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SP temporary closure the SP saga continues...

#31 User is offline   slinkyaroo 

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:59 PM

We talked about the patents before in other threads recently. The power house patents are 5,881,707; 5,967,133; 6,035,843; 6,474,326; 6,637,421; 7,100,593. I did some digging and SMART PARTS, INC. is a registered owner of the patents (partial for some.) SP seems to have them as security for the bank since May 2008.

So SP owns them (or partial) and PNC BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION has a registered lien on them.

http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q...%20PARTS,%20INC.

http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q...&frame=0524

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This post has been edited by slinkyaroo: 11 January 2010 - 06:57 PM

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#32 User is offline   Steel Tiger 

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:32 PM

View Postslinkyaroo, on Jan 11 2010, 03:06 PM, said:

Quite frankly I get tired when people want to discuss SP and then get spammed by SP haters.

Anyways it took me awhile to find this Tom Kaye info but here's an email Realtor Tommy recieved from him a while back. This is what happened to the E-mag.

Quote

From: "Tom Kaye" <tom@TomKaye.com>View contact details To: "tommy long" - business address deleted-It was not SP directly but they did send us a notice of infraction on their patents. The emag was barely profitable when we sold it for 800 bucks wholesale. There is no way to produce it in this country today for any price people would be willing to pay. It was a combination of things that sunk our ship. As you can see SP could not sell a gun for 200 bucks and make money either.

Tom


So for Pete's sake SP haters I think Tom Kaye knows more about the AGD facts than the rumor mill.

.


Well, if its straight from the horses mouth, then i concede my position on smart parts being the reason that AGD is not as large as i thought it could be. However, i still dont approve of the e-trigger/electronics in the marker deal. Companies should not have to dish out money to smart parts in order to put electronics in a marker.

See? I can be reasonable. :P
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#33 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:38 PM

Well technically the noid is the part thats patented I believe...

So if they used pancake noids like sypder... I think they could make electric guns without worrying about any patent issue....or think of a differnt way to do it.
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#34 User is offline   deltapaintball 

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:43 PM

View PostSteel Tiger, on Jan 11 2010, 08:32 PM, said:

View Postslinkyaroo, on Jan 11 2010, 03:06 PM, said:

Quite frankly I get tired when people want to discuss SP and then get spammed by SP haters.

Anyways it took me awhile to find this Tom Kaye info but here's an email Realtor Tommy recieved from him a while back. This is what happened to the E-mag.

Quote

From: "Tom Kaye" <tom@TomKaye.com>View contact details To: "tommy long" - business address deleted-It was not SP directly but they did send us a notice of infraction on their patents. The emag was barely profitable when we sold it for 800 bucks wholesale. There is no way to produce it in this country today for any price people would be willing to pay. It was a combination of things that sunk our ship. As you can see SP could not sell a gun for 200 bucks and make money either.

Tom


So for Pete's sake SP haters I think Tom Kaye knows more about the AGD facts than the rumor mill.

.


Well, if its straight from the horses mouth, then i concede my position on smart parts being the reason that AGD is not as large as i thought it could be. However, i still dont approve of the e-trigger/electronics in the marker deal. Companies should not have to dish out money to smart parts in order to put electronics in a marker.

See? I can be reasonable. :P



That's business though. Smart Parts ran their company like a business long before anyone else did, and everyone hates them for it. If Smart Parts didn't do it, I guarantee you someone would of.
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#35 User is offline   Steel Tiger 

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:02 PM

View Postdeltapaintball, on Jan 11 2010, 08:43 PM, said:

View PostSteel Tiger, on Jan 11 2010, 08:32 PM, said:

View Postslinkyaroo, on Jan 11 2010, 03:06 PM, said:

Quite frankly I get tired when people want to discuss SP and then get spammed by SP haters.

Anyways it took me awhile to find this Tom Kaye info but here's an email Realtor Tommy recieved from him a while back. This is what happened to the E-mag.

Quote

From: "Tom Kaye" <tom@TomKaye.com>View contact details To: "tommy long" - business address deleted-It was not SP directly but they did send us a notice of infraction on their patents. The emag was barely profitable when we sold it for 800 bucks wholesale. There is no way to produce it in this country today for any price people would be willing to pay. It was a combination of things that sunk our ship. As you can see SP could not sell a gun for 200 bucks and make money either.

Tom


So for Pete's sake SP haters I think Tom Kaye knows more about the AGD facts than the rumor mill.

.


Well, if its straight from the horses mouth, then i concede my position on smart parts being the reason that AGD is not as large as i thought it could be. However, i still dont approve of the e-trigger/electronics in the marker deal. Companies should not have to dish out money to smart parts in order to put electronics in a marker.

See? I can be reasonable. :P



That's business though. Smart Parts ran their company like a business long before anyone else did, and everyone hates them for it. If Smart Parts didn't do it, I guarantee you someone would of.



You're probably right. And then i'd disapprove of that companies actions. But still, i understand the point your making.
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#36 User is offline   flyweightnate 

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:02 AM

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Inside sources say the squandered their considerable loans on R&D that was misplaced (you wouldn't believe what the Luxe cost), mismanagement of assets, and- you betcha!- lawyers. There's only so much I can say, considering from whom I got my info, and who their sources were, but take it to be a very reliable source saying they're DEEP in the hole, and owe both the banks/ manufacturers and some industry consultants significant amounts of money.

Think about their yearly profits- we'll assume the Ion and Luxe are the only guns they sell to make the math easy. We'll even assume $1000 pure profit per Luxe, and $100 pure profit on the Ion. They sell 2000 Luxes and 50,000 Ions (they've sold around a half million Ions total, no idea how many Luxes), that's $3M from Luxes and $5M from Ions. $7M in a year, by a very, very rough estimate. They poured between $500k and $1.5M into R&D for the Luxe, though, dropped millions trying to get GI Milsim started, sponsor teams and PSP events, and have to run their own machine shops (noooot cheap; machinists take home $25/hr usually), then spend money advertising .50 Cal on every freakin page of magazines that don't sell well, paying for 'guerrilla marketing' (forum posts on how .50 is awesome) and professional endorsements from Lasoya and all the other hooligans, and somehow still need to pay all their other employees, of whom there were THOUSANDS zipping around the company, pushing SP products.

Besides that, how much do you think it costs to have a lawyer permanently employed? Hint- most lawyers take in about $500k/year, if they're corporate law and good at what they do. SP wasted money. They choked the industry with inexpensive gear designed to fail rapidly. They made it financially difficult for other companies to produce electronic guns, making the industry stagnant and overpriced.

GOOD RIDDANCE.
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#37 User is offline   flyweightnate 

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:13 AM

View PostTeddy K, on Jan 11 2010, 08:38 PM, said:

Well technically the noid is the part thats patented I believe...

So if they used pancake noids like sypder... I think they could make electric guns without worrying about any patent issue....or think of a differnt way to do it.


Forgive the double post-

Licensing is needed to use anything with an on/off switch, e.g. trigger switch. Generally, a solenoid valve will be more expensive to license than a pancake solenoid (by around a factor of 10, based on some people I know who looked into it), and the licenses vary based on which company is applying (DYE has spool bolt IP, so they 'trade' for SPs switch IP). Bob Long probably pays more than Kingman or Dangerous Power, for example, as a more threatening competitor.

Smart Parts also patented spiral porting of a total area greater than the cross sectional area of the barrel. They tried to patent the gas-through gripframe (as has been used on everything from the Tippman SL68 II to the Stroker to the Mini, depending on the specificity you look for), AFTER the release of the Mini. They patented 'seal forward technology'- putting an o-ring in the breech, instead of on the bolt tip. They patented the barrel insert system, and the use of an o-ring to stabilize the inserts (some loopholes were found, but Equation Designs went out of business for such). They have patents that could be argued to cover the use of a pneumatic ram to open the valve, or the use of a balanced valve, or even the use of 'eyes' in the breech- they apparently never moved on these, because they would have been impossible to test in court (as SP and its employees had no role in the development of such devices, nor had purchased the patents from someone who had developed them).


All such things aside, to make an electronic gun that operates purely on a 'pancake' solenoid is not a simple task. The current needed is significantly higher as it is 'direct acting' instead of 'pilot operated', and the only viable designs I have seen are STBBs like E-spyders, and 'cheats', where a pancake noid operates a separate pilot valve. Technically it is not a solenoid valve for licensing purposes, but by all practical means it is; however the layout invariably leads to a larger, more expensive valve system (look at the NPS/ Diablo Wrath for an example). A high-performance gun essentially requires the use of a 4-way spool valve (even guns like the Ion use a 3-way spool solenoid valve to pilot the bolt), and to have this electronically operated and not having 'timing' issues, it requires an enclosed unit such as a solenoid valve.

The patent was a stranglehold on the industry.
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#38 User is offline   deltapaintball 

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 01:07 PM

I would love to hear who you got your information from.

And for the record, they NEVER had thousands of employees. There was a few hundred at the peek.
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#39 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 01:55 PM

I wasnt suggesting the pancake noid would be a better idea just a way to get around it and also I hope you were extremely over exaggerating in your first post because that its pretty ridiculous.

Im not even going to begin to breakdown all of those claims you made so ill just leave it at that...also whoever your inside source is you realize that delta is a source who is just as much in the know as your "source" would be and what he has said doesnt support what you heard.

So whos to decide whats right?

People need to stop pretending they know everything about a company and just see things pan out...
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#40 User is offline   flyweightnate 

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:32 PM

THousands was hyperbole, yes, but they did pay hundreds of reps, either full time or part time.

My source has been around the sport for a long, long time. He's one of those guys who's chatted with Tom Kaye and Jerry Dobbins. He's not some random joe.

Smart Parts did employ a lawyer; ask anyone. The guy had a few assistants, and an office dedicated to SP. Figure high 6 figures for that sort of stuff.
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#41 User is offline   deltapaintball 

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 04:09 PM

View Postflyweightnate, on Jan 15 2010, 05:32 PM, said:

THousands was hyperbole, yes, but they did pay hundreds of reps, either full time or part time.

My source has been around the sport for a long, long time. He's one of those guys who's chatted with Tom Kaye and Jerry Dobbins. He's not some random joe.

Smart Parts did employ a lawyer; ask anyone. The guy had a few assistants, and an office dedicated to SP. Figure high 6 figures for that sort of stuff.


Wrong.

They actually had no more then 10 sales reps. (And that's being generous.) In fact, when I was there at the point where they were fully staffed, they had 6 or 7 sales reps, if that. (I don't recall how many to be honest, but no where near 20, 30 or even in the hundreds.) No one else interacted with the customers besides Rebeca who answered the phone for a while, and the guys in the tech department if you called for repair.

As far as your source goes, just because hes chatted with Tom Kaye and Jerry Dobbins, it does not mean he knows whats going on. If you want, I can name drop also to prove a point.

I will agree with you that Smart Parts did employ a lawyer.

With that being said, wait to the end of the month.
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#42 User is offline   TheEnd 

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 02:26 PM

View Postflyweightnate, on Jan 15 2010, 05:32 PM, said:

THousands was hyperbole, yes, but they did pay hundreds of reps, either full time or part time.

My source has been around the sport for a long, long time. He's one of those guys who's chatted with Tom Kaye and Jerry Dobbins. He's not some random joe.

Smart Parts did employ a lawyer; ask anyone. The guy had a few assistants, and an office dedicated to SP. Figure high 6 figures for that sort of stuff.


All big companies have lawyers, hell even most small companies have lawyers, that isn't really that big of an argument.
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#43 User is offline   RealtorTommy 

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 05:23 PM

View Postflyweightnate, on Jan 15 2010, 05:32 PM, said:

THousands was hyperbole, yes, but they did pay hundreds of reps, either full time or part time.

My source has been around the sport for a long, long time. He's one of those guys who's chatted with Tom Kaye and Jerry Dobbins. He's not some random joe.

Smart Parts did employ a lawyer; ask anyone. The guy had a few assistants, and an office dedicated to SP. Figure high 6 figures for that sort of stuff.



I need to send this to Sean for a laugh....
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#44 User is offline   Guy In Digi Camo 

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:36 PM

I've only been around the sport for a short time, about the time this Smart Parts patent arguements came up and the closing of businesses.

I can say that I dont fully hate SP, the only smart parts gun i could ever love is a Shocktek SFT.

With the ion they flooded the market with a cheap marker that worked ok and some upgrades that could make them shoot decent. That alone ensured them a solid place in the market. They did not have to really go after smaller companies over patents to secure themselves a larger spot in the market, which is what they did and its a business practice that is pretty nasty but is capitalism at its best. As far as it goes i will say I wont ever USE a smart parts gun with the exception of the above gun

I personally have an ion and a ICD promaster both of which i purchased/traded for around 100$
the ion came with a firebolt, the promaster stock with the exception of a low rise feedneck

Not wanting to go on a rant I can say the promaster is by far the better gun stock and the ion, aquired in a trade, sits and is currently for sale for those interested.

For those sponsored you are the ones that are the advertisements and the ones who are loyal to them to the end, If you heard of them starting to make low quality guns or start handing out less money, then the smart move is to look to other companies to see if they will do a sponsorship deal at the same level you have now. Its not the moral decision just the smart one.

I myself am not sure about the restructuring, I could make a call or two but I'm not going to bother as the end of the month will bring the truth to everyone's questions. Its a good move for the corporate side as they will not be shelling out any costs but still be selling marker stock. I will say that if they decide to outsource i can say its a smart move but not the most moral one in my eyes because of the loss of jobs, however many there are, IMO one is too many. If they don't and cut some of the fat away, such as advertising .50 cal and other propaganda then I can say that they are doing good. However either way people will be laid off and people will loose jobs, its one of the top things in a reconstruction plan although its not the best one.

It'll be interesting to see what Smart Parts emerges as after this "reconstruction". I'll be sure to keep tuned in to this.

This post has been edited by Guy In Digi Camo: 16 January 2010 - 09:38 PM

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#45 User is offline   flyweightnate 

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 10:18 AM

When I say 'part time', I mean anyone who is paid a sum to endorse the product actively. I could use the term 'industry shill', but it's considered derogatory. I'm also including GI Milsim and DLX with Smart Parts in this statement, due to the close ties the companies had.

Most companies do not hire a lawyer full-time. Most paintball companies do not need to.

Explain to me why the Smart Parts catalogs lately distributed to the dealers were clearance only, and no new products were being manufactured as far back as a year and a half ago, please. Feel free to elaborate on why they had no new stock of any markers since summer '09. When was the last time you saw an order of Impulses go through? Why did they cut back their shipping department to one or two guys? It wasn't because guns were flying off the shelves.

Their machine shops have been liquidated- of course, they could still manufacture in Asia.


This doesn't look like a great way to begin a year.
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