At 09:38 PM 9/10/2003, you wrote:
    I guess I was referring to those who just want to rip-off, or copy,
someone else's design.  In a sense, I did find it funny when someone comes
to me asking me to replicate someone else's design, and it happens to be 1
of my own PCB designs.  It's happened more than once to me.

That's not terribly surprising if you are specialized and do contract engineering.

I wouldn't call that lazy, I'd call it probably illegal and likely unethical. Some people are protected -- a little -- from gross unethical or criminal behavior by their laziness.

    Now, do I waist time going after them, or, further develop 2 additional
new patents which have more than quadruple to value each?

You do what you do well, and you let others do what they do well.

In this case, if there is enough money in it to pay legal costs, you let a lawyer do it, even if you get nothing out of it and possibly even if you lose money; the latter depends on whether or not you can afford the loss and the public service and satisfaction of clobbering miscreants is worth it to you. Ideally, perhaps, you have a clean case and you find a lawyer who will take it on contingency, but that will probably reduce your recovery.

There have been a number of times when I was ripped off by someone and I could have gone to court for recovery, but I've never sued anyone, even in small claims court. It is one of my regrets, actually. I'd rather have lost some money and wasted my time than allow grossly unfair behavior (like a landlord routinely keeping deposits without cause) continue unchallenged. As it is, I did the preliminary research to identify the actual landlord, instead of the agent, and I succeeded in that, but then, in the case I have in mind, I never got around to filing the papers. It was $1000 and I had too much else to do at the time, if I want to excuse my procrastination.

So what do you do if someone comes to you asking for a design to be duplicated? Are there conditions you would set?

I'm a printed circuit designer, not a legal or patent researcher -- even though I might do some legal research on occasion -- and I generally will do jobs that come in the door. I might even do work ultimately intended for military application. Maybe. It occurs to me that I could ask the client to affirm in writing that he had the legal right to reproduce the PCB. If the client tells me that it is a rip-off, I'd have to refuse the job, my question is about the case that some plausible excuse is given and it is difficult to verify.

But it doesn't happen very often, it's been quite a few years since I saw a job like this.

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