Vagabond's patent on wedge campers

Vagabond announced their patent is now official. What does this mean for the future of other wedge campers like GFC? I don’t know anything about patents but seems like the main reason is to protect your design from copycats and eliminate your competitors.
I have to assume Vagabond wouldn’t spend the money and hassle of getting this patent if they didn’t have plans on benefiting from it.

I don’t have a huge knowledge on patents, but I’m guessing its on their design rather than on wedge campers overall. If it were on wedge campers overall then a whole slew of companies might be in deep now.

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Here’s an article about GFCs from December 13, 2017

Their patent application was filed on Dec 28, 2017

Seems like a legally hard road to hoe considering they already had their plans out there before a patent was filed.

I guess we’ll see.

Yeah maybe you’re right. I found this link posted on Tacoma World which describes in detail the patent.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=10829028.PN.&OS=PN%2F10829028&RS=PN%2F10829028

I also found this info on the uspto.gov site on this page

https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2152.html

It states…
[a] person shall be entitled to a patent unless—

  • (1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or
  • (2) the claimed invention was described in a patent issued under section 151 , or in an application for patent published or deemed published under section 122(b) , in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.

So, I’m super surprised they were able to get a utility patent. Hope they don’t try to become patent trolls. Hate those guys.

I noticed that Vagabond didn’t include any articles when they mentioned GFCs website in the ‘Other References’ section of their application. Hmmmmm - smells a bit fishy.

I feel pretty certain they would not have been granted that patent if they had included a link to that readily accessible article from 2017 in their IDS. I think GFC has plenty of room to contest this, if needed.

Just tryin to help :wink:

From my understanding of patent law, GFC is fine here. Where GFC would be in trouble is if they directly copied Vagabond distinctly. Patents in the US allow for other competitors always. Look at Yeti and their patent. RTIC basically straight up copied them. They got busted, had to make a minor change, and now they are back fine. A GFC is pretty different than a Vagabond for a lot of reasons, which everyone here knows, and the one common theme is that it is a “wedge” design. Think about a company like Traeger or Yeti…file patents and immediately have competitors that are legally sound because they have virtually the same thing (just minorly different). A GFC is very unique and original under its own banner and they will be completely fine. Patents like this are simply for protection of the business filing. I’m sure GFC will be issued a patent for their design if they are in fact in the process.

Another way to think about it is Leer vs ARE vs Snugtop. All three are patented in US and can exist just fine. There is no way that a court of law would hold up patent infringement for simply anything that is a “wedge”…it is just too general and the goal of patent courts in the US are not to stifle competition but rather encourage it.

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Exactly right. Just because Traeger grills has a patent on “their pellet grill system” doesnt mean that they are the only ones who can use pellets in their grill. GFC is totally fine.

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