copyright infringement

Discussion in 'My Work In Progress' started by pdb, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. pdb
    pdb New Member

    just wondering if it theres any copyright issues when using knex connections as part of a model.

    i mean the model is useless without owning some original knex in a way it would be aiding their sales rather hindering.


  2. JamesSaunders
    JamesSaunders New Member
  3. pdb
    pdb New Member
    cheers mate......

    seems to concentrate on inter-company law

    but the patents bit was very helpful, am i right in thinking that knex doesnt have patent protection then?

    i plan to modify the aesthetics the the connection method with obviously be similar
  4. JamesSaunders
    JamesSaunders New Member
    I'm not sure what is actually covered, but it appears that K'NEX does indeed hold a number of patents, like this one: ;dq=KNEX&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false

    I know in the past LEGO has been fairly aggressive in enforcing their IP rights, but I don't know how K'NEX tends to handle such matters.

    The interesting thing I saw in the previous article was that the kit probably was in the clear only because it was offered free-of-charge. Adding sales into the mix may become complicated. In any case, good luck.
  5. pdb
    pdb New Member
    my thinking exactly. i have already started the would be a shame to not finish it.
    ill upload it but i doubt it would will up for sale.......might be a nice one for thiniverse or something

    thanks for digging that patent up.....when i have a bit more time ill give it a proper read.......doubt ill understand much

    really good help. thanks

    strangely enough the knex set i bought today has some very similar pieces to Lego......ill find some old bricks n see how closes they fit ........ at least it will show how different a block has to be to avoid infringement
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  6. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    The LEGO Group has quite transparent rules about the useage of their various IP & trademark rights; see -
    Fair Play - but K'Nex does not have any info on its website. Any how, I've emailed K'Nex, and if their autoresponder is correct, I should hear something back in the next couple of days.

    As it happens, I'm compling a list of popular brands and links to their respective IP useage rules. I'll start a different thread on that when K'Nex get back to me.


  7. pdb
    pdb New Member
    nice one .. i look forward to reading it.
    thanks for the link. to be honest iv only read a bit.... this got my attention:

    'Each year, our legal department handles hundreds of incidents involving infringement of our rights, keeps track of developments worldwide and regularly brings infringers to court, making sure that consumers can have confidence that anything bearing the LEGO Group's trademarks or characteristic product features is a LEGO brand product'

    i have read a bit more now.......the level of infringement seems to heavily swing on whether its commercial of non commercial use.

    thanks again....very interesting reading

    ill keep an eye out for the new thread

  8. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Is this for the iPhone case you were talking about? As long as your not making a competing product, and you clearly stat that it's not made by K'nex, you should be ok.
  9. pdb
    pdb New Member
    you are correct sir!

    thanks for that

    thought this was interesting:

    knex is using lego connectors

    download (1).jpg
  10. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    lego-like is not LEGO ;)

    The difference being that LEGO 2x4 bricks have squared corners, have the LEGO logo on the studs, are made of ABS plastic and the only 2x4 bricks to have holes vertically through the middle were 3709a and 3709c. Both parts also have holes through the sides & ends, 3709c is not inventoried in any set, and 3709a comes from numerous sets of the 1970's.

    As for K'Nex (the company) and my question;
    "Please can you point me in the right direction for legal stuff about Knex. In particular, I'm interested in Useage of the name K'Nex and items designed to be compatible with orginal K'Nex parts."

    So far their answer is;
    "Please provide us with more detailed information about what you are requesting so we can appropriately answer your questions. Would you like to use the name and if so in what way? What do you mean by "items designed to be compatible with original K\'Nex parts"? Etc"
  11. pdb
    pdb New Member

    its amazing how little changes in the design (even if the idea is fundamentally the same) make it an entirely different product.

    i see why IP rights interest you.

    so have you written back?
    if not could you send the email where i can carry this on.

    i just uploaded the first model of the case here 8&#msg_46698
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  12. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    My biggest interest is looking after #1, I don't want to get hit with a law suit for IP infringement so I do my homework, but at the same time I'll willingly share info so that less diligent people won't get into sticky situations too. LEGO just happens to be a product I'm passionate about which comes from playing with and collecting the stuff for, erm, 40 years.

    Different territories have different rules about IP and different ways of registering a design, a product or even just an idea :confused. IP is one of those big minefields, but with this day and age of t'internet, a map or partial maps of the minefield are readily available, it just depends how bothered one is about stepping on a mine as to how much of the map one finds. Better to go in eyes wide open than blindfolded.

    I've already emailed K'Nex back with examples of what I'm asking for again, maybe they'll get the Q this time.


    [edit] typos :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  13. pdb
    pdb New Member
    i completely agree ..... hence the post of the topic. its great that shapeways has members like you.....very valuable for the community as a whole.
    Especially if or when the ip rights situation explodes

    thanks again for helping out.... it would be great if shapeways could write a basic 'no-no's' for infringement so that everyone can refer to it?

    would it even be possible with all the rules and regulations differing between countries and companies?

    i know your posting the links ......but im sure people would benefit from a simplified market overviews......where not to tread and so on.

    cheers for messaging knex


    EDIT : just seen this:

    not only that but its very similar to this well established case:

    and even more weird:

    'after a bit of thought ..... lego seemed like a good option. yet after bouncing the idea off a friend...they told me it had already been done.....dam. would love to have thought of that on first
    lego-iphone-case.jpg im thinking of one of the other brands like k'nex. im not familiar with it so might buy a little kit and see what come out the other end'

    from my forum post: mp;start=0&

    morphic field at work :)
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012