Wednesday, November 28th 2018

Did Spire Copy the Patented X-bows Ergonomic Keyboard Without Authorisation?

Earlier this week, we posted the story of the Spire Ergo, purported as the first tenkeyless ergonomic mechanical keyboard. Soon after its publication, two parties reached out to us. Spire sought a price correction from USD $80 (plus taxes) originally mentioned, to $99.95 +taxes, with an optional palm-rest at an additional $30. The second party, was a company we never heard of, called X-bows.

As it turns out, they (X-bows) have been selling this exact keyboard worldwide for $199, and this is their flagship (sole) product. Their entire brand is built around this keyboard. In an angry e-mail, X-bows asked us to delete the story because they claim Spire has violated its patented design. X-bows says that the Chinese branch of Spire approached them for collaboration, although no agreement was reached between the two companies. We then naturally turned to Spire for some answers.
Spire deactivated its product page for this keyboard, because the product isn't officially launched. The "Specifications" tab of Spire product page mentioned an internal price for the keyboard of $80 +taxes, which we used in our original write-up. Spire asked us to correct this to $99.95 +taxes. After first-contact with X-bows, and after the Spire product page went down, we sought high-resolution images from our Spire contact, who promptly responded with them. Guess what we find? X-bows' claim checks out. Even the images Spire provided show visible X-bows branding. And as the plot thickens, we have reached out to Spire for additional comments.
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20 Comments on Did Spire Copy the Patented X-bows Ergonomic Keyboard Without Authorisation?

#1
Vayra86
Caught right in the act. Nice
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#2
Athlonite
Looks like Spire had no intentions of paying for the IP in the first place
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#3
ArbitraryAffection
Isn't this illegal? So surely X-bows is seeking legal action against Spire? How does that work?
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#4
Dave65
I REALLY hate companies who can't think and create on their own.
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#5
Berfs1
And when asked to give proof of IP, the liar even puts the original maker’s pictures. Lmao
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#6
R0H1T
Dave65I REALLY hate companies who can't think and create on their own.
It really depends on who has the bigger pockets, or legal team in this case. As someone famous once said ~ "good artists copy; great artists steal" ~ btw he had nothing to do with fruity loops.
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#10
TheoneandonlyMrK
Vayra86Caught right in the act. Nice
With their help no less.
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#11
bonehead123
Now that Spire knowz that the Chineeze knowz that Spire knowz that they knowz, whah yinz gonna do 'bout it ?????????
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#12
timta2
JcRabbitThey're Chinese. They place no value on other people's IP and actually think stealing other people's IP is the *smart* thing to do. And, of course, the Chinese government protects their own, preventing the REAL IP owners from making any business in China. Understand now why some policy changes regarding China were long, long, overdue?
That's some serious generalizing of over a Billion people. The kind of thing I'd expect to hear at a Trump Klan Rally.
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#13
CheapMeat
I kind of what to try this type of layout out. Does anyone have experience with it? Especially for general usage + gaming?
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#14
R-T-B
timta2That's some serious generalizing of over a Billion people. The kind of thing I'd expect to hear at a Trump Klan Rally.
Agreed (welcome to everyday in America lately BTW).

It is how the government operates though and I think that was his intended meaning.
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#15
silentbogo
skatesHow did X-bows get a patent considering it's the same keyboard layout as the one Microsoft produced years ago (minus the mechanical switches and LED lights).
MS layout is a common staggered, an the X-Bow is columnar. That's the major difference between the two, besides switches and bling.
I guess if you move a key to one side or the other also gives some ground for a new patent, unless competitors or predecessors cover all possible variations or similar ones (like Valve's touch-enabled controller, or Sony's dualshock patents)
CheapMeatI kind of what to try this type of layout out. Does anyone have experience with it? Especially for general usage + gaming?
Some gaming keypads have similar layout. It should be perfect for FPS games. I'm planning on making a custom board with this layout, cause I'm always turning my KB sideways while playing Quake (less stress on the wrist).
timta2That's some serious generalizing of over a Billion people. The kind of thing I'd expect to hear at a Trump Klan Rally.
Well, it's not really the "people" or "national mentality" problem. It's a simple fact that in PRC the intellectual property belongs to the people(e.g. govt.), so the copyright and patent agencies are basically regulating themselves, and allow companies to use whatever they want as long as it fills the treasury with tax money.
If you soften IP laws in US or EU - you'll have the exact same thing. Business is business.
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