Not round holes

Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
1,818
kind of a b.s. move to try to trademark something that's over 20 years old at this point.

A BS move? That's something Spyderco's usually not mentioned with. They go out of their way to give credit when they use other's innivations like calling the framelock the Reeve integral lock while others make up their own names for it like 'monolock'. They also honor others' proprietary technologies and make a concious effort to not use things unique to another brand.

The axis and triad lock wilk eventually lose patent and many will jump on them like wolves. Not Spyderco. Not in 20 years or ever because they consider that a BS move. Besides what do other brands want with the Spyderhole anyway? Doesnt everyone who isn into Spydercos think it makes a knife ugly anyway?:p
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
1,818
Just to add to that, Sal was the first to come up with a one handed opening solution in pocket folding knives by way of the Spyderhole. It has become synonymous with the brand in the knife trade hence the trademark. You may not agree with it especially if you're not into Spyderco knives anyway but I just dont see it as a BS move.
 

Planterz

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
21,556
kind of a b.s. move to try to trademark something that's over 20 years old at this point.

Do you even know what a trademark is? Let me wikipedia that for you.

"A Trademark...is a recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others."

RECOGNIZABLE.

For something to be RECOGNIZABLE, it has to be around a while, right? Take the label off a Coke bottle, and you still know it's a Coke bottle. If you see a tractor, and it's green, you know it's a John Deere and not an International. If you see a battery with a copper top, you know it's a Duracell. Red and white checkered square on a dog food bag? It's obviously Purina. These products have been around long enough that their designs/logos/shapes/colors/etc are distinct and easily identifiable even without having to read the companies' names.

Because it was previously patented and they've been using it for a few decades, the round opening hole has become identifiable with Spyderco. It is because of this that the round hole is a trademark.

If you were the owner of a company, and something about your logo or product design became recognizable to the public as identifying your company, why on Earth wouldn't you trademark it?

However, I don't know if their trademark is the common law ™ or the Registered ® as granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2000
Messages
973
The oval on my KBar Dozier is workable, so I don't fing it an issue. Caught and released one of the Italian designs with a rectangle hole, and it was useless for its intended purpose.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
2,078
However, I don't know if their trademark is the common law ™ or the Registered ® as granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

I searched the US Patent and Trademark Office database, and couldn't find anything specifically about the opening hole. There are a multitude of patents, but there are only two live trademark claims. One is for their website, and the other covers the designs of knives and sharpening systems. That second one was filed in 1995, so I'm not sure if that addresses the Benchmade debacle.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
3,817
Most of my knives have Spyderhole, but in the past I carried old Seki made Emerson Traveler, which had oval hole and currently own Hossom with rectangular hole. Both work just fine.
kind of a b.s. move to try to trademark something that's over 20 years old at this point.
speaking your language, this is b.s. opinion.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Messages
4,617
kind of a b.s. move to try to trademark something that's over 20 years old at this point.

You're right, how dare they, I mean what would they be thinking when they revolutionize knife making and then everyone and their Mom wants in. Guess what else, if you want to use the Spyderco hole guess how much you have to pay these people?: 25 cents a blade (omg the end of the world, you have to pay to use someone else's idea).
 

Codger_64

Moderator
Joined
Oct 8, 2004
Messages
59,813
I have the oval hole on my favorite Jarbenza and I have no problem using it.

w9b3ua.png
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
763
I came across some information that was previously used in defense of Spyderco's trademark of the round hole, but this thread actually turns it on its head (The agreement that the round hole is in fact superior to other shapes).

Paul Beretta's Website said:
Functional features CAN be given trademark protection, as long as the functionality of the trademarked feature does not confer a functional advantage over other implementations of the feature. As an example, paint on a vehicle serves a functional purpose, but John Deere has a trademark on a specific color of green.

Other knife manufacturers, including Benchmade, who have used oval and other shaped opening holes have asserted, and continue to assert in their advertising that their opening hole is superior to the round one. By that assertion, they have eliminated the argument that the round hole opener has a functional advantage over other shaped holes. The fact that ANY hole opener of reasonable size, regardless of shape, has a functional advantage over thumb studs, disks, nail nicks, etc. is beside the point, since there are myriad ways to implement the functionality (hole opener) without violating the trademark by making it round.

So, regardless of Benchmade's marketing that asserts goofy shapes are superior, I think the consensus here is that round holes do in fact possess a functional advantage.

From what I have read, there is an expired patent for Spyderco's hole, but it had a more general language - it was just for a depression in the blade that allowed the thumb (as opposed to the fingernail of the opposing hand) to open the knife. The depression didn't even have to go all the way through the knife - that patent is expired.

Their trademark on the other hand is for a single interpretation of that patent, their round spyder hole. The functional advantage (that was the genesis of this thread, and a fact that we're all pretty much in agreement on) does preclude it from trademark protection under U.S. law.

Yeah, Spyderco is good about giving credit to other makers for their use of the RIL, the Blackie Collins Bolt lock, and lots of other design features, but they're in a unique position being a company that is involved in ongoing proceedings and argument over the protection of a hole, which is not as much an involved feature or improvement as some of the other inventions. The trademark just seems like a sly way for Spyderco to extend their patent protection to me. Of course, a business is to make profits, and they pretty much owe it to their shareholders to pursue all the advantages available to them, whether it be more patents or deriving payments in the form of royalties.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
499
Do you even know what a trademark is? Let me wikipedia that for you.

"A Trademark...is a recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others."

The "spydie hole" is no more of a trademark than the talon hole on Busse Knives

The "Design" that is covered by trademark is the logo-type of design, not a functional hole in a knife. A patent would cover an invention, not a trademark...
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
1,818
Yeah, Spyderco is good about giving credit to other makers for their use of the RIL, the Blackie Collins Bolt lock, and lots of other design features, but they're in a unique position being a company that is involved in ongoing proceedings and argument over the protection of a hole, which is not as much an involved feature or improvement as some of the other inventions.

It isn't as involved as anything yes it's a shape. It's a friggin hole. It has a purpose. A purpose that solves a problem of opening a folding knife one handed. It functions as an improvement. Then, consider that it is iconic of the brand. It doesn't seem much of an issue to other knife companies besides BM and a few folks. It can be belittled but it is what it is. What are you going to do about it? Are you gonna show up at the next court proceedings and talk about a hole? Are you gonna demand for you rights in court for your right to a hole? BM tried, maybe you'll have better luck.

The trademark just seems like a sly way for Spyderco to extend their patent protection to me.

Must be really affecting you, this hole ban... They went out of their way to extend it and inconvenience you. Those tricksters.

Of course, a business is to make profits, and they pretty much owe it to their shareholders to pursue all the advantages available to them, whether it be more patents or deriving payments in the form of royalties.

Yes, they are in business to make money of course. They do not have shareholders though. If you think Sal's grinning to the bank with his get rich royalty scheme, they pay royalties as well for using a protrusion of metal like the Emerson wave feature and go through the proper avenues when looking to implement someone else's feature. Bringing up the Axis again (BM's main selling point), have any idea how much money Spyderco can capitalize on it when the patent finally expires (BM has good lawyers)? Sal has gone on record that they should get to keep it. They are a business of course but they do not lack in ethics. You can say it's a much more complicated innovation compared to a mere hole but then why was BM so keen on having it on their knives and was apparantly willing to go to court for it? So simple yet there's been thread after thread about this. Belittling it on here doesn't change that it serves a meaningful purpose AND is synonymous with the brand much like a color (John Deere), shape (Coke bottle) is.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
363
A BS move? That's something Spyderco's usually not mentioned with. They go out of their way to give credit when they use other's innivations like calling the framelock the Reeve integral lock while others make up their own names for it like 'monolock'. They also honor others' proprietary technologies and make a concious effort to not use things unique to another brand.

The axis and triad lock wilk eventually lose patent and many will jump on them like wolves. Not Spyderco. Not in 20 years or ever because they consider that a BS move. Besides what do other brands want with the Spyderhole anyway? Doesnt everyone who isn into Spydercos think it makes a knife ugly anyway?:p
Benchmade didn't develop the Axis lock. They're also using loopholes in patent law that allows them to make minor changes to keep the patent past 20 years also. That lock patent isn't going to expire any time soon. Calling the frame lock a "monolock" is pretty dumb I agree. But personally, I believe in sharing technology. When Chris Reeve invented the frame lock, he gave it an open patent. Same with Walker and the liner lock. I just don't believe in trying to trademark something that's basically fallen into common usage.
 

stabman

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
Messages
20,396
Sorry I couldn't stand to read through the hole thread. ;)

Round holes work good (Spyderco usually does the overall design for a round-hole opening knife the best, as they've been doing it the longest...occasionally others do it as well).

Ovals work pretty good too.
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
1,818
Benchmade didn't develop the Axis lock. They're also using loopholes in patent law that allows them to make minor changes to keep the patent past 20 years also. That lock patent isn't going to expire any time soon. Calling the frame lock a "monolock" is pretty dumb I agree. But personally, I believe in sharing technology. When Chris Reeve invented the frame lock, he gave it an open patent. Same with Walker and the liner lock. I just don't believe in trying to trademark something that's basically fallen into common usage.

I know, they purchased the Axis lock. Didn't come up with it themselves but it is theirs and note how I said they have good lawyers on my last post hehe. I suppose nothing can stop others from using the hole as gytheran suggests. Why the vast majority avoid it? Probably because it's "ugly" :p Correction though, in Walker's case, he didn't file for a patent fast enough and has said that he probably should have. Don't know about CR's intentions.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
363
It isn't as involved as anything yes it's a shape. It's a friggin hole. It has a purpose. A purpose that solves a problem of opening a folding knife one handed. It functions as an improvement. Then, consider that it is iconic of the brand. It doesn't seem much of an issue to other knife companies besides BM and a few folks. It can be belittled but it is what it is. What are you going to do about it? Are you gonna show up at the next court proceedings and talk about a hole? Are you gonna demand for you rights in court for your right to a hole? BM tried, maybe you'll have better luck.



Must be really affecting you, this hole ban... They went out of their way to extend it and inconvenience you. Those tricksters.



Yes, they are in business to make money of course. They do not have shareholders though. If you think Sal's grinning to the bank with his get rich royalty scheme, they pay royalties as well for using a protrusion of metal like the Emerson wave feature and go through the proper avenues when looking to implement someone else's feature. Bringing up the Axis again (BM's main selling point), have any idea how much money Spyderco can capitalize on it when the patent finally expires (BM has good lawyers)? Sal has gone on record that they should get to keep it. They are a business of course but they do not lack in ethics. You can say it's a much more complicated innovation compared to a mere hole but then why was BM so keen on having it on their knives and was apparantly willing to go to court for it? So simple yet there's been thread after thread about this. Belittling it on here doesn't change that it serves a meaningful purpose AND is synonymous with the brand much like a color (John Deere), shape (Coke bottle) is.
I'm not even sure how emerson got that patent. The idea was already patented and had expired before the wave feature was even around.
http://www.google.com/patents?vid=U...een+cutlery#v=onepage&q=queen cutlery&f=false
Then again, that's probably why he can't go after people for using knives with double guards and thumb plates that catch the pocket.
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
1,818
I just don't believe in trying to trademark something that's basically fallen into common usage.

A respectable position of course. You can't get mad at a business for trying to protect their innovation though no matter how simple. It's a losing battle, after all...the Chinese infringe entire designs down to the Spyderco boxes so the hole is already common to them and sooner or later more legit companies will probably follow suit and use the hole. Luckily for Spyderco, the Spyderhole isn't the only feature or quality that has made them have such a big following among knife nuts.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
763
It isn't as involved as anything yes it's a shape. It's a friggin hole. It has a purpose. A purpose that solves a problem of opening a folding knife one handed. It functions as an improvement. Then, consider that it is iconic of the brand. It doesn't seem much of an issue to other knife companies besides BM and a few folks. It can be belittled but it is what it is. What are you going to do about it? Are you gonna show up at the next court proceedings and talk about a hole? Are you gonna demand for you rights in court for your right to a hole? BM tried, maybe you'll have better luck.



Must be really affecting you, this hole ban... They went out of their way to extend it and inconvenience you. Those tricksters.



Yes, they are in business to make money of course. They do not have shareholders though. If you think Sal's grinning to the bank with his get rich royalty scheme, they pay royalties as well for using a protrusion of metal like the Emerson wave feature and go through the proper avenues when looking to implement someone else's feature. Bringing up the Axis again (BM's main selling point), have any idea how much money Spyderco can capitalize on it when the patent finally expires (BM has good lawyers)? Sal has gone on record that they should get to keep it. They are a business of course but they do not lack in ethics. You can say it's a much more complicated innovation compared to a mere hole but then why was BM so keen on having it on their knives and was apparantly willing to go to court for it? So simple yet there's been thread after thread about this. Belittling it on here doesn't change that it serves a meaningful purpose AND is synonymous with the brand much like a color (John Deere), shape (Coke bottle) is.


You're too defensive to look at it objectively. I don't care one way or another - I have more Spyderco knives than any other brand, and I think Sal serves as a good role model for people looking to get into the knife business, but if we all agree that a round hole has a functional advantage over other geometric shapes; so according to that it doesn't qualify for trademark protection under U.S. law. I don't own any Benchmade products, so rest assured I have no ulterior motives there - Spyderco dominates my personal knife collection and that's not due to any one feature or marketing spiel - it's a holistic choice that starts with Sal's persona and ethics, includes several of the design features, the exotic and wide ranging steel choices, the weight, the ergonomics, the compatibility with their proprietary sharpening system, the alternatives they offer in terms of locking mechanisms, and finally I do like the round opening hole. I'll still be collecting various Spydercos even if all the other manufacturers put holes in their knives. I give Sal credit for his personality and ethics, but it's only smart for someone that holds several patents to hold that distinction in higher regard in other patent holders. I won't hold it against him because I'll never know his motives on that, but I won't count it as a purely altruistic move either because like I said, we'll never know someone else's true motives.

The reason that the law is written that way is so companies cannot use Trademark protection to extend patent protection - I didn't write the law. It's only a second thought to me because I would like to see more knives with a hole - some models would be better served with a hole than with a thumbstud. Liner locks are on a ton of knives, Spyderco has a lock that is a lot like the axis lock, something didn't seem kosher about the hole qualifying for extended protection, and now it makes sense (it really doesn't qualify IF we all agree that a round hole has a functional advantage over other shapes). They may pay royalties to use the wave function, but they do not have to pay royalties to use patents that are expired - and given the facts, the round hole should be an expired patent.

If you can't acknowledge that according to the law (functional features cannot be trademarked if they provide a functional advantage over other interpretations of such features) the round Spyderhole (a feature that the majority of us agree is preferential to oval holes, triangle holes, and several other types of holes - the circle is a geometric shape that has many advantages in many uses) may not qualify for trademark protection, perhaps you're too biased to weigh in on this issue. Sometimes you have to admit the facts even with it doesn't align with your brand loyalty or previous argument.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
19,374
I've never given the topic much consideration.... Round, oval, elongated, it doesn't matter to me, but at least they aren't use the stupid "disk", mounted on the spine of the knife.
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
1,818
You're too defensive to look at it objectively. I don't care one way or another - I have more Spyderco knives than any other brand, and I think Sal serves as a good role model for people looking to get into the knife business, but if we all agree that a round hole has a functional advantage over other geometric shapes; so according to that it doesn't qualify for trademark protection under U.S. law. I don't own any Benchmade products, so rest assured I have no ulterior motives there - Spyderco dominates my personal knife collection and that's not due to any one feature or marketing spiel - it's a holistic choice that starts with Sal's persona and ethics, includes several of the design features, the exotic and wide ranging steel choices, the weight, the ergonomics, the compatibility with their proprietary sharpening system, the alternatives they offer in terms of locking mechanisms, and finally I do like the round opening hole. I'll still be collecting various Spydercos even if all the other manufacturers put holes in their knives. I give Sal credit for his personality and ethics, but it's only smart for someone that holds several patents to hold that distinction in higher regard in other patent holders. I won't hold it against him because I'll never know his motives on that, but I won't count it as a purely altruistic move either because like I said, we'll never know someone else's true motives.

The reason that the law is written that way is so companies cannot use Trademark protection to extend patent protection - I didn't write the law. It's only a second thought to me because I would like to see more knives with a hole - some models would be better served with a hole than with a thumbstud. Liner locks are on a ton of knives, Spyderco has a lock that is a lot like the axis lock, something didn't seem kosher about the hole qualifying for extended protection, and now it makes sense (it really doesn't qualify IF we all agree that a round hole has a functional advantage over other shapes). They may pay royalties to use the wave function, but they do not have to pay royalties to use patents that are expired - and given the facts, the round hole should be an expired patent.

If you can't acknowledge that according to the law (functional features cannot be trademarked if they provide a functional advantage over other interpretations of such features) the round Spyderhole (a feature that the majority of us agree is preferential to oval holes, triangle holes, and several other types of holes - the circle is a geometric shape that has many advantages in many uses) may not qualify for trademark protection, perhaps you're too biased to weigh in on this issue. Sometimes you have to admit the facts even with it doesn't align with your brand loyalty or previous argument.

My remarks especially the last one was in response to your overall condemning tone and how the round hole and its exclusivity seemed to bother you. SO when it was apparent that I couldn't get it across, I directly asked you questions like "What are you gonna do about it?" Like literally... If it came off as defensive, not my intent maybe annoyed as I don't get why it bothers you so much to have to research patents, Paul Bertta's website, and call out a company as being sly and alluding that they are basically full of shit . It's all been written already, Ive already said that nothing may be stopping (legally) anyone from producing round holed deployment knives but yet, no one does and only a select few such as yourself a self proclaimed Spyderco fan have an issue with. Am I biased? I own and will buy more BM's and any knives that catch my interest. It just so happens that I totally agree with Spyderco's position and it helps that I do like their knives, and their owner as well so I will support them. I feel like I'll have to rehash what I've already said on this thread to respond to you so I'll leave it at that.
 
Top