Upload & Sell: On
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.