Texas Fishing Forum

Zman Chatterbait patent details

Posted By: Mulholland

Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 03:53 AM

Can anyone explain to me what exactly the patents protect? Is it just the blade attaching directly to the inline tie and the shape of the hex-blade? So all other bladed swim jigs/vibrating swim jigs etc. just use a different blade and a split ring and that fulfills the requirements to skirt the patents and sell their own vibrating/bladed jigs, correct? I just want a bit of clarification on these matters before I pursue tinkering with some of my own too much, should someone else potentially find them attractive enough to purchase...



Thanks,
Richard
Posted By: "Old School"

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 10:27 AM

Several years ago there was a lot of "chatter" on the forum about some of theses questions you ask. Basically what Zman would do is sue any small company and eventually they would stop producing lures. Why small companies? They couldn't afford to fight the bigger company with all the fees involved.
Posted By: slim 285

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 01:12 PM

The hex shaped blade is one of the properties . That is why everybody else"s bladed swim jigs have different designed blades
Posted By: 14Bass

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 01:14 PM

I'm surprised you dont already know. You seem to know a lot...
Posted By: TOMCAT21

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 01:27 PM

From what I have seen of the baits that claim to be "patent compliant" it is the direct attachment of the blade to the jig-head that seems to be key. All the new versions include one or two split rings between the jig-head and the blade.
Posted By: Big Red 12

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 01:38 PM

The only company I saw them really pursue in the lawsuit was Phenix Jigs.
Posted By: Big Swimbait

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 01:42 PM

They stopped D & M too which makes an awesome bait. Buy them while you can still find them.
Posted By: 90 5.0

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 01:48 PM

best bet is to spend some time reading all the stuff you can find on google patent search for chatterbaits,vibrating jigs etc.
Posted By: Mulholland

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 02:06 PM

Originally Posted By: 14Bass
I'm surprised you dont already know. You seem to know a lot...


I know a lot because I ask a lot of questions, like this one. So I appreciate the "compliment" but I'm looking for more knowledge. If you don't want to find out with me, or contribute to the conversation, feel free to not watch the thread instead of making smart remarks towards me if I have in some way spurned you by being a 'know-it-all' online. I don't have time to feud with people on a forum or remember any interaction we have had in the past.

As always, I'm sure some TFF'er will come forth with helpful information.


As for the D&M piranha swim jigs, I do not use them, but can anyone confirm that they wee discontinued with a prior design which had the blade affixed directly to the in like hook tie and reissued with a new design with the o-ring, or is it the current o-ring design you can purchase which was issued an order to halt production until redesign?

It is my understanding the patent protection covers only the hexagonal bent blade and it being affixed directly to the hook eye through a hole in the blade.
Posted By: slim 285

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 02:14 PM

I think you are right about the blade design and attachment .
Posted By: Mulholland

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 03:42 PM

I think so too but hopefully someone familiar with D&M can chime in to help shed more light. I can't find info on if the current Piranha's sold are the revision or the discontinued one due to patent conflicts with Zman... it the current ones on Tacklewarehouse work without patent issues I think I will be okay. If they don't, then mine will definitely not work.


edit: from D&M facebook post.... "We want to clear up any of the questions and rumors . Yes all of our bladed swim jigs have been discontinued. We were approached a few months ago claiming all our bladed swim jigs were infringing on patents held by an unnamed company after numerous talks with the company and some testing our baits fall into a grey area in the patent, so we basically got put over a barrel and we aren't large enough to take the fight back to them. We are sorry they wont be available any longer."

That does not bode well for what I had in mind. If they are in a grey area with a completely different blade affixed with a split ring not directly from the hook eye to the blade, my design would definitely garner unwanted attention if I tried to sell it... unless I managed to get a patent to clear that stated it was fundamentally different enough to hold its own patent... that seems like the only way to stop the Chatterbait from controlling the market...

I don't see how completely different attachment and blade can infringe on the patents held by Zman but I'm sure if D&M had to back down I wouldn't stand a chance... any more insight would be great but it seems like hope is dwindling...
Posted By: Mulholland

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 04:02 PM

Actually after looking at the D&M, I see it is directly fastened to the hook eye, not made with a split ring like the other 'legal' baits. Not sure why I thought they had a split ring... They just have the Partially open eyelet that you close yourself I guess? I can see where that pretty obviously breaks the patent given that it directly hooks to an inline hook eye on the blade. I might still be good then.

Then there are a half dozen others I see sold with the exactly same method though... maybe they just ignore the lawsuits? haha

The "chatterbox" is fundamentally different since it attaches under the blade with the clip not a split ring, but would also have a wildly different action I am sure given the attachment point. The Pepper custom baits is actually just a line through jig head, and lets a hook freely attach behind the head and a blade attach to the front so maybe it is different enough too... but many others are just a normal jig with an inline tie with the blade fixed to the hook eye.

Does anyone on here work with either D&M or Zman that could shed some light perhaps through PM or something for me?
Posted By: CCTX

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 07:29 PM

Google the following:
Zman vs Renosky

All the details are in those documents
Posted By: Joey Watts

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 07:45 PM

I was one of the first they came after about 5 years ago. Their patent did not cover enough at that time and I pretty much told them what they could do. Over the course of a year or two, they revised their patent and came back at me again. Had no choice but to stop advertising and selling them then. I have talked to the owner of ZMAN and their lawyers. Have even had lawyers look into this for me. You are correct in your assumption though. They have a Patent on their Blade and also have a Patent on it hooking directly to the eye of the jig. If you are using the Generic Blade that most are using and putting a split ring or two between the blade and the jig. Then you are fine and not a thing they can do or say about it. You also are not allowed to call what ever it is you are making a Chatter Bait as they own those words to. I was told a couple weeks ago from a very reliable source. They are now going after the people that sell parts for making your own that the blade hooks directly to the jig head. So if you are making your own, I would suggest you stock up on the parts to do so.
Posted By: Mulholland

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 09:23 PM

Thank you so much Joey, that is exactly the kind of clarity I needed. I don't think they will be able to fuss if what I have in mind works.

As for them pursuing people selling materials, I find that comical. If people were able to sell bricks with instructions on what NOT to do to turn it into booze during prohibition, I don' think Zman is going to be successful in barring the sale of items used to make a "chatter" bait.

I think for a company that doesn't want people using their patented technology, they sure don't do a lot to grow their market share, increase brand loyalty and awareness, or improve their products. If it was a good enough product there wouldn't be so much room for "knock offs"

In a world of 'building better mousetraps' it's only a matter of time until they get beat at their own game, and then they will be hosed. I just don't even see how you get a patent that involves connecting to a hook as part of the system... in a world where I can buy countless senko rip offs, I don't get how something like this gets so protected against competitive improvements.

If an o-ring cuts it though, I think I have something that'll work as well. Only time will tell...
Posted By: Big Red 12

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/12/14 09:41 PM

You might give Alex Finch a shout. He owns and makes them, Finch Nasty Bait Co.
Posted By: papamark

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 12:18 AM

I wouldn't own anything that Z man makes.
Posted By: Rob Lay

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 01:09 AM

Originally Posted By: papamark
I wouldn't own anything that Z man makes.


I keep going back and forth 50-50 on this. I don't like how they go after the little guys who don't have a chance, but too chicken [censored] to go after big companies.

Has anyone fought them with adequate legal resources and won? That would be the real indicator.

I strongly support American innovation and most of the patent system. Without it there wouldn't be as much incentive to innovate. I also don't want America to turn into China with a bunch of cheap knock-offs, many that claim they are the real thing.
Posted By: ZMFish

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 02:52 AM

Hello, I am the General Manager at Z-Man Fishing Products and was just directed to this thread. It appears that there is some misinformation out there about our patents and trademarks, and I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and explain a bit about our intellectual property and what it covers.

We have several different trademarks and patents that apply to the Chatter Bait series. First, we have registered trademarks on the ChatterBait brand name and several other related "Chatter" marks (e.g., ChatterFrog, ChatterBlade). Those essentially prevent others from using the "ChatterBait" name to describe other products (kind of like cola companies can't call their soft drink "Coke"). Second, we have a registered trademark (also known as trade dress protection) on the hex-shaped ChatterBlade; this essentially covers the non-functional yet distinguishing hexagonal shape of our blade and precludes other companies from using a blade shaped like a hexagon. Finally, we have two utility patents that cover the bladed-swim jig design of our ChatterBait brand bladed jigs. Essentially, a utility patent protects how something works, and among other things, our patents protect the direct head-to-blade connection that was pioneered by the ChatterBait line of baits. Each patent contains numerous claims and therefore cannot be easily simplified here, so I would refer anyone here to the patents themselves for further details. I am glad to provide copies of the patents and copies of industry press releases we have distributed to make others aware of them as well as do my best to help explain what the patents cover, though please understand that I am not a patent lawyer myself.

Regarding our patent enforcement efforts, it appears that there is a great deal of incorrect information out there concerning companies being contacted by lawyers, lawsuits being filed, and the like. In the past few years, our goal has been to contact other lure companies directly, one person in the tackle industry to another, to explain our patents and what they cover. I have personally reached out to a number of companies to make sure they were aware of and understand our trademarks and patents and what they cover. In almost all cases, others in the industry have been very understanding and have voluntarily stopped making and selling infringing products once they became aware of our intellectual property and what exactly it covered. Frankly, many folks out there, particularly smaller companies, did not have a very good understanding of utility patents, how they work, and what they cover, and it has taken some explaining to get some folks up to speed. That's completely understandable, and overall, I've been very impressed with how professionally and respectfully most folks in the industry have handled this and been willing to work with us to make sure they're in the clear. Our aim is to be a responsible player in the tackle industry and treat others respectfully, an it is clear that most others share this goal as well.

There is obviously a perception out there that we "go after" only small companies, and having been on the front lines of this effort, I can honestly say that is not accurate at all. The difference is that most larger companies have a solid understanding of patents and how they work, so once they became aware of the patents, they have phased out their bladed jig without any kind of uproar. In the 5 1/2 years that I have been with Z-Man, attorneys have been involved in only two very blatant cases, neither in the past couple of years. I have personally reached out to a number of companies, both smaller than and larger than Z-Man, and have worked with them to understand our trademarks and patents and what they cover.

Ultimately, our goal is to produce high quality products that flat out catch fish, and we've taken a number of steps in the past few years to improve the quality of our products. I feel like we're making better ChatterBaits now than ever, and the number of top tournament finishes in tour-level competition this year on our products by anglers like Brett Hite, Bryan Thrift, Gerald Swindle, and Paul Mueller at the Classic (none of whom are sponsored by Z-Man) speaks to the effectiveness of our ChatterBait lures. We are continuously looking at ways to improve our products and always welcome any kind of constructive feedback that you as anglers are willing to provide. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with suggestions, recommendations, or issues you've experienced. We are currently working on several new Chatter Bait products that should launch within the next 6 months to fill some of the voids in our product line. We completely understand the frustration when an angler is no longer able to purchase a product that has worked for him or her in the past, and our aim is to broaden our bladed jig product line and offer top-notch products at a reasonable price that are easy for anglers to get their hands on.

Thank you for your time reading this and considering this. I do not regularly monitor this board, so if you have questions, please e-mail me directly at the e-mail address below. I will be traveling for the ICAST show for the next week, so my apologies in advance if it takes me a little while to respond.

Thanks,

Daniel Nussbaum
General Manager, Z-Man Fishing Products
dnussbaum@zmanfishing.com
Posted By: ZMFish

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 03:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Joey Watts
I was one of the first they came after about 5 years ago. Their patent did not cover enough at that time and I pretty much told them what they could do. Over the course of a year or two, they revised their patent and came back at me again. Had no choice but to stop advertising and selling them then. I have talked to the owner of ZMAN and their lawyers. Have even had lawyers look into this for me. You are correct in your assumption though. They have a Patent on their Blade and also have a Patent on it hooking directly to the eye of the jig. If you are using the Generic Blade that most are using and putting a split ring or two between the blade and the jig. Then you are fine and not a thing they can do or say about it. You also are not allowed to call what ever it is you are making a Chatter Bait as they own those words to. I was told a couple weeks ago from a very reliable source. They are now going after the people that sell parts for making your own that the blade hooks directly to the jig head. So if you are making your own, I would suggest you stock up on the parts to do so.



Joey,

It's been a while since we spoke; I hope you're doing well and that your business is good. Just to clarify something you said, I believe that I am the only person who has been in touch with you on behalf of Z-Man. The owners of the company are not involved in the day-to-day-operations, and I'm fairly certain that no lawyer has contacted you on Z-Man's behalf. As I mentioned above, we actually have a trademark (registered trade dress) covering the five-sided blade as well as two patents covering, among other things, the head-to-blade connection. After the first patent was issued, we filed and prosecuted a continuation application (as is common practice) that had nothing to do with your product and was not aimed at "coming after you" in any way. Instead, this is something that businesses routinely do to protect their investment in an innovative product. We've been in touch with a number of other lure companies both before and after we contacted you, and you've never been singled out in any way.

Though I think it's been a couple of years since we last spoke, my recollection of our last conversation was that the tone was completely amicable and professional, and I specifically recall you remarking that you understand our position and that you would do the same thing if you were in our shoes. As I mentioned when we last spoke, if you ever have any questions or concerns, or if there's anything I can help you out with, please do not hesitate to call.

Thanks,

Daniel
Posted By: Alex Finch

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 03:11 AM

Thanks Steve.

Case law is important to consider when you're trying to sell a lure, not when making for personal use, and kudos to you for caring enough to ask the question. Regardless of what you do, if it takes a noticeable amount of their market share, they will probably "fuss" and try to pressure you to stop. I read the case law before I sold the first Nasty's Thumper, and everyone has basically hit the nail on the head. Z-Man's patent protects the attachment of the blade to the hook and the trademark, I believe, protects the shape of the blade. I read a ruling on this where it specifically said the addition of the split ring technically makes the lure different, and the Z-Man patent doesn't prevent others from using split rings to attach blades.

I use a split ring. Personally, I think it is better. I know it fouls up sometimes, but a good jerk will normally correct that and even gets bites from time to time. I like it most because it allows me to use the strongest hook I know of, a Gamakatsu. It also allows my customers to be able to change blades out whenever they want (color, old age, or whatever other reason) without compromising the integrity of the hook. I also use a non-hexagonal blade, probably the same type used by most other small companies, and I like it better too. The blades we use are much more durable and rust-proof than the thin aluminum ones found on the original bladed swim jig.

Joey, I have also heard from a very reliable source of some pressure to quit selling jig heads that are specifically designed to attach the blade. I've heard that push has been successful and guys won't be able to buy jig heads made for that purpose. What is probably the largest U.S. manufacturer of jig heads, is also the same company that manufactures the Chatterbait for Z-Man, so that makes sense. Z-Man has also been pressuring my suppliers to discontinue the blades for a long time, but from what I've been recently told, it's not going to happen. Suppliers can barely keep them in stock, and they don't infringe on any patents. The last time I ordered blades, I had to wait a month.

Rob, Renosky had plenty of resources at the time of the suit. Renosky had captured Z-Man's market share in Wal-Mart stores, which is why, I think, ZMan and Renosky took it all the way to the courtroom. Z-Man won. Renosky is still in Wal-Mart, but I think they use the split ring now.
Posted By: slim 285

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 03:16 AM

And there you go boys and girls . Just start talking about them and presto they will pay you a visit. bolt
Posted By: pYr8

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 03:24 AM

Patents = $, plain & simple. To argue them costs...
Posted By: Jake Shannon(Skeet4Life)

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 05:08 AM

Sounds like I'm gonna put in a large order to my guy... Before zman shuts him down. Won't own any of there [censored] ever again. Zman has screwed quite a few small company's that made a way better chatter bait. If ur gonna make the worlds only vibrating jig make them with quality not [censored]. I just don't understand why zman does what they do.
Posted By: "Old School"

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 09:40 AM

Guess what I won't be buying anymore? I find it really interesting that the general manager of Z-man was directed to this thread and it didn't take long. Boys, we are being watched!!!
Posted By: 90 5.0

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 10:07 AM

Originally Posted By: slim 285
And there you go boys and girls . Just start talking about them and presto they will pay you a visit. bolt


Of course, you ask on a public forum how to get around someone's patent so you can legaly copy their idea, someone's gonna show.
Posted By: salex

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 11:39 AM

Daniel,

I commend you for taking the time to share your position. The tone of your e-mail was professional, respectful and factual.
Posted By: Joey Watts

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 11:41 AM

Daniel, weather or not I talked to any of your lawyers is beside the point really but if you felt the need to clarify that one little point than so be it. Business is good all things considering and appreciate you asking. My only reason for responding to this post at all is because I visit this board quite a bit. Do a lot of business on it and also in the state of Texas. Post like this are on every and I mean every forum I visit but do not see you on any of those forums responding like you did this one. Pretty much the same response and attitude on those threads as it is here. People are confused and do not understand what and why you guys are doing what it is you are.

Other than that, I really have nothing else to comment on about this subject.

Thanks
Posted By: 921 Phoenix

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 12:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Joey Watts
Daniel, weather or not I talked to any of your lawyers is beside the point really but if you felt the need to clarify that one little point than so be it. Business is good all things considering and appreciate you asking. My only reason for responding to this post at all is because I visit this board quite a bit. Do a lot of business on it and also in the state of Texas. Post like this are on every and I mean every forum I visit but do not see you on any of those forums responding like you did this one. Pretty much the same response and attitude on those threads as it is here. People are confused and do not understand what and why you guys are doing what it is you are.

Other than that, I really have nothing else to comment on about this subject.

Thanks



I fine this thread very interesting in the fact people believe they have the right to break the law and not be held accountable. The reason the patent law exist is to protect our rights as US citizens to come up with a idea and keep anyone from using it that does not pay the patent holder. I believe by law anyone on here can invent something apply for a patent and protect it. The fact you want to get on here a bitch about you have the right to break the law and ZMAN doesn't have the moral right to come after you whether you are a big company or small one is a joke. The fact is you don't have the right as a person or company to make a patented product whether you buy parts and build it your self is still breaking the law. The only reason the patent holder doesn't come after everyone is it cost to much for each case. You want to come on here and brag you break the law and we should just say poor poor person they got sued. That is a joke if you don't want to get sued don't infringe. Joey Watts is a joke to get on here and admit he did it and cry. Zman should file a slander suit against him. I believe if you don't want a DWI don't drink if you don't want a law suit for infringing DON"T infringe
Posted By: 921 Phoenix

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 12:22 PM

The one thing I will say is if ZMAN build a better product they wouldn't have a lot of theses issues. I quit buying Chatter baits a long time ago got tired of how bad they were build. I love the way they catch fish but will not buy a ZMAN till they decide to build them where they will hold up
Posted By: papamark

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 12:22 PM

popcorn
Posted By: fitter2259

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 12:42 PM

There are always going to be people who want to try to imitate or copy a successful idea, which the chatter style bait is. If anyone of the smaller company's would have designed the unique style first they would be as protective of the idea as anyone, and if in the process another company would have tried to imitate their design they would be crying foul from the highest mountain . Hypocrisy in all its forms are distasteful no matter how large or small the source.
Posted By: AlanJohnston

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 12:56 PM

I think those who are complaining about Zman protecting their patents have obviously never invented anything nor do they understand the process and meaning behind the patent office and a small part of what it means to live in this country. I hope nobody gets their feeling hurt but I see a bunch of hypocrites in here. I guess most of you think Zman was never a small company? They just decided to make some lures and the next day they were big enough to bully all the little guys into backing down? They didn't work hard to get market share and develop a lure that people actually pay money for? It just all happened without any effort put in and they shouldn't care about what they make/sell? Everyone else should be free to copy and then sell their design because they're just a small company and don't have the money to fight a patent conflict?

I'm on this forum every day but I don't post much, but after reading this and seeing some of the comments against a company that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU would do the same thing if you were in their shoes...I just had to say something. I get a ton of great advice on here and I learn a lot every day, but I also learned something I didn't expect to learn by reading this thread.

And if a patent judge finds/found that changing how the blade attaches to the jig head does not infringe on the original patent, then fine, that's where you guys can change it and sell all the lures you want. But I personally don't believe that is enough of a change in design. But I'm not a patent attorney or judge so I guess you guys are lucky. I've tried patenting a few things within my industry and most everything that works has already been invented so you have to make things significantly better/different to achieve a new patent from my experience. If changing one tiny part of the equipment and tools I use every day at work would get me a patent then I'd have about 10 inventions to my name at this point. I've been denied twice on what I thought was a new idea only to find out it's not and guess what, I move on because that is someone else's intellectual property and I have no business messing with it. Hopefully we'll find out in a few months whether or not I'm in the patent office as an inventor but I won't hold my breath because of my previous attempts.

I'll go back to lurking now and those who disagree with my opinions can try and convince others that you're right. That's one of the great things about public discussion forums.
Posted By: Joey Watts

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 12:56 PM

If you knew what it is you are talking about then you might have a leg to stand on when it comes to making the comment you just made. ZMAN did not invent the Chatter Bait. They bought the rights to it and then put a Patent on it. They did not invent anything !!!

Why not put a patent on a spinner bait so that you have only one choice as a fisherman when it comes to buying and using those ? Why not put a patent on a rubber worm and every other bait that is out on the market for that fact ?
Posted By: AlanJohnston

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 12:59 PM

They own the patent, that's enough leg to stand on. So one day you go to work and a homeless couple decides to move into your house while you're gone...that's ok? You didn't build the house.
Posted By: 921 Phoenix

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 01:02 PM

Originally Posted By: fitter2259
There are always going to be people who want to try to imitate or copy a successful idea, which the chatter style bait is. If anyone of the smaller company's would have designed the unique style first they would be as protective of the idea as anyone, and if in the process another company would have tried to imitate their design they would be crying foul from the highest mountain . Hypocrisy in all its forms are distasteful no matter how large or small the source.


AMEN

also in this case it is also a federal crime called Economic Espionage act of 1996 section 1832 you can be put in prison for up to ten years and a five million dollar fine and sued civilly for patent infringing. That is anyone that builds a patent process or structure and it doesn't matter where you got the parts or if you bought the parts as pieces and put them together yourself. The fact is only the patent holder as the right to sale a patented product everything else is patent infringing.
Posted By: 921 Phoenix

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 01:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Joey Watts
If you knew what it is you are talking about then you might have a leg to stand on when it comes to making the comment you just made. ZMAN did not invent the Chatter Bait. They bought the rights to it and then put a Patent on it. They did not invent anything !!!

Why not put a patent on a spinner bait so that you have only one choice as a fisherman when it comes to buying and using those ? Why not put a patent on a rubber worm and every other bait that is out on the market for that fact ?


Well if you knew what you are talking about you would know how stupid this post is. You don't have to invent something to hold the patent rights and their are laws to protect people if someone invents something and sales it before filing for a patent and puts it into the public domant then it can NEVER be patented. that did not happen here or they would have beaten ZMAN in court. The judge up held their patent because it is a patent in good standing. Patents are sold and rights license that gives you the same rights as if you invented it yourself. The fact is Joey Watts as NO rights to it.
Posted By: big mike

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 01:14 PM

Did z-man invent the vibrating jig or were there versions of it on the market before they started making them. I swear I remember some company making vibrating jigs before they did.
Posted By: CCTX

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: big mike
Did z-man invent the vibrating jig or were there versions of it on the market before they started making them. I swear I remember some company making vibrating jigs before they did.


Not the first vibrating jig. Google hellbender lure and google dirty bird lure. Google the eaker shaker blade. Basically it's the blade shape, the name, and specific way the blade attaches to the jig that Zman is protecting
Posted By: Joey Watts

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 01:57 PM

You have your right to your opinion in all this and I have my right to mine in all this. Pretty obvious that we disagree and that is fine because that is the American Way. To me, this is all about the almighty dollar and those that have the most win.
Posted By: Big Red 12

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 02:06 PM

It's not a matter of protecting their patent. They are censored garbage. Hooks are poor quality. Blades flake off. I had gold ones, they are white now. Other companies have much better quality hooks that fish stay buttoned up on. Some of there original hooks were chrome plated and not even sharp. The newer ones are some what better. But as mentioned other companies put wide gap hooks on their that keep fish buttoned up better. And, many of these actually make a bait to catch fish in fish catching patterns(colors). Instead of catching fishermen. And, these smaller companies will custom make them for you too.
Posted By: moonriver

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 02:30 PM

popcorn2

In lots cases, patent law only protects inferiors products, with higher price. That's the mighty truth.
Posted By: Mulholland

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 05:28 PM

Originally Posted By: 90 5.0
Originally Posted By: slim 285
And there you go boys and girls . Just start talking about them and presto they will pay you a visit. bolt


Of course, you ask on a public forum how to get around someone's patent so you can legaly copy their idea, someone's gonna show.



While some here have obviously been interested in copying and breaking patent laws, I asked for quite the contrary... I have an innovation that would improve the bladed swim jig in my opinion, and create a different action that is more of what I desire, maybe not everyone, but at least a difference none the less. The entire purpose of patents is to protect from blatant copies and inspire innovation. If you think they exist so that nothing ever gets improved upon then I feel sorry for your over simplified views on the matter.

I appreciate Zman stepping forth and responding, couldn't have asked for better information that straight form the horses mouth. I don't understand the backlash form everyone either... if their patent protects X, Y, and Z qualities, and you don't change X or Y but change the blade shape and act like it is a new product, I'm sorry but you're breaking the law, and they are in the right to pursue you.

I personally use only Zman chatterbaits and boycott D&M and others based on the fact that they are ripoffs, plain and simple. A rip off with a pretty paint job is still a rip off. I also find the beast hook gimmicky as all hell... Yes the original chatterbaits have a pretty weak hook but the elite series use a Gamakatsu 5/0 and are as good as anything I need!

If anyone thinks I am somehow insulting Zman by trying to find a new way to build a bladed swim jig that improves upon the design without copying components and breaking their patent/trademarks in place... then I fear you are clueless and have no idea what innovation is.

I will say, if Zman wants the market cornered and 100% market share for bladed swim jigs, they should step up their game in terms of top end components, color selection, and innovations. I can hardly imagine a successful crankbait company having only 1 blade size and shape in a few colors with mediocre components and paint jobs and a narrow selection expecting to have market dominance.


The patents and trademark protect them, and I have supported them, but I want something more from my bladed swim jigs, and I'm going to find a way to make what I have in mind work. Copies won't improve the products offered, diversity will. If someone makes something different and better we might see change... as long as everyone simply copies what they made that works, we won't see anything but cease and desist orders.
Posted By: Mulholland

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 05:40 PM

And for what it's worth, I think Zman has some poor PR going form early models, and are just very socially popular in the fishing community to hate. They are like the 'Nickelback' of the fishing community. Almost every single fisherman I know bad mouths them... I see people to this day trash talk the hooks when they use pretty well the same hooks as any of the others on the market...

The comment above about an EWG hook keeping fish buttoned better is retarded. I would rather have a 5/0 straight shank hook buried in the roof of a fishes mouth than trying to get the same hook in EWG buried any day... but the older baits gave them a horrible reputation, and there isn't enough invested in reverting that reputation to save them so people will buy anything else to avoid the zmans... they try to control the market but create a market where the majority of people basically boycott their patented product in favor of knock offs because the originals have (had) such poor quality. That is all on Zman in truth. Even if they have improved their quality issues, they haven't addressed that with the public well enough to fight the bad PR...
Posted By: ZMFish

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 07:57 PM

Thanks to those of you who have responded with encouraging words; I appreciate the opportunity to explain a little bit about our patents via this forum and am glad that some folks seem receptive to this information.

A few have asked about whether Z-Man invented the ChatterBait lure or purchased the brand, and that is something I can definitely explain to avoid some of the misinformation floating around. The ChatterBait was invented by Ron Davis and his father in South Carolina. They originally came up with the idea for the direct head-to-blade connection, filed the patent application, and actually started making the baits in their garage here in South Carolina under the RAD Lures brand. Z-Man's background was at the time primarily in the silicone skirt business, and RAD Lures was a skirt customer of Z-Man. After demand started increasing rapidly and RAD Lures could not keep up, the Davises enlisted the help of Z-Man to manufacture and distribute ChatterBait products. After a couple of years, Z-Man purchased the rights to the ChatterBait line. Ron Davis continued to pursue the patents which ultimately were granted, and those patents have been assigned to Z-Man. If you look at the patents themselves, you'll see "James Ronald Davis" listed as the inventor. To be clear, Z-Man did not purchase the Chatter Bait line then decide to patent the idea after-the-fact. My understanding is that this would not be allowed by the patent system - "inventorship" is a requirement of obtaining a patent, and one cannot obtain a patent on someone else's idea. The Davises had an original lure idea, started making baits in their garage, took the right steps to prevent it from (legal) copycatting through the patent system, and turned it into a profitable venture. As fishermen who have probably all thought about different lure ideas, I think we're all probably a little bit envious!

In response to some of the comments regarding our products, I also would like to mention that we've done a great deal to improve the quality of our products over the last couple of years while still offering ChatterBait products at a reasonable price point. For instance, we have upgraded the hook on our Original ChatterBait to a custom needlepoint hook and improved the plated blade finishes and paint used on the heads. Just this year, we've upgraded the clip on the Original ChatterBait to make it stronger and less likely to open up. Our ChatterBait Elite uses a 5/0 Gamakatsu hook at the request of a number of anglers. We have made several other tweaks over the year to improve the baits, and all of these changes are based on feedback from our customers and pros. We have some great improvements and higher-end additions to our product line in store for the next year. If you haven't used a Z-Man ChatterBait for a while, we hope you will give our newest baits another shot.

My goal in posting here was essentially to provide a little bit of background on our patents (that is what the original poster asked) and introduce myself as a point of contact if there are any questions about our patents, or if you care to offer feedback on our products. There is still some incorrect information being thrown around on this thread, but my goal here is not to get into any kind of back-and-forth. Frankly, I just don't spend much time on forums like this, but I'm certainly glad to discuss further on an individual basis. With ICAST coming up this week, I likely will not be checking back here, so please feel free to reach out to me via e-mail if you have further questions or concerns.

A sincere thanks for the opportunity to explain a little bit about our patents and trademarks as well as the history of the ChatterBait product line via this forum.

Thanks,

Daniel
Posted By: salex

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 11:12 PM

Daniel,

Once again a professional well thought out response that was not defensive. You handled the situation beautifully.
Posted By: 921 Phoenix

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 11:13 PM

Thanks ZMFISH I will try them again with all of those improvements. I have not tried one in a few years but that is all of the problems I was having glad to hear about the upgrades and look forward to using them. Good luck
Posted By: Mulholland

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 11:29 PM

I continue to choose using the Chatterbait Elites exclusively for my bladed swim jig needs, and Daniel has further solidified why I continue to stand behind them. I am happy to get such direct feedback from a company, especially without even directly contacting them. TFF is a very impressive grapevine of information that never ceases to impress!
Posted By: JayInNRH

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/13/14 11:56 PM

Funny this got brought up and BFA posted this Friday.
http://bassfishingarchives.com/short-strikes/the-chattereaker-shaker
Posted By: Mulholland

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/14/14 12:10 AM

Originally Posted By: JayInGrapevine
Funny this got brought up and BFA posted this Friday.
http://bassfishingarchives.com/short-strikes/the-chattereaker-shaker


That is interesting... remind me of this one;
http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Nichols_Chatterbox_Craws_1_2oz/descpage-NCBC.html


For those who fail to understand, the blade attachment is key in the patent because how and where it attaches is what imparts the action upon the bait itself, while the bait blade is the tuned part. If you take a real interest in the baits aside from clever human interest stories and journalism pieces, you'll see why the good copies maintain the same blade attachment (D&M Piranha) and why others still tried to copy the blade design as well for its high and low speed vibration characteristics (Phenix, Strike King pure poison).

A blade that attaches in line itself is hardly much more innovative or useful than a line dancer or the action disc honestly...



Regardless, aspiring minds will find new innovations and better mousetraps will be created hmmm
Posted By: Mulholland

Re: Zman Chatterbait patent details - 07/14/14 01:16 AM

Just saw this, very excited for #52 so I can stop pulling skirts straight off to use them just like that out the package with a better head for that purpose!


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