cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Counterfeit flashes and patent violations

ComicDom1
Contributor

Are Yongnou Flashes counterfeit Canon flashes and do they violate Canons patents since they are copies?

6 REPLIES 6

jrhoffman75
Legend

They aren't counterfeit since they don't claim to be Canon flashes. Whether they violate patents is for Canon to determine. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

ComicDom1
Contributor

So if they copy Canon Flashes Button for Button and Function for Function along with LCD layout and operation they are not Counterfeit or in violation of a Patent?

 

I am finding that hard to believe.  To me that is  like taking a Ford or Chevy product and just slapping a different label on it. 

 

Apparently Canon themselves is aware of what is going on in the market and is cautioning us as consumers to be wary  of Counterfeit flashes and products yet they are not coming out and naming the Violating companies.   Just because it does not say Canon on the Flash does not mean its not a Counterfeit Canon Flash.  At least not in my opinion its not.

 

We all work hard for our money and with the cost of Official Canon Gear versus this Copy I for one really hope that Canon takes a more aggressive position.  Otherwise what is the motivation for us to stay with Official Canon Speedlites and Controllers if the clone works and functions exactly the same and is much less expensive?

 

As a long time user of Canon Camera's and products am I the only one that feels this way?

Yongno flashes aren't counterfeit because they aren't trying to trick you into thinking you are getting a real Canon flash. You know you are buying Yongnou. It may look exactly like a Canon flash. Yongnou may claim it is fully compatible with Canon cameras. That may or may not be true, but you are going in eyes open. 

 

A counterfeit product wants you to think you are actually getting a Canon product, but you are not. 

 

See this: http://www.canonrumors.com/product-advisory-counterfeit-canon-speedlite-600ex-flashes-on-the-market/

 

Your question about why buy Canon applies to all third party components. Sigma, Tamron and Tokina, among others, make lenses that will fit a Canon camera. Some get very good reviews; some don't work well. 

 

If if you buy Canon you get Canon quality, compatibility and help support the company that made you camera. That comes at a price. 

 

Quality third party products are good for the consumer, just like Nikon advances are good for Canon owners. It drives progress. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

With all due respect John, the other third party brands you have mentioned are not button for button, menu for menu, function for function copies. This is not case with the Yongnou flashes and Controllers and needs to be noted. I have already looked at the link you have posted above but I am also very aware of what a violation of a Design Patent is and I know it does not matter whose name or label it carries, if it violates a patent design owned by another its still a patent violation. Price, help and service at that point are not really relevant issues.

I do agree that Third party products are good for the consumer but not at the expense of Patent Violations of the Primary Designers and developers.

If the Primary Developers Patents are Violated without Penalty then it costs that Developer money and we as consumers end up paying for up in the end. The Primary Developer has to recoup their R&D costs somehow and that usually trickles down into the price of the goods and services they sell to the consumer.   The more goods and services the consumer purchases the more it offsets the R&D costs.

This is not Rockect Science.

 

Along comes another company and reverse engineers the Primary Developers Product and slaps there own label on it.  They sell what you are calling a third party product just because it carries their own label and I call and Counterfiet Product because basically its an exact clone of the Canon Product.      The Company that Reverse Engineered the product has no where near the money invested that the Primary Developer had.    They market their product right along side the Orignal Developers product for 1/3 or less of the Developers price.   The Developer takes a big hit on the sales of their product.

 

Personally I do not think this is good for Canon or the Consumer.  I would think Canon would be very concerned with this!


@ComicDom1 wrote:

So if they copy Canon Flashes Button for Button and Function for Function along with LCD layout and operation they are not Counterfeit or in violation of a Patent?

 

I am finding that hard to believe.  To me that is  like taking a Ford or Chevy product and just slapping a different label on it. 

 

Apparently Canon themselves is aware of what is going on in the market and is cautioning us as consumers to be wary  of Counterfeit flashes and products yet they are not coming out and naming the Violating companies.   Just because it does not say Canon on the Flash does not mean its not a Counterfeit Canon Flash.  At least not in my opinion its not.

 

We all work hard for our money and with the cost of Official Canon Gear versus this Copy I for one really hope that Canon takes a more aggressive position.  Otherwise what is the motivation for us to stay with Official Canon Speedlites and Controllers if the clone works and functions exactly the same and is much less expensive?

 

As a long time user of Canon Camera's and products am I the only one that feels this way?


Quite possibly. Which does not in any way suggest that your position is morally indefensible, just that it ignores some of the realities of international law and the workings of the legal systems of various countries.

 

You're using a much broader definition of "counterfeit" than most would accept. To me, the flash isn't counterfeit unless it claims to be something it isn't, i.e. a Canon flash. If it looks or behaves too much like a Canon flash, it may arguably violate Canon's trademarks or patents. But that depends on exactly how the laws are written and is a matter for the legal system to decide. If Canon cares enough, they will presumably sue.

 

China, where I believe the lookalike flashes are made, doesn't subscribe to all provisions of international patent and copyright law. That often comes up in trade negotiations, and things may change in the future. If a country feels strongly enough about China's behavior, or that of any other country, it can ban some or all of that country's products.

 

Note that not all copyright laws are good. In France you can't publish a night photograph of the Eiffel Tower, because the company that put up the lighting claims it's a violation of their copyright. Apparently French law supports their position. The U.S. considers that ridiculous; so if you can get your ET picture out of France, you're free to publish it in the U.S. That's an extreme example, but there are many questions of proprietary rights that have reasonable arguments on both sides. In most cases it's probably best to trust the legal system and hope that they get it right (i.e., accepted by a majority of interested and informed citizens) in the end.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Bob I appreciate your commentary and what you getting at. I am part of a family that had father's patent infringed on. Unfortunately it was not an International Patent.  That certainly does not mean we do not understand International Patents and that the law is applied differently in diffferent countries.  I don't know if I agree with you that using a broader definition of counterfiet or not.  Take the name  labels off the speedlites in question and think about that statement again.

 

I was very involved in our patent infringement case.  In fact I was the one that discoved my father's patent had been infringed. I did all the physical research as well as a lot of the legal reseach where the infrigment was concerned. As I mentioned above, my father's patent was only a US Patent and not an International Patent. However what we did discover and a precedent  was set by our case was that if you hold a US patent and something you make or have designed in Imported into the US you still are entitled to damages.  The name or label on the other product does not matter.   If a Product has a different name or Label and you believe they are an infringer you have to sue them individually or at least name them individually in your Patent infringment suit.   What really matter's is determining if a product violates a Patent or Patents in question. So if you remove the labels how hard would it be to tell them apart, and determine if the designs deviate enough from one another in form and function for them to be considered different?

 

What would be great is to get Chuck Westfall's take on this topic!  I would write and ask directly but so far I have not discovered how to get in touch with him directly.

Jason

Announcements