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Old July 27, 2012, 05:20 PM   #1
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Harris and other bipods ?

How is it that other companies can make exact copies of the Harris Bipod without it being patent infringement ?
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Old July 27, 2012, 06:21 PM   #2
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Without digging into the specific patent(s), usually it's because either the patent(s) has expired, or, if the patent(s) is still valid, there is sufficient difference in materials and/or design that it is not considered an infringement. Do you happen to know what elements of the Harris bipod are covered by patent(s)?

What "copy" brands are you referencing to exactly?

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Old July 27, 2012, 06:58 PM   #3
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Harris and other bipods ?
There are no other bipods than Harris.... The rest are just cheap copies.

With that being said, I'd guess that whatever patents existed on that design are long expired.
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Old July 27, 2012, 09:00 PM   #4
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I am not an engineer but they do look the same as far as how they operate, the features etc. Maybe the material is different. I was in the gun shop and had a Harris in one hand and a Champion in the other hand, without the name I couldn't tell which was which. Thats what made me curious how they could look as if to be the same and not be a patent infringement.

Maybe the copies are made by Harris and put another name on them to compete with the lower cost ones.
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Old July 27, 2012, 10:11 PM   #5
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I have to say, I do like Harris bipods, but for field use, I have found Versa-pod to be much easier and intuitive for me... I also want to try out the Caldwell XLA, it looks good for field use, uneven ground and debris and all...
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Old July 28, 2012, 03:16 PM   #6
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Just because you design something and manufacture it doesn't necessarily mean that you patented all (or any) of the features on it.

Assuming that Harris did patent some feature (like maybe the way it attaches to a swivel stud), their patent would need to very specifically claim that part of the design that was novel and thereby protected by the patent. They would then have some legal ground to stand on if there was an infringement. But even then, the patent is only valid for 20 years from the date it was filed. Once the patent expires, then your original design is not only open for free use by any and all comers, it is also documented in the patent so that others can use it ... hopefully as a starting point from which to make improvements and advance the state of the art ... at least that is the basic idea behind patents.

As a side note, the materials used in the product only matter if it had been the choice of material that made their invention novel to begin with.

The other thing to consider is that maybe Harris has an arrangement with Champion that allows them to use their design for a fee ... a licensing agreement like this is actually quite common in the manufacturing world.

Hope this helps explain things a bit ...

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