Author Topic: Laser cut PALS and First-Spear patent  (Read 1642 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

essal

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 549
    • View Profile
    • Nora Tactical
  • Liked: 93
  • Likes Given: 48
Laser cut PALS and First-Spear patent
« on: February 16, 2018, 11:02:46 AM »
Over at SSD there was a post regarding the new USMC carrier: http://soldiersystems.net/2018/02/14/usmc-plate-carrier-gen-iii/#comments

The comment section got really interesting real fast.

The claim in their patent:
Quote
Claims (23)

What is claimed is:

1. An attachment system, comprising:
a platform having a front side, an opposite back side, and a plurality of slits through the platform arranged in a predetermined pattern of vertically aligned and spaced apart rows, configured for receiving elements for attaching at least one holder to the platform, wherein the platform is supported by and comprises an element of a carrier configured to be worn on a user’s body with the back side of the platform facing the carrier and the front side facing outwardly for carrying the at least one holder at a desired location adjacent to the front side; and
the platform being comprised of laminated layers, the back side disposed in opposing relation to a surface of the carrier or a backing element forming a generally flat cavity therebetween, the platform and the carrier or backing element having generally coextensive peripheral edge portions attached together and bounding and substantially enclosing the flat cavity providing a barrier to entry of particulates thereabout, and the slits being defined and bound by opposing edges of the laminated layers, each of the edges bounding the slits comprising a hardened fusion of the laminated layers.
And then posted by a person named James, who I believe is a member here:
Quote
The 1st claim in the patent is the biggest issue. In simple terms, First Spear got a patent for cutting slits in a laminate were the edges of the slits are fused. That means all laser cutting, ultrasonic knife cut, heat knife cut, heating up soldering iron to cut a slit, etc. All the ways to cut MOLLE/PALS into a laminate that is required to keep it from fraying.

When you search the patent, search for the word fuse. On top of this, they have a child patent pending off of this main patent that they are plugging all the loopholes that were in the granted patent.



What do we do now?

We’ll have to band together to defend each other. We can form a coalition to share resources and information to be successful.

This patent can be beaten and we can win. The first spear patent is too broad and there are several examples of prior art/it being done before in the public domain prior to the first spear and crye patents being filed.

If you get a cease and desist from First Spear, go to gearmaker.org and make a post letting us know what’s happened. A lot of industry is on that forum and we can all support each other there. Try to stay anonymous for now if possible when posting.

Companies like Blue Force gear are in direct violation of this patent, so are Direct Action Gear and Tactical tailor since they make Direct Action Gear’s products. First Spear would go after all the big money makers first, however we all need to support each other if law suits are filed by First Spear.

The cease and desist letter means nothing until they file a law suit against you, so keep calm and reach out to industry if you get one.

Armor Express, Velocity Systems/Mayflower and others with the Triangle MOLLE/PALs geometry should be in violation as well because they laser cut and fuse the edges of their cut geometries.

If we all pledge $100, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 to a legal fund to support this effort we can win.

There is no way the first spear patent or Crye’s laser cutting patent will hold up in court once you get subject matter experts on the stand to testifying and introduce evidence that fusing laminate slits, MOLLE/PALS laser cutting, etc has been done well before 2010.

First Spear’s Child Patent for reference (This should be it): US15431377

Crye Patent for Reference (Note that the Crye patent was filed first, the same year the First Spear patent was filed, however because the Crye patent was not published publicly by the patent office before the first spear patent was filed, it would not be considered prior art for first spear. First spear slid under the door with their patent, if the crye patent application would have been made public then first spear would not have received theirs). We don’t see first spear and crye suing each other because first spear licenses some crye designs and buys the metal crye shoulder buckles for some of their plate carriers and vests.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US9173436B2/en?inventor=Caleb+Clark+Crye&page=2

I'd urge you all to read the comments, and let's discuss it here.

My input without being a lawyer, is that once the outdoor industry gears notice of this, they'll have the important part of the patent redacted because they cut laminates. I also cannot fathom how anyone would be able to have a patent issued on a common manufacturing technique (laser cutting) onto a fabric. One thing would be their 6/12 attachment system, but cutting fabric isn't new. Just like how sewing webbing onto something in a specific grid can't be patented, but an attachment method can.

And just for the sake of history, here is a photo of an NORASOC guy in 2006. It should be available from ScanPix with a proper exif file. From what I can see and from what my buddies have told me, they used soldering irons on their old ABA body armor.
Nora Tactical
Product Technician - Norrøna

Gear Dynamics

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1054
    • View Profile
    • Gear Dynamics
  • Liked: 269
  • Likes Given: 266
Re: Laser cut PALS and First-Spear patent
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2018, 10:54:59 PM »
This is a non-issue. The FS patent is specifically for an attachment system that uses a laminate with Velcro loop on the backside, and corresponding pouches. https://patents.google.com/patent/US9565922

An attachment system for supporting holders on a carrier, including a platform with a front side having slits in a pattern of vertically aligned and spaced apart rows, for receiving one or more elongate straps in a vertical interlocking manner for supporting a holder against the front side, a back side opposing a surface of the carrier enclosing a generally flat pocket, the slits extending through the platform, defined and bounded by edges cooperable to form a barrier to passage of particulates through the slits while allowing passage of flat straps or tabs for interlockingly securing a holder against the front side and maintaining the barrier to passage of particulates through the slits about the straps, and the back side of the platform including a first fastening component of a hook and loop fastening system and the tabs including a second component fastenable to the first to secure the tabs.




Bootcat

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
    • Tiger Tailor
  • Liked: 23
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: Laser cut PALS and First-Spear patent
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2018, 09:20:52 AM »
Has anyone asked FS what their policy is regarding the technical extent of their patents?

gearmaker.org

  • gearmaker.org
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 257
  • gearmaker.org
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 82
  • Likes Given: 40
Re: Laser cut PALS and First-Spear patent
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 11:35:38 AM »
Please refrain from speculation, hearsay, conjecture, or similar.