Magic Patent lawsuit

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Postby Bill Mullins » 03/27/09 05:11 PM

Yigal Mesika has a patent on his motorized thread real. He's filing an infringement suit against Sean Bogunia, claiming that Bogunia's IThread and IThreadX infringe on Mesika's patent.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/27/09 05:27 PM

I really like the link about the lawyer performing magic tricks for the jury in a different case:
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202428693055
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/27/09 09:32 PM

Bill Mullins wrote:Yigal Mesika has a patent on his motorized thread real. He's filing an infringement suit against Sean Bogunia, claiming that Bogunia's IThread and IThreadX infringe on Mesika's patent.

I didn't think that exclusive right could be accorded to previously known techniques, but then again, US patent laws are quite different in what they allow. Or perhaps I'm missing something? I looked at the patent, and couldn't find what the new ideas consisted of.

Anyone know who made the first motorized IT reel? The first one I saw was Stefan Schutzer's T.U.F.C in 1987 (22 years ago) which was controlled with a mercury switch.
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Postby Jim Maloney » 03/27/09 09:54 PM

Tom,
The fifth page seems to go into some detail on how his invention improves upon previous designs. I'm not sufficiently versed in the various other options to really comment on the differences, though.

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Postby John Signa » 03/27/09 10:35 PM

The real meat of the patent is the list of 13 claims that start on the second column of the 6th page. The patent is not for a motorized ITR, rather it is for these thirteen improvements.
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/27/09 10:43 PM

Jim Maloney wrote:Tom,
The fifth page seems to go into some detail on how his invention improves upon previous designs.

At first glance perhaps. It says: "A few motorized ITR's have been developed over the years, but they have minimal directional control over the thread, and concealment is also difficult."

But previous designs are not mentioned in any further detail than this. So how is it then possible to judge the improvements, if the predecessors are neither identified nor described?
I'm not saying he has no grounds for his claims, just that I'm curious over the omitted parts.
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Postby John Signa » 03/28/09 03:35 AM

Tom Stone wrote:But previous designs are not mentioned in any further detail than this. So how is it then possible to judge the improvements, if the predecessors are neither identified nor described?
I'm not saying he has no grounds for his claims, just that I'm curious over the omitted parts.

There have been plenty of patents issued for mouse traps that really weren't better.

It really doesn't matter if the improvements are good ones or not. If adding a microchip to monitor rotations doesn't really help, then listing the claim in the patent is pointless as no one would want to implement it in their own devices.

What is important is that the claim is original, that a microchip hasn't been used to monitor rotations in an ITR. Then documentation of previous ITRs that used a microchip would be important to prove that it had been done publicly prior to March 29, 2004.
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/28/09 06:43 AM

John Signa wrote:prior to March 29, 2004.

March 29, 2005.
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Postby the Larry » 03/28/09 06:52 AM

Then you need to show that this improvement is not obvious. Controlling anything today with a microchip is obvious, state-of-the-art. That generality cannot be patented. If a specific method is used, say a particular mechanism or electronic control that is non-obvious then there is a claim. Otherwise not.

Just because a patent has been issued does NOT mean that the patent is valid. This can only be determined in a law suit. And these kinds of lawsuits are expensive. My guess is that neither party can really afford such kind of lawsuit.
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Postby John Signa » 03/28/09 12:23 PM

Tom Stone wrote:
John Signa wrote:prior to March 29, 2004.

March 29, 2005.


Nope, March 29, 2004, one year prior to the filing date.
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Postby 000 » 05/19/09 10:39 AM

Im referring to the law.com link by RK above: regarding the lawyer, a Mr Leventhal, who admits to having performed magic tricks for jury members on many occasions during opening and closing statements in criminal trials, where he acts for the defence. Doing a mismade bill switch whilst telling jury members that the prosecutions case doesnt add up. I find that utterly amazing. Has anyone considered the ramnifications? What I would find most interesting is whether it leads to a higher chance of acquittal. Do you do the magic only when the jury has doubts? Mm, I ponder this as a former criminal defence attorney myself.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/19/09 12:59 PM

What's the difference if a lawyer can tell a joke, make a humorous remark, or do a magic trick?
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Postby 000 » 05/19/09 01:42 PM

I would say that if you did a magic trick in a total non magic setting such as a court room, and did so unexpectedly to boot, it could have a fairly profound effect on people.

Perhaps for some jury members to be distacted enough to loose track of the facts......if it doesnt fit, you must acquit, remeber that mantra? Im amazed any judge would allow such antics in his courtroom.
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Postby 000 » 05/20/09 09:33 AM

I would also be interested if there are any lawyers on this forum who could offer their opinion.( on performing for jurors)
Having defended some 1500 accused in my time as a criminal defence lawyer I reckon having (performance for the jury) rights could be a powerful weapon.
But better not be nervous and drop the thumb tip to the floor during your bill switch or it could end up costing your client...his ass.

Gives whole new meaning to PLAYING TO THE JURY doesnt it?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/20/09 09:40 AM

Pretty much begs the opposition to offer a better trick to justify their superior claims, right?

And now to prove my case here's Franz Harary to vanish the moon.

And in rebuttal live from Las Vegas, David Copperfield will make the entire Supreme Court appear.

But wait, we have a surprise witness who's going to walk on water as they deliver their testimony.

sigh.
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Postby David Alexander » 05/20/09 09:46 AM

000 wrote:I would say that if you did a magic trick in a total non magic setting such as a court room, and did so unexpectedly to boot, it could have a fairly profound effect on people.

Perhaps for some jury members to be distacted enough to loose track of the facts......if it doesnt fit, you must acquit, remeber that mantra? Im amazed any judge would allow such antics in his courtroom.


If you are referring to the OJ Simpson trial and Judge Lance Ito there were many in the judiciary in Los Angeles and elsewhere who privately looked down on his handling of the case. I was involved as a litigant in a small action at the same time (shedding myself of an unwanted literary agent) when my judge made a disparaging remark about how he wasn't going to handle his trials like "the guy across the street."

During the Simpson trial a friend visited a colleague in Illinois. An uncle of that person was a judge on the Illinois Supreme Court. Over dinner my friend got an earful about what a number of judges thought of Lance Itos skill as a judge. None of it was laudatory.
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Postby Curtis Kam » 05/20/09 03:51 PM

The last time I considered this was with a collegue who is a magician/mentalist and who was also trying criminal cases. At that time, maybe ten years ago, our concern was that any good the trick might do you would be outweighed by the opposition either: a) trivializing you as a "birthday party entertainer", b) suggesting that your trick was exactly why you could not be trusted to tell the truth, c) deflating your point by exposing the trick, or d) painting the tactic as a sign of desperation, i.e. a last resort when the facts and the law aren't in one's favor.

Of course, if you're the last one to speak to the jury, then a lot of this can be avoided. And there's something to be said for showing the jury that the Court holds you in enough regard to allow you to try something novel. You wouldn't want the Court telling you to knock it off in the middle of your presentation, though.

Perhaps Mr. Leventhal's success with this signals a change in the public's regard for magicians in general? His opposition did not seem to think that they could sufficiently stigmatize him by calling him a "magician".

I suspect that Mr. Leventhal's role as the attorney representing the insurance company/defendant also has something to do with it.

BTW, I don't do many criminal cases, but it would seem to me that the judge's concern might be that if he allowed the defendant's attorney to do something like this, and the defendant lost, he might be handing the defendant grounds for an appeal.

Finally, I should note that if you do decide to do the bill switch in front of the jury, you might as well use a gaffed bill. You're not giving anything out for examination, you're not going to borrow the bill, and the jury, at least, is not going to heckle you.

Personally, I've always liked the idea of slush powder in the little paper cups they have for water.
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