Patent infringement?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by EagleLandscape, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

  2. Without A Drought

    Without A Drought LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,021

    i would imagine the patent has expired. if you look at the rest of their line, almost all of it bears a strong likeness to some other product.

  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,708

    There are a lot of expired patents out there in the irrigation biz.
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    There are differences in the molding, or operation, etc. They can get around it. Buckner had the same type of bleed lever a number of years back. Probably not that big of an impact on their sales to warrant chasing after them legally.
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,708

    I wonder how much legal conflict occurs over sprinkler patents. The only one coming to mind right now, was Toro and the wiper seal on the Super600
  6. brookviewlawncare

    brookviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 356

    Tell me more about the s600 wiper seal story
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,708

    This is more of a 'whispers and rumors' story, but the Super600 was a slamdunk success when it was introduced. Not even the Mini-Paw could match its low-gallonage performance. But about a year after it appeared, it went on the missing list. None to be had, and no explanation supplied. When they reappeared, they had a serious flaw in the wiper seal, and that's where the story about patent infringement on the wiper seal came in, as Toro had to discontinue sales, until they came up with a part that wouldn't infringe. Apparently, paying a license fee wasn't in their plans. They did re-rework the seal design, and added another inner wiper seal, and got the head to behave.
  8. brookviewlawncare

    brookviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 356

    so there was a different style wiper seal than the one in the 80s- 90s ? The only one i seem to remember is the style that looks similar the 300s
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,708

    Three different seals, actually. The first one infringed, and the replacement was a headache. Heads just wouldn't completely pop up. Can't get your check if the system won't even spray. I probably still some dud heads from that year's production. The new seal had a visibly different profile than the dud seal, and the inner seal (they added the suffix LP to indicate those heads with it) made sure that water wouldn't push by the mechanism on its way to popping up.
  10. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    Patent infringement was why the Pepco Octabubbler didn't have a central filter. The Rain Bird Xeribird isn't nearly as easy to work with, bigger profile, and you have to buy all the emitters... but it has a decent filter.

    Someone asked once how Irrigation Direct was able to copy Hunter so closely... So who do you think holds the patent on modular controllers?

    Hunter? Rain Bird?

    Nope... it's Toro.... and everyone playing the game has to pay royalties to them... though some fought it for years...

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