Originally Posted by Scooby
The only problem is getting a company to tool up & make you something for free which would be copyrighted in some fashion. I'm still not sure it would be free from possible legal action as it's clearly not for personal use by the person who made it.
Hmm, not sure if just paying someone for it may land you in trouble, but it might land whoever makes it in trouble, if they were caught
. Debatable if they would go for the neck on one replication, even if it was 100% direct copy, but you never know... we have, but then a lot of my work is just once use only, so when it gets copied again, we tend to got to defcon 2 as default.
The patents covering reticules seem a little different to ours, which, i think, have to cover a functional aspect. The leupold patents seem to only cover an ornamental aspect, ie it's just a look... if it looks like that it's a copy... if it does the same thing, but looks different, it aint.
the latter pdf's and the sentence "we claim the ornamental design as shown" and the lack of description of the function of the reticule might suggest it's more of a visual design that's protected as opposed to a functional design with specific parameters.
however, if you look at Premier's patent for the Gen 2 http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6729062.pdf
you can see it's functional descriptive. That patent probably means that any new reticule using aiming points is a derivative of the Gen2, which Leupold fluffed up. That's probably why when Nikon got a new reticule patented, it was news, even though it didn't light the shooting world on fire (i actually quite like it, but there you go).
All that aside, Gen 2 mil-dot™ is protected by U.S. Patent #6,729,062.
US as opposed worldwide. It would appear they deem the US market to be large enough to cover the likelyhood of a scope being sold there and thus requiring a license from them to do so.
In the uk, i (being completely unqualified) would say the Premier patent could/may hold if it was registered and got around (somehow) the prior art of mildot, where as the leupold ones wouldn't and would probably fall under copyright, which is far easier to defeat, you simply add 'work' to the image, and then it's yours (and you can copyright it).
You can see from the dates, Premier got their Gen2 patented in 04, Leup got theirs done 05... perhaps Premier couldn't be bothered to chase them over the TMR... perhaps there's a weakness in the Gen2 patent... dunno.