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JRstriker12
05-04-2007, 06:30 AM
Check this out: http://www.tennis.com/news/news.aspx?id=76932

I doubt that that pro was the only one to have the idea for the Fed/NAdal, Grass/Clay battle but she may have a reasonable complaint if she really has the patent on that type of court.

This should be interesting. I bet IMG settles out of court and the teaching pro gets a pay-day.

Gugafan_Redux
05-04-2007, 07:11 AM
I heard it was Richard Williams' idea.

Also, Al Gore invented the grass court.

norcal
05-04-2007, 07:13 AM
I'm surprised someone would want to take credit for such a dumb idea.

JRstriker12
05-04-2007, 07:33 AM
I'm surprised someone would want to take credit for such a dumb idea.

I doubt she wants the credit... just the money.

forzainter
05-04-2007, 07:36 AM
im sure there is more than one person has patented this in different places, she obviously didnt make it big in pro tennis and now she wants money

Serve 'em hard
05-04-2007, 07:50 AM
I'm not a lawyer, but from my limited understanding of such issues, one can't really patent "ideas" (though one can copyright full fledged products and books and songs, of course) and she has no case. For instance, here's another similar idea: All four Slam surfaces on one court, red clay on one quarter, rebound ace on the other, US Open hard court on another quarter, and grass on the other. Furthermore, it's a doubles match, and a person from each country has to play their own quarter -- Murray on grass, Gasquet on clay, Roddick on hard court, Hewitt on Rebound ace.

Now, if they were to go ahead and implement this idea after they heard about it from them in a letter or whatever, I'd have no claim because, um, well, I don't know why. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't...

forzainter
05-04-2007, 07:51 AM
I'm not a lawyer, but from my limited understanding of such issues, one can't really patent "ideas" (though one can copyright full fledged products and books and songs, of course) and she has no case. For instance, here's another similar idea: All four Slam surfaces on one court, red clay on one quarter, rebound ace on the other, US Open hard court on another quarter, and grass on the other. Furthermore, it's a doubles match, and a person from each country has to play their own quarter -- Murray on grass, Gasquet on clay, Roddick on hard court, Hewitt on Rebound ace.
Now, if they were to go ahead and implement this idea after they heard about it from them in a letter or whatever, I'd have no claim because, um, well, I don't know why. I'm not a lawyer...

sorry, but i've already patented that idea.

MordredSJT
05-04-2007, 08:00 AM
She has a legal US patent on the dual surface court design. She filed for it, they gave it to her. She proposed to IMG the idea of having Federer play Nadal on the court that she patented. They told her they weren't interested. Then they went ahead and built a clay/grass court and had Federer and Nadal play on it. How is that not legally actionable? At the very least they are infringing on her patent and should have to pay her a little money for it. At worst they just plain ripped off the whole idea from her and owe her some of the money they might have made.

JRstriker12
05-04-2007, 08:02 AM
I'm not a lawyer, but from my limited understanding of such issues, one can't really patent "ideas" (though one can copyright full fledged products and books and songs, of course) and she has no case. For instance, here's another similar idea: All four Slam surfaces on one court, red clay on one quarter, rebound ace on the other, US Open hard court on another quarter, and grass on the other. Furthermore, it's a doubles match, and a person from each country has to play their own quarter -- Murray on grass, Gasquet on clay, Roddick on hard court, Hewitt on Rebound ace.

Now, if they were to go ahead and implement this idea after they heard about it from them in a letter or whatever, I'd have no claim because, um, well, I don't know why. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't...


You'd be surpised what you can patent. For example, some research labs have patented DNA sequences that appear in every living human being. How they can "patent" something that they didn't create and natually appears in your body is beyond me.

IIRC, there was a legal case of the ideas that Amazon developed in online shopping, which they had patented.

You can also patent ideas contained in software.

There may be other legal ways ways that would give her ownership of such an idea of an event.

Companies claim ownership over ideas and intellectual property all the time. If she really did go to IMG, she was stupid in not getting them to sign some sort of IP clause or non-disclosure clause.

In this case, I think she's claiming ownership of the grass/clay court, which could be something that is patented, more than the idea of a Nadal/Fed match.

sureshs
05-04-2007, 08:04 AM
I'm surprised someone would want to take credit for such a dumb idea.

Not a dumb idea if IMG is making millions off it.

Many patents look like dumb ideas. It is dumb only if you haven't thought about it yourself first. An innovation doesn't have to be earth-shaking or benefit anyone. It can simply be an idea. Most businesses are based on simple ideas that someone thought of first. In hindsight, it seems trivial.

sureshs
05-04-2007, 08:05 AM
John Cauthen is reading this and thinking - been there, done this.

sureshs
05-04-2007, 08:06 AM
Al Gore invented the grass court.

That is an inconvenient truth.

Fedace
05-04-2007, 08:10 AM
She just became instant millionare.

drakulie
05-04-2007, 08:14 AM
Also, Al Gore invented the grass court.

I thought he invented grass>>> not only grass courts?

grizzly4life
05-04-2007, 08:46 AM
o.k., here are some ideas i've come up with...

grass-hard
hard-clay
red clay-green clay
carpet-grass
carpet-hard
carpet-clay
rubber-grass
rubber-hard
rubber-clay
rubber-carpet.

and i've got lawyers working on variations within the surface types. we've identified over 20 types of clay.... just to give you an idea of the magnitude of this.

oh yes, and 6 minute, 4 minute and 5 minute abs (i know i borrowed this humor)

Shaolin
05-04-2007, 09:43 AM
I thought he invented grass>>> not only grass courts?

Chuck Norris invented grass courts, in addition to s&v tennis.

Netbudda
05-04-2007, 09:53 AM
I'm surprised someone would want to take credit for such a dumb idea.

Let me get this right...a Dumb idea that was executed succesfully and the public enjoyed big time.

dyvan
05-04-2007, 10:34 AM
If IMG would have had Roger and Nadal play in the US, then it might have resulted in patent infringement. However, unless the woman received a patent for the dual court in Spain, then it would appear that the patent infringement claim has no real merit.

Regarding the other claims, I'm guessing it will depend upon whether or not she had IMG sign some kind of agreement. Unless she had IMG sign a non-disclosure agreement or unless IMG made some other type of representation, IMG would be free to use the dual court idea in a jurisdiction not covered by the patent.

Really there is not enough information in the article to conclusively say what the likely result will be.

JRstriker12
05-04-2007, 10:51 AM
If IMG would have had Roger and Nadal play in the US, then it might have resulted in patent infringement. However, unless the woman received a patent for the dual court in Spain, then it would appear that the patent infringement claim has no real merit.

Regarding the other claims, I'm guessing it will depend upon whether or not she had IMG sign some kind of agreement. Unless she had IMG sign a non-disclosure agreement or unless IMG made some other type of representation, IMG would be free to use the dual court idea in a jurisdiction not covered by the patent.

Really there is not enough information in the article to conclusively say what the likely result will be.

Even if it's played outside the U.S. I am sure we have agreement with a friendly country like Spain or the European Union about patents and intellectual property.

I would also guess that IMG has it's corporate HQ in the U.S. or has substantial assets/operations on the U.S. If she wins, she could go after those assets and still get paid.

Taram_Nifas
05-04-2007, 11:43 AM
What a stupid lawsuit. She didn't invent Clay, she didn't invent Grass, she doesn't have rights to promote Nadal or Federer. Who's the patent officer that granted her the patent in the first place?

Serve 'em hard
05-04-2007, 11:46 AM
If the woman actually developed a specific dual surface that they used or copied, then maybe she has a case. But I can't believe one can come up with the "idea" of a dual surface match and patent that. I know I can't successfully sue Paramount pictures if I come up with a general idea like the "moon crashes into earth" and they make a movie about the moon crashing into the earth two years from now. (I might be successful if I wrote a script with a plot and characters and dialogue and they then they appropriated that. But just the general idea? Nope.)

Also, I don't know how the patent office works, but I'm guessing it works similar to the copyright office and serves as a place to register your ideas instead of truly legally protect them. I doubt if I develop some gizmo and send it to the patent office and pay my registration fee that they are going to go to the trouble of analyzing my product, comparing it to every other product they have ever granted a patent to make sure it doens't infringe on THOSE patents, actually examine my idea/product to see if it works or even makes sense or is even something patentable, and then sign off on it. The manpower for doing that would just be tremendous. I'm guesing they just catalogue the information in some mechanized way that takes about 5 minutes for them to do.

I'm slightly more familiar with the copyright office, so let me use that as an example. Let's say I write a book that I copy word for word from Ernest Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea", but let's say I call it "The boy and the water." I send in my manuscript, fill out the form, and pay my copyright fee. In return, I will receive a certificate of copyright for "The Boy and the water" with no questions asked.

Now, why did they just grant me a supposed copyright on a book I stole from someone else? Because no one at the copyright office read my manuscript! No one is going to read every single manuscript that pours into their offices everyday and compare them to every other written and copyrighted work that exists the world over. It's just not feasible. So even though I have received a "copyright" for "The Boy and the water", this copyright would never hold up in any sort of legal proceeding and I could not legally publish the book because I had copied a work that had already been published and truly copyrighted previously.

Where am I going with this tangent? Simple. Just because this lady may have some certificate from the patent office for whatever the hell she sent them, it may not mean squat in the real world or have any legal standing. All copyrights, and presumably patents, do for you is serve as a place to register things that may or may not be legally copyrightable or patentable for if and when the matter is contested or dealt with in any sort of legal setting.

In short, you need a lot more than a little certificate from a government office to ensure you truly own and control an idea or product. I bet I could send in a manuscript that has a 100 blank pages and receive a copyright certifcate for it if I paid the fee and filled out the form.

Taram_Nifas
05-04-2007, 11:54 AM
I'm suing Golden Boy Promotions, because in 2005 I submitted to them the idea of having Oscar De La Hoya fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. using Reyes gloves and fighting in the 154 lb weight class.

I had this fight promotion patented at the U.S Patent Office, when first approached Golden Boy Promotions rejected the idea, but tommorrow the De La Hoya vs Mayweather Jr. fight will occur at 154 lbs using Reyes gloves.........................

illkhiboy
05-04-2007, 01:13 PM
Chuck Norris invented grass courts, in addition to s&v tennis.

Yes he did. And also the roundhouse kick serve! Arite, I 'm gonna patent this sentence. It's mine.

TheNatural
05-04-2007, 01:41 PM
Not as stupid as this lawsuit for 67 million over a pair or trousers. Only in the USA.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/05/03/wtrousers03.xml

What a stupid lawsuit. She didn't invent Clay, she didn't invent Grass, she doesn't have rights to promote Nadal or Federer. Who's the patent officer that granted her the patent in the first place?