Lotto Racquets

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by RDM, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. RDM

    RDM New User

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    Anyone know much about Lotto’s racquet history?
    The reason I ask is because I found this a few days ago and cannot find anything online about Lotto racquets in general - let alone this particular model.
    <img src='https://i.imgur.com/gnte6M4.jpg' />
    <img src='https://i.imgur.com/YuV89Hu.jpg' />
    Wood and carbon composite. 378g, 2 points head light & 17mm beam thickness.
    I haven’t hit with it yet but it certainly feels quite “substantial” in the hand.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  2. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Looks like a Dunlop A-Player to me.

    http://www.80s-tennis.com/pages/dunlop-a-player-plus-racquet.html
     
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  3. RDM

    RDM New User

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    #3
  4. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    You're welcome. Probably just a Dunlop pj.
     
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  5. RDM

    RDM New User

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    So according to an old thread on the Dunlop A Player it would have been circa ‘82-‘83 and made by Kunnan (Pro Kennex) for Lotto alongside the Dunlop and Slazenger A Players as well as the Pro Kennex Golden/Graphite/Blue/Red/etc Wood composite Aces.
     
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  6. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I don't know...the A Player was a bit more keystone/egg shaped IF I'm viewing that pic properly. Maybe just slightly different. Doesn't mean it wasn't built by the same folks, of course.
    Maybe they are the same:
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/JZ0AAOSwonBaEyim/s-l1600.jpg
     
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  7. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Strange stringjob at the top of the head. Also different pj from A-Player that i have.
     
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  8. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I wondered if that could be a stretchy nylon/plastic cord we sold decades ago to mitigate scraping of the racket on the court. Pretty odd idea since scraping the same spot a couple of times would just sever the cord and leave it dangling!

    IF that's leftover string from the tie-off, then I'm at a loss to explain it!!!!! :)
     
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  9. RDM

    RDM New User

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  10. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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  11. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Dunlop and Slazenger were (and still are) one company. So this can be just a Slazenger pj of Dunlop A-Player.
     
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  12. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Pretty true, although the US distribution was compartmentalized(much to their detriment, IMO). There was little synergy between Dunlop and Slaz in the States and ZERO between golf and tennis(for many years).
     
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  13. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat G.O.A.T.

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    Not anymore. Sports direct sold off Dunlop Sport to Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. and retained Slazenger.
     
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  14. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    You mean to Srixon? Yes i forget it, but it was just a recent deal, wasn't it?
     
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  15. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    This move is very good for Dunlop and tennis at all, Dunlop made great racquets.
     
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  16. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    It will be better to sell Slazenger also to smbd interesting in producing real player's racquets.
     
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  17. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat G.O.A.T.

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    A year ago
     
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  18. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Not so long ago for me:).
     
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  19. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    Pat Cash used a wooden one (Pink in colour) (Just editing here it could have been a Stellar) in the mid 80's before he went Slazenger v24 and then Prince Magnesiim then Yonex R50
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  20. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Wooden one pink in colour what?
     
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  21. Crocodile

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    I'll see if I can find a picture, unless it was a Stellar instead
     
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  22. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Ok, i see. Is it an Australian brand?
     
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  23. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    I think so. They used to make squash racquets more than tennis. They were made in Taiwan along with brands like Emrik.
     
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  24. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Oh, i see. The same period? I have one Emrik, the model that Wally Masur played before swithed to Puma. Great flexible racquet.
     
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  25. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    Emrik Pinnacle / ceramic composition
     
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  26. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Mine is Emrik Magnum, graphite.
     
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  27. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Emrik racquet was bought in Australia in the early of 1986.
     
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  28. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Bright pink? Maybe a Blotto racquet. Hahaha
     
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  29. RDM

    RDM New User

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    I found another Lotto.
    Commander Boron. 350g plus in weight. 16x20 string pattern.17mm beam thickness. Looks like a square headed inverted bridge Rossignol.
    Does anyone recognise what this may be a clone of?
    [​IMG]upload photo
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
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  30. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Interesting racquet, Rossingnol immediately comes to mind but with more square head as you've mentioned. Was this inverted btidge a Rossignol patented technology?
     
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  31. RDM

    RDM New User

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    I believe Fila and Bancroft both made racquets with inverted bridges.
    This Lotto doesn’t seem to match any of the images I can find for them, or for any of the Rossignols. It must be a clone of something though I would think, as I doubt Lotto would have invested in a mould themselves when their business was not primarily racquets.
     
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  32. BorgCash

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    Yes, it should be a clone, but clone of what, that's the question.
     
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  33. Sanglier

    Sanglier Semi-Pro

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    Rossignol couldn't have patented their inverted bridge by itself, for the very simple reason that the resulting string bed profile was once the norm among wooden racquets. They did eventually obtain a patent centered around this feature (granted in France in 1987, as well as in the US two years later), but it was only in conjunction with another design feature that produced parallel beam profiles at 3 and 9 o'clock (producing strings of the same lengths at the center of the hoop in terms of both the mains and the crosses). The Lotto frame here almost certainly predated that patent, and wouldn't have violated it anyway, as its bridge is arced to a greater degree than its crown - resulting in center mains that are actually somewhat shorter than the mains immediately adjacent to them. while the crosses are all of conventional lengths. It looks like a Frankenstein hybrid between a Fischer Superform and a Rossignol, which was how many Taiwanese racquet makers used to come up with 'novel' designs of their own.

    This racquet doesn't need to be a clone of anything! Mold costs are not prohibitive when spread out over thousands (if not tens of thousands) of frames. The way things worked, Lotto could have gone to a Taiwanese contractor at a trade show and told them what they wanted, at what cost, and left the Taiwanese to work out the rest, or, perhaps even more likely, the Taiwanese had already worked something out, and gave Lotto a menu of choices to select from, and Lotto executives just picked out the one(s) that tickled their fancy. When it's all said and done, the Taiwanese might even put "Exclusively Designed for Super Advanced Championship Play by Incredibly Handsome Italian Engineers of Extreme Excellence" decals on the shaft, in reference to those Lotto executives. Who would ever check?!
     
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  34. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    You could be right in both ways. But i don't think Lotto needed tens of thousands, even thousands of racquets. In this case there should the identical frames under another brand, maybe Taiwanese.
     
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  35. BorgCash

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    Actually every new engineer thing can be patented. If nobody did tennis frame with inverted bridge before and there is nothing about string bed profile.
     
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  36. Sanglier

    Sanglier Semi-Pro

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    It's not that simple.

    I am not a patent lawyer, and there are a few lawyers on this board who know much more about the subject than I ever will, but I have looked thru about 250 utility and design patents related to racquets from the 1880s thru the present day, have talked to a couple of those patent authors personally, and have witnessed my wife obtain a dozen patents for her work (not tennis related) over the years. I can tell you with confidence that patent examiners are usually very stingy when it comes to granting claims! They will find every possible reason to reject the application based on prior art, even when the prior art is only marginally related to your field of invention. Not only must your invention be novel, but also "non-obvious", which can be defined as whatever the examiner thinks it means.

    Prosecuting a patent is expensive. If you are lucky, you are assigned to an examiner who will give you the benefit of the doubt and grant you the patent without too much back and forth, but if your claims are not on solid footing, someone could challenge them down the road and you might still lose. If you are not lucky, you could be assigned to an extremely unreasonable examiner who could make you go through many rounds of rejections and appeals, burning up a lot of cash for less and less potential return. For most "little guys", this kind of investment is seldom justified, unless you expect huge growths in the future, or if you plan to use your patent as an offensive weapon to generate revenue down the road.

    Rossignol never had an inverted bridge patent before 1987, even though the F series were developed almost a decade earlier. This could mean that they didn't bother to apply for one, or that they tried - and failed. Any examiner looking at their application would have pointed to the old convex wedge design as a prior art. It's a no brainer.

    Interestingly, a US patent was granted to a California racquet maker in 1986 - thus predating the eventual Rossignol patent by at least a year, wherein an inverted chevron bridge (not an arc) was illustrated and described. The rationale given for this bridge design is exactly the same as that given for the Rossignol. Given that Rossignol F-series had been around for years before the inverted chevron came out, one might wonder how this "invention" was allowed by the patent examiner. However, if you actually read the claims at the end of the published patent text, the inverted chevron is not among them. The actual patent was therefore limited to the materials and methods employed to make the racquet only, not the inverted bridge design!
     
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  37. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Thank you for this information. Are these very strict regulations international or different in different countries?
     
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  38. Sanglier

    Sanglier Semi-Pro

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    If your question is about patent application, in principle, it should be the same no matter where in the world you go, because a prior art is a prior art everywhere. You are not supposed to be able to patent XYZ in France, if XYZ already existed in the UK, for instance, even if it had never existed in France before, because XYZ can no longer be considered your invention. However, in practice it's not always possible to search the entire world for a prior art (patented or not), especially before everything became digitized. People are known to come up with similar ideas independently all the time. So whoever is able to prove that he/she came up with the idea first wins (provided that they applied for a patent within the time window allowed after their initial disclosure). Since the bulk of technological innovations originate from just a handful of countries, the rest of the world often defer to those countries when judging the merit of patent applications. If XYZ had been granted a US patent, it is more likely to be granted a patent elsewhere (the assumption being - if XYZ didn't exist in the US before, it probably didn't exist elsewhere either).

    if your question is about patent enforcement, then it's a jurisdiction matter. Once granted, a patent will remain enforceable unless and until it fails to survive a legal challenge within a given jurisdiction. This is why even though Howard Head's patent was nullified in Germany after Kuebler demonstrated that large head racquets already existed before Prince applied for a German patent, it did not affect the standing of the exact same patent in any of the other countries.

    Anyway, there is much more to it than this, but you will need to consult a patent lawyer if you want a more complete and accurate answer to your question.

    In relative terms, tennis racquet patents are very simple, and rarely broad enough to stop enterprising competitors from circumventing them with only minimal effort. They are very interesting historical records to study, but as profit generators, I don't think they fattened too many pockets beyond those of the patent attorneys!
     
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  39. BorgCash

    BorgCash Hall of Fame

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    Thank you very much for a very professional and comlete reply. It is a real joy to read it!
     
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  40. RDM

    RDM New User

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    After never having seen a Lotto tennis racquet in my life it now seems that anytime I even go near a Charity Shop there’s one in there.
    Lotto Zenith.
    85 in2 head size. 350g. 18mm beam width. 12 Points head light.
    [​IMG]gif upload
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
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