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View Full Version : Head "stole" flexpoint tech from Dunlop!


TommyGun
02-28-2005, 02:36 AM
Dunlop i-Zone=Head flexpoint!

Go to www.dunlopsportsonline.com. Technology is two years old, according to the former Racket Design manager at Dunlop, who now has his own company.

So, do you think Dunlop should "go after" Head?

There is also a thread in the "racquets" section with another link.

Morpheus
02-28-2005, 04:25 AM
Dunlop would go after Head if Head were infringing on their intellectual property. It is possible Head circumvented Dunlop's patent, if they have one. That happens all the time.

Seems like a dumb idea anyway.

GuyPerez
02-28-2005, 04:33 AM
Morpheus,
Write me at guyperez@yahoo.com. I grew up in Bermuda (Pembroke as a matter of fact). We may know each other.

Just last night we were considering planning a week or two there in Mid July.

BreakPoint
02-28-2005, 12:21 PM
Seems like Head and Dunlop have been going "head-to-head" (yes, pun intended) with each other for years (e.g., Safin, Haas, etc.)

ibemadskillzz
02-28-2005, 02:09 PM
i-zone is different. it doesn't have the hole drilled

Datacipher
02-28-2005, 03:52 PM
Dunlop would go after Head if Head were infringing on their intellectual property. It is possible Head circumvented Dunlop's patent, if they have one. That happens all the time.


Yes, those cases get very silly and sticky. Sometimes the arguments come down to things like "no, no you patented such and such in a 95sq inch head....ours is a 98 inch frame!" If the technology sells, all the companies will try to come out with their version of it anyways....

Racketdesign
02-28-2005, 05:03 PM
almost true...

there is however the amusing point that Dunlop had this technology on thier pre strung range... where as Head are going to push it as a "premium" technology

NoBadMojo
02-28-2005, 05:32 PM
it <appears to be> different technology like IbeMad indicates, so i'm not understanding the relevance (sp?).

TommyGun
02-28-2005, 05:39 PM
NBM,

Not different at all, maybe Head uses the hole to get around any possible patent or copywrite infringement. If you take a close look its the same. Indents at 3 and 6, even little dots. If you look at the demonstration animation, it is even the same.

It will be quite interesting to watch though.

I ran some quick calculations on the hoop stresses in a player type frame and something tells me that there are going to be quite a few broken rackets if a good, strong player serves hard and hits hard and flat.

Racketdesign
02-28-2005, 05:40 PM
really ? both have "features" in the frame at 3 and 9 oclock. Both give the the benifit as "cupping" the ball... as indicated in the diagrams.....seem pretty similar to me

What would be the main points of difference you have found NBM ?

NoBadMojo
02-28-2005, 06:01 PM
i didnt look THAT closely because it didnt interest me so much, but the flexpoint has holes at 3 and 9 drilled trough the profile of the frame and i didnt see that the Dunlop does? that , to me, makes it something entirely different and i dont think a conceptual patent can be acquired on creating flexpoints in a frame, and clearly it isnt a design patent infringement. it would also very much depend on what types of patents these companies had on these 'technologies'. i dont think you can patent the dots nor do i think Head will introduce frames that are going to break by normal use, and i think will have checked them in a bit more detail than TommyGun has before launching an entire productline. but al of this is just speculation of course, but i really dont see anything copied....i just dont see how they are close to the same because of the two big honkin holes in the Head :O ..thats a huge difference...my opinion and you guys obviously disagree which is fine with me..if lawsuits are flying i will gladly eat my words, but i just dont see that happening for a myriad of reasons

Racketdesign
02-28-2005, 06:22 PM
Your right as usual NBM.. they arent in the least bit similar.

Just for the record, I was more amused at the different price point levels that a "similar" technology was being pitched, rather than being concerned that Head had, in my (wrongful) opinion copied the "concept".

but I was mistaken, as was TG. They are completely different, like chalk and cheese.

spinbalz
02-28-2005, 06:41 PM
I understand the Flexpoint effect shown by the demonstration animation, but only if the player strikes the ball where the flexpoint which has almost only the size of a 2 cents coin is located, but it can't work when the player miss the flexpoint [which will be very often on most hits for most of the players], and hit the ball lower or higher than the flexpoint? Wouldn't it lead to an unpredictable response of the stringbed depending of where the is the ball impact? SO, I SAY JUNK !!!

NoBadMojo
02-28-2005, 06:52 PM
Paul i dont know if you are being sarcastic or sincere in your post...shall i guess sarcastic? i took a closer look and they are even less similar (to me) on the revisit...the dunlop uses incisions in the frame to create flex and it sure doesnt look like the Head frame does that to create flex..as a racquetman, i think you would agree that manufacturers have been controlling flexpoints in frames for a really long time..i dont see how the concept of that can be patentable ....mostly, i just didnt see how someone would would start a bold faced claim with emphasis that Head 'stole' something from Dunlop by looking at a couple websites...that's pretty unfounded... holes and 'waves' or whatever are different than incisions i would think most everyone would agree...but i do agree that both means would alter flexpoints ...if you will scroll up, you will note that all i said was that his appears to be different technology, which is obviously is, and nowthat sent people off on a rant..how about instead we just declare you and TommyGun correct as usual and me wrong..that's quite fine with me, have a nice eve, and you will excuse me if i vacate this thread. Ed

TommyGun
02-28-2005, 07:16 PM
Ed,

go to this link http://www.head-div.gr.jp/tennis/tennis_top.html and you will see that the flex points are in fact scooped out but the Radical has an added hole. I'm not sure about the "6".

If you go to the Dunlop site, you will see that while not as scooped, the flex points are basically divots in the frame. Dunlop just puts smaller ones and a few more in then Head.

The operational concept is exactly the same, execution is slightly different. Just interesting that Head would choose to go at it two years later after the Dunlop attempt. Now that could be because technology has matured, or it could be that the marketing and development guys just missed it (being in this part of the biz, I will tell you that often ideas are copied not because they are stolen, but because two people have the same idea and after that no one bothers to see if its out there already.) Either way, Head's execution of the concept is different enough that they can probably be able to get around any protection that Dunlop may have.

I think Spinbalz has a very valid point, and I think Head will experience this soon, that if the head can flex in one direction then it can flex in the other direction as well. Hit too high on the frame, the hoop ain't gonna cup the ball. Too low? Not exactly sure.

My fault for using the thread title.

Power Game
02-28-2005, 08:04 PM
I agree with Nobadmojo, the only similarity is the idea of something increasing dwell time via making the frame more flexible. Head is a huge company with alot of money, they put extensive research and testing into all racquets. I highly doubt we'll see any problems with these racquets. I'm waiting for the flexpoint prestige.

BreakPoint
02-28-2005, 10:38 PM
I might be wrong on this, but didn't Wilson go after every company that tried to introduce anything that was even remotely similar to the PWS (Perimeter Weighting System) at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions on their racquets? Didn't matter if it was bulges like Wilson's PWS, just anything that added weight to those two areas. (Surprised they don't try and sue people who put lead tape at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions on non-Wilson racquets, but I guess the legal costs would be astronomical) :lol:

Sounds like this might be a similar situation. If Wilson was able to patent the concept of weight embedded into the hoop at the 3 and 9 o'clock positons (and I don't know this since I have not researched Wilson's PWS patent), they might have been able to use that to stop any other racquet manufacturer from putting weight in those two areas no matter how they did it or what they looked like. So I guess in this case, if Dunlop does indeed have a patent on the concept of flexpoints embedded into the hoop at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions, that might be enough to file a patent infringement claim against Head for copying the concept. I'm not saying Dunlop will definitely win, of course. When you file a patent, you want it to be as broad as possible so that it covers as many variations as possible, so as to discourage competitors from trying to copy your concept using something similar even if the execution might be different. This is all speculation, of course, since none of us, except perhaps Racketdesign, knows if Dunlop even filed a patent for this concept.

christo
02-28-2005, 10:47 PM
Why spend money on litigation when this concept will be in the sale bins at TW in about a years time. O.K. 18 months then.

NoBadMojo
02-28-2005, 10:57 PM
i'm back in...the wilson pws system really has little to do with the bumps..if you would cut the frame open at that point you would just find there is air in them there bumps i do believe..this was explained to me by a former tennis coach of a famous pro who was playing a mold designed after the pro staff (pmac's frame)...no bumps. a sweet frame by the way. he said the bumps dont do anything and that you can concentrate weight at 3 and 9 without the gimmick.. as for the dunlop thing being similar to the head..sure i guess so...a chain saw is similar to a car..they both have engines..a motorcycle is more similar to a car..it has an engine and wheels....this really isnt all that similar..to me when wilson came out with power holes that was alot more similar to already patented volkl big grommets than the dunlop thing is to the flexpoint thing, and power holes coexisted w. big grommets in tennisland. suggest that the pws was only a cosmetic design and name patent rather than a functional patent...wilson could never sue anyone for concentrating more weight at 3 and 9..

Deuce
03-06-2005, 12:26 AM
Tommy, what brand of toilet paper do you use when you wipe Paul's *** for him? Between your over-the-top pro-Vantage posts, your going after a guy on **** for selling a Vantage frame, and now this... if you're not wiping Paul's ***, your lips must be incredibly sore from kissing it.

For those who aren't aware, Paul is 'Racketdesign' on these boards. As far as I know, he is also the head person at Vantage, and formerly worked in the Dunlop design department.

On the subject of one company 'stealing' gimmicks (that's all these things are) from other companies... I believe that Wilson threatened Prince a few years ago, claiming that Prince's 'Triple Threat Technology' infringed on, and was too similar to, Wilson's 'Hammer Technology'.

They make a racquet head-heavy, and call it 'technology'. And stupid people believe it.

TommyGun
03-06-2005, 03:52 AM
Deuce,

Don't know what your point is in this thread. I started it. I happened to notice it when I was looking at the new Dunlop site. The concept is the same, and the execution is similar enough, having been to court for infringement cases before, If Dunlop had any protections I think Head would have a hard time defending it in court. I did a quick patent search and didn't find anything immediately, so I'm not sure what Head is saying they are patenting.

The other thing to look out for is a trademark case from Oakley. The O3 symbol is too similar to Oakley's O. I know from sources that Oakley has been contacted about it and that they have turned it over to their legal dept.

Gaines Hillix
03-06-2005, 06:21 AM
I understand the Flexpoint effect shown by the demonstration animation, but only if the player strikes the ball where the flexpoint which has almost only the size of a 2 cents coin is located, but it can't work when the player miss the flexpoint [which will be very often on most hits for most of the players], and hit the ball lower or higher than the flexpoint? Wouldn't it lead to an unpredictable response of the stringbed depending of where the is the ball impact? SO, I SAY JUNK !!!

Have to agree on this one. Guess that's why they this one only made it to a single model in their recreational frame line. We'll have to see how successful Head is with theirs.

TennisD
03-12-2005, 03:56 AM
It's funny, because anyone who is NOT an idiot can see that the technologies are completely different. I mean, the whole design is different, even if the idea is the same...

david aames
03-12-2005, 06:34 AM
And how is this tread relevant to 'pros' racquets and gear'?

Interesting to see how a few other threads in the manner of 'I tested the Flexpoint today and it rules' end up here. I don't mean to sound paranoid but the question has been raised before. Knowing how the industry is behaving it wouldn't be too far fetched to have Head telling their paid pros to promote the frame on this very BB before its release... I mean how can one be excited about this product?

TennisD
03-12-2005, 06:39 AM
The first of the "I tested the FlexPoint" was mine. Sorry about that. I suppose it doesn't have anything to do with it.

Head? Telling people to promote the frame on the BB? I don't think so. This place doesn't have as much impact as you think. I've tested many a Head pre-production racquet in the last 18 months, and this is the only time I've said a thing.

And I'm not even under contract with Head yet...

zorg
03-24-2005, 03:00 PM
I wonder though. You think the holes at the 3 and 9 do anything or are there for extra emphasis that that is a flexpoint racket. What I mean is that do they actually do anything, or are they there for the brain to think they do something.

bc-05
03-25-2005, 05:40 PM
patents only work when head uses the same technology and same name.. i don't know about overseas but in australia exclusive dealings are illegal.. that means companies can copy others technology as long as they make the name different.. e.g. normal clothing company can make just say an arsenal (soccer club) jersey as long as they dont put the nike logo on it.. so i guess head can do this.. doesn't matter... but as for head copying dunlop.. i agree it's a very similar technology just different approach.. its like woofer and roller.. it does the same thing just different look...

Morpheus
03-25-2005, 06:12 PM
patents only work when head uses the same technology and same name.. i don't know about overseas but in australia exclusive dealings are illegal.. that means companies can copy others technology as long as they make the name different.. e.g. normal clothing company can make just say an arsenal (soccer club) jersey as long as they dont put the nike logo on it.. so i guess head can do this.. doesn't matter... but as for head copying dunlop.. i agree it's a very similar technology just different approach.. its like woofer and roller.. it does the same thing just different look...

Sorry, but I believe you are confusing trademark law with patent law. Even in Australia (:) ) companies are protected from others infringing upon their intellectual property. A patent gives you the right to stop others from using and selling your invention. You can manufacture and commercialize an invention yourself or license the invention to another company. A trademark on the other hand, protects the identity of your goods and services and is important in supporting your brand.

Companies attempt to circumvent patents all the time, sometimes they get sued and lose, sometimes they find a way around the patent. Many companies are very aggressive in this area because they know that a good offense is the best defense. 3M, for example, is widely known as an aggressive litigator. Mess with one of their patented technologies and you will find yourself in court. This aggressiveness keeps others from making the attempt.