Question: Andu Engraver

edgrabow15

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I thought a patent only lasted for a certain number of years to give the inventor time to recoup development costs, establish the brand and develop the business without competition. I would have thought that Lindsay’s patent would have been in force longer than the patent permitted. I agree that knockoffs most times are not as good as the original in most cases. Although, sometimes they are better. When there is a price difference between the original and the knock off is a factor of 10 or more then something is wrong. Prices typically go down as the patent expires but this hasn’t happened with the major engraving equipment companies.

That said, I appreciate that GRS, Lindsay and Tira’s engravers are very high quality and built to last lifetimes. I know because I own all 3. However, many people are kept out of engraving because of the high cost of buying the equipment and education. The cheaper knockoffs allow people with less disposable income see if they have the talent and drive to learn to engrave without draining their life savings.

Protecting a design forever thru patents is just wrong in my opinion because it limits the competition forever and makes their products very expensive.
You can use a hammer and chisel to see if you have talent. Alot goes into developing & marketing, everyone talks about things being unfair or the price is to high. Lindsey quality is no better than the knockoffs, These ppl NEVER held a Lindsey in their hand. Now on to my point. Imagine for a second if it was you who did all this to design ,build & market a tool ,you have a family to feed and a life to live. Anyone who says they would let the world have it is LYING , blaming the price of a Lindsey or GRS on not being able to engrave is a cop out also. There are many machines available from China that ppl use anyway. They really suck and when asked we tell them so but in the end if you really want to engrave you'll find a way. Plus in today's environment $1500 isn't all that expensive . Most times the kids that are crying are the same ones who cry for not getting a participation trophy for every little thing. The world owes me , blah blah blah. My god I guarantee almost 100% of these cry babies will drop a grand in n the next new I phone that comes out when the one they have is a still in perfect condition. SMMFHO
 

oniemarc

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Yet Lindsay's new fractal jaw add-on for his vices(whilst patent pending) are based of a fractal jaw vice which was patented in 1903 I believe. All he did was separate the jaws and put pins in the bottom to stick it in the vice. And people are treating that as if he invented the thing. Why isn't that stealing? (Actual question there)

In todays environment 1500 dollars is still 1500 dollars. A lot of money...if you live outside the US...add close to 700 dollars for shipping and import taxes. That is alot of money.... I wouldn't spend that on a phone either. I'm no cry baby either, nor do I expect the world to hand me anything. Nobody owes me anything, even when do they do. I have worked hard since I was 14...fulltime job besides school from 15 years old. After highschool I worked 12-15 hours a day to be able to leave home. Worked longer hours when needed. I now own a small business. I don't overcharge, so people can get service from us. That also means I will never have alot of money, which I'm fine with. No need to be rich. My kids shouldn't go hungry and need food and such...but I am HAPPY. Sooo...to me, 2200 dollars is a truckload of money. And I am still trying to get the funds raised to buy me a Lindsay...

Everyone does what he or she can do to get into whatever they want to get in. That being engraving or any other hobby or profession. If that means starting cheap and working up...so be it.
 

edgrabow15

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Yet Lindsay's new fractal jaw add-on for his vices(whilst patent pending) are based of a fractal jaw vice which was patented in 1903 I believe. All he did was separate the jaws and put pins in the bottom to stick it in the vice. And people are treating that as if he invented the thing. Why isn't that stealing? (Actual question there)

In todays environment 1500 dollars is still 1500 dollars. A lot of money...if you live outside the US...add close to 700 dollars for shipping and import taxes. That is alot of money.... I wouldn't spend that on a phone either. I'm no cry baby either, nor do I expect the world to hand me anything. Nobody owes me anything, even when do they do. I have worked hard since I was 14...fulltime job besides school from 15 years old. After highschool I worked 12-15 hours a day to be able to leave home. Worked longer hours when needed. I now own a small business. I don't overcharge, so people can get service from us. That also means I will never have alot of money, which I'm fine with. No need to be rich. My kids shouldn't go hungry and need food and such...but I am HAPPY. Sooo...to me, 2200 dollars is a truckload of money. And I am still trying to get the funds raised to buy me a Lindsay...

Everyone does what he or she can do to get into whatever they want to get in. That being engraving or any other hobby or profession. If that means starting cheap and working up...so be it.
To be perfectly blunt you have NO IDEA what Steve Lindsey has done to make his Fractal vise ,None. If all you say you've done in your life is true ,GREAT your doing the right thing but you haven't done anything else almost every one of us hasn't done, is still doing or is in the process of coming to that point in their life. As far as saying your not a crybaby ,again to be blunt it sure as hell sounds like you are. I'm sorry I don't know you from Adam and you may be a great guy. But the only YOU that I or any of us know or have read posts from you've done nothing but complain about the prices of Top end tools ,people getting patents for their hard work and dedication to the art etc.. put yourself on our end ,we can only visualize a person and their character by what we hear them say. Take a year or two and invent something , make something better than it is and put a patent on it. If your a small business owner like you say you would think you'd understand the business world is to make money , of you just give your stuff away and don't protect your products you won't have a business long. It takes money to buy and maintain this precision machines, pay you workers a good wage, insurance, rent or mortgage. I'm not saying you have to wave a Lindsey or GRS flag but all you've done is complain how unfair it is.
 

oniemarc

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To be perfectly blunt you have NO IDEA what Steve Lindsey has done to make his Fractal vise ,None. If all you say you've done in your life is true ,GREAT your doing the right thing but you haven't done anything else almost every one of us hasn't done, is still doing or is in the process of coming to that point in their life. As far as saying your not a crybaby ,again to be blunt it sure as hell sounds like you are. I'm sorry I don't know you from Adam and you may be a great guy. But the only YOU that I or any of us know or have read posts from you've done nothing but complain about the prices of Top end tools ,people getting patents for their hard work and dedication to the art etc.. put yourself on our end ,we can only visualize a person and their character by what we hear them say. Take a year or two and invent something , make something better than it is and put a patent on it. If your a small business owner like you say you would think you'd understand the business world is to make money , of you just give your stuff away and don't protect your products you won't have a business long. It takes money to buy and maintain this precision machines, pay you workers a good wage, insurance, rent or mortgage. I'm not saying you have to wave a Lindsey or GRS flag but all you've done is complain how unfair it is.
I never said anything about prices being TOO high, they are high though. Not everyone is made out of money is all I said.
I never said patents shouldn't be allowed. They exist for a reason like you said. If you put in alot of work to invent something, that should be protected for a certain period. I do NOT disagree at all.

I don't mind spending alot of money on something that I want, especially when it comes to good/great tools. My point is that some need to save up to get them. I also believe that many who start engraving and don't know if it's for them, aren't willing to drop alot of money straight out of the gate.

You are right though, you don't know me personally as I don't know you. Written text can deform perspective on what you are trying to say, which can be a pain in the ...

You are also right that I don't know what Steve did exactly to make the fractal vise. But again...wasn't the point. It IS something that has been done before and has been patented. Therefor my question is/was...why is that any different from what others do when they adapt his design? It is a genuine question, because I simply don't see the difference. That patent is also long gone...so it is now open. If it is true that his patent on the airgraver has expired, why is it such a big deal others make similar ones?
 

Crockettman

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Didn't realize my question would start an interesting discussion like this thread!

Update: the cheap 30$ engraver was a good start for someone who knew nothing about engraving and didn't have money to waste if I didn't like engraving...

With some more money saved after 3 months I bought an Andu engraver ($600) delivered to Spain and it was vastly superior to the 30$ version I used to start with, it was extremely well made and performed perfectly in my opinion....some months later I saw a used Lindsay for sale and bought it 1500€ and it too performed exceptionally well.. knowing what I know now I would have kept the Andu and the change, as in my eyes it was equal too the Lindsay.. if you have a low budget then not much choice out there..the Lindsay is great but it is very expensive to begin with.
 

Crazy Horse

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People talk about the high price of pneumatic engraving tools, and maybe they have a point. Let's consider the expense of buying a new car or truck. We don't blink an eye at spending $30,000 to $50,000+ for a new vehicle. Of course not many folks plunk down that amount of cash on the table and drive off with a new vehicle. Most of us do it by taking out a car/truck loan, sometimes with a payment book that lasts for 6 or 7 years. And at the end of that period of time the vehicle is just about falling apart and has lost a considerable amount of value.

It's not out of sight to be able to get a small loan for $1000 to $1500 and pay it off is a relatively short period of time and end up with a high quality tool that will probably outlast your lifetime... That's just my less than humble opinion.
 

Crockettman

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People talk about the high price of pneumatic engraving tools, and maybe they have a point. Let's consider the expense of buying a new car or truck. We don't blink an eye at spending $30,000 to $50,000+ for a new vehicle. Of course not many folks plunk down that amount of cash on the table and drive off with a new vehicle. Most of us do it by taking out a car/truck loan, sometimes with a payment book that lasts for 6 or 7 years. And at the end of that period of time the vehicle is just about falling apart and has lost a considerable amount of value.

It's not out of sight to be able to get a small loan for $1000 to $1500 and pay it off is a relatively short period of time and end up with a high quality tool that will probably outlast your lifetime... That's just my less than humble opinion.
What you say makes some sense, however I've never had a loan in my life and wouldn't want to either, just a case of saving up over time... But like I said previously - if you're trying something out for the 1st time then it does not make sense to buy the best whether you can afford it or not... Just the same as I wouldn't agree to my son buying a Ferrari to learn to drive!
 

Addertooth

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On Patents: I work in Engineering for a living. Often someone will say "I have this idea for a product, but don't know where to start". Often "similar" products do exist (similar as the Patent office defines things). The important thing will be to show how the new product does things in a different and better way to get a patent.
Then if the original patent holder complains, you respond with "their original patent was too broad, and does not allow for others to innovate". This often prevails. If you find a true conflict, you evaluate that part, and come up with a better mousetrap.

On graving equipment: As an avowed hobby-a-holic, I have had dozens of hobbies in my life. Some were started on the low-price end, and incremental upgrades were done on equipment as they were needed. Others, I jumped in blue-chip from the get-go. There never has been a winning strategy divined. In some cases, the blue-chip approach paid off, in other cases it resulted in a lot of expensive equipment which was later sold at a significant loss.

My current graver equipment was purchased at a budget price, and looks and runs like the GRS equipment. When I took engraving instruction, the teacher was surprised at how well it ran. He even admitted it did lower cycle rates superior to the GRS equipment it was emulating. Admittedly, I had carefully tuned the handpieces before I showed up for instruction.

For me, engraving is a hobby, and not an income earning pursuit. Perhaps in ten years, when I have retired from engineering, it may represent some supplemental income; but that is not today. For now, this is for fun. This means it has a budget for leisure activities and not a vocation. If it were a vocation, I would have a different view on cost. I have spent more for a single week of training in my vocation, than what a Lindsay graver costs.
 

jldj

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A copied design should be a template not a cheaper almost identical reproduction. Steve has every right to protect his patent in this situation as the Andu is almost identical. Even Steve's uses of 50 and 60 yr. old designs have substantial changes and improvements.
 

brentcolo

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Hi folks,

Anyone on here use or have experience of the Andu hand control engraver?

Thanks
Ed
Its a patent violation of the airgraver. Its also not very well built and wont last. Its not worth the bother. My uncles friend bought one but rarely used it. I looked at it and fired it up and it was horrible.
 

oniemarc

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As far as I know, the footpedal patent has expired. Which would mean that it is fair game to make another version, even a direct or close copy? The palmcontrol however, I am pretty sure the patent is active.
Andu by the way, is not the only one making the footcontrol gravers. I know for sure that a company in Turkey is making them and some people who I believe are in Russia(not too sure about though). The other day I was send a picture of a handcontrol graver which even had an attempt of the same engraving on the body.

From talking to Andu when I bought the footpedal version, I understood he had changed his design enough to be able to produce and sell them. I don't know if that is true or not obviously.

I bought the Andu then, because I wanted a Lindsay but didn't know if it would be the setup for me or maybe a GRS or whatever else. And because I needed to save up for a Lindsay. It was the Andu that made me decide on saving up for a Lindsay though. I just got my Lindsay and I have to admit that there is a vast difference in performance. Much more control, softer idle and much smoother cutting. But...I never expected anything else. Do I regret buying the Andu...no. Do I regret buying the Lindsay then....NO! I did get to start out with the system I had my eye on, which was a litlle harder to get used to. But I am sure that only helped me with my graver control.
 

oniemarc

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I would think GRS has somewhat the same issue with the China made reproductions? Allthough I am sure them selling these machines on the popular websites, also sparked the interest of many wanted to get into engraving. Of which many would have never even tried to start engraving if they would have had to start off with the actual GRS. One would think that GRS is now selling more because of this, instead of less. Especially if these China made copies are really that bad as everyone always says. Once you start with that system(allthough a copy that works barely well enough to cut some first lines), my guess would be they would want the real deal?
 

Crockettman

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Its a patent violation of the airgraver. Its also not very well built and wont last. Its not worth the bother. My uncles friend bought one but rarely used it. I looked at it and fired it up and it was horrible.
If you read what I said in another post you'll see I had one for several months and found it to be well built, in fact exceptionally well built and it worked as well as the Lindsay I have now, patent infringements are everywhere, Mitutoyo vernier calipers are one example, also knock off GRS engravers - yet both freely available on AliExpress and alike, not everyone starting out can afford a Lindsay which is a great product but overpriced in my view which is a shame as the component parts add up to a perhaps 50 dollars.
 

AJB

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The patent on the foot control Lindsay expired on July 18, 2021, and the patent on the palm control has an anticipated expiration date of October 9, 2022 according to the U.S. Patent Office website.

I would love to have a Lindsay or GRS system, but as someone just dabbling in the art, it was hard to justify the expense. Because I like making things, I built a Lindsay style engraver a few months ago, after the patent expired.

The DIY graver works, but I am sure that a Lindsay or GRS would perform much better, and if I actually stick with engraving as a hobby I may purchase one of those systems someday. If so, I won’t regret the 8 or so hours that it took to make my version as it cost nothing and has allowed me to “ dip my toes into the water.” I am thoroughly enjoying the journey so far.

I will add that it was this forum that convinced me to take the leap into engraving. I spent a year reading posts and drawing scrolls before I made the pneumatic graver. Thank you all for opening the world of engraving up to me!

7E4C6623-B57C-427E-B1B7-7F0B6B0A6D34.jpeg
 

silvermon

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Yet Lindsay's new fractal jaw add-on for his vices(whilst patent pending) are based of a fractal jaw vice which was patented in 1903 I believe. All he did was separate the jaws and put pins in the bottom to stick it in the vice. And people are treating that as if he invented the thing. Why isn't that stealing? (Actual question there)
But again...wasn't the point. It IS something that has been done before and has been patented. Therefor my question is/was...why is that any different from what others do when they adapt his design? It is a genuine question, because I simply don't see the difference.
Lindsey's fractal jaw isn't patented yet. It is patent pending. If someone were to steal his design during the patent pending period, and he was awarded the patent, he could sue for damages. As stated in a previous post, the USPTO makes their decision on a patent free of influence, determined from prior art versus innovated or unique new solutions, and based on an exhaustive analysis of the science, technology, and creativity of previous work. If the patent office gives the patent, then copying it is stealing (even when the copy is made during the patent pending period, usually 18-36 months), even if you disagree with their issuance of the patent. There are mechanisms for challenging a patent.
If the patent is declined. no theft. It should be noted that copying consist of copying for profit; not copying for person use, generally considered. If you copied a Linsey product to engrave something for your own pleasure, you're okay. The moment you sell a piece produced using a copied device, you would be in violation. I hope all that is clear.
 

oniemarc

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I understood the vise is still patent pending and that that alone is enough not to mess with its design or copy it. I also agree that anything still under the protection of a patent, should be left alone.
My question only has to do with when a patent is expired, why is ok for one party to reproduce, innovate and sell, yet for another party it isn't.
The patent for the original vise is long gone. Steve explains on his own website, that after that another company had the patent for application on a mill I believe. Patent has also expired and now Steve adapted the vise to suit engraving purposes. So, 3 patents on basically the same vise, but with different applications. Not saying nothing changed or simple copies, but basically the same. I am not argueing if the USPTO is right or not, I am sure they did their homework. But the later 2 vises both were deruved from the first patent. Which means the design was fair game at that point in time to either produce or innovate.
So...if the patent has expired, why would it not be okay for someone to reproduce the peoduct concerned? It's not like the GRS copies from China, where they are even using the logo.
 

silvermon

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I understood the vise is still patent pending and that that alone is enough not to mess with its design or copy it. I also agree that anything still under the protection of a patent, should be left alone.
My question only has to do with when a patent is expired, why is ok for one party to reproduce, innovate and sell, yet for another party it isn't.
The patent for the original vise is long gone. Steve explains on his own website, that after that another company had the patent for application on a mill I believe. Patent has also expired and now Steve adapted the vise to suit engraving purposes. So, 3 patents on basically the same vise, but with different applications. Not saying nothing changed or simple copies, but basically the same. I am not argueing if the USPTO is right or not, I am sure they did their homework. But the later 2 vises both were deruved from the first patent. Which means the design was fair game at that point in time to either produce or innovate.
So...if the patent has expired, why would it not be okay for someone to reproduce the peoduct concerned? It's not like the GRS copies from China, where they are even using the logo.
You can copy the original vise without issue. You can't copy Lindsey's vise without risk.

Also, I think you are looking at this too conceptually rather than objectively. Getting a patent acknowledges any previous work, but rewards new advancements. The government, by protecting design advancements for a period of time helps to guarantee innovation. Without those guarantees we wouldn't have new medicines, computers or smart phones, semiautomatic weapons and on and on. Who is going to put up money and time to pursue and idea, only to have someone else steal it before they can profit from it.

Part of what the USPTO is doing is legal and financial work. They aren't perfect. Far from it. But, the USPTO's primary function is to create a free and fair market place for ideas. Google doesn't do that; they try to shut down free and fair. Twitter doesn't do that; they try to shut down free and fair. Amazon doesn't do that; they try to shut down free and fair. General Motors doesn't do that; they try to shut down free and fair. The USPTO stands in the way of corporate and crony greed to give the little guy a chance. Doesn't always work. The guy that invented intermittent windshield wipers was ripped off by Ford because he didn't file the proper patent application. Many other examples.

Almost everything made can be reduced to heat, leverage, and ratios. Does that mean nothing is new?
 
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oniemarc

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You can copy the original vise without issue. You can't copy Lindsey's vise without risk.

Also, I think you are looking at this too conceptually rather than objectively. Getting a patent acknowledges any previous work, but rewards new advancements. The government, by protecting design advancements for a period of time helps to guarantee innovation. Without those guarantees we wouldn't have new medicines, computers or smart phones, semiautomatic weapons and on and on. Who is going to put up money and time to pursue and idea, only to have someone else steal it before they can profit from it.

Part of what the USPTO is doing is legal and financial work. They aren't perfect. Far from it. But, the USPTO's primary function is to create a free and fair market place for ideas. Google doesn't do that; they try to shut down free and fair. Twitter doesn't do that; they try to shut down free and fair. Amazon doesn't do that; they try to shut down free and fair. General Motors doesn't do that; they try to shut down free and fair. The USPTO stands in the way of corporate and crony greed to give the little guy a chance. Doesn't always work. The guy that invented intermittent windshield wipers was ripped off by Ford because he didn't file the proper patent application. Many other examples.

Almost everything made can be reduced to heat, leverage, and ratios. Does that mean nothing is new?
I completely understand what you are trying to say about patents and I fully agree. I never said I didn't. I understand why they exist and fully agree they can be usefull. Even needed.

Here is the thing though, and that's where I get lost.
Once the patent has expired, it is fair game. As it should by the way. By this time someone might have had some great ideas to innovate on the product aswell and might make such improvements which would never have been for the original inventor. So why is everyone still getting worked up over something that has no active patent? Not trying to start a fight or nasty argument.

It is not thievery of any kind if there is no patent to infringe right? That's why I asked...Steve can build upon a fractal vise with no active patent, but others can not build upon his design for the Classic with no active patent. This makes no sense to me.

The Palmcontrol is a different matter and no, I do not agree with the making of a copy of that particular machine. It is protected by his patent.
 

silvermon

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It is not thievery of any kind if there is no patent to infringe right? That's why I asked...Steve can build upon a fractal vise with no active patent, but others can not build upon his design for the Classic with no active patent. This makes no sense to me.
Steve's patent pending on the fractal vise is undecided. He may or may not get a patent. His design offers a new solution to some old problems. I will repeat this part, "new solution to some old problems." That is the essence of patent law. If you think the original vise stands on its own as the perfect solution to all users, then find one, copy it, and sell them. For Steve's vise, the USPTO will decide if it is enough to be protected.

As far as Steve's Classic foot pedal engraver, I am not aware of the full extent of the patent expiration. He does have a patent on the Palm Control, and depending on how that patent is written, it may cover the Classic tool with an additional period of coverage. That is common in patent law to extend the patent coverage of an original invention by patenting new innovations that are part of/attached to the original device. You would need a lawyer to help you decipher the exact overlap, but I suspect the Palm Control patent afford Steve some additional protection. Probably total protection. This is the downside to USPTO. Sometimes you need a lawyer and a court to decide the full extent of a patent coverage.

If you want to copy Steve's Classic tool, make enough changes to the design and use a foot control off the shelf. You might be okay. If you want to copy Steve's Classic tool with a palm control, even with changes you may be in violation of a patent.

If you want to play, you need to put skin in the game. That is why I never go on Ganoksin anymore. Too many people want something for nothing.
 

Matt Evans

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Steve's patent pending on the fractal vise is undecided. He may or may not get a patent. His design offers a new solution to some old problems. I will repeat this part, "new solution to some old problems." That is the essence of patent law. If you think the original vise stands on its own as the perfect solution to all users, then find one, copy it, and sell them. For Steve's vise, the USPTO will decide if it is enough to be protected.

As far as Steve's Classic foot pedal engraver, I am not aware of the full extent of the patent expiration. He does have a patent on the Palm Control, and depending on how that patent is written, it may cover the Classic tool with an additional period of coverage. That is common in patent law to extend the patent coverage of an original invention by patenting new innovations that are part of/attached to the original device. You would need a lawyer to help you decipher the exact overlap, but I suspect the Palm Control patent afford Steve some additional protection. Probably total protection. This is the downside to USPTO. Sometimes you need a lawyer and a court to decide the full extent of a patent coverage.

If you want to copy Steve's Classic tool, make enough changes to the design and use a foot control off the shelf. You might be okay. If you want to copy Steve's Classic tool with a palm control, even with changes you may be in violation of a patent.

If you want to play, you need to put skin in the game. That is why I never go on Ganoksin anymore. Too many people want something for nothing.
This is the comment to rule them all, have been watching and waiting for someone to explain it best. Ty
 

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