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$99 or $500 Gimbal
  
 
Lars Johnsson
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p.4 #1 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


The head in his link is not the original Wimberley head but the more new Wimberley mkII head. And it's not made 1991 at all.
And even his own link have this statement on top of the page:
WH-200 Wimberley Head Version II ($595.00)
--Protected by one or more of the following Patents: #7478970 & #7600941

I don't see that many people here being happy when they buy the Sandisk knock-off memory cards



Apr 22, 2012 at 06:18 AM
KaaX
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p.4 #2 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Bifurcator wrote:
...and I don't agree with this.


What is it exactly that you don't agree with?



Apr 22, 2012 at 06:37 AM
KaaX
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p.4 #3 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Smiert Spionam wrote:
It's not surprising that many people are ignorant of this history. It's disheartening, though, to see that photographers -- people who presumably have a self-interest in protecting their own intellectual property -- can be just as ignorant as the general population. I'll be sure to make note of the contributors to this thread who have given me permission to exploit their photographs as my own, all in the name of "progress."


I'm a bit unclear as to how ignorance of history enters into this.

You might also take note that in law there is no such thing as "intellectual property". There is copyright, there are patents, and there are trademarks -- all very different things.



Apr 22, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Sjjindra
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p.4 #4 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Lars Johnsson wrote:
@Sjjindra,

Those Wimberley knock-offs are not hitting the market now (2012) They have been around many years. And this head didn't hit the market 2012 either
And the Wimberley head in your link was not from 1991. The one you see on the pic in your link is rather new


Lars

The paragraph I was referring to in the link was:

"About the Wimberley Head

The Wimberley Head is a specialized tripod head for telephoto lenses. Its gimbal-type design allows you to rotate your lens around its center of gravity and thus easily manipulate very large lenses. Since its introduction in 1991, the Wimberley Head has become the industry standard for serious nature photographers."

I am relatively new to photography, so this is the first time I have seen a comparable gimbal head for such a price.

The overall point I was trying to make (in a tounge-in-cheek manner) was that it is a little over the top to assume that purchasing a comparable product, offered at a lower price than the original manufacturer's similar product, is illegal or that such a purchase, whether by oneself or others is in some way immoral.

Now if it had Wimberley stamped on the side and was being represented as an original product, and I knew it was not, then I would have a problem with it.

Thanks.



Apr 22, 2012 at 06:45 AM
MichaD
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p.4 #5 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


So are they actually trying to fool you you're buying Wimberly? They say it is based on it. If this is actually a trade dress infringement is hard to say.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not endorsing you go and buy the knock off. But you seem all too sure that this head is infringing Wimberly's rights. Do they actually suggest you buy a Wimberly? There might be a trade dress case here, but I wouldn't be all too sure there is. And unless someone disassembles one we don't know if they used Wimberly's patented technology. On top of it as has been said before it's hard to actually pursue your rights in China. And even if you win they just open the next shop on the other side of the street. For a big company this is a big problem, for a small shop it's pretty much a nightmare.

I bought the original Arca Cube for an for my taste obscene amount of money for an tripod head, although there being a much cheaper knock-off. But I asked a mechanical designer colleague what he'd think this would sell for if you'd have to low-volume manufacture it in Europe and he was pretty much spot on. The knock-off is actually the expensive one if you consider the wage difference.

So in the end it's up to you to decide if you want to support one or the other.



Apr 22, 2012 at 07:00 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.4 #6 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Sjjindra wrote:
Lars

The paragraph I was referring to in the link was:

"About the Wimberley Head

The Wimberley Head is a specialized tripod head for telephoto lenses. Its gimbal-type design allows you to rotate your lens around its center of gravity and thus easily manipulate very large lenses. Since its introduction in 1991, the Wimberley Head has become the industry standard for serious nature photographers."

I am relatively new to photography, so this is the first time I have seen a comparable gimbal head for such a price.

The overall point I was trying to make (in a tounge-in-cheek manner) was that it is a little
...Show more

The original Wimberley head you are refering to here is discontinued. And was replaced with the head in your link many years ago.
And you actually wrote that it was ok because the knock-off hit the market now. And then the 20 years of the patent was gone. Neither of those statements where true.
I have seen the Chinese and other Asian Wimberley knock-offs for nearly 10 years time.



Apr 22, 2012 at 07:31 AM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.4 #7 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Smiert Spionam wrote:
Your analogy serves your rationalization, but otherwise it's very weak. For starters, you've got the FDA to ensure that the generic doesn't just look like, but actually performs like, the original. With yoour gimbal, you have no such protection. Furthermore, this is a matter of not only patents, but trademark; no drug maker can try to fool you into thinking that the product you're buying is actually Bayer,when it's actually cooked up in a Shenzhen counterfeit shop. And finally, I'd like to think that photographers would have a little more respect for the contributions that a tiny company made
...Show more

+1

Agree with everything you write



Apr 22, 2012 at 07:34 AM
Sjjindra
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p.4 #8 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Lars Johnsson wrote:
The original Wimberley head you are refering to here is discontinued. And was replaced with the head in your link many years ago.
And you actually wrote that it was ok because the knock-off hit the market now. And then the 20 years of the patent was gone. Neither of those statements where true.
I have seen the Chinese and other Asian Wimberley knock-offs for nearly 10 years time.


Lars and Smiert

Based on a few brief searches of the internet, Wimberley did not choose to apply for a patent to protect their original gimbal design. Evidently they did apply for a patent for their more recent model(s) in 2007. This is probably why products similar to their original design did not have to wait for a patent to expire.

From what I am reading online, A patent is to give one exclusive rights to a product, process, or technology, but only for a limited time, then it pretty much becomes public domain for other to imitate or develop further. This allows a technology to become more readilly available to more, usualy due to lower costs. I do not normally, nor do I expect others, to make it a practice to research the legality of a patent or whether one is still in effect before making a purchase.

As with Dove soap (and many other products), the patent has expired and they no longer have exclusive rights to the formula. My local pharmacy and grocery store, have a generic soap that says on the label, "Comparable to Dove" at about half the price and is almost as good as Dove, so I buy it sometimes and sometimes still buy the original. So unless CVS or Kroger are placing themselves at great liability, there is nothing wrong with comparing your product to "the industry standard" that it is comparable, but not necessarily equal, to.

Generic drugs, of course, have to meet the FDA standards, and other products still have to meet certain safety standards, where they apply, but the rights are no longer exclusive and we benifit from substantially cheaper prices.

I do not expect the gimbal head I ordered to be as good a quality as the Wimberley. I ordered mine through Amazon and payed a little more than Bifurcator's link, but that way I do have the option to return if not satisfied.

Thanks




Apr 22, 2012 at 08:57 AM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.4 #9 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Sjjindra wrote:
Lars and Smiert

Based on a few brief searches of the internet, Wimberley did not choose to apply for a patent to protect their original gimbal design. Evidently they did apply for a patent for their more recent model(s) in 2007. This is probably why products similar to their original design did not have to wait for a patent to expire.

From what I am reading online, A patent is to give one exclusive rights to a product, process, or technology, but only for a limited time, then it pretty much becomes public domain for other to imitate or develop further. This
...Show more

This is not at all what you wrote before in your posts. You change it all the time to match your opinions. And to make your gimbal head and your conscience good And how can you say it's ok if they got their patents 2007. Many of the Wimberley knock off heads are made after 2007.
And the Wimberley II head where made before 2007 also. They didn't compare their product against the industri standard Wimberley. They wrote that their head was based on the Wimberley. Comparing it with your Dove soap is just ridiculous.
If you like to use your knock off it's ok. I don't belive anyone here mind that. But don't change your story all the time to have a good conscience

You should read the long thread from a couple of weeks ago in the General forum. Another Chinese ballhead company that makes knock off heads (Sunwayfoto) where even stealing photos from a member here at FM. And using them on their websites when selling their products.


Edited on Apr 22, 2012 at 10:18 AM · View previous versions



Apr 22, 2012 at 09:39 AM
ukkisavosta
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p.4 #10 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


What if I tell you that it actually isn't a Wimberley clone but a Benro one?

http://www.made-in-china.com/showroom/gzbeckb833836/offer-detailsoWEPGivhlcr/Sell-Gimbal-Head-for-span-style-color-red-Camera-span-Tripod-BK-45-.html

"BK-45 Gimbal Head was modelled after Benro Gimbal Head GH-2."

But if we delve a bit deeper into the issue that this gimbal is a perfect example of, it will be interesting to see 1) how much more debt the West will be able to sustain, and 2) when the East will run out of cheap labour.

I'd be willing to hazard the following guesses:

1) not very much
2) not very soon



Apr 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM
 

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Sven Jeppesen
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p.4 #11 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


They say on their website in the link from the OP that it's based on the Wimberley head. But i'm sure they will say anything or change it, if they belive they can make more money that way
And Benro products are mostly knock offs and copies from others to start with



Apr 22, 2012 at 10:20 AM
nalahm
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p.4 #12 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


I used wimberley I , II and I thought they were the best gimbal .
I think indoru may be the same as benro , we can exam both from outside look.
Finally I end up with a small video head set manfrotto 501 HDV 75mm half ball combine with 535 carbon legs. I'm really sure that this set is less vibration than my previous set.

just imo



Apr 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM
ukkisavosta
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p.4 #13 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


@Sven: I know, but the point I wanted to make is that it's the same gimbal, and you could probably get the factory to brand it "Svengimbal", if you ordered enough copies.

As far as we know, the Wimberley claim could have been made by Link delight themselves.

Edit: Ah, you edited your post. Yes, that's what I was after as well.

Jaakko



Apr 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM
Sjjindra
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p.4 #14 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Sven Jeppesen wrote

This is not at all what you wrote before in your posts. You change it all the time to match your opinions. And to make your gimbal head and your conscience good And how can you say it's ok if they got their patents 2007. Many of the Wimberley knock off heads are made after 2007.
And the Wimberley II head where made before 2007 also. They didn't compare their product against the industri standard Wimberley. They wrote that their head was based on the Wimberley. Comparing it with your Dove soap is just ridiculous.
If you like to use
...Show more

Sven

At the time I ordered the Gimbal head, there had been no discussion of the knock offs on this thread. I ordered the part and did not and still do not assume others are breaking the law in producing and selling the product. The research I performed was mainly in Bifurcator's behalf after comments were made that at times seemed a little high handed in response to his sharing a link for a product he thought others would appreciate.

My original research determined that the original Wimberley design was in 1991, and I assumed (mistakenly) that it was patented in that year, which would mean the patent would expire in 2011 or earlier. When Lars pointed out that other knock offs came out before 2011, that spurred me to additional research. That is when I discovered that Wimberley did not patent their first design. To my knowlege, the 2007 patent would only protect the more recent inovations and not the original design. No one has established that any laws have been broken or that the manufacturer infringed on any patents. Even Wimberley's original design and the especially the Sidekick are similar to some earlier telescope mounts, but I would never to presume to call it an infringment.

What standard or level of research are we to hold to when making a purchase of this or any product that is not from the original designer or manufacturer? Are we to hold off from purchasing any generic/knock-off product until we have confirmed by a trusted authority (whoever that may be) that the original manufacturer is no longer due protection by the patent laws?

I still believe the generic soap analogy is a good clean one (still trying to maintain some level of tongue-in-cheek here) or it could be auto parts, the weed eater, or 1,000s of other products.

Thanks


Edited on Apr 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM · View previous versions



Apr 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM
ukkisavosta
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p.4 #15 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Sjjindra,

I was about to make the same question earlier, i.e. whether the original J-shape design is an original Wimberley innovation. I was also going to make the assumption that similar designs have probably existed before, and indeed, you've found out that earlier telescope mounts share the design.

FWIW, I wouldn't be too concerned about the question of infringement in this case, and I'd actually venture so far as to say that the biggest concern is the fact that Wimberley is mentioned in the marketing material for the BK-45. Furthermore, I'm also quite certain that the majority of people looking to buy this product are well aware that it is obviously not a Wimberley.

Although I can understand the concern expressed in this thread, such designs have existed before and it is obvious that the BK-45 is not a clone of said Wimberley due to differences in measurements, brand name and external features. I doubt that a lawsuit would hold, as one would only need to produce a shot of an old telescope gimbal to prove that the design is not original.



Apr 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.4 #16 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Sven Jeppesen wrote:
You should read the long thread from a couple of weeks ago in the General forum. Another Chinese ballhead company that makes knock off heads (Sunwayfoto) where even stealing photos from a member here at FM. And using them on their websites when selling their products.


That was me.

It was obviously a frustrating incident, but at least Sunway had the decency to respond and try to work things out with me -- something I would never expect from the LinkDelight generic shops. Sometime in the next week or two, I'll put up a longer response and some comments about Sunway and their products, but in brief: part of what makes the Sunway case interesting is that I believe they're trying hard to be something other than a knock-off manufacturer. Their model is Markins, not Benro. That's an important distinction, and in my longer post I'll try to explain why.

Ultimately, I think what I'm most arguing for is a moment of ethical reflection before making these kinds of purchases. We'll all come to different conclusions, because there are a number of relevant factors: the nature of the product, the source of the original, the fidelity of the copy, the level of customer service or lack thereof, the means of sale and distribution, the seller's honesty or lack thereof about the source, etc.

What I find troubling here is the level of ethical rationalization through weak analogies and a self-serving misunderstanding of intellectual property.



Apr 22, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Bifurcator
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p.4 #17 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Yup! and this is exactly what I meant when I wrote: "...especially when said deeds themselves are so easily confounded...". There are just too many unknown variables to make a clear and completely ethical call. Not only on this but on so many other items as well. A few months ago I purchased 50 rear lens caps (10 for each of 5 different brands @ $0.50 each) and they look almost identical to the original maker caps from the 80's. The differences are subtle - like only having the small word "FOR" atop the respective logos. I had the same measure of trepidation for that purchase as well. Where do we draw the line? I know I would never buy stolen property. I purposely avoid the uber-cheap deals on flea-bay because the chances of the items being stolen are extremely high - same goes for KH or whatever it's called. I'm certain that over half of their cheap deals are stolen! So I just don't participate. And if it's a direct name copy like if this BK-45 were to have the word "Wimberly" (sic) written on it or something I wouldn't have gone for it. And so on and so forth. Everyone has to make their own calls on this stuff. There is no clear-cut, one size fits all, perfect answer - there's just too much grey area.



Apr 22, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.4 #18 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Which is exactly why it's ultimately the terrain of ethics, not absolute morality. The latter is a discourse of immutable truths (or at least truths that are held to be immutable, which is not exactly the same thing), while ethics is the process of weighing multiple moral principles and determining a just course of action. It is inherently contextual, and we'll all navigate through it a little differently. The thing I most object to is blatant deception -- of others or of oneself -- in the service of an ethical rationalization.

You're mistaken about KEH, though. They're the most reliable used equipment dealer in the US -- a reputation earned over many years, and thousands of repeat customers. Unless you simply never buy any used equipment on the principle that it might be stolen, you'll never find a more ethical source.



Apr 22, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Bifurcator
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p.4 #19 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Smiert Spionam wrote:
The thing I most object to is blatant deception -- of others or of oneself -- in the service of an ethical rationalization.


Me too!


You're mistaken about KEH, though. They're the most reliable used equipment dealer in the US -- a reputation earned over many years, and thousands of repeat customers. Unless you simply never buy any used equipment on the principle that it might be stolen, you'll never find a more ethical source.

Nope! Sorry! They do NOT check serial numbers against any kind of stolen property list(s). It's impossible for them to know. But when the users sell through them SO CHEAPLY there is very obviously something fishy going on at least half the time - if not more often! $100 to $150 lenses selling for $15 to $25... Is it too good to be true? You bet your ass it is! And it'll be close to or exactly the same ratio as it is on e-bay (whatever it actually is).




ukkisavosta wrote:
@Sven: I know, but the point I wanted to make is that it's the same gimbal, and you could probably get the factory to brand it "Svengimbal", if you ordered enough copies.


You probably wouldn't have to order any quantity. Just get them to replace this little paper label or even do it yourself. Add a longer warrantee and it becomes a legal VAR product - AFAIK:






FL 58/1.2

  DMC-GH1    1/160s    320 ISO    0.0 EV  



Edited on Apr 23, 2012 at 01:46 AM · View previous versions



Apr 22, 2012 at 03:57 PM
wfektar
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p.4 #20 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Thread's drifting, which is fine. But now it has me wondering: is the Arca-Swiss clamp an open standard?

The Beike may well be a ripoff from the Wimberley, although several of the details that Bifurcator list indicate that it's not an exact copy, or even (for balance points) a functionally exact copy. After all, gimbal mounts have been around for ages. But you can't argue that for the Arca-Swiss style clamp and plate. And they're hardly alone in that. Looking through the websites of Acratech, Induro, Kirk, Markins, RRS, Sunwayfoto, and Wimberley at least indicate that they all claim to use the "Arca Swiss standard" and some go on to say that it's an industry standard. In fact the Chinese make a bigger deal of acknowledging that (probably for sales reasons) than the US companies, some of whom seem to mention it only in passing. But nobody claims it's been licensed or even that A-S is a private company. Did A-S open or license the clamp standard? If they didn't, why is everyone using it (aside from the obvious reason that it works so well). Pretty sure that the tension control as implemented on the B1 was also an A-S first, but everyone uses that as well.

Me, I have the Sunway disc clamp, for the very shallow reason that it looks good on the P0 (which at the time was available either clamp-less or with a Slidefix-only clamp). While I was at it I noticed that they also had a long rectangular clamp, which I use on a Manfrotto 410. So I'm as guilty as anyone for using "Arca-standard" non-Arca kit.



Apr 22, 2012 at 10:15 PM
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