Not round holes

Joined
Sep 3, 2003
Messages
2,432
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.

You keep positing that the round opening hole offers a functional advantage over other shapes. In my opinion, and I imagine others' as well, it does not.

And I'm just some guy, not a judge.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
763
You keep positing that the round opening hole offers a functional advantage over other shapes. In my opinion, and I imagine others' as well, it does not.

And I'm just some guy, not a judge.

It's subjective for sure, but OP's thread was saying "Round holes are so much better, why do other companies even put a hole on a knife and make it another shape". Several people have agreed that round holes are preferable for them, and I follow that line of thinking as well; opening a knife is a semi-circular motion, and a round hole lends itself to a semi-circular motion, and the ergonomics of the human thumb.

I think a comprehensive study would give results that say as much; and a poll of knife buyers would likely show a preference for a round hole when a hole for opening the knife is preferred.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2013
Messages
824
Although the round opening hole does work very well, I've not had any difficulty with other hole openers (Victorinox, Byrd, Buck).

The round hole is distinctive of the Spyderco knives, and I think it does deserve to remain their trademark feature.

I also like thumb studs and thumb plates too.
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
1,818
You keep positing that the round opening hole offers a functional advantage over other shapes. In my opinion, and I imagine others' as well, it does not.

And I'm just some guy, not a judge.

Yeah, and I don't think it offers a functional advantage as much as it has simply become a matter of preference over the years due to Spyderco using it. What if Spyderco innovated one handed opening with a hole like them Striders have for example instead and we got conditioned to using that for three decades? There would probably be some who'd say, "I prefer it to a round hole that creates a hump and distorts clean lines and the opening is so much easier on the flat hole, smaller circumference- easier to get to open" hehe.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2003
Messages
2,432
It's subjective for sure, but OP's thread was saying "Round holes are so much better, why do other companies even put a hole on a knife and make it another shape". Several people have agreed that round holes are preferable for them, and I follow that line of thinking as well; opening a knife is a semi-circular motion, and a round hole lends itself to a semi-circular motion, and the ergonomics of the human thumb.

I think a comprehensive study would give results that say as much; and a poll of knife buyers would likely show a preference for a round hole when a hole for opening the knife is preferred.

I still am unconvinced that a comprehensive study would reveal anything more than perhaps some people stating that they found the round hole more comfortable. And that, as you said, is quite subjective.

I think you would have to prove that the average individual was unable to reliably open a folding knife using a non-circular opening hole or that its exclusion was a significant detriment to the general performance and utility of the knife. Further, since an opening hole is only one of many opening methods on a folding pocket knife (thumb stud, thumb disc, Emerson wave feature, etc.), you'd have to prove that the Spyderco round opening hole is advantageous over all of those other options. Today's widely-varied folding knife market certainly speaks to the contrary.

Yeah, and I don't think it offers a functional advantage as much as it has simply become a matter of preference over the years due to Spyderco using it. What if Spyderco innovated one handed opening with a hole like them Striders have for example instead and we got conditioned to using that for three decades? There would probably be some who'd say, "I prefer it to a round hole that creates a hump and distorts clean lines and the opening is so much easier on the flat hole, smaller circumference- easier to get to open" hehe.

I'd say there's some truth to this angle as well. Being "first to market" can definitely affect consumer preference, to a point.
 

Codger_64

Moderator
Joined
Oct 8, 2004
Messages
59,831
I see a lot of misconceptions and confusion here over the terms and definitions of intellectual property law. Yes, one can patent a design with a design patent. Or a utility/use with a utility patent. A trademark is different. And then there is trade dress. And copyright.
 

dkb45

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
4,435
I actually kind of dislike the Spyderhole. The edges are it are too sharp so it digs into my thumb unless I smooth it myself, or nail flick it open. The most comfortable hole I have used is the one on the Ka-Bar Peter Janda Fin Folder. It was a nearly circular pill shape (don't see why people call a hole with a flat top and bottom an oval... It is pill shaped) with nice rounded and smooth edges, but it opened just as well via guiding it open as flicking it. I wish that knife wasn't discontinued.
 
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