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Gura Gear Settles Lawsuit with Peak Design, PhotoJojo Iris Announced, Samsung Shutters In Germany {Daily Roundup}

By Anthony Thurston on November 21st 2015

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

Gura Gear Settles Lawsuit with Peak Design

everyday-messenger

If you have followed Kickstarter or photography in the last year then no doubt you have heard about the Everyday Messenger Bag from Peak Design. The bag broke the record as far as the amount of support it received and the eventual buzz around it. But it seems that not all was rainbows and unicorns.

It was discovered this week that Gura Gear had settled a lawsuit that it brought against Peak Design over some design patents it acquired in its recent Tamrac merger/acquisition. The amount of the settlement has not been disclosed. But we do know, somewhat, what the dispute was about.

The Tamrac patent states:

“A container for facilitating rapid access to the interior of the container to remove articles from the container, comprising: a. a generally rectangular body having a base, two end walls and two sidewalls respectively interconnected at their adjacent edges to adjacent edges of the two end walls, the walls extending upwardly from the base to form the body with a top opening; b. a side closure flap attached to a respective one of said two sidewalls and secured against the respective one of said two sidewalls by fastener means, the side closure flap adapted to span over and covering said top opening of said body and forming a top when the side closure flap is in a closed position; and c. said top of said side closure flap having full length double zipper means for opening or closing said top to gain access to the interior of said body; d. whereby the interior of said body of said container is accessed by either flipping over said side closure flap to an open position or unzipping said double zipper means on said top of said body to access the interior through said top opening of said body of said container.”

the-everyday-messenger-18

It’s pretty clear that the Everyday Messenger bag runs up against a couple of those things listed in the patent. But, the Everyday Messenger bag will be available very soon, and Peak Design has not announced any changes to that, so it would seem the settlement must have had some sort of license or profit sharing going forward for Peak Design.

It will be interesting to see if any changes are made to the bag or the pricing to compensate for what whatever settlement terms Peak Design agreed to.

New PhotoJojo ‘Iris’ Phone Lenses

photojojo-iris

While most of us would never utilize our phone cameras for professional use, they can still be a fun tool while out and about to capture interesting happenings. One way to get more creative while out and about with your phone is by utilizing add-on lenses to change what your camera sees.

Photojojo has just announced their new line of phone lenses, and they actually look pretty interesting. Named ‘Iris’, the new line of smartphone lenses contains fisheye, macro, and wide angle lens options for your creative glory.

@timLampe with the Wide Angle Lens

@timLampe with the Wide Angle Lens

The lenses themselves will go on sale individually for $59 each (not exactly cheap for a phone accessory), or you can grab the three pack containing all of the lenses in the lineup for just $109 (essentially buy two, get one free).

I have never been one to use these sort of slip on lenses much. But that said, these can make for great gifts to the younger generation who are known to enjoy these sort of phone add-ons. They ship out the week of December 14th, so getting them before Christmas may be tight, but it’s an idea!

Samsung Officially Pulls Out of Germany

samsung-drime-v-cutaway

All the talk about Samsung closing up shop in their camera business seems to have been true… in Germany, at least. In an official statement made to fotoMAGAZIN (a German publication), the company stated that this reflects sales in the area and affects only Germany.

In Germany, we have been observing for some time a gradual decline in demand for digital cameras, camcorders and related accessories. We have to adapt to the demands of the market and have therefore decided to phase out sales and marketing of these products gradually. This is a decision that affects only the German market.

It may be the case that this only affects Germany at this time, but it is concerning for Samsung adopters around the world who now have to wonder… are we next? It’s like working at a job where a co-worker has been let go, you get assurances that you are on solid footing with the company, but in the back of your mind, you wonder about your own job security.

It is not a good situation to be in, that is for sure. I am very curious to see if we will start seeing other Samsung markets get shuttered, or if this really does stick to just  Germany.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

5 Comments

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  1. Steve VanSickle

    Huh, replace “fastener” with “magnet” and the same patent would apply to the Tenba Switch bags (which I love).

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  2. Mark Henry Dela Torre

    I like the broken patent system in the US. It is like you can make a lawsuit about everything. Actually tired of the term design patent already. Oxford should add this to their dictionary. Patent = USA’s easiest way to make money.

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    • Dave Haynie

      A design patent literally can “patent the rectangle” under the right circumstances. And this isn’t unique to the USA, either. Elsewhere, it’s called a registered design or, in the EU, a Community Design (sometimes incorrectly called a “community design patent”, but it basically is the equivalent of a design patent in the USA). Much of the Apple vs. Samsung nonsense of a few years back was based on Community Designs registered by Apple in Germany, which in fact did seem to also patent the rectangle.

      Since the idea of a design patent is that you’re patenting some decoration of a functional item, there are other things that often used instead. The Coca-cola bottle was originally covered by a design patent (USD48160, 1915), but as all patents, that one expired. They’re still covered by Trademark/Trade Dress, which lasts as long as the company is in business.

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    • Dave Haynie

      As for Samsung, it’s pretty clear to me that this isn’t the last camera company leaving some market. I looked up the numbers based on one of the other articles. Looking at CPIA’s graph of camera production (https://cdn.photographylife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/cipa-data.jpg), you can see very clearly that, roughly between 2002 and 2012, we’ve been in a bubble. At its peak, world production of all cameras (not counting smartphone cameras) was 3x that of the last years of the film era. In 2014, the bubble seems to largely be over.

      But during that bubble, the whole camera industry was shook up. Consumer Electronics and film companies tried to become camera companies, camera companies tried to become digital camera companies, and there have been plenty of casualties. Those remaining will need to be successful more or less at historical volumes — no one’s going to see another 2008-2011 again.

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  3. Ralph Hightower

    It sounds like Gura Gear won their lawsuit for patenting the rectangle…

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