|jmke ||13th April 2004 15:42 |
Antec patently upset
Wow, I have to say no one at Antec expected this sort of reaction. It’s actually good to see so many people still care about what’s right. So I hope you'll let me share a few facts regarding the Antec patent for its design of an LED Fan and what we're thinking. There is a lot of misunderstanding out there about what we’re trying to say, but once the debate is based fairly on facts most people not only see but actually are on Antec’s side.
1. Antec is not patenting 'the idea' of an LED Fan. We patented a particular design—not all designs, just the improvements we made. Anyone is free to make their own fan, or to come up with their own design, as long as they don’t trade, sell, or profit from our (protected) ideas. (Most LED fans on the open market right now almost exactly match our ideas and design—without our permission—and that’s not right. But we do see it as recognition that our design is best.)
2. We started work on our design in 2001, and applied for patent protections beginning in April 2002 in China, Taiwan, then the US. We are announcing the US patent now simply because it has recently been granted (patent link).
3. We introduced fans using our design in April 2002 and to the general market in May 2002. From the beginning, we put “Patent Pending” on our full color retail packaging for this product. Other manufacturers have now had two years to develop their own designs; judge for yourself whether they did.
4. Upon introduction other manufacturers quickly copied our design and ‘pirate’ product began appearing in Summer 2002. The situation snowballed so rapidly that we sent out a press release clarifying the situation in November 2002. (http://www.antec-inc.com/press_release/p_patent.html.) So this isn’t “new.” Further, there are some really bad, low-quality copies out there—and that doesn’t help anyone, end users included.
5. Most importantly, we do not wish to harm retailers who have unknowingly bought ‘pirate’ product. We just want them to know the truth, and to do what’s right in future. That’s pretty simple; all other speculations are off-base. Similarly, no end user who innocently bought one of these copycat fans needs to worry.
Most reasonable people agree that not only is this fair, but that our handling of this problem over the past two years has also been fair and aboveboard. We’re not trying to claim credit for or profit on anything that is anyone else’s—we just don’t want others to do that to us, either. Most people who get upset about this do so only because they don’t know all the facts. Once they do understand, they realize everything is fine. It is certainly not our intent to anger anyone.
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