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Are Phantom String Locks Patent-able?


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I notice a lot of higher-end guitar makers (PRS, Parker, the many small boutique builders, etc) are avoiding Floyd trems and using the simpler Fender/Wilkinson-style trems with the traditional adjustable saddles.

So Phantom comes along and makes a simple saddle that has an angled tapped hole w an allen screw that clamps the string. Good for them! It would seem a good match for these Fender/Wilkinson-style trems


But Patent Pending? How can they go for a patent when Floyd has had a patent on locking trems for so long? Anyone think they'll get it?

Edited by P90
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All it takes for a patent is an improvement or significant change in process or design which is not covered by the original patent. If they can show that they've done it in a significantly different way or an improved way, they have plenty of potential to have the patent grant. The problem with patents is that they have to be specific enough to grant... so Floyd Rose would have had to prove HIS design to be an improvement over an existing patent (easy enough)... but also general enough to try to protect it.. in this case from people with similar ideas like the phantom thang.

It's a tricky line to walk and the stuff of sheer boredom. I don't know how patent lawyers and examiners can handle it. And part of it finally comes down to the examiner's judgement call. They get to decide if a patent applied for warrants granting.

In any event, "patent pending" doesn't mean anything. I can attempt to patent something without the slightest possibility of it granting and it'll still be "patent pending." However, people use that label I guess because it's a significant enough cost that you don't really bother unless you believe there's at least the chance it'll grant. And it scares off other people who might also try to patent a very similar idea.


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