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My Caldera Clone
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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

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.


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:


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 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.


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! :-)

/A .
(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'

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

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

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:

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.

al b
(ahbradley) - M
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.

al b
(ahbradley) - M
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 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?