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    Zaxcom patent infringement question
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    Senior Member BrianMurphy's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if the Zaxcom patent extends to devices sold in Canada? I want to buy the new Zoom recorder but want the thru record feature to use it as a backup for my g3 wireless kits. I know it applies to the USA but not to international sales. Canada is indeed another nation and no-one has been able to answer this question. I have family in Europe and can ask them to ship to me but it just seems like a p.i.a.
    Thanks
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    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    I’m also curious about this. All the US product listings tout the headphone/line output with no indication that it mutes during recording, and I wonder how they’re able to skirt the Zaxcom patent.

    This is interesting, from the B&H listing for the F2-BT:

    A locking 3.5mm stereo output jack with dedicated volume up/down buttons enables straightforward routing to your camera, DSLR, secondary recorder, or even headphones for monitoring.
    So I wonder if it’s the stereo wiring configuration, as opposed to a wireless-proprietary pin out made for passthrough to a TX, that gets around the patent.
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    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    I've done a bit of Googling but I'm left confused? What is this Zaxcom patent and what does it prevent other manufacturers doing? Passing audio through? Passing audio through what? Could somebody give a bit of context - I'm happy googling but can't quite find the correct search terms?

    EDIT
    Ah - found it. The protected feature is the recording of audio to an SD card while simultaneously transmitting it. How on earth did they get a patent on something like this when both devices already exist, and they just patented putting both in one box? Surely connecting any small audio recorder in the line to the transmitter can't be considered an infringement of a copyright when people have done it for years? I've clearly missed all the fuss this must have caused.
    Last edited by paulears; 12-11-2020 at 08:25 AM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMurphy View Post
    Does anyone know if the Zaxcom patent extends to devices sold in Canada?
    Thanks
    US patents do not extend to Canada. Patents have to be filed in each country. A search for 'Zaxcom patent Canada' turns up with nothing, so I suspect they only filed in the US.


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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    ... How on earth did they get a patent on something like this when both devices already exist, and they just patented putting both in one box?
    Ahh, the patent business; something close to my heart. The idea of a patent being 'novel' is long gone. I don't know the history of how this came to be, but let's just assume corporate patent lawyers had a lot more time and money than the patent office. I used to have a job where I actually was assigned a quota to have my group submit a certain number of patent applications every year. I have patents on the most absurd things you can imagine; all in the name of patenting as much stuff as possible so that if any other company came at us with a patent suit, we could compare patents and negotiate a settlement. It's madness.


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    I've done a bit of Googling but I'm left confused? What is this Zaxcom patent and what does it prevent other manufacturers doing? Passing audio through? Passing audio through what? Could somebody give a bit of context - I'm happy googling but can't quite find the correct search terms?

    EDIT
    Ah - found it. The protected feature is the recording of audio to an SD card while simultaneously transmitting it. How on earth did they get a patent on something like this when both devices already exist, and they just patented putting both in one box? Surely connecting any small audio recorder in the line to the transmitter can't be considered an infringement of a copyright when people have done it for years? I've clearly missed all the fuss this must have caused.
    AAANND... They somehow have been able to also prevent other devices (in the US) from just even having an audio pass-thru, as well. The US Patent System is beyond broken and stupid.

    I’ve spent probably at least $75K on audio gear(and I’m not even an audio guy), mostly in Lectrosonics and Sound Devices and I will not give Zaxcom one penny of my money. And I know a lot of dedicated audio guys who will not do business with them, in part due to what they have done to stifle the industry with a BS patent that should never have been issued in the first place.

    To the OP’s question, whenever I see equipment listed that is “affected” by this, I have only ever seen the features being listed as disabled specifically in the models for US sales.


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F View Post
    US patents do not extend to Canada. Patents have to be filed in each country. A search for 'Zaxcom patent Canada' turns up with nothing, so I suspect they only filed in the US.
    Or... The US Patent Office was the only body stupid enough to grant them a patent on a device based on “prior art”.


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    Looks like the Zaxcom recording-transmitter patent is only an issue in the US.

    For example, Audio LTD makes an interesting body-pack recording-transmitter, the A10-TX. But in the US, there's only a different version available, the A10-TX-US, which doesn't record (or at least won't simultaneously record and transmit): https://www.audioltd.com/a10-tx-us/

    However, Trew Audio, the location-audio dealer with stores in both the US and Canada does sell the recording-version of the A10-TX in the Canadian locations, and says so specifically:
    https://www.trewaudio.com/product/audio-ltd-a10-tx/

    In big red letters on that page:
    RECORDING TRANSMITTER FEATURE AVAILABLE IN CANADA.
    PLEASE CONTACT TORONTO OR VANCOUVER FOR PRICING.

    I don't know if Zoom and Deity are (or will be) following the same approach, but it looks like you can get body-pack devices that record and transmit or passthrough in Canada.

    HTH!
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    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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    Senior Member Rick R's Avatar
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    I find the whole thing ridiculous (sorry Glen), with the fact that it is two different markets for the low budget recorders with a throughput. Though I wonder how many future Zax buyers feel alienated, and will choose another manufacturer when that time comes.
    However Zax has every right to patent a device.


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick R View Post
    I find the whole thing ridiculous (sorry Glen), with the fact that it is two different markets for the low budget recorders with a throughput. Though I wonder how many future Zax buyers feel alienated, and will choose another manufacturer when that time comes.
    However Zax has every right to patent a device.
    I have no problems protecting your creation and original ideas, but in this case, it’s not an original idea and the enforcement extends way beyond that, to boot.


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