Patent / Copyright on Synthesizer Design?

...and how to do so...
hollyWorse
KVRist
73 posts since 23 May, 2017

Post Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:58 pm

Hi there,

I've been building a few software synthesizers and fx plugins after famous hardware. I pretty much rebuilt those as close as possible to the original structure, in result they even sound quite similar, of course no perfect match.

When talking about "Design" I mean the structure of the hardware as well as similarities in the visual layout. No copies, just similarities.

At first I built them for myself cause I couldn't afford the hardware. After investing a few hundred hours I've been thinking about selling them, not for much, just a few bucks. I wouldn't use the same model or brand name of course.

What do you think, am I on the legal side? After all these hardware are also just re-enactments of previous hardware.

Thanks.

User avatar
Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2962 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Patent / Copyright on Synthesizer Design?

Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:31 pm

Regarding patents, anything older than 25 years is set free, and as the possible patents are probably older than the first incarnation of such a synth, it might be even less. For example John Chownings FM patent is not a concern. Copyright holds longer, that might apply to the layout and look of the front panel. Best is to create your own, it won't affect the sound...;-) In most cases, emulations have better layouts than the original, on a screen additional controls don't add to production cost...

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