Model Rocket History Inquiry



Yep. A long time ago.

Ballpark $20-40m/yr. That is lawyer money.

Production matters. But one suspects Orv was seeking something like 5% of wholesale and based on the Wal-Mart thread a $9.95 per pack of motors fetches $2 wholesale and 5% of that is $0.10. Not much till you express that as a fraction of $20m peryear for 40 years.

As do released facts of back room back stabbing. What is unique about TRA back stabbing is the internet has made better than 30% of it public.

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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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> 3) You might have to explain that "money talks" bit. I wasn't aware > that Estes ever "hit the big time" in the sense that they could > afford to snowball someone under lawyers the way an IBM or Exxon
Yep. A long time ago.
> could. They were at best a toy company, and closer to a craft > company. (Although I guess 'the books' have never been public.)
Ballpark $20-40m/yr. That is lawyer money.
So in what time frame was the lawsuit was the lawsuit supposed to have happened? If it was early in the history of model rocket, I wouldn't expect Estes to have had too much money. If it was later, well... It's standard patent lore that you have to defend your patent in order for IP suits to stand up in court. If Orv was a model rocketeer, a participating member of NAR, and so on, for 5 or 10 years after Estes was selling motors and kits (and thus well aware that they were "infringing" on his patent), then I doubt whether he stood a chance in court, regardless of who had the bucks. Sometimes the law is just the law. Yeah, it might have been nice for old times sake if they had set him up with enough to retire comfortably, or a cushy "designer emeritus" position, or something. But that sort of recognition seems to be pretty rare any more. Yeah, it might have been nice if Estes had formalized the arrangement earlier, so that he got more out of it. (That's more standard IP lore. It's generally to both sides advantage to have solid agreements.) I don't have a lot of sympathy for someone who waits years and then says "oh by the way, you're going to pay me big bucks, right?" (I've got a fair amount of sympathy for someone who gets nothing, however. I guess I'd have more sympathy if there hadn't been a lawsuit.)

It was quite surely NOT $20m/year for all 40 years...
BillW (patent holder and token rich guy. And failed SW publisher, which is more relevant than you might thing.)
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Killing an expired patent claim (prior art timeframe is only a year) is one of the least expensive legal actions one could take.

NAR #1

Adjusted for inflation, which was rampant during the timeframe?

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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
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