Author Topic: Will I get sued for uploading this file?  (Read 3380 times)

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Offline curlytalegames

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Will I get sued for uploading this file?
« on: December 19, 2021, 04:09:16 pm »
I'm working on an open source project that requires I2C. I switched to using an M5 Stack Core 2 which unfortunately has a Grove connector which is proprietary and only sold by seeed. It's not like it's that innovative, it's basically just a JST connector.

I designed a 3D printed connector that tightly slips on some 2mm header.

I'd like to use this connector in my open source project as well as release this file for free. If I did that would I get sued?


 
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Offline DrG

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Re: Will I get sued for uploading this file?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2021, 04:18:11 pm »
Anybody can sue anybody for anything.

I am not a  lawyer.

Ask a lawyer. Ask SEED Seeed.

I would not call those connectors proprietary. I have a board or two from them and bought mating connectors without difficulty.

What are you worried that you are infringing upon?

« Last Edit: December 19, 2021, 04:28:32 pm by DrG »
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Offline curlytalegames

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Re: Will I get sued for uploading this file?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2021, 04:36:39 pm »
I haven't run into issues sourcing the parts, I'm more interested in allowing people to have more than one choice and I feel that their connector is not inovative or unique. I'm a big fan of open source software and hardware so I want things to be free and open.

What I'm worried about is if I release the 3D files for free and use it in my project they will sue me.

I suppose I could reach out to seeed and ask for permission to upload the file to be safe, I just feel like I shouldn't have to. If I were seeed and if someone asked if they could open source one of my products I'd tell them no.
 

Offline DrG

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Re: Will I get sued for uploading this file?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2021, 05:11:34 pm »
I don't know what else to tell you. If you are that worried then don't do it because I just can't imagine that anyone here is going to sincerely reduce your worry and you don't want to ask a lawyer or Seeed.

There certainly does seem to be a lot of connection options out there and not just from Seeed

https://wiki.seeedstudio.com/Grove_System/#grove-to-4-pin-femalemale-jumper

https://shop.m5stack.com/products/connector-grove-to-grove-pin-servo?variant=16804768186458 (and yes I see that it is not identical to yours).

https://www.stlfinder.com/3dmodels/grove-connector/

https://grabcad.com/library/grove-connectors-stand-and-flat-male-plugs-1

Your Search for "grove sensor" - 1,166 printable 3D Models
https://www.yeggi.com/q/grove+sensor/

Are you sure that "yours" is not already out there?
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Offline Lindley

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Re: Will I get sued for uploading this file?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2021, 05:14:28 pm »


I designed a 3D printed connector that tightly slips on some 2mm header.

I'd like to use this connector in my open source project as well as release this file for free. If I did that would I get sued?

Importantly, please specify what your Assets are in terms of property owned, life savings and pension funds etc  otherwise there is little point in their lawyers wasting time on you !  :-DD

Connectors like that have been produced worldwide for decades  by companies like Molex, so they probably have more of a case to sue Seeed for any patent infingement, which I doubt there are anyway.

Its a useful and neat bit of 3D design but seeing your image above think most 3D priniter owners would soon be able to make their own part.   ;)


 
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Offline andy3055

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Re: Will I get sued for uploading this file?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2021, 05:51:31 pm »
If that would be the case,  even the wire manufacturers can sue you! You are just being paranoid.
 

Offline curlytalegames

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Re: Will I get sued for uploading this file?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2021, 06:02:36 pm »
Alright thanks everyone for the reassurance and those links to other Grove connectors!

I decided to move forward and upload the file.

Feel free to download it and start printing your own PCB Grove connectors  :)

https://www.prusaprinters.org/prints/98406-grove-pcb-connector
 

Offline Pineapple Dan

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Re: Will I get sued for uploading this file?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2022, 07:59:11 pm »
I can't imagine you'd get sued.

Seeed are based in China. This for a start will make it harder for them to sue you, if they had a case, which they most likely don't.

Do you know of any cases where someone was sued for copying a proprietary connector and won? I have personally never heard of it. There also isn't anything unique or innovative about those connectors so they probably don't own a patent (you can chick this to be sure). If you simply 3D scanned one of theirs and uploaded there is a slight chance you might be in trouble but if you designed your own one to be compatible with theirs there's less of a chance you'll have any bother from them

Also it is a risk for them to sue you, they probably don't know what assets you do & dont have. If you are a pauper and they sue you & win they won't even be able to get enough out of you to pay their lawyers
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: Will I get sued for uploading this file?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2022, 11:42:36 pm »
There are three forms of protected IP in most places:

1. Patent, which protects 'designs of things'. It's unlikely such a connector could be protected by patent.
2. Copyright, which protects 'creative works'. The datasheet of the connector is protected by copyright, as are any design files created by the manufacturer, but creating your own implementation is not.
3. Trademark, which protects 'brands', and likely doesn't apply here at all unless you start trying to sell it using their branding.

So I don't see how this could possibly be infringing. Most places also have some exceptions or more leniency if any potential infringement was for the purposes of interoperability, as is the case here.

But I am not a lawyer, and as others have said, you can generally be sued (or more likely sent a cease and desist) for anything, whether you are in the right or not.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 11:44:38 pm by ve7xen »
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Offline ledtester

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Re: Will I get sued for uploading this file?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2022, 02:23:29 am »
I'd like to use this connector in my open source project as well as release this file for free. If I did that would I get sued?

Don't host the file yourself. Anonymously upload it to thingverse.com. Worse that can happen is thingverse gets a C&D order from Seeed.

Caveat: I am not a lawyer.
 


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