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Thread started 25 May 2011 (Wednesday) 10:38
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Nikon to sue Sigma over OS tech

 
Channel ­ One
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May 25, 2011 20:49 |  #31

woos wrote in post #12479608 (external link)
Do you have proof of this? For some reason I actually don't believe this is the case, I believe they are different enough to avoid stepping on each other's toes, but I'm not sure how.

None other than I have heard it from too many people who would know.

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May 25, 2011 21:13 |  #32

Thom : "Nikon’s position is actually fairly solid. There are at least three different approaches to designing VR in the lens that have been patented. Canon uses plain glass for the movement. Olympus uses paired elements. Only Nikon uses positive elements. Well, at least they were the only ones to do that until Sigma copied it. Each style has it’s pluses and minuses, but each is a very unique approach that was invented by different companies. Except Sigma’s approach."

Sigma has aparently been screwing around delaying in the hope the patent runs out of time, forcing nikon in to court action.


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May 25, 2011 22:32 |  #33

Cool, good info Channel One, thanks! :)


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woos
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May 25, 2011 22:37 |  #34

RobDickinson wrote in post #12479908 (external link)
Thom : "Nikon’s position is actually fairly solid. There are at least three different approaches to designing VR in the lens that have been patented. Canon uses plain glass for the movement. Olympus uses paired elements. Only Nikon uses positive elements. Well, at least they were the only ones to do that until Sigma copied it. Each style has it’s pluses and minuses, but each is a very unique approach that was invented by different companies. Except Sigma’s approach."

Sigma has aparently been screwing around delaying in the hope the patent runs out of time, forcing nikon in to court action.

Canon may have patents on using plain glass (dunno), but I'm absolutely positive some of Canon's IS lenses have a moving group that consists of multiple elements (more than two in many cases as well). This can be verified by the EF lens museum lens diagrams for the curious (great site). Or by various dis-assembly pics on the 'net. So one way or another, if his claims are true there's some cross-licensing going on.

For example: the 70-200mm f2.8 IS mk2's IS group consists of three elements. The EF-S 15-85mm IS' IS group consists of two elements, etc.


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May 25, 2011 23:21 |  #35

KenjiS wrote in post #12477183 (external link)
In the US at least due to the DMCA they'd likely stand a high chance of winning too...

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) generally prohibits circumvention of technological protection measures, which usually involves reverse-engineering.

Making a compatible lens that talks the same protocol isn't "circumventing protection measures", at least in theory.

My point is, reverse-engineering doesn't automatically mean anyone can scream DCMA at it.



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May 26, 2011 02:28 |  #36

HyperYagami wrote in post #12480637 (external link)
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) generally prohibits circumvention of technological protection measures, which usually involves reverse-engineering.

Making a compatible lens that talks the same protocol isn't "circumventing protection measures", at least in theory.

My point is, reverse-engineering doesn't automatically mean anyone can scream DCMA at it.

In the same way, many of these technologies are so trivial, you don't *need* to reverse engineer them. As soon as you hear the general concept, you can build your own implementation of it. For that, you don't even need the competition's designs. That's where many of these copyright / patent cases become tricky.

Suppose this technique wouldn't exist yet; If you have 10 people develop an isolated technology for IS, and then proceed to to file 10 patents. You will probably get all 10. Then wait 10-15 years for lawsuits to start happening between person 3 and 7, because person 7 was maybe one day later or used a similar design.
This whole patenting system is wrong and often contains very vague trivial concepts.

And what's worse is that you can actually get a patent without being able to make it, and then sue a company that does (without using your patents) but only after 10 years.
They should really make the patents expire if you haven't started production (or even market the final product) within 12 months or something...


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uOpt
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May 26, 2011 08:20 |  #37

Does anybody have the patent number (or a link to the patent office)?

I'd like to have a look at this patent. Too many patent lawsuits lately where the patent is just ridiculously obvious and shouldn't have been granted in the first place.

The DCMA does not forbid reverse engineering unless it is done specifically to circumvent copy protection mechanism. It doesn't apply here at all. It is a regular patent lawsuit.


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May 26, 2011 10:36 |  #38

HyperYagami wrote in post #12480637 (external link)
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) generally prohibits circumvention of technological protection measures, which usually involves reverse-engineering.

Making a compatible lens that talks the same protocol isn't "circumventing protection measures", at least in theory.

My point is, reverse-engineering doesn't automatically mean anyone can scream DCMA at it.

My premise was based on the Lexmark lawsuit, Which as someone pointed out, won in a lower court but was appealed to a higher court and the decision reversed

I simply missed the appeal ;)


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woos
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May 26, 2011 18:27 |  #39

TweakMDS wrote in post #12481274 (external link)
In the same way, many of these technologies are so trivial, you don't *need* to reverse engineer them. As soon as you hear the general concept, you can build your own implementation of it. For that, you don't even need the competition's designs. That's where many of these copyright / patent cases become tricky.

Suppose this technique wouldn't exist yet; If you have 10 people develop an isolated technology for IS, and then proceed to to file 10 patents. You will probably get all 10. Then wait 10-15 years for lawsuits to start happening between person 3 and 7, because person 7 was maybe one day later or used a similar design.
This whole patenting system is wrong and often contains very vague trivial concepts.

And what's worse is that you can actually get a patent without being able to make it, and then sue a company that does (without using your patents) but only after 10 years.
They should really make the patents expire if you haven't started production (or even market the final product) within 12 months or something...

Ehhh, I dunno 'bout that. Maybe they do last too long, and with how fast things move now-adays 10 years might be a better length, but patents such as a patent on IS technology, Ultrasonic Motors, that kinda thing, are places the patent system works well. These are hard physical products, machines, technology, etc, manufacturable goods.

What is screwy is patenting vague ideas (amazon's 1-click patent for example), incredibly obvious things (like you were saying), business models, and software--that stuff should not be protected by patents as it doesn't encourage innovation, but rather discourages it. Though I might not be opposed to software patents entirely if they had a very very strict non-obvious requirement and only lasted 2 years.

But I wouldn't want say, Canon to not be able to get a patent on something like USM because it took 'em more than a year to put it into a product, that probably wouldn't benefit society. I do completely agree that something needs to be done about patent trolls, though. You shouldn't be able to get away with sitting on something for 10 years with the intent to use it later in a lawsuit if someone ever makes it, I agree 100%, that just discourages innovation and hurts the public flat out.

I think Canon and Nikon image stabilization is something that is a good example of a good patent, though, it's certainly innovative and useful tech, it was manufactured and gives the public great benefit, and if Sigma did really copy Nikon and knew it and continued to do so, then they deserve what they get. If they didn't, then hopefully the judge will see that and they'll get to keep doing so. What will probably happen is they'll agree to some licensing payment behind the scenes. Either way it'll be interesting.


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TweakMDS
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May 27, 2011 01:35 |  #40

woos wrote in post #12485259 (external link)
Ehhh, I dunno 'bout that. Maybe they do last too long, and with how fast things move now-adays 10 years might be a better length, but patents such as a patent on IS technology, Ultrasonic Motors, that kinda thing, are places the patent system works well. These are hard physical products, machines, technology, etc, manufacturable goods.

What is screwy is patenting vague ideas (amazon's 1-click patent for example), incredibly obvious things (like you were saying), business models, and software--that stuff should not be protected by patents as it doesn't encourage innovation, but rather discourages it. Though I might not be opposed to software patents entirely if they had a very very strict non-obvious requirement and only lasted 2 years.

But I wouldn't want say, Canon to not be able to get a patent on something like USM because it took 'em more than a year to put it into a product, that probably wouldn't benefit society. I do completely agree that something needs to be done about patent trolls, though. You shouldn't be able to get away with sitting on something for 10 years with the intent to use it later in a lawsuit if someone ever makes it, I agree 100%, that just discourages innovation and hurts the public flat out.

I think Canon and Nikon image stabilization is something that is a good example of a good patent, though, it's certainly innovative and useful tech, it was manufactured and gives the public great benefit, and if Sigma did really copy Nikon and knew it and continued to do so, then they deserve what they get. If they didn't, then hopefully the judge will see that and they'll get to keep doing so. What will probably happen is they'll agree to some licensing payment behind the scenes. Either way it'll be interesting.

I didn't mean "make all patents expire after 12 months", but I meant when a company files a patent, they have 12 months (or 6, or 26, whatever) to start building a prototype and prove that they actually have the technological skills to produce this. If they fail to produce it, the patent is automatically void and they can never sue any other company over that patent.
Eitherway, that's just how I think it should go. When I become king of the world, it'll certainly be like that >:]


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May 27, 2011 16:22 |  #41

One would think that the Nikon system would be stronger for Sigma's offerings? Not sure why they'd want to bugger about like this really.


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May 28, 2011 10:22 |  #42

Spacemunkie wrote in post #12490581 (external link)
One would think that the Nikon system would be stronger for Sigma's offerings? Not sure why they'd want to bugger about like this really.

Because when it comes down to it, it's all about money and pride. That's the corrupt world we live in.


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