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Author Topic: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera  (Read 1509 times)

TechTalk

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Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« on: June 19, 2020, 09:58:59 pm »

Hasselblad applied for a design patent in September of 2018 for the V1D concept camera which was shown at Photokina in 2016. The US patent office granted the design patent on December 3, 2019. The patent is valid for 15 years.

For those not familiar with the difference between a design patent and a utility patent, a design patent covers the shape, appearance, or configuration of a design. A utility patent covers the way in which a design works or functions. In other words, a design patent is protection from someone making a product that looks substantially similar to your design, regardless of the function.

When the V1D concept was shown, it was described as a modular square-format camera. At the time (2016), it was suggested as a 75 MP camera. The 75 MP being obtained from the concept of taking the larger 100 MP 53.4mm x 40mm sensor and cropping the dimensions to a 40mm square which would provide a total of 75.69 megapixels. It would use the same X series of lenses as the X1Ds and 907X.

The camera modularity was described as round modular ports on each side of the body with modular square panels on the top and back of the body. The design patent does not address the functions, specifications, or modularity of the camera. In fact, Hasselblad was careful to exclude the grip and knob shown in the drawings from the patent application. This is how design patents are usually done. You keep the design as generic as possible to prevent copying by simply moving or modifying a feature of the design.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_patent

Whether this will ever be produced is impossible to know. It could have been patented just because there was positive response when it was shown and to protect the design in case Hasselblad should, at some point in time, decide to use it for an actual product. But, it is interesting that two years after it was shown, they hired a patent attorney and went through the process. I have no interest in speculating. I just find it interesting as a concept because I love square format. Even if it were produced, it could be substantially different in functionality than the concept that was suggested.

So. here is the patent application and approval...  US Patent Office Hasselblad Concept Camera Documents

And here is the best interview, that I could find, with the lead designer of the concept... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYv_I01QSug

Here are some pictures of the concept camera... https://www.dpreview.com/news/2911654347/hasselblad-shows-75mp-square-format-v-style-v1d-concept-camera
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 07:23:25 pm by TechTalk »
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kers

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Re: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 06:44:59 am »

You can make a square format out of any sensor camera right now and get a square mask in the OVF. Even In this case they make it by cropping a 100MP not rectangular sensor.
Since i often make panorama's i have become format-less. I like every format that suits the photo.
I do not think this camera will ever be produced. Hasselblad is too busy with the X1D and does not have the capacity/funding to do more.
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BobShaw

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Re: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 07:34:09 pm »

I do not think this camera will ever be produced.
I think you are probably right and common sense dictates you are right. However that has failed in the past.
Who would have thought that the V series in any form would have survived after the the H series was released 20 years ago.
Yet they continue to make back backs for V series and then bodies to put new lenses on those backs. Some users just won't let go.
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TechTalk

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Re: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2020, 09:29:15 pm »

You can make a square format out of any sensor camera right now and get a square mask in the OVF. Even In this case they make it by cropping a 100MP not rectangular sensor.

Of course, you can crop any format to whatever you like. You could take a large rectangular sensor and crop it square or even take a 6x17cm film camera and crop a square out of it; you'd just be carrying around a much larger camera than needed, if what you want to shoot is a square format.

The concept camera was presented with little in the way of specifications. From what little was said regarding the sensor concept, it appears that they conceived it as a 40mm x 40mm square sensor format in a very compact modular camera body. It could make sense as an extension of the X system as a higher price point option with increased versatility and more opportunity for add on accessories.

Who knows? Not me!
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EinstStein

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Re: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2020, 09:13:46 pm »

The only or the major exciting element is its square format, more precise, its native square format.
Since any format can be cropped to downgrade to any other format, the sensible native sensor formats in today's display format would be 1x1 (or 6x6!), 2x3, 3x4, or 16x9. Among them,. in terms of maximize the lens's capability, I would say 1x1 has the certain benefit.
 
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tcdeveau

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Re: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 06:37:23 pm »

Hasselblad applied for a design patent in September of 2018 for the V1D concept camera which was shown at Photokina in 2016. The US patent office granted the design patent on December 3, 2019. The patent is valid for 15 years.

For those not familiar with the difference between a design patent and a utility patent, a design patent covers the shape, appearance, or configuration of a design. A utility patent covers the way in which a design works or functions. In other words, a design patent is protection from someone making a product that looks substantially similar to your design, regardless of the function.

When the V1D concept was shown, it was described as a modular square-format camera. At the time (2016), it was suggested as a 75 MP camera. The 75 MP being obtained from the concept of taking the larger 100 MP 53.4mm x 40mm sensor and cropping the dimensions to a 40mm square which would provide a total of 75.69 megapixels. It would use the same X series of lenses as the X1Ds and 907X.

The camera modularity was described as round modular ports on each side of the body with modular square panels on the top and back of the body. The design patent does not address the functions, specifications, or modularity of the camera. In fact, Hasselblad was careful to exclude the grip and knob shown in the drawings from the patent application. This is how design patents are usually done. You keep the design as generic as possible to prevent copying by simply moving or modifying a feature of the design.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_patent

Wether this will ever be produced is impossible to know. It could have been patented just because there was positive response when it was shown and to protect the design in case Hasselblad should, at some point in time, decide to use it for an actual product. But, it is interesting that two years after it was shown, they hired a patent attorney and went through the process. I have no interest in speculating. I just find it interesting as a concept because I love square format. Even if it were produced, it could be substantially different in functionality than the concept that was suggested.

So. here is the patent application and approval...  US Patent Office Hasselblad Concept Camera Documents

And here is the best interview, that I could find, with the lead designer of the concept... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYv_I01QSug

Here are some pictures of the concept camera... https://www.dpreview.com/news/2911654347/hasselblad-shows-75mp-square-format-v-style-v1d-concept-camera

A few notes....nice find and great general description!

This application (29/662,394; issued as US D868,868) is a continuation of application 29/594,715, which was filed on February 22, 2017. 

Hasselblad was not careful to exclude the knobs and grips, these are covered in the "parent" application 29/594,715 which issued as US Design patent D829,800 on October 2, 2018.  The patent OP posted is a continuation application, where they broadened out (i.e. made more generic) the disclosure of the parent application by reducing certain features to broken lines, thereby not claiming them as part of the design.  This is a general strategy with design patents. 

They also didn't hire a patent attorney two years after it was shown.  In the US, an applicant for a patent has a grace period of a year between a first public disclosure and the filing of a patent application.  Otherwise, they are barred from filing the application.  The application op posted is a continuation application of 29/594,715, which was filed on February 22, 2017.  The news articles I've found suggest the V1D was shown September 19, 2016....so this application was filed within 6 months of the Sept. 2016 date....and they hired a firm/attorney sometime before 6 months after the public disclosure. 

Design patents are generally cheap compared to utility patents, so they just went ahead and filed the app figuring they'd make a decision on the concept later.  My guess is probably not given the announcement of the 907x, but who knows.....their design is protected for 15 years as OP said so they can always do something with it later. 

Here's the issued design patent for the X1D if anyone is curious: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/D795325.pdf .  I own both the X1D and 907x so it's neat to see some IP behind it. 

On the subject of Hasselblad design patents, after the X1D was announced, DJI acquired some sort of stake in Hasselblad, and DJI filed a design patent in China for what could be the X1D/X1DII successor: https://petapixel.com/2019/08/02/patent-shows-dji-is-working-on-a-clone-of-the-hasselblad-x1d/ .  Not sure if they filed anything in the US or not, DJI has a lot of filings in the US under different legal entities and it's hard to track....design patents in the US also aren't published/made publicly available until they issue, which takes time.

Anyway, just my two cents.  Nice to see that they received patent coverage on the designs of the X1D and V1D at least.  The X1D may be my favorite camera design ever. 
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 07:10:47 pm by tcdeveau »
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tcdeveau

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Re: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2020, 06:41:54 pm »

Another follow up that I forgot to check.  The first filing of the US Design patent for the V1D in Feb of 2017 claims priority to a European Application 003379072-0001 filed on September 14, 2016...so it appears they actually hired an attorney to file the application before the V1D concept was shown to the public, which is common in Europe.
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TechTalk

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Re: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2020, 07:21:55 pm »


On the subject of Hasselblad design patents, after the X1D was announced, DJI acquired some sort of stake in Hasselblad, and DJI filed a design patent in China for what could be the X1D/X1DII successor: https://petapixel.com/2019/08/02/patent-shows-dji-is-working-on-a-clone-of-the-hasselblad-x1d/ .  Not sure if they filed anything in the US or not, DJI has a lot of filings in the US under different legal entities and it's hard to track....design patents in the US also aren't published/made publicly available until they issue, which takes time.

I'm clearly no expert on the patent process in the US or internationally. However, if I had to guess, I suspect the reason that DJI was the one who filed the design patent in China is because they are a Chinese company. My guess being, that if you want to protect your product's design from being copied by a Chinese manufacturer you're probably better off having another Chinese company to be the one holding the patent on it. My thinking being that more weight and protection would be given to the validity of a patent in China held by a Chinese company, particularly one as large as DJI. Just a guess, but I think that it makes more sense than DJI preparing to make a clone as the article you link to speculates.
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tcdeveau

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Re: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2020, 09:10:56 am »

I'm clearly no expert on the patent process in the US or internationally. However, if I had to guess, I suspect the reason that DJI was the one who filed the design patent in China is because they are a Chinese company. My guess being, that if you want to protect your product's design from being copied by a Chinese manufacturer you're probably better off having another Chinese company to be the one holding the patent on it. My thinking being that more weight and protection would be given to the validity of a patent in China held by a Chinese company, particularly one as large as DJI. Just a guess, but I think that it makes more sense than DJI preparing to make a clone as the article you link to speculates.

Size and location of a patent owner has nothing to do with weight or protection. A patent with a sole inventor working out of his/her basement is just as valid and entitled to the same amount of protection as a patent from Apple or DJI. Alpa Cameras, for example, was just successful in court in China against counterfeiters and they’re just a small outfit out of Switzerland (was not a patent claim as I understand it).

We’ll see what happens with this one, if anything. Letters and logos are generally not permitted in design patents. If you look close at the rear perspective view of the 3D computer render of that Chinese application, you can see the “Hasselblad” logo at the bottom of the rear LCD (Just like the X1D) from where someone poorly cloned it out.

If DJI does own a majority share in HB, the patent itself shows “Hasselblad” on the product design, and DJI already makes X-system components for HB (the X-system dual charger hub and remote release both are made by DJI, I have both and it says so on the box), then it’s more likely we’re seeing a possible future HB product than a DJI clone.

It was likely filed by DJI instead of HB in China bc DJI purportedly owns a majority stake in HB, and IP filings were part of that deal. They are based in China, so they filed in their home jurisdiction. Just my opinion, of course. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe we’ll never the images in that Chinese patent mature into a product.

Again, thanks for sharing one of the issued V1D US patents, I had no idea these were out there (didn’t even pop up in an assignee search with the USPTO I did).
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 10:35:20 am by tcdeveau »
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TechTalk

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Re: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2020, 05:02:35 pm »

Size and location of a patent owner has nothing to do with weight or protection. A patent with a sole inventor working out of his/her basement is just as valid and entitled to the same amount of protection as a patent from Apple or DJI. Alpa Cameras, for example, was just successful in court in China against counterfeiters and they’re just a small outfit out of Switzerland (was not a patent claim as I understand it).

We’ll see what happens with this one, if anything. Letters and logos are generally not permitted in design patents. If you look close at the rear perspective view of the 3D computer render of that Chinese application, you can see the “Hasselblad” logo at the bottom of the rear LCD (Just like the X1D) from where someone poorly cloned it out.

If DJI does own a majority share in HB, the patent itself shows “Hasselblad” on the product design, and DJI already makes X-system components for HB (the X-system dual charger hub and remote release both are made by DJI, I have both and it says so on the box), then it’s more likely we’re seeing a possible future HB product than a DJI clone.

It was likely filed by DJI instead of HB in China bc DJI purportedly owns a majority stake in HB, and IP filings were part of that deal. They are based in China, so they filed in their home jurisdiction. Just my opinion, of course. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe we’ll never the images in that Chinese patent mature into a product.

Again, thanks for sharing one of the issued V1D US patents, I had no idea these were out there (didn’t even pop up in an assignee search with the USPTO I did).

I appreciate your feedback and additional insight. Like I said, I know very little about the patent process and how it varies from country to country or how enforcement might vary. Your feedback did make me curious about how patents in China have been handled in the past and the current process.

It appears that China has improved their protection of patents and copyrights in recent years.  https://apnews.com/Nov. 11 2019/China sets tougher guidelines to protect patents, copyrights

I also found a much more in depth article published by a department of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington DC think tank that is highly regarded for their nonpartisan studies and analysis. One portion of which reads: "While the explosion of domestic patent applications in China is impressive, this growth does not necessarily correspond with dramatic advances in innovation. Comparing patent applications and grants between countries does not take into account differences in government policies and the domestic regulatory environment. In the case of China, the CNIPA National Patent Development Strategy explicitly equates patent generation with innovation and calls for government incentives to bolster the number of domestically filed patents."  https://chinapower.csis.org/patents/

I don't know what, if anything, this means in regard to the DJI patent filing. But I did find the article an interesting read. Thanks again for taking the time to provide your feedback and insights.
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CurtisHight

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Re: Design Patent Granted for Hasselblad Concept Camera
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 04:56:22 pm »

I posit the V1D not as a square format camera, but as high end medium format mirrorless camera which, when sporting the IMX411 and XCD wide angle lenses, will offer solid performance for square format capture. I would welcome it coming to market!

These are questions I’m pondering:

1) Can the X1D body handle the thermal requirements of the IMX461? If it can, then I suppose that within two years the “X2D’ will arrive sporting this sensor. If it cannot and a new body is necessary, then might a V1D come to market using the IMX461? If it can, then will the implementation of the sensor be limited to the “X2D” or will it also find a home in a higher end model such as the V1D I’m positing?

2) Will Hasselblad bring the IMX411 to the H system?

3) Will Hasselblad bring the IMX411 to a mirrorless camera?

4) Which of the XCD lenses will cover the IMX411?

5) Does Hasselblad retain the passion and can they access the capital to develop and deliver products supporting the IMX411?

With the answers to those questions we can better speculate a framework for Hasselblad’s future, a future that has been especially embattled since approval of the H system to replace the V system.  A V1D could arrive two or three tiered:

Tier 1: Sporting the IMX461, filling the product position of the “X2D” or as a higher performing implementation.
Tier 2: The camera shown in 2016, square format, possible support for the entire sensor when outfitted with those lenses which cover it.
Tier 3: A higher end version supporting 8K video, or a multi-shot version. (if Hasselblad sees supplanting the H system with the mirrorless system).

Which brings me to this question:

Can Hasselblad be healthy selling an IMX411 based mirrorless camera complete with the XCD 35–75 zoom for $17,500?

I'm cheering for them!
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