fins. That'll be a separate thread in a week or two.

And I got a good price on a closed-cell foam pad recently (that one of you put me on to), ordered one, and am now playing with ways to make it a insulating vest during the day but still be a sleeping pad at night. If it works, it could be a CHEAP way to warm, sleep well, more compact and lighter.

And at some point, I'll finish the painted-unpainted test but with windscreens. I think painting pot bottoms had a definitive answer (DO IT!), but w/o a windscreen, painting the sides was a wash. Time for more actual data.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
Alternative names for MYOG frustums (to help protect Caldera cone trademark) on 01/10/2012 12:25:09 MST Print View

Jon said
"Trail Designs have been active in this area: they have requested that people not use the name Caldera Cone™ when referring to their MYOG projects"

In MYOG descriptions it coould be easy to drop the l in clone, thus inadvertently clashing with Trail Designs trademark, and the word clone in "Caldera clone" seems to often be taken literally, perhaps there is a better phrase for such frustum MYOG projects on this site:

would any of "Caldera-style cone", "Caldera-style clone",
"Caldera-style stove"
"Caldera-cone-style "
"Caldera-cone-style MYOG "
be better.

Leaving Caldera as part of the phrase seems desirable as it points back to Trail Designs, allowing them to pick-up sales from those who aren't interested in MYOG.

Also, perhaps the forum administrators could rename MYOG threads such as this that, possibly inadventantly, are titled "Caldera cone" (missing l): I have always found my thread titles can not be corrected.


Something like a "Commercially available as a "Trail Designs Caldera cone"" (with web link) line on such MYOG posts might be appreciated (reading about MYOG doesn't mean a person wants to/can make the item). Where applicable that phrase could be "Inspired by the "Commercially available Trail Designs Caldera cone""

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Alternative names for MYOG frustums (to help protect Caldera cone trademark) on 01/10/2012 12:35:34 MST Print View

Using "Caldera" risks genericizing the trade name. My recommendation is that if you build your own, keep it to yourself. Posting plans and construction methods can cause financial harm to Trail Designs. I develop a lot of "Service Marked" IP for my company, and our attorneys will be on you like white-on-rice if you use any of it on the Web, unless you say contact this company for XYZ product and you better state or use "SM" in your text.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
RE Re: Alternative names for MYOG frustums (to help protect Caldera cone trademark) on 01/10/2012 12:53:15 MST Print View

Is "Caldera cone tm" not viewed as different from other phrases called "Caldera"?

I had presumed it was the phrase that was trademarked:
If you call the aperture in a Volcano by its name of Caldera are you violating the "Caldera cone" trademark?

If any usage of Caldera other than volcano and Trail Designs calderas is troublesome, then would phrases starting as
"Caldera-Cone-TM-style" be OK?

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
My Apologies on 01/10/2012 13:27:04 MST Print View

This thread has been incredibly informative.

While I disagree with the way the US patent law is written, it is clear to me now that making my own "frustum" windscreen technically infringes on TD's IP. I realize that the costs in both dollar and public relations for TD to take action against myself and other "clone" builder would far exceed the $35 he supposedly lost (debatable) in a potential sale, but it's still wrong by the letter of the law.

I still feel this is unfair for these two reasons. #1- In the case where I know I can make for myself some item that is patented, that is an improvement in function, design, craftsmanship, or whatever, than what the patentholder is offering. #2- I'm financially limited, but have manufacturing resources at my disposal. If I can't afford to purchase such an item as is made by the patent holder, by the letter of the law, I can stare at my tools and materials all day and not permitted to make it. I would have to just do without.

In my own case, both reasons are true. I am financially limited and I konw I can make a product that better fits my needs than what is offered by the patent holder. Though I'm sure I could squeeze $35 out of my budget to by a TD CC, but if I did, that money is taken away from something I need more. And if I did by a TD CC, I would be buying a product that I would be less satisfied with than one I could make for myself. I don't like the dovetail joint, nor do I like the way their fissure connection works. I'm also completely underwhelmed with the 12-10 burner. Here's a picture of one I made back in 2005-stoveI feel the complexity in making it isn't worth the effort- and it's bulky.

My only option would be to call up TD and ask for permission to diy one, and if they told me no, that would be the end of it.

The driving factor for me to make my own gear is mostly for financial reasons. If I had to purchase all the gear I need to hike, backpack, or bikepack, I would not be doing any of those activities. I simply can't afford it. I'm the sole provider for a large family. The problem of purchasing gear is compounded when you consider I have kids who are coming to the age of wanting to go outdoors with me and also need gear.

BM

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Alternative names for MYOG frustums (to help protect Caldera cone trademark) on 01/10/2012 13:30:25 MST Print View

Perhaps "Cinder Clone"? Especially if you consider that in Volcanoes, the caldera (as I understand it) is in reference to the "caldron" of magma under the ground pushing upwards on the crust forming the "cinder cone"...

BM

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Moving on on 01/10/2012 13:32:57 MST Print View

"To wit: I've made a jig to bend aluminum flashing into corrugated fins and the J-B Weld is curing right now between the fins and a 24-ounce Rockstar aluminum bottle. Even without the J-B Weld, it took almost 2 minutes off the pint boil time and I'm planning on a compact little windscreen cold welded to the HX fins. That'll be a separate thread in a week or two."

I don't know what the thermal conductivity of JB weld is, but have you considered using Arctic Silver thermal transfer epoxy? I don't know how it reacts to be in direct contact with open flame, and the stuff is a bit on the spendy side, so maybe not the best for prototyping.

BM

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: RE Re: Alternative names for MYOG frustums (to help protect Caldera cone trademark) on 01/10/2012 13:33:13 MST Print View

"Is "Caldera cone tm" not viewed as different from other phrases called "Caldera"?"

Trail Designs' Website says that "Caldera" is a Registered Trademark.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: My Apologies on 01/10/2012 13:42:04 MST Print View

Ultra,

Good post. To me the problem is people who post their clone designs and instructions. Had you built your version and not posted it, there would be no controversy here. And we all understand why you posted it; you did a nice job, it works for you, and all of us want to share our tips and techniques... that is what BPL is all about. At the time you did not know there was any sort of problem with your project, and you are certainly not the first to post something like this either.

I know how it is when you are raising a family. There are plenty of gear items in the public domain that anyone can utilize and modify, not to mention a lot of the real neat stuff found in the MYOG forum.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Moving on on 01/10/2012 13:58:15 MST Print View

David,
Did you see the picture I put up a while ago? I am guessing the bulk will be a problem, but the actual energy efficiency (fuel savings) would make it applicable to any stove...with or without a Caldera cone. Of couse the fins could be rolled back making them a bit stronger. Spot welding will work for these, like they do now with handles and such. Again, still expensive to make, though. Let us know how it turns out! (Good thinking on the fins!)

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
Re: RE RE Re: Alternative names for MYOG frustums.. US fair use clause? on 01/10/2012 14:05:03 MST Print View

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use_(U.S._trademark_law)

said
"Most trademarks are adapted from words or symbols already common to the culture, as Apple Computer is from apple, instead of being invented by the mark owner (such as Kodak). Courts have recognized that ownership in the mark cannot prevent others from using the word or symbol in these other senses, such as if the trademark is a descriptive word or common symbol such as a pine tree. This means that the less distinctive or original the trademark, the less able the trademark owner will be to control how it is used"


Do the style and or MYOG modifers in my suggested phrases not mean Caldera(R) can be used in them, as the rest of the phase is indicating the difference?

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Moving on on 01/10/2012 14:11:35 MST Print View

BM: Thanks, I hadn't known about Arctic Silver. I've bookmarked their website but it says >150C (302F) whereas JB Weld claims 600F. Also Arctic say their's is weakened somewhat below 0C by crystal formation, and my life includes a lot of sub freezing temps. Arctic has silver and aluminum in it which is definitely better than JB's steel, but I'm planning to fillet the fin-can joints with a hypodermic needle after a run some tests on it as is.

But Arctic silver looks like it could be ideal for some other goofy things I'm doing. Hopefully it won't upset Biolite's patent attorneys too much if I make a wood-fired iPhone charger before they get their's to work.

Editted to add: only for my own use and without posting detailed instructions. But I will brag a bit if I can approach 1 amp at 5 vdc by burning twigs and moose nuggets.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 01/10/2012 14:13:31 MST.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Fins on 01/10/2012 14:14:58 MST Print View

David,

You may find that the adhesive bond thinkness has a greater impact than conductivity. Getting a good, thin bond along the curve of the can may be a fixturing nightmare. Best wishes - and post some pictures! - Jon

BTW - it's probably a good idea to move this to a new thread.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: RE RE Re: Alternative names for MYOG frustums.. US fair use clause? on 01/10/2012 14:22:20 MST Print View

>"Most trademarks are adapted from words or symbols already common to the culture . . . the less distinctive or original the trademark, the less able the trademark owner will be to control how it is used"

I remember when Zilog (developer of the 8-bit Z-80 microprocessor) went after a software house (for "Z/PM"?). And the judge ruled that, no, they didn't have rights to all uses of the letter "Z" and observed that then just 26 firms could lock up the entire English langauge.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Fins on 01/10/2012 14:26:20 MST Print View

Jim, James and BM: Thanks for your thoughts.

Jon: I totally agree with you about bond thickness. I think of HX fins as pipes carrying heat. Bigger pipes carry heat better. And, like plumbing systems, big pipes mean little with inappropriately small joints.

And I agree about a new thread. I throw something quick up now and then a full report later after I'm finished all the tweaks.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: RE RE Re: Alternative names for MYOG frustums.. US fair use clause? on 01/10/2012 14:51:43 MST Print View

Refer to my earlier post of how Otis lost the valuable trademark, escalator. The name Caldera has much value to Trail Designs, and down the road it maybe more valuable than their patented design.

Isn't Patagonia a mountain. And then there is lower case eric's favorite extinct bird :(

Also, names are tied to products. I have many vinyl records manufactured by a company named Apple, no relation to the Apple here in the US. And both used an apple as their logo.

Oh boy do I remember the Z80. Had Sinclair and Radio Shack computers that used ZiLog processors. I don't remember that lawsuit. Could it have been Digital Research's CP/M versus the software house?

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
the contentious script on 01/11/2012 06:13:17 MST Print View

Well, as the originator of the troublesome clone generator script, I've been pondering this thread, and I guess it's time to comment.

It was never my intention to cause damage to Rand and Trail Designs, and I hope it's obvious that I admire the ingenuity of the Caldera Cone concept. My script started life making conic sections for the inner wall of my red bull burners, trying to make a larger vapour chamber. This eventually became the burner with an inner jet ring. Playing with these walls, I realised the obvious; they were miniature Caldera Cones, so a few tweaks to the PostScript conic section generator produced the first, 200-line script published on OM. People seemed to enjoy playing with this script, so it kept growing, and it is now about 2200 lines.

The legality of publication of the script on OM was based on UK patent law, which, as Alan has shown, clearly differs from US patent law, in that personal, non-commercial use is not a patent violation under UK law. That US law is different in this respect was quite a shock to me.

The morality of the script is open to interpretation; from the outset, I made it clear that it was a copy of Trail Design's Caldera Cone (mentioned in the first post on the OM thread which people could google, and later with explicit links to TD's website). I have also stressed to anyone receiving the script that it is not for commercial use, and the instructions provided with the script state TD's IP ownership, and provide a link to their website and the products they provide.

When someone on OM who had made a clone went on to sell their MSR Titan kettle it was made for, they advertised the clone as a freebie to go with it. When someone else commented that the flissure clone might encourage a sale, I made comment, given that I'd expressly said that the script was not to be used for commercial purposes, even though the clone was only a 'free adjunct' to the actual item for sale; the MSR Titan kettle. You can read the exchange here:

http://www.OUTDOORSmagic.com/forum/forummessages.asp?URN=1&UTN=43864

As for the use of the name 'Caldera Clone', that was a deliberate choice, intended to be a nod of respect to Rand and co. I could have called it something like a Volcano (Volclono?) Stove, but that would have been disingenuous. I wanted the origin of the idea to be absolutely clear from the name, making no attempt to disguise where the idea came from. It was not an attempt to 'cash in' on Rand's invention, since the clone script is free. The same logic applies to the Flissure joint, and the Infernal wood-burning insert (which, as far as I know, no-one has used yet; I certainly haven't).

I have always thought of discussion of clones to be free publicity for the real Caldera Cone; I expect that a significant number of OM readers first encountered the concept via the Clone thread. I cannot say if any of those readers have bought a Caldera Cone as a result. I'm pretty sure that a lot of OM and BPL readers, even those on the MYOG sections, like to read about MYOG, but when it actually comes down to it, end up buying something because of a lack of time, inclination or ability. So, of the small number of people who have been given a script, I'd guess about one third may have made a Clone. And I suspect that almost all of those people are 'tinkerers' for whom MYOG is as much of a hobby as actual backpacking. I also suspect that many of these clone builders have moved on to another project, and may not actually use the clone as a stove.

Until Rand posted that TD _do_ still sell the Fissure Cone, I had taken it as read that they had abandoned the idea, due to production difficulties mentioned on a BPL thread Help me brainstorm a Caldera Cone (TM) for the FireLite 475ml Ti Trapper's Mug. Since a number of people asking for the script have also mentioned that they were attracted by the Flissure variant, it seems that I wasn't the only one unaware that TD still sold the Fissure Cone. Not having seen the Fissure joint, I didn't really understand the tolerance issue. The Flissure joint used in the script is pretty simple to make, and doesn't need very close tolerance maunfacture. Clearly, it would be more expensive to manufacture, due to the extra material required for the overlap, and the waste between the two halves, and the extra machining. But, if Rand wants to use the idea, he's welcome to use it, freely. And if he wants to use the Strata insert to allow a Cone user to use another pan with a Cone (which I think is a genuine innovation, building on Rand's patent), he's welcome to use that, freely, but non-exclusively.

If Rand had asked my advice on whether to patent or not, I think I'd have advised not to patent, given the cost of gaining and sustaining a patent (even without legal costs of defence), and the potential market. I certainly hope he recoups his costs, but that's a choice every inventor has to make for themselves. When I came up with the SqueezeBox Stove, I considered patenting the idea, but, for the reasons above, I chose not to. Not being entrepreneurial, I chose to put the design into the public domain, offering a design script similar to that for the Clone. The SqueezeBox Stove won Alpkit's CoLab design competition at The Outdoors Show at the NEC in Birmingham in 2009, even though that was a very mainstream outdoor exhibition, and not a lightweight backpacking event.

So where does this leave me, and what should I do about giving people the script? Well, from a strictly legal point-of-view, Rand's patent is a US patent, so has no bearing outside the US. Thus, there's no legal impediment to me giving the script to anyone outside the US, certainly not in the UK. So, I think I'll extend the comments about TD's IP ownership, and point out that patent law varies from country to country, and that each user should determine if making their own Clone is illegal in their locale, and consider the morality for themselves. I'll also suggest that if they publish any images or descriptions of their clone, they credit TD with the original idea, and provide a link to TD's website.

Jack Hoster
(OrlandoHanger) - F
Old design on 02/12/2012 15:14:35 MST Print View

That's the best stove/shield setup I've every seen!

My concern about the cone design was that the creators released it prior to their patent in 2006 at least here.

"You can also make a windscreen that's cone shaped to allow it to have enough space away from your stove at the bottom and then come in around a narrow pot at the top."

It's not really fair to release these ideas to the world and later patent them, making it illegal to use. That's classic "Indian Giving".

Edited by OrlandoHanger on 02/18/2012 13:58:19 MST.

G Watson
(twiglegs)

Locale: Uk
Re: Old design on 02/13/2012 13:05:36 MST Print View

A very interesting link there Jack.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Patents - again? on 02/13/2012 13:26:19 MST Print View

If you are interested in pursuing this topic, maybe it would be best if you read the patent US 2007/0039603 A1 and looked at the claims. The patent filing was filed in June 7, 2006 AFTER a provisional filing on August 19, 2005. The picture was probably released after the claim was filed. TD has a patent and if you really want to know what is cover then READ THE CLAIMS. It’s a pain in the neck however, it a whole lot better than speculating about what you can and can’t do. My 2 cents - Jon

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Patents - again? on 02/16/2012 11:34:02 MST Print View

"If you are interested in pursuing this topic, maybe it would be best if you read the patent US 2007/0039603 A1 and looked at the claims. The patent filing was filed in June 7, 2006 AFTER a provisional filing on August 19, 2005. The picture was probably released after the claim was filed. TD has a patent and if you really want to know what is cover then READ THE CLAIMS. It’s a pain in the neck however, it a whole lot better than speculating about what you can and can’t do. My 2 cents - Jon"

I just feel the need to point out the obvious to you, assuming what you say is true, of course... The date on the archived web page goes back to March 2005, and you state TD's provisional patent was filed in August of 2005.
(Edit: Jack apparently edited his post to remove the link to the archived Zen Stoves web page so here it is: http://web.archive.org/web/20050307210235/http://zenstoves.net/Accessories.htm )

Last I checked, March comes before August, so it's a distinct possibility that Rand could have read that sentence on ZenStoves and gotten his inspiration to make the CC from there.

I spent a lot of time on ZenStoves back in those days, and actually got the idea for my cylindrical, high sided, windscreen/pot stand from them (the, out with the old design). I read pretty much every word on the ZenStoves website at one point or another, and I'm sure I also read that lien, but being brand new to alky stoves, probalby wrote it off as too complicated to mess with at the time and forgot about it. I was doing a lot of experimentation with many different stoves at the time, and all my cylindrical windscreens had multiple holes to test different pot to stove distances. A conical setup is a lot less flexible, and once you have something you like, you have to be pretty much committed to a specific pot/stove configuration. And even after seeing TD's cones, I was never interested in making one until I saw the CP flissure joint, even though I've seen several other diy cone projects and tutorials.

Here are some pictures from November 2005 of my "12-10" burner, though the hole count I'm sure is different. I didn't find its performance any better or worse than a single wall chimney stove so I quit making them. My opinion on the 12-10 still stands, and has been confirmed my at least a couple other forum members who took their 12-10's apart (on purpose or on accident) and only used the inner energy drink portion.
chimney stove

and the inner wall-
inner wall

and here's a selection of my alky stoves from October 2005-
collection

I have more photos dating back earlier in that year. All the photos I have on my dropbox folder show my 1.3l ti pot, which I didn't purchase until a few months after my alky stove addiction took me over. At first I was using one of my wife's kitchen pots. The majority of those stoves in that photo were inspired form zenstoves.net so I think that is evidence enough that I spent a significant amount of time on that website before TD filed for their patent.

The last thing I want to do is to invalidate TD's patent. Rand is a good sport and a good supporter of the community. As far as I can recall, Rand didn't call any diy cone builder's thieves. It's the zealous self appointed patent police doing the name calling that's offended a few of us (when so many other diy cones were discussed on this very forum and met with encouragement and praise) and looking to justify ourselves.

And if you guys are interested in defending more patents, there are a lot of Hennessey hammock knock off's on the hammock forums. From my 5 min google patent search, the asymmetrical guyed out hammock, as well as the hammock with a ridge line is patented and owned by Thomas Hennessey. Here's somewhere to start - http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=670

BM

Edited by Ultra_Magnus on 02/17/2012 12:24:19 MST.

G Watson
(twiglegs)

Locale: Uk
lol on 02/16/2012 19:04:23 MST Print View

My honesty was questioned, and i was called a thief on this very site, for making a clone.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Patents and discussions on 02/17/2012 18:56:14 MST Print View

Gentlemen,
From looking at the zenstoves website, it is unclear to me when the discussion or first pictures of a Cone/pot stand were publicly disclosed. Since I have no data, I cannot draw any conclusion. Those of you who have been on the site during that timeframe may recall. If the pictures/description were posted prior to the patent application, then the patent would not be valid (if that were the case, TD should get a full refund from their lawyer for not determining prior art as this is a large function of the patent attorney). I personally don’t care either way; I just wanted to remind people of the legal issues associated with patents.
In recalling the thread, I don’t think that there was any discussion of anyone being a thief. The fact is, a lot of this discussion is in the grey area. I do stick by recommendation that what you do should pass the smell test with your friends and peers.
That being said, I am somewhat concerned about the tone of these discussion and would like to apologize if my statements caused ill feelings. I believe that TD has done a great job with the CC and if they have a valid patent then they have earn the right to market and sell their intellectual property for profit. Best regards - Jon

Jack Hoster
(OrlandoHanger) - F
Forum direction on 02/18/2012 09:35:26 MST Print View

It's interesting how a great post can end up with a weird discussion.

Edited by OrlandoHanger on 03/13/2012 22:51:33 MDT.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Apple on 02/18/2012 10:18:41 MST Print View

"Also, names are tied to products. I have many vinyl records manufactured by a company named Apple, no relation to the Apple here in the US. And both used an apple as their logo."

Apple is the Beatles record label. I just finished a biography of Paul McCartney and he said copywriting Apple worldwide was one the smartest things they did because they told Apple US that they could not use that name and they came to an agreement on a very large settlement. Then when the Ipod came out they went back to them because the original agreement stated the name could not be used for anything to do with music. And they got another large settlement. Paul says that copywriting the name Apple was the thing that made them the most money.

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
re: Old Design on 02/20/2012 11:29:39 MST Print View

Jack Hoster said (in one incarnation of the post...):

[quote]
That's the best stove/shield setup I've every seen!

My concern about the cone design was that the creators released it prior to their patent in 2006 at least here.

"You can also make a windscreen that's cone shaped to allow it to have enough space away from your stove at the bottom and then come in around a narrow pot at the top."

It's not really fair to release these ideas to the world and later patent them, making it illegal to use. That's classic "Indian Giving".
[/quote]

The second sentence seems to suggest a link between 'the creators' (I assume he means TD), and the ZenStoves website. As far as I'm aware, there's no link between TD and Zen, and Zen's suggestion about using a conic windscreen was independent of TD. Unless TD, Zen or Jack know otherwise...?

My limited understanding of US patent law is that prior publication (within a certain period) does not preclude granting of a patent. So there's nothing wrong with TD publishing the idea and then going on to patent.

In the UK (and everywhere other than the US), prior publication, even by the inventor, will prevent the grant of a patent: you keep the idea secret (or restricted by confidentiality agreements) until you apply for the patent.

Edited by captain_paranoia on 02/20/2012 11:30:47 MST.

Jack Hoster
(OrlandoHanger) - F
My Caldera Cone - Not yours on 02/20/2012 17:58:44 MST Print View

TD made it pretty clear that it's their original design. It also made it through the patent system in their country which still has first to invent laws. It is likely that they are either the first to invent or purchased the idea from someone who did invent it. Only a fool would boast falsely about something like this in this day and age.

Their stove on the other hand is obviously a copy of the Pika Stove from 2003.

Besides, people are missing the point here. It doesn't matter who originally came up with any idea. TD purchased a patent in their country for a cone shaped windscreen. This gives them the legal right to forbid others in their country from making this windscreen. It also apparently elevates their status here and gives them the right to attack other members, condescend and hijack a discussion as demonstrated by this comment:


"> "I built it using Captain Paranoia's fantastic Caldera Clone post script file. He's done an impressive amount of work on his project."

Seriously? Fantastic? Impressive? *HIS* project? Seriously?"

Edited by OrlandoHanger on 03/14/2012 22:26:08 MDT.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
Re: first to file: it should prevent shared published MYOG ideas from being patented by someone else on 02/21/2012 15:32:28 MST Print View

Jack Hoster said
"What will be the next really cool MYOG item to be shared in the forum to become illegal to use later? And with the first to file patent system around the corner, someone with a really cool idea will share it, then have someone else patent it without their knowledge which will make it illegal for the original inventor to even use his own invention. "

But under "first to file" that should count as prior art, thus no one could patent it:

apparently, this can be used by those who can't afford/don't wish to patent or defend a patent: just publish in a (possibly obscure) journal etc, and then no-one else can patent their idea. They can then compete on quality/price/customer service/the kudos of being first etc.

:)

Edited by ahbradley on 02/21/2012 15:34:47 MST.