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

btarunr

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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.

View at TechPowerUp Main Site
 
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Caught right in the act. Nice
 
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Looks like Spire had no intentions of paying for the IP in the first place
 
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Isn't this illegal? So surely X-bows is seeking legal action against Spire? How does that work?
 
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I REALLY hate companies who can't think and create on their own.
 
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And when asked to give proof of IP, the liar even puts the original maker’s pictures. Lmao
 
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I 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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Looks like Spire had no intentions of paying for the IP in the first place

They'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?
 
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Now that Spire knowz that the Chineeze knowz that Spire knowz that they knowz, whah yinz gonna do 'bout it ?????????
 
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They'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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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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That'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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That's some serious generalizing of over a Billion people. The kind of thing I'd expect to hear at a Trump Klan Rally.

Oh don't take my word for it. Take the word of those who actually live there. Look up SerpentZA, ADVChina, on Youtube, etc... They will tell you ALL about China and Chinese culture you need to know, they lived there for years and they vlogged weekly about it - seriously, look them up, you will learn A LOT about a culture that is totally different from yours.

Also, just so you learn something useful today: generalizing is NOT a bad thing and may, in fact, save your life one day. When I generalize that wolves are dangerous, this generalization will probably save my life if I ever come face to face with one. You see, the fact that *some* wolves might not be dangerous does not invalidate the fact that *most* wolves are.

This also does not mean that I am going to treat a 'domesticated' wolf the same way I would treat a savage wolf just because it is a wolf, but it certainly means I will treat all wolves with suspicion - and rightly so, as I don't want my throat ripped open - until I can verify that a particular individual does not fit the pattern.

Come on, man, this is just common sense!
 
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How 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)

I 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).

That'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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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.

While what you wrote is 100% true, it is also a question of "national mentality". Asians are normally very intelligent (and they study all the time), but Chinese *creativity* was stiffed by over 60 years of Communism. During all those years they were being told NOT to think for themselves - imagine what that does to a culture given enough time.

A pretty good example is a story ADVChina tells about his English students in China: he asked them to write an essay about a specific subject. Next class comes and he finds that ALL the students (except one, IIRC) had plagiarized the SAME essay from the net. He was furious, but they were completely unable to understand WHY he was upset and why what they did was wrong - their philosophy is that you should COPY the work of greater man that came before them rather than create something NEW.

Likewise, China's economic prosperity is VERY recent. For years and years most of them lived in misery and fear (imagine your own children having life and death power over you). Again, think what that does to people's minds after a while - they would a thousand times take what they can NOW than what they MIGHT eventually get later (because the now is certain, the later is uncertain).

This is why you should be very careful when doing business in China: many Chinese businessman will prefer to scam you NOW - even if they had a LOT more to gain in future orders by providing what was asked of them in the first place. It's a very different world out there, and anyone who thinks this has anything to do with race is a fool.
 
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