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One product was on a Kickstarter campaign, another equivalen no. Which is legit?

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I heard about a commercial device started on a Kickstarted campaign, called Witty.

And it reminded me another device I saw, Chargie:

I know the first claim a patent on the idea. Now I had an intrusive thought: anyone can expect some kind of legal issues in those two products? How one product can exist if another has a patent?


Patents don't really do anything to stop other products from existing, they only allow the company that has the patent to sue another that violates it, which is a very expensive process.

I went to both sites and both have no useful information on the first page. Just a lot of blank space. I just assume both products are useless garbage.

Also, KS page starts with a picture that says "now live on indiegogo". Also, support for Blackberry and Windows Phone is something cheap junk on Aliexpress does because they have not updated their graphics in ages.

The first product - witty - simply monitors the current and once it falls to a set figure it assumes the phone (or whatever) is at 100%, so disconnects. Better than nothing for dumb charging circuits, but the battery is still being driven to 100% (or higher).

The second product - chargie - works differently. There is an app which monitors the battery state and which talks to the chargie dongle. There is no direct current measurement, so any patent along those lines wouldn't be troubling (I haven't look at any patents for these so don't know what they actually are). To me, chargie is much better since it can cut off the charger at, say, 90%. I have a battery app which notifies me when the battery is charged to some user-defined figure and then I unplug it. But, obviously, I'm not going to if I'm asleep or absent.

The witty product I would yawn and say "whatever", but I would actually buy the chargie since it would achieve automatically what I try to do manually.

Regarding patents in general, they are really only worthwhile to be able to say the product is patented. Many patents don't actually cover the significant feature of a device but some side thing, but even if it was perfectly written and filed, it only allows you to spend lots of money suing someone with the hope that a) they will stop ripping you off, and b) pay you some wonga in compensation. No-one will turn up at their shop and confiscate their goods, lock them up or fine them for you. You have to fund that yourself. For a big company that's perfectly doable (and sometimes worth doing even when they don't have a leg to stand on, just to put the fear of God into whatever minnow they want to destroy),  but for a one-man band it is pretty onerous, expensive and without a guarantee of success.

I have zero faith in patents. They seem to be merely a way to give lawyers money.
However, some investors think they protect their investment and the presence of patents may encourage them to invest.
They don't, of course. For most products it would cost far more to defend the patent than the investor was worth.



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