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Thread: Violation of Ruth Niles Patent

  1. #1
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    Violation of Ruth Niles Patent

    There is a guy in Canada who bought some of Ruth's stainless steel stoppers and then proceeded to manufacture and sell them. He recently was caught selling them to someone in the U.S. Ruth said he has already heard from the Custom agents and her attorney.

    His name is Donald Fontaine and his web site is http://www.dfi-stainless-steel.com/


    I hope I am not violating any rules by posting this here. Ruth has worked hard and long with developing her stopper. The original thread can be seen at:
    http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/t...pl?read=198392
    Last edited by Barbara Gill; 01-07-2009 at 04:57 PM.
    Barbara

  2. #2
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    Barbara:

    Thanks for the update. I think that we as turners should support those who make the effort to produce quality products for our industry like Ruth has done.

    I'm hoping Ruth is going to be at the Florida Woodturning Symposium again this week so she can see first-hand how much we apprciate her products.
    ----------------------------------
    -Steven
    My lathe is my therapist

  3. #3
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    What a joke. How can people do that. Ruth is the nicest person. I met her at Richmond.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  4. #4
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    I notice that you specifically say that he shipped some to the US. If Ruth only has a US patent, that guy can legally make and sell the units in Canada and anywhere else she doesn't hold a patent (to the best of my understanding of patent law). All she can do is prevent him from selling in the US.

    And enforcing a patent is expensive. All a patent grants you is the right to enforce it but you have to bring the action and pay the legal fees. If all he did was ship a couple of units into the US, her damages would be extremely small. But perhaps she just wants to prevent him from shipping any more to the US.

    Disclaimer: I an not an attorney - this is just my layman understanding of patent law.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    Could some one post a link to Ruth's?
    Here ya go...

    http://www.torne-lignum.com/stoppers.html
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I notice that you specifically say that he shipped some to the US. If Ruth only has a US patent, that guy can legally make and sell the units in Canada and anywhere else she doesn't hold a patent (to the best of my understanding of patent law). All she can do is prevent him from selling in the US.

    And enforcing a patent is expensive. All a patent grants you is the right to enforce it but you have to bring the action and pay the legal fees. If all he did was ship a couple of units into the US, her damages would be extremely small. But perhaps she just wants to prevent him from shipping any more to the US.

    Disclaimer: I an not an attorney - this is just my layman understanding of patent law.

    Mike
    That pretty much is true except I think there are penalties for violating the law. My main focus is letting people know so they will not buy from him.
    Barbara

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbara Gill View Post
    That pretty much is true except I think there are penalties for violating the law. My main focus is letting people know so they will not buy from him.
    I'm pretty sure patent issues are civil issues and not criminal issues (that is, you can't go to jail for patent infringement). It is possible, I believe, for a patent holder to get a court order that will cause the customs people to seize merchandise at the border, but that's still civil and not criminal. All they do is impound the items for the court.

    But I understand your aims in posting the information and I support your efforts. Good luck!

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 01-07-2009 at 11:39 PM.
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
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    I think this is an example of what "free trade" has brought us. I wonder how many Chinese made products violate US patents? I hope she puts a hurtin on him.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Weishapl View Post
    What a joke. How can people do that.
    I don't know, but it drives me nuts. That's why PSI will never get a penny of my business.

    Wishing Ruth best of luck and a speedy resolution,

    -Joe

  10. #10
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    1) Please read this post carefully before y'all jump on me for it...

    2) I am NOT posting as a moderator - just as a person who believes strongly in all the rights and freedoms that are protected by courts, judges and juries of our peers.


    Apparently someone has copied a patented item and is selling into a country where the patent is in force. If this is the case, then it is wrong and I am all in favour of the appropriate legal course being taken and the appropriate punishment being levied by a court with the proper authority.

    However, what I see in this thread is an accusation, where the accused has not been informed that we in this forum are accusing and it appears convicting them without allowing a defence to be mounted by them. I have not seen any evidence that there have been any charges laid, never mind a conviction by a court of the land, yet we continue with our internet lynching.

    Once the proper legal courses have been followed, then hang them high and bash them on the web to our hearts content, but until then I think we can do better.

    I know I'm in the minority and I probably should keep my mouth shut, but it's how I feel so I'll be the odd man out and take the heat as a result.

    cheers

    john

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