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Patenting San mai

Discussion in 'The Off Topic Room' started by chefcomesback, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. chefcomesback

    chefcomesback Founding Member

    So , a knife company patented the name and use of the term "San mai" as if they were the ones we found it , it sounds like a joke but really I have also seen a pic of letter on a FB knife community , it seems they are serious about this stupidity
    I guess I am in trouble too , since I love making San mai knives ( no relation to the pry bars patented )
  2. XooMG

    XooMG Founding Member

    There is no patent from CS; it is a trademark. I am no IP lawyer, but it would appear they have nothing on you or anyone else since you're not using their trademark.

    If you're paranoid, use sanmai or san-mai or 3mai or 三枚 or 3dwich-steel or whatever the hell you want. You are not branding, you are using a Japanese description of a particular laminate construction.
  3. Now we are all doomed
  4. Mert my guess its as US trademark so no jurisdiction in Aus anyway

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
  5. Agree. Trademarks and patents need to be registered in each jurisdiction individually, AFAIK.

    They may as well trademark "Gyuto"
  6. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    Anybody remember the trademark battle over "Uno" (Spanish for "one"). A pizza place vs a Mexican place--both with "uno" in their name. Ridiculous. Then the Mexican place went after another Mexican place that had a similar name but was "Dos" (two) instead of "Uno."
  7. I called the patent and trademark office this afternoon. The trademark is for "San Mai 3" where the 3 is three dashes stacked in top of each other. It was issued in 2008 and renewed in 2014. Cold steel claims that it was in use since 7/22/1986 by them.

    And , here is the important part, the current claim in 2008 asserts "the mark has become distinctive of the goods/services through the applicant's substantially exclusive and continuous use in commerce for at least the five years immediately before the date of this statement."

    Since when has Cold Steel been the exclusive user of SAn Mai steel. I'm sure it dates back at least a century.

    I'm wondering whether the USPTO requires the applicants to provide proof of their Assertions or whether they investigate the assertions independently from the applicant. My guess is that they just require the applicant to sign an affidavit saying that to the best of their knowledge, their claim to exclusivity is real and that no one they know of has ever used San Mai.

  8. The trademark application was also for an international trademark which means that it is good in practically all countries that the US has trade and intellectual property agreement and that is most countries except places like China, Iran, North Korea , etc.

    So it includes Australia, mate.
  9. Oh well. They still gotta come here and try win it here and given Cold Steel would have littlw to no representation or branding here i can't see their assertion standing up.

    Plus what i have read no one is in breach in anyway because no one is labeling their products as San Mai just using ut to describe the method of construction

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
  10. Seems that Cold Steel are reaching far and wide.

    Attached Files:

  11. XooMG

    XooMG Founding Member

    That letter is about as threatening as a fart in a jar.
  12. One was sent to ABS mastersmith J Neilson. He posted that in blade forums.
  13. MattS

    MattS Founding Member

    I will not be doing business with Cold Steel. That is a jerk move sending letters to blade smiths.
  14. CrisAnderson27

    CrisAnderson27 Professional Craftsman

    They are idiots. First, san mai isn't just a hundred or so years old, but pretty much as old as Japan's history with the sword. Second, there's about ten billion ways to say 'san mai' without using it as Cold Steel trademarked it.

    I think it's funny though, Aldo has stopped calling his 'three layer' steel 'san mai' and now calls it 'double clad' steel.

  15. chefcomesback

    chefcomesback Founding Member

    Thank you all for your replies , honestly I don't know where to start .
    It's a damn construction technique that is used by almost all japanese makers and some western makers . Just because you fooled some office person or a local judge do you think you can impose this stupidity to all makers who make " San mai " knives ? Knock knock : Heiji San , you can't call your knives San mai , because we have trade marked it ... Good for you and go love your self . I am happy to say non of the San mai construction knives I do show any resemblance to the trade marked product .
    Also who is going to impose this internationally ? Whose jurisdiction is it ? Cold steel be like
  16. XooMG

    XooMG Founding Member

    Have a Zoloft...the dude is a lot of hot gas. When he gets a lawyer to start sending legit letters, then start sharpening your arguments.
  17. May I request one of those legit letters? Cause obviously Cold Steel is loosing money and reputation every time I'm writing San Mai. So they must stop me, or they would go bankrupt. San Mai. … oh no, I did it again! San Mai ≡. And again! More loses for the poor company
  18. MattS

    MattS Founding Member

    Anton....time to build a San Mai handle.
  19. I'd love to see them try to actually enforce the "trademark" on someone using the term as a description of the Japanese technique for wrapping steel with iron. In a legal challenge, they wouldn't get too far. Certainly not in a market where they have no profile, such as Australia, Mate.

    Seriously, get a life Cold Steel.
  20. BTW, all but 4 of my 20+ knives are SAN MAI, and not one of them is made by Cold Steel.

    I can put all of them in the fridge and get COLD STEEL.


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