Yoshi says suit is shameful and calls for boycott of company

Last week DailyTech reported that Ultra Products Inc. had filed suit against most of the big name power supply makers over alleged infringement on its modular cable design used on some of its computer power supplies.

The initial suit was filed against 22 different companies seeking compensation for damages and for legal fees Ultra incurred. It turns out that not only did ultra file a suit in district court, but it also filed a suit with the International Trade Commission.

Ultra can hardly claim to be the inventor of the modular power supply since hobbyists have been creating their own modular power supplies for longer than Ultra has held its patent. DailyTech contacted Yoshi DeHerrera of The Screen Savers fame for comment and Yoshi had this to say.

While I can't say for sure the exact date that "Modders" started making modular power supplies. I do know I was inspired to make my own modular power supply as part of an On-Air segment that aired on TechTV's The Screen Savers in early 2004 long before Ultra received their Patent. The version I did looked very similar to one that Ultra ended up filing a Patent for. Is this a coincidence? Who knows? I think it is very likely that someone at Ultra saw the segment or someone else's project and used that idea as a basis for "their" patent design. I don't claim to be the first person to do this mod, and I doubt I was.

It is a trend I have seen over and over. Companies see someone else's non-patented idea and then file a patent for it. If someone chooses to freely publish ideas to the public and not patent them, I feel it is wrong to then later grant a patent to someone else for the same idea.

In the "Modding" community people do projects for fun and generally freely share their work with the world. We usually do not care if someone else repeats the projects we do. After all imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. What does get under our skin is when someone follows our ideas; then claim credit for coming up with the idea, and try to sue others for using the same idea. I feel that this is about the lowest and least honorable thing someone can do.

It is a shameful statement about our society that people without an original idea or a basic sense of right or wrong can freely manipulate our legal system to take money from others that don't claim to have originated ideas/designs that were openly/freely provided to the public. Those that do this know what they did, but guilt doesn't seem to be an issue for them.

If we do not want this behavior to continue, boycott all products made by companies that conduct their business in this manner. Fight them were it hurts, in their bank account. After all this seems to be the only thing they care about.

Yoshi DeHerrera
A simple modder who proudly FREELY shared his ideas with the world.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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