Scrolling License Plate Patent Infringement


I realize that most people list their infringing products unknowingly since they were for the most part impulse buys or gifts that are now being disposed of. The other possibility is that they are trying to make money and have bought a quantity from an importer that  manufactured/distributed them without license, and are going to take the brunt of the importers illegal operations. To be clear, it doesn't matter who or what company packaged the product as I have not licensed anyone to make, distribute, or sell any portion or facsimile of my patent. As long as this page is available to be read by you on eBay, it means that the product you are asking about is illegal to sell, and I can't allow that.


There are a couple of different ways to check up on me and my patent. The easiest is to click on this link http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6799877.html


If that doesn't work, enter "leslie watkins patent" in a Google search, and I should be the second link down. Both of these are for the PatentStorm website which is cataloging all of the different patents in the US Patent Office. If you don't trust that particular site for some reason, please go to the United States Patent Trademark Office  http://www.uspto.gov/ and use their search feature for inventor's names or patent number 6799877.


Very few people have much experience with patents, but please understand that when you are looking through them, the entire patent is based on the claims in the body of the patent description, not the title, not the history, not the art work, not the abstract, and not the full description. You can verify this statement on the governments web site education section. The process of reviewing patents is not intuitive until you've done a couple of them, or studied them for a while. That's why lawyers can charge a lot.


If you look at my claims, you will see that they are broad in scope, and cover any license plate frame or light source able to be affixed to a license plate mounting hole, or current frame, that has the capability to form any kind of indicia, sign, message, or picture.


Color, size, or brightness of the light(s), color or texture of the frame, construction of the light source (LED, neon, incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, LCD, etc.), activation sequence/frequency, programmability, and placement of the lights are non-issues. It is the essence of how my device functions (described in the claims) that is protected by the patent.


To help you out, what my patent doesn't cover and (I assume) that you are free to sell are:


1. A frame with a light(s) that is hard-wired to the vehicle's brake light switch and operates in conjunction with the application of the brakes. At all times, the light(s) must work in tandem with the vehicle's brake light and can not have the capability to be used in any other manner. There can be no sign, message, or picture associated with the light display.


2. A frame that has a light(s) that stays on when activated, is decorative in nature only, that does not flash, blink, "chase", "move", scroll, or form any type of picture, indicia, sign, or message.


Please be aware that decorative lights on vehicles are covered by state vehicle law and their misuse is citable.


Whether or not someone sells a scrolling license plate frame for "another purpose" or makes claim that it shouldn't be used to send a message doesn't matter since the functionality is there and that is the infringement. Think of someone selling a knife and advertises that if bought, it shouldn't be used to cut things. The functionality of the device is still there in spite of the advertising claims and/or "suggestions".


I of course would appreciate the contact information of any company or web site that is preying on the public and stealing my idea.


Thank you and good luck.


Sincerely,


Leslie Watkins


Don't Die, LLC