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 need to decide which material to use !
Author: Ming 
Date:   1999-10-07 01:10

Hi!!
I am a owner of a jewellery factory and want to
make my own ligature based on the commercial
models (just for my interest) , I only have Gold/Silver/Platinum, can anyone suggest me which
material is the best? if Gold is choosen, should I
use 18K or 24K gold.
which models has patent? I know the Bonade Inverted
has patent, but if I just make a few for my self interest
is this illegal? I am not selling it or marketing it.
I really want to clone the Bonade inverted because I like
it the best but hate the quality control of it.
any advice are welcome...

thanks!

Ming

Reply To Message
 
 RE: need to decide which material to use !
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-10-07 01:22

Ming,
If a design is patented, you risk patent infringement even if you make it just for yourself. After all, if it turns out well, and you make a few for your friends, then you'll have to change the design anyway. Check to see exactly _what_ has been patented first.

As to material - most (if not all) gold ligatures are plated, not solid. I don't know if the gold will work well; gold is very ductile and may stretch too much to be useful when tightened. You'd know better than us!

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 RE: need to decide which material to use !
Author: Hiroshi 
Date:   1999-10-07 05:39

As Mark wrote Gold is very ductile. So even a 24K gold used for flute bodies includes small amount of copper to get enough solidity.How much is their proprietary knowledge. Moreover they use steels for the key shafts and steel screws.(For springs they use white gold(not platinum).

This knowledge may be applied to ligatures. For example,make a ligature made of silver but with steel or stainless steel threads(female) and male screws.

Patent expiration period is ordinarily 15 years from its petition including patent pending period. When I bought my first conventional Bonade around the early 1970,it had an etching of "patent pending"(My new inverted Bonade I bought a year ago does not seem to have this etching): Their patent may have expired. You could consult with a patent specialist near you or directly with Leblanc.

p.s. There are knowledge property web pages by IBM or US patent offices. I forgot their URL addresses.

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 RE: need to decide which material to use !
Author: Hiroshi 
Date:   1999-10-07 05:48

As Mark wrote Gold is very ductile. So even a 24K gold used for flute bodies includes small amount of copper to get enough solidity.How much is their proprietary knowledge. Moreover they use steels for the key shafts and steel screws.(For springs they use white gold(not platinum).

This knowledge may be applied to ligatures. For example,make a ligature made of silver but with steel or stainless steel threads(female) and male screws.

Since Bonade's petition for a patent is well before 15(patent expiration period) years ago, the obstacle might be not of patent but of the mimicry of a trade registered shape. You have to change its shape.

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 RE: need to decide which material to use !
Author: Hiroshi 
Date:   1999-10-07 05:49

As Mark wrote Gold is very ductile. So even a 24K gold used for flute bodies includes small amount of copper to get enough solidity.How much is their proprietary knowledge. Moreover they use steels for the key shafts and steel screws.(For springs they use white gold(not platinum).

This knowledge may be applied to ligatures. For example,make a ligature made of silver but with steel or stainless steel threads(female) and male screws.

Since Bonade's petition for a patent is well before 15(patent expiration period) years ago, the obstacle might be not of patent but of the mimicry of a trade registered shape. You have to change its shape as obviously recognized different from Bonades.

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 RE: need to decide which material to use !
Author: Jim 
Date:   1999-10-07 13:41



Mark Charette wrote:
-------------------------------
Ming,
If a design is patented, you risk patent infringement even if you make it just for yourself. After all, if it turns out well, and you make a few for your friends, then you'll have to change the design anyway. Check to see exactly _what_ has been patented first.
---------------------

I believe that under US patent law, it is not allowed
to make, buy, sell, or use a patented device without
proper licensing. However specifically excluded is
making and using for experimental or investigational
purposes. These are allowed and encouraged by the patent
law.

As a practical matter, a patent is no more than a license
to sue, and I can't imagine that even if you lost the
damages could be more than the retail price of the ligature.
I really don't think you need to worry unless you want to
go into business selling them.

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 RE: need to decide which material to use !
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-10-07 14:31

Jim wrote:
-------------------------------
As a practical matter, a patent is no more than a license
to sue, and I can't imagine that even if you lost the
damages could be more than the retail price of the ligature.
I really don't think you need to worry unless you want to
go into business selling them.
-----------
Most people don't start making things with the idea of selling things - they make them for their own use. Then a friend wants one, then another, then calls start coming in from their friends.

before you know it, you have a little side-business. <b>Then</B> you're in trouble - legally you shouldn't be doing it, but it's hard to tell all those people that you can't help them out anymore. So you continue to make the item, hoping that no one notices that you've copied a design. Next thing you know, you get this "cease & desist" letter, along with a settlement offer & licensing document ...

It's better to go into business conciously than unconciously.

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Ligature Patents, Bonade
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   1999-10-07 15:50

As you regularly tell us, Mark [re: copyrights], be cautious of FREE legal advice. Patents [both utility and design] are different and in my experience, complex. A bit of exploratory searching on the USPTO and/or IBM patent sites, I somewhat prefer http://patent.womplex.ibm.com/boolquery, will give a sense of history and some technical info. A simple search of Ligature-AND-Clarinet turned up 11 patents, US 2,791,929 to Bonade [1955, well expired!] cited as reference in 4,428,271 [Winslow, may not be expired!]. Adding -OR-Woodwind retrieved 113 pats, prob. many to saxes, and a comprehensive search of Class 084, Subclass 383R will prob. yield more! A copy of Bonade [and others] could be obtained from a US Patent Depository Library [each state has at least one], possibly by your local library reference-person. I would expect these pats will mention suitable materials of construction. If you wish a bit more info, just ask. Don

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 RE: Ligature Patents, Bonade
Author: Ming 
Date:   1999-10-08 01:25

Thanks for all of your input, I am wondering
if the Bonade patent already expired, how come
on the Bonade inverted ligature (I bought one 5 years
ago and one last month) still have the mark "patent
pending" on it? as Mark stated, if doing experiment
is encouraged by the Patent law, then my experiment
would be to find a material that will play better
than the material that is used in the current
Bonade ligature.

what my primary goal is to make a mould out of a good
bonade inverted, then I try to fill in different material
to do some experiment, since my resource is limited
to those metals that is only used for jewelery. I have no
access to other metals that others mentioned.

another problem I have is to find a good bonade inverted
as the protype of the mould, if the one I used is not
symmetric, then the mould is asymmetric. the one I bought
5 years ago was good, but broken.. the one I bought
one month ago is aweful, it damage the mouthpiece by
serious scratch, although the rails are parallel
but the overall ligature is not parallel.

does anyone have idea where I can get a top quality bonade?
if I can't get one, then the next method would be take
all the measurement of the bonade ligature and fix the
data to make it symmetric and build a mould from ground
up.

thank you

Ming

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Ligature Patents, Bonade
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-10-08 01:34

Ming wrote:
-------------------------------
does anyone have idea where I can get a top quality bonade?
--------
You'll have to go through quite a few at your local music store to find a good one.

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Ligature Patents, Bonade
Author: Ming 
Date:   1999-10-08 08:45

Mark,
my local stores (I am in Vancouver) does not let me try them and return it. So all I can do is choose them by
my eyes, some ligature with very perfect outlooking play
poorly and some looks defective plays well. It is
so amazing that every Bonade is different, I suspect
they have a quality control process

MIng

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Ligature Patents, Bonade
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-10-08 12:06

Ming wrote:
-------------------------------
It is
so amazing that every Bonade is different, I suspect
they have a quality control process
--------------
I suspect you meant to say "no quality control process". And I'd firmly agree.

Won't they let you try them at the store? They should - they charge enough for them!


Reply To Message
 
 RE: Ligature Patents, Bonade
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   1999-10-08 16:18

Ming - Do I understand that you plan to make a mold and cast the entire ligature [prob except for the threaded portions] from the "noble" metals, gold, silver, platinum and others? I should think that cutting the form from sheet-stock followed by welding [silver-soldering] would give it more tensile strength, but I know little of metalworking. Some time back I found a recent patent for a gold-colored strong alloy containing Indium, making it expensive, but likely cheaper than gold alloys. I will try to recall that pat # and get a copy of Bonade as well to help all I can. B's pat has of course expired, so you are prob safe to use his methods and materials, however if you develop techniques beyond its scope and attempt to manufacture and sell, you will need an infringement search and evaluation to be safe as there are many more-recent pats which may claim improvements on Bonade. Its complicated! Don

Reply To Message
 
 RE: need to decide which material to use !
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   1999-10-08 17:08

A brief search turned up many patents using Indium AND Gold AND alloy, many in the dental metal field. Two with low gold content are 5,019,335 and 5,599,406 and may be of interest to you, I'm sure your knowledge of "precious" metals is far beyond mine. Don

Reply To Message
 
 Thanks to everyone!
Author: Ming 
Date:   1999-10-08 23:05

Thanks for everyone's input. I will start
the project next month and will let you guys
know if it work well.

Ming

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