I look forward to seeing even more detailed pics of these lights and their output. I am interested in buying some for myself. It's hard to afford top-of-the-line brands, trying to save money for a house and helping pay my mom's medical expenses.
From the Pirate4x4 link on page 1
Originally Posted by RigidIndustries
"Just to give everyone a heads up since I know you are talking about a group buy about the Aurora Lights. These Aurora Lights are illegal to sell or promote in the United Sates. You can face legal trouble from both us and the Patent company. They infringe on patents that we Rigid Industries have on our optics (Patent #'s 7,438,447 - 6,986,539 B27,114,832 b2) In the US. Im just trying to help everyone out and give you a heads up so you don't have any legal problems down the line since I have been monitoring this for some time now."
is for the light reflector. It is claimed the shape of the reflector is completely novel and innovative.
is for the mounting system and making a hole for the cord. It is claimed this way mount the light on the car and make a hole for the cord is novel and innovative.
is for a moveable reflector that is claimed to be novel and innovative.
Two of those patents are held by Illumination Management Solutions, Inc (now owned by Cooper Industries). One is held by Fujitsu. I don't know if Rigid is a subsidiary of either of those companies. If not, I wonder if Rigid would have legal grounds for a lawsuit. Either way, you gotta love a company that threatens to sue consumers for buying from a competitor. Patents are just a way to use government to make it harder for would-be competitors to serve the customers needs better, and they discourage innovation more than they encourage it. Whether or not an invention is different enough from previous technology to qualify for its own patent is purely subjective. There's no objective or scientific way to determine this. It's just a feeling.
It's also not uncommon for patents to be approved even later found invalid because of prior art that wasn't discovered in the application process (over 500,000 patent applications per year, half of them get approved). Did you know that getting a cat to chase a laser pointer is patented? Hopefully Rigid doesn't buy that patent, or a lot of people could get sued!
U.S. Patent 5,443,036
, "Method of exercising a cat", covers having a cat chase the beam from a laser pointer. The patent has been criticized as being obvious.
U.S. Patent 6,004,596
, "Sealed crustless sandwich", issued in 1999, covers the design of a sandwich with crimped edges. However, all claims of the patent were subsequently canceled by the PTO upon reexamination.
U.S. Patent 6,025,810
, "Hyper-light-speed antenna", an antenna that sends signals faster than the speed of light. According to the description in the patent, "The present invention takes a transmission of energy, and instead of sending it through normal time and space, it pokes a small hole into another dimension, thus, sending the energy through a place which allows transmission of energy to exceed the speed of light."
U.S. Patent 6,368,227
, "Method of swinging on a swing", issued April 9, 2002 by patent examiner Kien T. Nguyen, was granted to a seven-year-old boy, whose father, a patent attorney, wanted to demonstrate how the patent system worked to his son (aged 5 at the time of the application). The PTO initially rejected it due to prior art, but eventually issued the patent. However, all claims of the patent were subsequently canceled by the PTO upon reexamination.
U.S. Patent 6,960,975
, "Space vehicle propelled by the pressure of inflationary vacuum state", describes an anti-gravity device. In November 2005, the USPTO was criticized by physicists for granting it. The journal Nature first highlighted this patent issued for a device that presumably amounts to a perpetual motion machine, defying the laws of physics. The device comprises a particular electrically superconducting shield and electromagnetic generating device. The examiner allowed the claims because the design of the shield and device was novel and not obvious.
, that same Rigid rep has said:
We do have a problem with China company's being un-original, and copying patented Optic technology. The optics Aurora are using are old technology and an older design. Do to reasons i cant discuss they have been forced to change their optics and design. They have new optics and design out but are still trying to sell left over lights to the people without informing them of any legal trouble they will have.
We have a fairly stout legal team that is dealing with Aurora and a couple of others who have supposedly ordered our protected product from Aurora, and this too will now have to be addressed.
If Rigid honestly thinks the Chinese knock-offs are of inferior quality, then why should they care at all, except to leave consumers with fewer choices? I would think that if their product were that much better they could simply say "you get what you pay for," and not have to threaten consumers with legal action. Maybe the Rigid lights aren't wabble-proof, or don't have the "burn with petrol" feature. I need cheap lights that do both.
So just remember, Rigid makes such a good product that if you buy the wrong thing because you're on a tight budget, they might sue you. Feel about that how you will.