Triggers Off to Court

The American manufacturer of the enormously popular PocketWizard wireless flash triggers, LPA Design, has today filed a complaint for patent infringement against Hong Kong-based Phottix Ltd.

Atlas

Among the photo accessories produced by the Chinese company is the Phottix Atlas trigger (shown above)—the alleged culprit. The product is popular in Asia and has recently made inroads in the U.S.

Last June David Hobby wrote the following on his Strobist blog: “With the announcement of the “Atlas,” Hong Kong -based Phottix has just gone from an unremarkable, third-party accessory manufacturer to a company who is raising serious eyebrows.” (Link to the complete text.)

Zoom Street has reviewed several Phottix products favorably, and last year I posted my impressions of their Plato 2.4 GHz Wireless Remote Set

Strangely enough we’ve been unable to get hold of an Atlas for testing since Phottix has been “reevaluating” their review program in the U.S. Could it be the company got wind of the impending case?

No way of knowing, short of internal company documents turning up on WikiLeaks. Meanwhile, Phottix has yet to  respond to the infringement charge on their blog, and it will be interesting to see if they do.

miniTT1

I’m eagerly awaiting the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 for Nikon that has been long delayed due to extensive testing. (It’s a good sign when a company resists the temptation to rush a product to market before it’s ready. Even when it makes the pros grumpy.)

Meanwhile, I’ll keep you posted on the case.
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UPDATE (1/16):
This from Ron Galbraith Digital Photography Insights:

“We’re not in a position to dissect what this legal action means to the future of the 344MHz Atlas or what the next steps will be for either party. Nor do we know what impact this legal action will have on companies such as Interfit that intend to release the 344MHz Atlas rebadged as the Titan Pro. The only thing we know for sure is the suit applies only to the U.S., not to other likely markets for the 344MHz Phottix Atlas such as Canada and not to countries carrying the 433MHz version already.” More here.

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