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A request to all owners of an Headphonia amplifier - Page 3

post #31 of 303
Well put dyle, I can see a bright Head-Fi future for you. Start posting more, you've been a member for almost 2 years!

As far as the situation here goes, I think its a textbook case of perfect competition. Which is beneficial to everyone, as both manufacturers will duke it out to see who can come up with the best amp, and we'll reap the benefit of great innovative technology in headphone amplification, and they will get better sales because of better products.
post #32 of 303
in the interest of justice and fair play, wouldnt it be prudent have all the facts before people judge and condemn? i do believe the western justice system stipulates innocence until proven guilty. as yet i dont recall seeing any facts or proof presented.

if jan meier feels his designs have been infringed upon, he may have legal recourse to deal with the matter. but until the courts have decided i feel very dismayed by all of the (dare i say) factless condemnations based solely on the allegations of one party.

afterall as mentioned in previous posts, asian products (no need to mention which country/countries) are notorious for spinning quick and cheap "knockoffs" that blatantly infringe on copyrights/patents and yet we applaud the influx of these products.

although not having a wholelotta time and posts here, i've no doubt that meier audio have an excellent reputation and that jan would never make baseless and malicious allegations. his products speak for itself. OTOH on the few occations i've emailed headphonia, robert have taken the time and patience to answer my dumb questions. most of the posts i've read here (before this thread that is) have nothing but praises for headphonia's products and service.

being a headfier myself i would hate to see the reputation of this forum and its members suffer if we rush to judgement so nonchalantly and callously. it would be prudent and wise to let the story unfold and the facts emerge before any axes fall. meantime wouldnt it be fair to let both parties carry on with the business of building great (and affordable i pray) products unmolested?
post #33 of 303
Jan Meier,

I think you should have let your lawyer send him a legal notice before slandering Headphonia on the 'net like this. The entire story has not been heard and it's not your place to request Headphonia's customer information based on unverified evidence you have gathered. Headphonia is healthy competition in the European portable audio market, and you should use this opportunity to give your products and edge. Unless he did in fact steal your design, then settle it in a courthouse, not in a forum. It reflects badly on your reputation as well.

Good luck with your case.
post #34 of 303
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post #35 of 303
Thread Starter 
Dear Headfellows,

Please be ascertained that originally I never intended to start any flamewar and large discussions. I hoped to be able to settle this situation with Robert Gehrke privatly. That's why I asked him for a sales-list. I gave him 10 days to do so. Since he never did and apparently never intended to do so my request at Head-Fi was my only mean to get the information.

Robert:

> I never had one of your amps in my hands.

So where did you get the schematics from? I never made them public!

> Your German patent from 1999 is not confirmed till now (after 7 years!!)

With German Patent Law it is possible to file/apply for a patent but wait 6 years before you ask for a confirmation/proove. The application is cheap. The confirmation is way more expensive. This way people can observe the market whether their patent has potential or not before they spend a lot of money. Confirmation/proove was asked for around 1 year ago and according to the patent office changes are very good.

> Your posting here on headfi.org is only made to damage my reputation.

If this would have been my intention, then I would not have send you a letter several weeks ago and I would not have tried to solve this situation privatly.

> Thus the amp became very fast obsolete. The new amp is specially designed for the AD8397 opamp.

The amp that I have at my place does have the AD8397 opamp. Nonetheless the rest of the amplification circuitry is exactly that of the PORTA CORDA! In case you you like to deny (as you did on the forum of your own homepage) I'm more then willing to send both amplifiers to an independent Head-Fi member with enough knowledge to analyze both circuitries and have him publish his findings over here.

Cheers

Jan
post #36 of 303
I would never give away private datas of my customers to a third party. This is out of the question. Also your claim to provide a confirmation of the legality of our business. Everyone can check the VAT number which is listed on our site.

See common sites like headwize.com for the crossfeed schematics by Ohman and by yourself (also your own site provides basically the same circuit as I just checked). After you told me you have a patent I answered you this patent must be confirmed so you can claim anything. But I wasn't able to see any invention in your patent (as Ohman published the same circuit 5 years earlier). Generally: Even in the future I will use open designs and will adopt them (as every designer does). See my next "Amperor" amp with two 9V batteries - its basically a Pimeta/PPA. Did I steal anything? I am happy to change the schematic if there is a legal patent on this.

I did not response to your emails because everything has been said.
post #37 of 303
Mediation is the key . Instead of a Head-Fi member. Who might have a pre-conceived bias in either direction. Might I suggest an independent Laboratory.
That would be of aid in any needed litigation. In either direction.
post #38 of 303
Whatever the circumstances may be surrounding this issue, a public internet forum is certainly NOT the proper venue for resolving it. No personal offense intended Jan Meier, but as a long-time contributor to the Head-Fi community and a well respected businessman, you should know better. If you believe that your intellectual property was stolen and have been unable to get satisfaction from the other party then there's only one way to proceed in a professional manner - get a lawyer and pursue your case within the legal system. Soliciting customers to get personally involved in a possibly litigious situation between your company and someone else's is not good. Just my opinion.
post #39 of 303

Please, not here

I'm disappointed that Jan Meier's used this forum to announce the possibility of a patent infringement suit against Headphonia and to post his request for those of us who purchased Headphonia amps to let Meier know about it. It's unfair to assume that just because Meier posted here first he's right. His lawyers should handle this dispute and only when it's resolved should it be made public here. As an aside I'd like to know just how important are patents and patent infringement suits in the micro mini world of head amps? Given the possibility of limitless circuit design variations, the small number of amps sold and quick model turnover, I'd think it's more important to keep a design secret rather than take the time to patent it. After 100 years just how many new amp designs could there be anyway?
post #40 of 303
Well, let me present an alternate opinion. I think that since Jan Meier is a sponsor of this site, has been for a long time, has made specially priced amps just for Head-fiers, and is generally well known in this forum, that he deserves more of the benefit of the doubt than does a total newcomer to the scene.

Further, no one has to tell Jan anything, and I believe he has the right to state his claim. Robert from Headphonia has made his points as well. Head-fiers are free to draw their own conclusions from what data has been presented, or they are free to ignore the whole thing.
post #41 of 303
Author has requested deletion of this post.
post #42 of 303
Thread Starter 
Dear Headfellows,

Just a few notes to the comments.

> It is just unfortunate that Jan had to do that before getting a reply from Robert.

I did send Robert a fax nearly two weeks ago. Except from a short excuse for having used exactly the same resistor and capacitor values (he did not apalogize for copying the entire schematics) he never showed any true will to settle this situation between gentlemen. I posted at Head-Fi after not having received any answer to my mails for more than a week.

> If you believe that your intellectual property was stolen and have been unable to get satisfaction from the other party then there's only one way to proceed in a professional manner - get a lawyer and pursue your case within the legal system.

Before taking a lawyer one should always weight the possible benefits against the losses. If Robert would only have sold 20 amplifiers, then the "damage" would be much smaller than the costs of a lawyer. If he would have sold 800 amplifiers then it clearly would be worthwhile taking one. Robert did not want to provide me with his sales-numbers and I'm pretty sure he was counting on it, that I would not be willing to take a lawyer because of the work and costs involved. It's not an uncommon policy of companies to try to get away with what they consider "minor" offences.

I only had one choice to get an impression of the sales involved, and that was by going public. Sorry, but I feel I simply had no other choice. Or should I simply have the situation rest?

Moreover, I do feel that there are moral issues involved that do concern Head-Fi. Especially in the DIY-forum there is a lot of exchange of technical ideas. These are generally free for personal use but not for commercial applications. The "DIY-FORUM RULES" clearly state:

" the practice of "cloning" a viable presently for retail sale commercial product is OK if it is for personal use ONLY and we invite photographs of your handiwork .
What is NOT allowed is the attempt to make a profit on the designs of others unless you have explicit permission from the designer/manufacturer to do so"

The actions of Headphonia clearly violates the "spirit" of these rules!

> Instead of a Head-Fi member. Who might have a pre-conceived bias in either direction. Might I suggest an independent Laboratory.

Again, the costs would most probably be much higher then the benefits. However, I do have a suggestion to all owners of an Headphonia amp that have some technical knowledge. I'm willing to send each of you the schematics of the amplification circuitry by mail so you can check for yourself whether your amp is a PORTA CORDA copy or not. You only have to promise not to make these schematics public. But of course people here will be interested in the results of your comparisons.

Robert:

> After you told me you have a patent I answered you this patent must be confirmed so you can claim anything.

You concentrate too much on the patent. You not only copied the crossfeed implementation as found in the PORTA CORDA but also the entire amplification circuitry. Although not protected by any patent there are laws against that!

> Even in the future I will use open designs

I have no problem with that. But you seem to forget that the PORTA CORDA was never an open design. The schematics were never published so you must have them "recovered" by simply analyzing one of the amplifiers.

> and will adopt them

You did not adopt the schematics of the PORTA CORDA. You used it 1:1 (except for using a different opamp of course)

> (as every designer does).

Not true! I never analyzed any other amp. And I'm also very sure that people like Tyll Hertsens (who owns a CORDA HA-1), Ray Samuels (who owns two CORDA amplifiers, Rudi Stor (also a customer of mine), Michael Grace (who licensed the Crossfeed filter) and Norbert Lehmann (who I know well) never tried to copy any of my work or that of other people. These are all very nice people and I have great respect for their work, because they all make their own designs. I consider them colleagues and not just competitors. It's like a tennis-match. On the court you want to make the points but outside the courts you can be friends.

Cheers

Jan
post #43 of 303
Is it only me, but I found Robert Gehrke's contributions not that convincing... nothing that I could analyze clearly, more a feeling in the belly, a feeling of being uncandid...
post #44 of 303
Author has requested deletion of this post.
post #45 of 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Meier View Post
I only had one choice to get an impression of the sales involved, and that was by going public. Sorry, but I feel I simply had no other choice. Or should I simply have the situation rest?
Certainly not in my opinion, I just don't agree with your course of action. Whatever the justification for making this a public matter Jan, it inevitably gets reduced to a "he said, she said" argument as far as 99% of the community is concerned, and these things almost always get ugly. Many people feel the need to weigh in, sides are established, mud is flung, and the whole thing devolves into an uproar that could have been avoided. It diminishes the place in my opinion, and that's all I want to say. I will now butt-out and go spend my time in other threads. I wish you the best of luck in getting this matter resolved.
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