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Audio Design Intellectual Rights?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by SoCal Sam, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Recently learned in a thread here at good ole AK about an interesting tube amp called the VPI 299D. VPI principals intended the 299D is a "tribute" to the great HH Scott integrated 299D. By all accounts, owners and reviewers alike, the VPI 299D is a great sounding amp as it should be with circuit design and build similar to the 299D. By adapting some of the design and the 299D handle, VPI set the MSRP at $4000. Not sure how many sold as production run was limited to 100. One thing is for sure, it didn't look like a real 299D. I read the reviews and it looks like VPI did not acquire the intellectual rights to the HH Scott 299D design. If they had, imagine a true re-issue with cosmetics to match.

    This leads to the question at hand. Who owns the intellectual design rights to classic designs such as the HH Scott 299D? Do the intellectual rights lapse into the public domain after a certain number of years? Personally, I think a HH Scott revival in the middle tube market would be well received.


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  2. Poinzy

    Poinzy Super Member

    SE Michigan
    Patents can be renewed and transferred. You'd have to do a little research to determine whether such has happened in this case. I would dig deeper than product reviews.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  3. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    PODUNC USA......
    Patents can only be renewed if the design has been improved. IP is different. The Coca Cola formula is one such IP as their is only 3 people that know the whole formula. IP is protected by secrecy.
  4. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Usually tube designs can be traced back to an influential circuit that predated the component.
  5. Catalysis

    Catalysis Member

    Hi again SoCal Sam, as I mentioned in the thread you refer to, this amp is voiced as a tribute to the 299D, but there the similarity ends.

    I doubt, for example, that an original 299D will accommodate KT150s. Following the kind guidance of the amp's designer Steve Leung, I'm now running a quad of them very successfully on my VPI 299D. This is how Steve runs his own amp.

    This new amp has all the bells and whistles of a modern tube amp, but pays homage to the sound of the 299D.
  6. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    The Dynaco's have also been copied almost verbatim except for minor changes such as improved iron and capacitance.

    I suppose using a registered trademark on a clone would be restricted.


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  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Well-Known Member

    What parts of the design are the same? What parts different?
  8. racca

    racca Active Member

    Centerville, UT
    Any patent that originated with HH Scott would have already passed into the public domain. The original circuit design can be copied for commercial purposes.

    Any design patents (the physical look of the products) would have expired. You can make and sell an amp that looks identical.

    HH Scott, Inc. appears to still actually exist. As a result, you probably shouldn't make and sell an amp with the HH Scott name or logo on it.
  9. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Athens, TN
    HH Scott as you and I knew them, died in 1973. When the original HH Scott company was sold the first time. The company is now just a brand with no connection to the original design, engineering, or build.

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