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Old 01-01-2010, 11:02 PM #1
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Ultimate Airball Gears Up to Take Legal Action Against Supair

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProPaintball.com
ProPaintball.com staff just uncovered news of upcoming lawsuits that could greatly alter the cost and quality of your favorite local and national tournament series.

Updated 12/31/09 with a statement and clarification from Craig Miller of Ultimate Airball.

ProPaintball.com inside sources are reporting that bunker manufacturer Ultimate Airball is gearing up for a legal campaign against Sup’Air / AdrenalineGames and possibly US-based leagues utilizing the SupAir products.

As far as we can tell, the issue with the paintball leagues is the use, display and “promotion” of patent-infringing products. Back in 2007, Ultimate Airball was granted Patent # 7,223,185 for a “hide behind bunker system and kit with impact dampening anchors”.

Sup’Air Adrenaline Games first introduced inflatable air bunkers in 1997 in Toulouse, bringing tournament paintball out of the woods and onto the turf via a system of interconnected tubes supplying air to each of the bunkers. While this moment is a sure landmark in paintball history, this lawsuit could mark interesting times ahead for AdrenalineGames / Sup’Air.

From the looks of the Ultimate Airball website, things are starting to heat up:

"Today, Ultimate Airball® is proceeding to successfully defend their Patent through amicable licensing agreements, and has returned to full production of the toughest inflatable bunkers ever made, and the dealers and field operators have collectively applauded the return of Ultimate Airball®!
Judging by the list of customers on the Sup’Air ball website; affected leagues may include the USPL, PSP, RPL, CFOA, WCPPL, GPL, and the NCPA."

Potentially, the concept of “use, display and promotion” could be applied to paintball parks as well, including but not limited to CPX, Giant Paintball Parks, Pev’s, CFP, etc.

Update 12/31/09: Craig Miller has informed us that Brimstone & Ultimate Airball have no intention of going after the paintball parks themselves.

While the details have yet to arrive as to the result of the Ultimate Airball licensing agreement, this could spell rising tournament and field fees worldwide. Stay tuned to ProPaintball.com for updates as this story unfolds.

Update 12/31/09: Craig Miller filled us in on the delay between being granted the patent and enforcement of the intellectual property:
Craig comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigMiller View Post
FROM THE DESK OF:
Craig Miller
President, Brimstone Enterprises, Inc.
Makers of Ultimate Airball® Inflatable Bunkers
(links deleted)

WOW guys...

If it weren't for jumping to erroneous conclusions, some of the posters on a few of these forums would get no exercise at all!

Congratulations to the few of you who got it right!

Here's the straight "10 Point" dope about the ULTIMATE AIRBALL® RUMOR:
1) There is NO CHANCE WHATSOEVER that Brimstone Enterprises (Ultimate Airball) would EVER consider suing all of the Game Field Operators who use Patent infringing products.
Our BIGGEST SOURCE of new Customers is these disappointed field operators, who bought our competitors product (rhymes with "Soup Error") and unfortunately learned the hard way that they should have bought American, from Ultimate Airball. So make no mistake:
NO LAWSUIT against individual field operators is being contemplated. IT'S A LIE.

2) Any future defense of our Patent at the League or Manufacturing level would have ZERO affect on the cost of playing in a tournament, other than REDUCING the cost. Our bunkers are NOT more expensive, just far more long-lasting.
The cost of bunkers, netting, telephone poles, and porta-potties is miniscule in the total entry fee equation. Several Leagues have already shown an interest in switching to Ultimate Airball just because they last longer and have better availability.

3) The SOURCE: Some of the early posters who were told to hurt Ultimate Airball by starting a false rumor of an imaginary lawsuit against field operators weren't aware of WHO is actually behind Brimstone/Ultimate Airball. When they realized WHO we are, and realized they KNEW us, someone "squealed" to us. Now we know who started this lie. These rumors were evidently planted by a certain League source, who was allegedly "persuaded" to do so by our competitor, and instructed basically what to write. This was evidently a last ditch effort to compete with our better products. It's obviously backfired on them and become a fantastic source of free publicity for Ultimate Airball (dot com!). (Dear French People: Thanks for the FREE ADS!)

4) Point Fingers with CARE: A WELL KEPT SECRET - Our French competitor has been operating their patent-infringing Chinese-Import bunker business from INSIDE SMART PARTS' BUILDING for several years. They actually SHARE an Attorney! Perhaps if SP knows how to DEFEND a Patent, they also know how to help their insider friends infringe one as well? Hmmmm... Now isn't THAT an interesting wrinkle? I SWEAR I am not making this up...

5) HURTING THE INDUSTRY?!? Not!! When tubeless Ultimate Airball first took the damn troublesome tubes and unreliable fans out of the bunkers more than TEN YEARS AGO, the game got BETTER.
Field Operator's jobs got EASIER.
American innovation WON.
Then the French knocked off our products via China, forcing us to abandon our own Paintball Team (Brimstone Smoke - also our production staff!) and nearly wiped out our company - but we SURVIVED.

6) NOW, Ultimate Airball has learned to compete WITHOUT cheapening our much better product, yet our prices are now EQUAL. Many Leagues, fields and distributors have realized this, and our discussions are becoming very productive.

7) Americans like you, including you young ballers, need to realize that "MADE IN USA" needs to mean something again FAST, or we'll all have to work in restaurants and gas stations. Not a joke. This is your Country.
Nobody likes a lawsuit, but NOT EVERYONE who acts to defend a Patent is just like Smart Parts. Before jumping on the bandwagon against every Patent defender, we need to slow down and see who has done what to whom. If we blindly hate on every American company just for defending what they legitimately innovated, soon, we would all be speaking Chinese.

8) America NEEDS Manufacturing. Fortunately for Ultimate Airball, due to our superior quality reputation, we are growing again and HIRING Sales Reps, while our foreign competitor has been firing people, with very few left to can!

9) When "the COMPETITOR in SMART PARTS' WAREHOUSE" first copied our tubeless design years ago at a Big League Las Vegas event, they had the audacity to launch it under an abbreviation of OUR trademarked brand name: They actually called it "Ultim'Air" !!!?!
I swear I am not making this up!
One NPPL League Owner (an Attorney) SCREAMED at them for this illegal action. Bud Orr and many other Industry big guys rushed to our aid and put a ton of pressure on them to drop the stolen name abbreviation. Really. Is this the kind of business tactic we all want to rally behind?

10) During 2009, this Chinese knock-off brand was publicly displayed and used with our own ULTIMATE AIRBALL PATENT NUMBER printed on the bunkers. Very confusing, wouldn't you say?
Is that fair?
Are THESE the guys we should all support and cheer for?
Should we all rush to help the French and Chinese beat down Americans, just because nobody likes Patents, just because they're often associated with Smart Parts??
No. We need to rethink this.

EXTRA CREDIT: Ultimate Airball's Patent dates back to the past DECADE. We innovated tubeless bunkers. Ultimate Airball bunkers have been used at the World Cup, PSP, NPPL, Mardi Gras, Spyder Cup, Aruba Madness, IAO, Ultimate Madness, Golden Triangle, GPL, etc., etc. When our superior tubeless design became the STANDARD OF THE INDUSTRY, the foreigners tried everything they could to compete, and finally gave up and illegally ripped us off.
Let's face it:
YOU LOVE ULTIMATE AIRBALL's tubeless design. Why? It's the only system you've played on for years and years - before you knew it was stolen.
The Patent went ALL THE WAY THROUGH the multi-year approval process unchallenged, undebated, unquestioned by any competitor, because it is totally legit and they had no way to answer it.
American companies who invent, innovate, and develop superior products and systems deserve the chance to EMPLOY PEOPLE and earn a living without foreign knock-off artists forcing them to fire everybody and go on Welfare. Not all Patent protection is bad.

We're the GOOD GUYS in this story, and WE'RE BACK.
Our much better, much longer-lasting bunkers are GOOD for the sport.
If a field operator buys a product for the same price and it lasts 5 - 10 times longer, that's GOOD FOR THE INDUSTRY.
If American paintballers are employed in the process, that's GOOD FOR THE INDUSTRY and the Country as well.

We're looking forward to seeing you all at more and more League and Scenario events, including the February Paintball EXTRAVAGANZA, CPX LIVING LEGENDS (Where I will be a Blues Brother!), OKLAHOMA D-DAY, and several LEAGUE Events to be announced soon.

Above all, thanks for caring about all of this!

Craig Miller
President - Brimstone Enterprises, Inc - Ultimate Airball®
(links deleted)
Craig Posts Again
http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...9#post64080429

SupAir Responds http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...0#post64132110

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrenalineGames View Post
No documentation of any sort regarding a pending lawsuit has been recieved.

Last edited by e_friccero : 01-06-2010 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:07 PM #2
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:08 PM #3
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wtf
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:09 PM #4
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Um?
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:15 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e_friccero View Post
Would be unfortunate for all players if the price for tournaments were to increase due to this
They're merely speculating that prices would increase. Honestly, I can't see how it would. Even if Sup Air were forced to license their product through Ultimate Air, I can't see how it would increase the cost of the bunker systems enough that it'd translate to higher entry fees.

If you think about how long a field lasts, and how many players will play on it, there are a lot of customers sharing the cost of a field.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:18 PM #6
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Not sure I quite understand.......They are suing because another company made inflatable bunkers and sold them with the intent for people to hide behind them???or is it the fact that they advertised them?
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:18 PM #7
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See paintball industry. This is why we can't have nice things.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:19 PM #8
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See paintball industry. This is why we can't have nice things.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:22 PM #9
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if some of you took the time to actually read... they had an agreement with sup-air that DID NOT involve suing them... SUP-Air breached that contract and basically forced what is happening.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:25 PM #10
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Sounds like another company copied their "tubeless" design, and they're going after them. Pretty standard. Can't be all bunkers, or there'd be more companies being sued. At least they're not going after the fields
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:28 PM #11
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See paintball industry. This is why we can't have nice things.
rofl.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:29 PM #12
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ive never even heard of ultimate airball until now
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:31 PM #13
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ive never even heard of ultimate airball until now
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:41 PM #14
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Craig has been behind the airball bunkers for some time now.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:48 PM #15
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They first debuted in 2000 at the original USPL event.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:53 PM #16
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Craig has been behind the airball bunkers for some time now.
pun intended...amiright?
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:05 AM #17
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If it wasn't for Ultimate Airball, we would still be tripping over tubes...
Support Ultimate, they worked hard to develop the bunker system we take for granted today.

to Ultimate Airball for finally taking back what's yours.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:10 AM #18
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Is this the Ultimate Airball that Milt Call runs?
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:13 AM #19
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Is this the Ultimate Airball that Milt Call runs?
Yup.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:13 AM #20
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bunker progression

first came hyperball (sewer pipes)
next came sup air with hoses connect to every bunker and fans continually pushing air into bunkers

next came fans and batteries in bunkers to blow them up

next came ultimate air free standing bunkers that were very durable and made of white water rafting material. (this when paint started breaking on bunkers the ones with fans had much less paint breaking on the bunkers)

sup air sponsor most major national events(there is a world cup with multiple fields of ulitmate air; maybe a season or 2)

sup air starts making the blow up bunkers we see today

extreme rage bunkers come out; so do air ups and other off brands pop up too (DBX Kingmann)

sometime ultimate air gets a patent...

check out old warpig.com videos to see bunker pogression
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:21 AM #21
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Yup.
Interresting the factory is about 20 mins from me
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