Does IOA have patents on there rides ?

Saturday, November 24, 2001 5:26 PM
Do they have patents on The Hulk to keep from any other park geting that ride from B&M ?  Or what about dueling dragons ?
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Saturday, November 24, 2001 5:36 PM
I remember seeing a patent for the system that weighs the trains and adjusts the lift speeds to get Dueling Dragons to duel. I'm sure there's something similar for the launch system on Hulk.

Even then, just because there's a patent doesn't mean you can't build something similar. Either you pay a royalty to the patent holder, license the technology, or make it different enough that you can get around it.

Don't we have a member here that works for the USPTO?

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Saturday, November 24, 2001 5:40 PM
What if the launch system was the same only designed a bit differently to be more forcefull and powerful ? but as far as the Tunnel, Track Design , Could that still be used ?

*** This post was edited by TITAN_FAN_13 on 11/24/2001. ***

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Saturday, November 24, 2001 6:07 PM
I may be wrong, but I think that in the cases of both 'Hulk' and the 'Dragons,' any patents issued would be assigned to Bolliger and Mabillard.  Both of those are outsourced projects with which Universal probably had little to do. . . though, with that said, I vaguely recall some input on the tire launch from Universal Creative, so the situation could be a bit more complicated.

On in-house ride systems, the patents would belong to Universal Creative.  Those systems include Spiderman, Poseidon, and Cat in the Hat (I think).

I'm not sure about the other ride systems, though.  Those may or may not have been outsourced to other vendors.

~ Michael ~

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Saturday, November 24, 2001 7:54 PM
Actually, Universal had a lot to do with the design of the at least the catapult launch system...in an interview, the 3rd man in charge of the project explains how they welded two box cars together and tilted them up at a fairly steep angle to simulate the tunnel. They hooked themselves up to a row of seats that were connected to a weight at the end of cable. They would put different amounts of weight on the end of the cable to simulate different G accelerations. He said they would show up in their "crash dummy-esque" suits with pads and everything. They tested it a 1/2 G, 1 G, 4 G, and 6 G...they eventually agreed on 1 G.

He said when he first talked to B&M about the ride, he went through a big spiel about the catapult lift inside a tunnel, the number of and types of inversions. One of them stopped him and asked, "do you want a good coaster?" Pretty cool story if you ask me.

I don't know who would hold the patent, but I would assume it would be Universal because they came up with it.

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Mayday - Memorial Day Weekend - Nonpoint, Nickelback, Oleander, Staind
Ozzfest - June 8 - Drowning Pool, Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Disturbed, Black Sabbath
Awake Tour- June 15 - Darwin's Waiting Room, Puddle of Mudd, Deftones, Godsmack

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Sunday, November 25, 2001 6:00 AM

CPgenius said:
Actually, Universal had a lot to do with the design of the at least the catapult launch system...in an interview, the 3rd man in charge of the project explains how they welded two box cars together and tilted them up at a fairly steep angle to simulate the tunnel. They hooked themselves up to a row of seats that were connected to a weight at the end of cable. They would put different amounts of weight on the end of the cable to simulate different G accelerations. He said they would show up in their "crash dummy-esque" suits with pads and everything. They tested it a 1/2 G, 1 G, 4 G, and 6 G...they eventually agreed on 1 G.

I'd believe that :-)  So, it may very well be that Universal Creative got patents for the launch system, while the remaining portions of the ride would be considered a part of a previously filed patent by B&M.  Perhaps that's why we haven't seen another similar launch (brownouts aside)?
Also, while Uni. Creative may have had some, well. . .shall we say "suggestions" as to what course the ride would take, the actual engineering/technology is handled by B&M.  That's pretty clear since the cobra roll wound up over the lagoon - that wasn't an accident.  It's interesting to note that Walt Disney Imagineering does things a little differently, and, I believe, that actual track plans for their coasters are designed in-house, only to be manufacturered by outside vendors.
~ Michael ~

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Sunday, November 25, 2001 7:13 AM
On another note, I do happen to know that Morgan holds some patents that apply to the CaroSuessel. They have to do with wheelchair accessable chariot that goes up and down like the rest of the figures.
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Sunday, November 25, 2001 10:10 AM
I know for certain that the Dragons timing system patent has nothing to do with B&M, that one I've read a little bit of. I'm pretty sure it's the same for the Hulk launch.

-----------------
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Sunday, November 25, 2001 11:05 AM
Consign AG, who handles your safety on GCI and B&M coasters, came up with the weight system on the Dragons.  I don't know too much about the Hulk.  It would be my guess that whoever engineered the launch and drew it out on the computer would get the patent.  I could be wrong.  I don't think that if Six Flags went up to B&M and asked for a coaster that had a launch on the lift hill that went straight into a zero-g roll, they wouldn't get it.  I'm sure that there is nothing that Universal would be able to do about it.  The 4 across inverted coaster is patented, they wouldn't let Giovanola put 4 across on their invert b/c of the similarities.  I think it's whoever invents engineers or designs the object gets the patent.

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Coasters are like a fine wine, they get better with age.

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Sunday, November 25, 2001 11:46 AM
In the interview, he didn't go into as much detail with the Dueling Dragons' lift. He just said that they developed a lift that weighed the trains and made the lighter train go over first. So I'm not sure about how much Universal had their hands in its development.

-------------
Mayday - Memorial Day Weekend - Nonpoint, Nickelback, Oleander, Staind
Ozzfest - June 8 - Drowning Pool, Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Disturbed, Black Sabbath
Awake Tour- June 15 - Darwin's Waiting Room, Puddle of Mudd, Deftones, Godsmack

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Sunday, November 25, 2001 4:57 PM
I'm not with the patent office, but I did take a course in contract law once which was taught by a patent examiner.

Remember first, that it is one thing to be the person who applies for a patent and another to be the person or corporation who owns the patent.  If I invent something at work, I would be the person applying for the patent, but the rights would be assigned to my employer.  In the case of a situation such as designing the coasters for IOA, who owns the patent would depend more on the contracts involved than on who did the actual work.

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Monday, November 26, 2001 6:08 AM
An outside engineering consulting company designed the launch system on Hulk. I cannot remember the name off the top of my head, but I assure you it's patented by them. Think about it, if B&M had the patent, we would have seen it on another coaster by now... B&M is working on their own launch technology. We will see it SOON....

I do know that DD uses Silicon Graphics servers to weigh and dispatch the trains...

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WCUSA-The World's largest theme park is coming!
Theme parks will NEVER be the same!

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Monday, November 26, 2001 10:40 AM
There's someone around here who works for Consign AG, that's for sure..

-Natalie
Well, IS he a member here?

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Monday, November 26, 2001 10:58 AM
Consign even had the CB Newswire on their site. :)

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Monday, November 26, 2001 11:25 AM

Jeff said:
"Don't we have a member here that works for the USPTO?"

Sorry, I was out trying to actually *live* life instead of just reading it on the 'net. :)

Seriously though, to the best of my knowledge, B&M only hold two (2) US Patents; one for their "fixed-bogie suspended coaster" (e.g. Batman: The Ride) and one for a "lap restraint system" (e.g. for Apollo's Chariot). I have seen a patent from the EPO (European Patent Office) for a "vertical drop coaster" (e.g. Oblivion) but it was in French so I couldnt read the *entire* application.

As for the legalities of 'patent infringment', as Jeff said, the owner of a patent (not necessarily the inventor, see Jim F's comments) can sell the rights to make or use the device to whomever she wants. There *can* be exclusivity contracts, but this is not *always* the case. Additionally, patents can expire. The maximum patent term is now 20 years from the date of application filing. However, the patent owner must pay the requisite "maintainence fees" every few years to keep the patent valid. If they dont pay the fees, then the patent lapses and becomes part of the public domain.

Anyway, I dont know if Universal has anything on "Hulk" or "Dueling Dragons". If you are *really* curious go to the USPTO website ( http://www.uspto.gov/ ) and search the patents for "Universal" and "coaster" or "amusement device/ride" or something like that and see what comes up. Happy hunting!
ciao,
moi
--Yeah, I could do it for you (much faster even) but what would be the fun in that?

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