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  • LCHIEN
    Internet Fact Checker
    • Dec 2002
    • 21101
    • Katy, TX, USA.
    • BT3000 vintage 1999

    More news on new table saw regulations

    CPSC is actively considering the issues of requiring active protection on table saws.

    A topic discussed in the past but the new twist is that companies are complaining that Sawstop owns some tight patents on the technology and has always demanded steep royalty payments for its use. The other power tool companies are arguing that the patent monopoly and high prices will force the low priced saw out of the market.

    To counter this argument, the owner of SawStop has offered to make his key patent US#9.724,840 "dedicated to the public" (I assume that means free to use) upon adoption of the CPSC rules.

    https://toolguyd.com/sawstop-patent-...omment-1536763

    Technically, I read that the ‘840 patent expired Jan of 2023. The filing date was 2002 and with some extensions and a 20 year patent life, the expiration was January of 2023.
    There also seem to be well over 100 more recent patents by Stephen F Gass assigned to SawStop Holdings LLC. Most of them related to saws, power tools and injury protection although admittedly some are for things like quick release throat plates.
    The question is whether releasing only one patent will remove roadblocks for competing devices. With such an incredible jungle of patents, it may be that Mr. Gass, a patent attorney of fairly good skill, originally, has merely made the illusion of giving access to an expired patent, still has tricks up his sleeve to pull?

    Why for instance, doesn't he just release the patent now? And why just one?

    Elon Musk made all the Tesla patents available for free use some years back.
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    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions
  • leehljp
    Just me
    • Dec 2002
    • 8470
    • Tunica, MS
    • BT3000/3100

    #2
    Gass is dancing around specifics to make it sound like he is a good guy. There is already a law on the books called "FRAND" or "Standard Essential Patents" that requires a minimum license to all if a specific patent is pushed by the government to become the STANDARD. The FRAND part requires equal financial (cost) access to all for it to become a "standard" in the industry.
    https://www.upcounsel.com/essential-patents
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

    Comment

    • dbhost
      Slow and steady
      • Apr 2008
      • 9256
      • League City, Texas
      • Ryobi BT3100

      #3
      I have said it before and will say it again, if Gass wants to prove he is "the good guy" he will open up his related patents free for use and distribution, basically open source them, like Volvo did with the 3 point seat belt designs of the 50s... I severely dislike Gass because he is using our government to force his own financial gain which is in my opinion beyond used car salesman or pimp sleazy.
      Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

      Comment

      • LCHIEN
        Internet Fact Checker
        • Dec 2002
        • 21101
        • Katy, TX, USA.
        • BT3000 vintage 1999

        #4
        I think there is a slight difference between a regulatory safety requirement and a voluntary industry standard for interoperability.
        Standards there is a choice to use something else and not be compatible, but a regulatory requirement is just that, you are forced to use it.
        And then the concept of FRAND - fair reasonable and non-discriminatory - means that payments has to be agreed upon before the standard is accepted by the group.
        I think Gass and the other tool companies are far apart... I'm guessing Gass wants something on the order of $50 royalty per and tool companies are looking for less than $5-10 per saw. Remember this is in addition to the cost of the hardware (which may or may not have to be bought from SawStop) and the additional costs to mount and install this on the saw, Making the end customer costs much higher.
        Frankly, Gass Deserves something but he's trying to make a lot from it, he's a clever inventor and a good patent attorney, but has chosen a particularly mean and villainous but legal path of shamelessly lobbying CPSC to have legislated a REGULATION requiring all parties to use his patent and accept his price or leave the business, rather than negotiate a STANDARD, using his patents as a club rather than a carrot.

        I'm not privy to any negotiations but Saw Stop can make money by
        • requiring a royalty payment from each saw incorporating the patent(s) of which Gass has it looks to be well over 100 (from my internet search, too many to read all the titles but they are all tool related and predominately table saw safety and or convenience items. Saw Stop may also be requiring a blanket royalty or license for all the patents whether needed or not, the practice of patent trolls and the practice of bundling things you don't want with an exclusive item you must buy.
        • requiring purchase of the saw stop cartridge and electronics module, and or a license and royalty to manufacture it according to designs
        Its a particularly contentious path given the number of disfiguring accidents annually and the human and monetary cost vs. the profits and lobbying of one beneficiary and the power of the CPSC. And the lobby of the power tool industry to avoid adoption of this regulation. All against the interests of the public at large who only want safe and competitively tools with choice of manufacturer.

        But the clock is ticking on Sawstop. Several of his key patents are rapidly approaching the 20 year expiration limit
        Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-01-2024, 06:03 PM.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

        Comment


        • dbhost

          dbhost
          commented
          Editing a comment
          Very well said. And I agree that Gass should make money from his invention. I am just thoroughly offended that he is trying to use force of government to do it and force other MFGs to adopt his invention / pay him or be forced out of the business. I find that approach incredibly distasteful. And what really stinks about it is I would LOVE to own a SawStop, I just don't want to reward the approach he is taking to this business.
      • capncarl
        Veteran Member
        • Jan 2007
        • 3575
        • Leesburg Georgia USA
        • SawStop CTS

        #5
        Just watched the Stubby Nubbs Bombshell utube. Very interesting, a good combination of a lot of what’s going on with flesh sensing technology. He also had a lot to say about flimsy guards!
        I’d label it a must watch for anyone with a tablesaw and anyone wanting a tablesaw.
        Capncarl

        Comment

        • LCHIEN
          Internet Fact Checker
          • Dec 2002
          • 21101
          • Katy, TX, USA.
          • BT3000 vintage 1999

          #6
          Here's the You tube video you mention.
          Interesting read/watch.

          https://youtu.be/nxKkuDduYLk
          It's a good video, outlining the issues regarding the mandatory inclusion of flesh detecting tech.

          At the end he makes a case for the use of quality blade guards as an alternative and decries the lack of their use. Then the last bit of his video is ironically a pitch for Ridge Carbide blades, which enticingly shows the use of the blade w/o a guard.
          Last edited by LCHIEN; 04-10-2024, 04:15 PM.
          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

          Comment


          • capncarl
            capncarl commented
            Editing a comment
            Taking the utube at face value, it paints Dr. Gass in a nicer picture.
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