On defending one's patent by a hammer to the kneecaps

The original post example seems to be used in current practice by some printer manufacturers. They have logic in their printers to recognize their name-brand ink cartridges, and thqt prevent the printer from working with ‘generic’ ink cartridges. Thus forcing the customer to buy ony their ink.

(This printer logic is also used to sell more ink: the printer gives a message when it is ‘low’ on ink. And eventually refuses to print until the ink cartridge is replaced. Some really annoying ones refuse to print black & white text when one of the color inks is low.)

Don’t they also sell the printers at a loss because their ink is one of the most expensive liquids on earth and they easily make more from selling that?

I would hope there is a difference between stolen goods and copied patents. Apple sued Samsung recently for copying the iphone on the basis that it is rectangular and you slid a button to unlock it and other things. If Apple somehow killed all Samsung devices, would that be ok? Is the consumer guilty of receiving stolen goods? Again, I’m no expert but I have to think there is some consumer protection. The consumers bought the phones to use as phones and would be screwed out money if apple killed them. The beef should be between apple and samsung, the consumer can’t be expected to know about any of the patents.

On the other hand, if there was a device that you could buy specifically for stealing cell phone service, and that’s all it’s made for, I’d think it would be ok to kill that and the person who bought it would have no recourse. That’s what the cable company examples seem like to me. If you buy a device to steal cable service and someone kills your theft device, too bad.

I’ve heard this but I’ve never understood the logic. Wouldn’t it make more sense to install an accurate gauge and then put a reduced amount of ink in the cartridges? That would be cheaper than selling full cartridges and it would have the same effect.

But Graple can’t legally act on its belief that Samhummed stole its idea until it’s been legally established. If they sabotage Samhummed’s products because they “know” Samhummed copied their products, then it is legally no different than Samhummed sabotaging their products.

It’s effective when the cartridges are linked: all the colors, or colors & black are contained within a single cartridge. Thus as soon as one color runs out, you have to replace the whole package, even if the other colors still have ink left.

I once worked at a company where it was common for the multi-color cartridges to run out of red ink long before the other colors (because the company logo was mostly red). A fellow employee used to rescue the discarded used cartridges. He used them on his home printer, just adjusting to do much of his printing in blue or green instead of black. He could thus get hundreds of pages from these ‘empty’ cartridges. But that won’t work on many modern cartridges; the logic chip in them prevents them from working once any one color is empty.

Yes, I can see the economic logic of having the printer reject the cartridge when the first color runs out even if the other colors are still available. It’s the false capacity issue that doesn’t appear sensible.

Let’s say, for example, that a company is selling printers and ink cartridges and their ink cartridges are designed to hold 50 ml of ink. But they want to sell you more ink cartridges so they jigger their printers to read the cartridge as empty when it reaches the halfway point. So you have to throw out a cartridge that still contains 25 ml of ink.

But the company still puts 50 ml of ink into the cartridge. It might be a trivial cost but it adds up over millions of cartridges.

So why not just change the amount of ink in the cartridges? Just load them with only 25 ml of ink instead of 50 ml and have the printers set to tell you when they’re genuinely empty. They’ll run out just as fast as the other ones did and they’re cheaper to make.

I don’t see the least bit of liability on the part of Graple. They’ve done nothing wrong, their customers are unaffected, and the Samhummed devices are faulty.

The Samhummed products are faulty due to an action taken by Graple. That certainly opens them up to the possibility of liability.

No, they were faulty because they didn’t take into account the actions that could be taken by Graple, in this case not including a valid Graple serial number. Graple had no obligation to limit it’s service in a way that would allow Samhummed devices to continue working. Assume that the Samhummed devices would fail if the Graple signal ever exceeded 100Mhz, but Graple had never done that in the past. Now Graple has figured out to do this without harm to their own devices. They have no reason not to start using the higher frequency transmission. Samhummed products are faulty because they break when this is done.

Graple would be in a more defendable position if they didn’t take apart a Samhummed device first. There is no reason to believe that a similar competing device would respond to a Graple-specific kill command.

Once they took apart the device and confirmed that the kill command would work, I think the narrative changes significantly.

some all-in-one devices stop scanning when the ink runs low.

some low ink warnings are not based on actual ink levels but the time that it has been installed in the machine and their calculation for an average user. this can lead to early replacement for the home user who might have lower printing needs compared to a business user.

None, I would think. Samhummed made a defective product by failing to completely copy the device. They were the ones who included the wrong demons.

Yes. I’m missing entirely what it is that people think Graple did that was wrong. They make a product, they can do anything with it they want, and they have no concerns for anything any other company might try to do with their product.

This isn’t an analogous situation. Amazon took actions pursuant to its own service agreements with its own customers. (Those actions turned out to be unpopular, but that’s a different issue.) That’s not what the OP is proposing.

You have some bizarre legal ideas. Graple’s reason not to use a higher frequency transmission was that it would break Samhummed devices. And Samhummed devices are not faulty just because Graple was able to break them.

If you go and throw a rock through your neighbour’s window, you can’t claim that it was your neighbour’s fault because he didn’t install shatterproof windows. Or claim that you weren’t at fault for breaking his window because you had no reason not to throw a rock.

Graple can take legal action against Samhummed for stealing its designs. And you can take legal action against your neighbour because he stole those windows out of your garage. But the key factor is Graple or you can take legal action, not go out and commit a crime against the company or person you feel committed a crime against you.

What crime is transmitting at 100Mhz? It is not the same. If your neighbor has a window that breaks when you shine a light on it then he has a faulty window. Shining a light is not throwing a brick. The airwaves are already regulated and unless Graple violated those regulations they aren’t responsible for the damage their transmissions cause in someone’s faulty product.

Let’s say you got an exact duplicate of your neighbor’s window and discovered that its design meant a pulsed 100hz tone at 85db would cause it to crack. So, you set up a well designed speaker array, point it at his window and get it to crack. You were quite careful to be within the local regulations regarding noise.

Does your neighbor have a legitimate beef / case against you?

General tort question. Can someone sue for damages if they are committing an illegal act?
So if Samhummad devices break because they were stealing the patent then do they have any cause? Would they even have any standing if the devices in question were owned by the customers and not leased? e.g. Jim Bob would have to sue Graple for bricking his equipment?

And that’s the essential point.

Graple’s P.R. department issues a press release stating that, “We found a number of counterfeit Graple devices that were sold to the public. So to insure the integrity of all authentic Graple devices, Graple transmitted a reauthentication signal. Any non-Graple devices pirating this signal may become nonfunctional.”

Typical corporate BS, but that’s how they’re framing the issue. Graple implies only “authentic” Graple devices with their patented circuit will be able to receive this signal. Anyone else who receives this signal is “pirating” it.

So does it matter that Graple’s signal bricked all the non-Graple devices since only authentic Graple devices should be able to receive this signal (according to Graple)?