Cedar fair, Disney, Universal face patent lawsuit.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007 10:39 AM
crazy horse's avatar Found this on pointbuzz and thought you guys might like this one.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/custom/tourism/orl-ride0707mar07,0,5089145.story?coll=orl-business-headlines-tourism

Seems odd that they are going after the parks, and not the companies that built the rides.Will this suit even stand up in court?


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 10:42 AM
I would think that the Ride Builders would be the responsible party here.

I mean come on, CF hires Intamin because included in their RIDE are magnetic brakes.

Chuck

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 10:46 AM
The parks could have some liability if they bought the rides from manufacturers and knew the manufacturers were violating the patent rights. So it will come down to what they knew and when they knew it.

This may not be very good for the industry, as it could slow the purchase and building of some new rides while things get sorted out in the courts.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 10:48 AM
Well the fact that the suit mentions Kings Island means a couple of things. Only two rides (other than Drop Zone), use magnetic brakes. Italian Job, designed by Premier, opened with magnetic trim brakes. However, when the Beast braking system was redone a couple of years ago, the park installed magnetic trim brakes in several places on the course. Still not sure why they are suing the park operators and not the manufacturers of these attractions. I could see possibly The Beast being plausible, depending if they had an outside company or not to do the renovation.

Former Coney Island (Cincinnati) ride operator (2002-2004)

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 10:52 AM
Kennywoods Jack Rabbit?
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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:04 PM
This all seems rather silly. If a Ford car contained a part that was patented by another company. Would that company sue Ford or everyone who owns a Ford?

*** Edited 3/7/2007 7:23:28 PM UTC by Jeffrey Seifert***

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:06 PM

depotrat said:
The parks could have some liability if they bought the rides from manufacturers and knew the manufacturers were violating the patent rights. So it will come down to what they knew and when they knew it.

This may not be very good for the industry, as it could slow the purchase and building of some new rides while things get sorted out in the courts.


Is it really the responsibility of the consumer to know that each and every component of an item they purchased is not violating some patent?

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:15 PM
No, I'm pretty sure it's not. I would think this would be solely the responsibility of the manufacturers.

Oh, and the brake part might be dodgy. That patent is dated 2003, and B&M and Paramount Parks (Beast) were using them in 2001 and 2002.


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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:20 PM
This kind of thing happens to companies all the time. Company A is granted a generic, loosely-worded patent X years ago, and tries to sue Company B because it violates the patent. I usually don't pay attention, because A) the patent has become an industry standard (hence the parties involved), and B) I've known for a long time that the US patent system is broken.
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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:23 PM
The parks do not need to know. My point is that if they did know and made the purchase anyhow they might have some liability.

It is kind of like buying stolen goods. If you know they are stolen then you are in the soup. If you don't know, you do not have liability. So again it comes down to what did you know and when did you know it.

By naming the parks in the action it also addresses the problem of their invention being sold for years while the suit is being heard. Parks knowing they could get dinged by this will hold off on purchasing. That hurts the manufacturer and adds motivation to the ride manufacturer to settle this quickly.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:25 PM
It's dated 2003, but WHEN in 2003. I belive Dragster and MF use magnetic brakes. Also, does it apply to parks that weren't using the part yet?

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:27 PM
I read through the whole document and it looks like they want rides using the mag brakes/lim brakes shut down while this is going on. Do they have any legal legs to stand on for that?
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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:33 PM
If you have enough cash, you can make somebody do ANYTHING using legal loopholes. If you take a look at CP, for example, it would mean TTD, MF, Maverick and WT would be shut down using that logic.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:41 PM
Maybe I'm just being senile and blathering again, but wasn't there an "episode" at one of the CF parks last summer that involved a problem with brakes? Was it one of the patented brakes? (Sorry, I generally don't memorize an inventory of ride parts) If so, then Safety Braking Corp. should get credit for that too.
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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:44 PM
I know that we all don't want the parks harmed in any way or the rides closed, but in the larger picture patents are good for any industry. I have no idea if there was a violation here, but if there were, it would be hard for me to believe that all these large corporations involved were not aware. It would not be good if companies stopped making innovations in this industry because they thought it would be pointless because the ideas would just be stolen by the established companies.
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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 1:44 PM
I believe that was SFNE's S:ROS. The one that rear ended the other because a air hose was kinked or something.

Chuck, who apologizes if thats not the incident your talking about

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 2:03 PM
I think everyone recognizes the value of patents. However on a ride like TTD there could be dozens if not more, patented components. Do you really think the end user should be responsible for making certain all royalties have been paid on each and every component to a ride?

I think the company just wants to make a lot of noise. They could very well have a legitimate suit, but it should be against the manufacturers, not the companies who purchased their products.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 2:23 PM
Ref. the BGE comment above, as far as I know, none of the coasters have mag brakes, except for maybe Griffon. But maybe they are somehow included with DarKastle's system.

coastin' since 1985

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 2:26 PM

pkidelirium said:
I read through the whole document and it looks like they want rides using the mag brakes/lim brakes shut down while this is going on. Do they have any legal legs to stand on for that?

I doubt that could happen.

Lawyers would argue that purchase and use of said brakes would be a one time fee to the patent holder. Therefore continued operation of the rides (and they are technically non-profit making too) would not cause the complainant any further loss.

Unlike, say, a company that is continuously selling something that another has a patent on.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007 4:18 PM

rablat5 said:
Ref. the BGE comment above, as far as I know, none of the coasters have mag brakes, except for maybe Griffon. But maybe they are somehow included with DarKastle's system.

I withdrew that question after I read the lawsuit. In it they name every single park that a chain owns, even if that particular park doesn't have a ride that uses magnetic brakes. It looks like the author of the newspaper article just picked a few park names at random.

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