As you have read in the main page Fossil Crete has sent a letter to almost every manufacturer of a vertical bag mix asking for a $1.00 levy for every bag sold.

It's hard to imagine such companies like Flex-C-Ment, Butterfield, AE, SureCrete, Speeco and about a dozen more would take this seriously. The few I have spoken with have called it a joke.

But to charge a $1.00 per bag is a little odd when you should be trying to put a competitor out of business because the "stole" your baby.

In the letter the Fossil Crete mix design was included as well. So far I have not heard anyone's mix being even close to the formula but that's not what interested me. It was the claim to the entire process that they have included in their patent included the application, texture and other tools that I found interesting.

That's like trying to patent pouring a drive way or a patio and then telling the world it's my idea.

I have much to say about this as my manufacturer has received a letter as well.

I would like to hear your voice on this matter and I will make more available in the next few days.

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I'm sure they are eligible for some of that govt' bail-out money , tell them to contact o'bama. Hank
A lot of money in wasted postage mailing out the packets IMHO
I have received a copy of the cover letter and the over all letter (close to 30 pages) I will have soon as well.

In speaking to some of the manufacturer these were some of the points mentioned:



1.They did not mail these affidavits by registered mail, only regular. Any serious legal dispute would of come by registered mail. In short, they cannot prove that we ever received the letter (warning). Damn post office!

2. The patent they are suggesting is still pending. They suggest that they will have approval, but they still do not, therefore, they can make all the claims they want , but they cannot enforce them at his juncture.

3. Even if they do get the patent, how are they going to stop all the other vertical mixes in the market, including dryvit or stowe, or other lightweight vertical systems that have been manufacturing for years. I am told that actually Flex C Ment was one of the original mixes in the 1990’s anyways, even before Fossilcrete.

4. They could be looking for quick money from other suppliers who do not want to be bullied in the marketplace. If the patent never goes through, these people will never get their money back.

5. They would have to prove that their system is unique. To me, on an analogy, it is like saying that Ardex invented underlayments and they are going to stop everyone else from making underlayments, it is too broad of an arena.

6. Maybe they have new owners who are looking for quick cash infusion and this is the best they could think of.


Other comments were:

Tell you the truth at this late stage the only thing they can protect is their formula.
The lawyers, as you know, have no ethics.
They will give all sorts of BS. Whether a patent is issued or not, they will
make money so they will encourage Fossilcrete to try to get a patent.

Now, on the other hand, the patent can be stopped also. I am positive they
are using similar light weight materials in their formulas as we are. Our company
and other companies can send letters to the vendors of these materials
stating that their product is named in the Fossilcrete patent so if you
allow Fossilcrete to use your name, we will seek other sources to provide
the same raw materials. This scares the suppliers and they will tell
Fossilcrete not to use their name and the name of their raw material in
their patent. This has happened in the past.

Another thing, Fossilcrete is stupid to start sending such threatening
letters before even the patent is awarded to them. It is even more stupid
not to send the letter through a lawyer. This gives us time to protect
ourselves. Remember, the old saying, "There are many ways to skin a cat."

The general feeling is one of ludicrous.

I will post the cover letter. Or type it out. Soon.
There is another angle as well to this whole mess and that is money....if Fossil Crete Owner Rene Hajas has a lot of it then he can tie up smaller companies in legal disputes.

Example: He is sending out this licensee agreement for the $1.00 per bag because if he can get people to sign it then it doesn't matter if the patent is ligit or not...he has the a signed agreement.
OK Nathan! That's it! I use a trowel and I don't want anyone else to! And thats final! Wow this could be the next Jerry Springer Event!

Keep us posted!

Jeff
Solid Plasterers have been doing vertical build outs since the trade began, how long is a piece of string? How many layers constitutes a build out?
Even 1 x scratch coat + 1 x other coat is a build out, so all of us are doing nothing new because there is nothing new under the sun, plasterers have used various lightwieght aggregates over the years too.
Just a tuppence worth
C
I have the full letter now.....almost 30 pages or so. From the on set it is a patent for:

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DECORATING VERTICAL CONCRETE SURFACES

The patent apt. includes the description of the the invention which describes the method and procedure of using a template ( for those of you who don't know the tool in which I refer too, it the big metal bracket that is pushed into vertical mud that leaves various squares) of you can not see this right now because the web site is still under construction but and electronic catalog can be sent to you if you inquire.
Also is the mix design ( various examples ) and the polymer is also described.

The big thing that caught me eye right away was in the very beginning of the patent apt. and that was in the point under BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION.

It falls under the second point called DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

and I quote ...
"Concrete has been and continues to grow in versatility as not only a man made surface, but also as a canvas or template for decorations. It is now common that typically concrete surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, and floors utilize decorative features that may simulate laid naturally found objects like stones and tiles as well as man made objects like bricks. It is also known to add dimensional characteristics such as grout lines, texturing, shapes, designs and so forth.""
It goes on to talk about the advantages of poured concrete and its stamping.
Then it refers to vertical:
" It is often if not always a different function to decorate a generally horizontal surface where weight may be generally and uniformly supported as opposed to a surface that is generally vertical in nature wherein the weight of the added medium may create technical issues for stability, durability, and decorative options."

Now this is the line that hit me.

"Because of the limitations of the prior art medium, there is currently a need for an improved deformable material and method for using in the decorating industry. In particular, there is a need for an improved material and method for using that is lighter weight, durable. and easily decorated for use with generally vertical surfaces.

Now its not that this statement is incorrect but it is incomplete. It fails to mention that as of the time this patent was submitted (Nov. 5th 2004) a companies like Flex-C-Ment had already been around for over a decade. Omissions like this are critical and set a precedence that this product is the first of its kind.

It goes on to talk about the tools and the pro's and con's of them. Stan Paces inventions are indeed unique and have great merit deserving patents but vertical wall mixes in the concrete arena are nothing new for over 5 decades artisans have been sculpting vertical concrete in back yards, movie sets, hotels, theme parks, ect.ect. It has also made its way into the residential markets over the years.

I believe the patent should hold to the Unique Mix Design and the Unique Tools that it describes. But to claim credit that banishes all other mixes that have existed prior to Nov 5th 2004 and even more improved mix designs from then is a stretch.

I've used Fossil Crete and it is a mix that can be used for just about anything. However, its not my first choice. It's too sticky, takes a longtime to set up and has fiber in it. It is clearly a mix designed for stamping.
That is not what my mix was designed for yet I have received a letter with demands to sequester $1.00 for every bag that goes out. My bag mix is a carving mix, not a stamping mix. In fact over the last 10 years of my involvement in the vertical decorative concrete industry I can tell you I have never stamped a vertical job in my life. The mix I have used over the years has been one that has evolved to suit my carving needs.

And I know many of you have the same experience.

I'm not sure what I can do to protect myself from an individual that uses a false precedence to muscle money out of original thinkers.
I think they need to bring Disney into this; they have taken these ideas as recently as the 50's!
Well I did speak to Rene the owner of Fossil Crete today and I must say that I don't think that I have ever spoken to a more ambitious man.

I specifically asked him many questions regarding his letters to the manufacturing community and what his position and plan in regards to artisans like myself.

I started the conversation off by telling him who I was and what I do for a living and about my online school. I also shared with him that I have been sculpting vertical decorative concrete (VDC) for the the last 11 years or so and have my own mixes and inventions for tools.

I asked him what exactly his goal was in regards to his patents.

Hes responses were impressive.

After several minutes of conversation I began to formulate a question that narrowed it all up to a head.

It was something like this:

....So you purchased a company that had several patents in the works and because nobody has patented a system or method for vertical concrete you feel that the industry at large has infringed on your patent.
His reply was yes. Anyone manufacturing a bag mix owes him his cut because he has purchased patents that are so vague the entire and I mean entire industry is now infringing on his newly acquired patents.

So I began to stretch the boundaries of the text found in the letter. I asked him if museums and zoos would have to pay tribute because of the decorative concrete that is being used , or I should say the process or system.

He was very clear that ANY VDC application is an infringement of his patents. I then stated that there are hundreds of artisans all over the world that have created vertical decorative concrete for over 5 decades with basic contentious mixes and his 2004 patent was a technicality vague and was passed by examiners who do not understand the industry.

He stated that his research showed that there has been VDC from the early 1800's.

My statement went something like this......

So because you were able to acquire some patents that somehow passed examination you will take credit for all VDC.

That's business

I then asked if he would go after the Home Depot, Menards, Lowes and other home centers for selling cementous bag mixes that can be used for VDC. That statement gave moment for pause and he then said he had not thought that far out yet.

I then asked him about the tools used in VDC. Once again all VDC is covered under his patent and is an infringement against his patents.

In all fairness he stated several times that he wasn't trying to shut anyone down, he just wants his cut.

He did mention companies by name that he was after because they were the "major" players violating his patents.

When I was finished and the conversation was over I thought of how many other industries I could do the same thing to...

For example:

Nobody has patented how to milk a cow and then drink the milk with or with out the cream. I can submit a diagram with my hands wrapped around cow utters and describe the up and down motion combined with the vigorous squeezing so forth and so on and seek out a patent for all technologies and advancements for this entire industry. If by chance I get it then I can pursue the entire dairy industry for my cut on their infringement of my patent.
Of course it may take a while for me to drag everybody to court for actually drinking my "system"

This is of course absurd and will only hold up in court if the patent holds. Seems like a big chance and a major aggressive move from the owner of Fossil Crete.

Even after many angles of questions....if a cementous mix is used, if the sub straight is vertical, if it is textured or imprinted and colored for effect......it violates his patent. End of story and he is serious.
I can't wait to see what happens.

Will the government uphold a vague patent for system, and allow attorneys to get rich off of the ambitious?

Will the industry bond together and flood the patent office with letters filled with white powder?

Will artisans make public their own mix designs and laugh as the manufactures try to sell their "patent infringed" over expensive bag mixes?

Will the producers and manufactures of sand and portland have to pay tribute to Fossil Crete?

Will the Lord himself have to pay tribute because his creation is in violation of a patent applied for some where?

I don't know.....but this is all exciting. As creative as I am I don't think I could have dreamed this one up.
I think I'm going to patent the "Hand" system. I do every thing with my hands... Only "I" hold tools, cows utters,
(this guy's neck!) the proper way so if you want to do anything by "Hand" I want my cut! Of course I will give a license discount to my friends on this forum... (sheepish grin)!
VerticalArtisans.com said:
Well I did speak to Rene the owner of Fossil Crete today and I must say that I don't think that I have ever spoken to a more ambitious man.

I specifically asked him many questions regarding his letters to the manufacturing community and what his position and plan in regards to artisans like myself.

I started the conversation off by telling him who I was and what I do for a living and about my online school. I also shared with him that I have been sculpting vertical decorative concrete (VDC) for the the last 11 years or so and have my own mixes and inventions for tools.

I asked him what exactly his goal was in regards to his patents.

Hes responses were impressive.

After several minutes of conversation I began to formulate a question that narrowed it all up to a head.

It was something like this:

....So you purchased a company that had several patents in the works and because nobody has patented a system or method for vertical concrete you feel that the industry at large has infringed on your patent.
His reply was yes. Anyone manufacturing a bag mix owes him his cut because he has purchased patents that are so vague the entire and I mean entire industry is now infringing on his newly acquired patents.

So I began to stretch the boundaries of the text found in the letter. I asked him if museums and zoos would have to pay tribute because of the decorative concrete that is being used , or I should say the process or system.

He was very clear that ANY VDC application is an infringement of his patents. I then stated that there are hundreds of artisans all over the world that have created vertical decorative concrete for over 5 decades with basic contentious mixes and his 2004 patent was a technicality vague and was passed by examiners who do not understand the industry.

He stated that his research showed that there has been VDC from the early 1800's.

My statement went something like this......

So because you were able to acquire some patents that somehow passed examination you will take credit for all VDC.

That's business

I then asked if he would go after the Home Depot, Menards, Lowes and other home centers for selling cementous bag mixes that can be used for VDC. That statement gave moment for pause and he then said he had not thought that far out yet.

I then asked him about the tools used in VDC. Once again all VDC is covered under his patent and is an infringement against his patents.

In all fairness he stated several times that he wasn't trying to shut anyone down, he just wants his cut.

He did mention companies by name that he was after because they were the "major" players violating his patents.

When I was finished and the conversation was over I thought of how many other industries I could do the same thing to...

For example:

Nobody has patented how to milk a cow and then drink the milk with or with out the cream. I can submit a diagram with my hands wrapped around cow utters and describe the up and down motion combined with the vigorous squeezing so forth and so on and seek out a patent for all technologies and advancements for this entire industry. If by chance I get it then I can pursue the entire dairy industry for my cut on their infringement of my patent.
Of course it may take a while for me to drag everybody to court for actually drinking my "system"

This is of course absurd and will only hold up in court if the patent holds. Seems like a big chance and a major aggressive move from the owner of Fossil Crete.

Even after many angles of questions....if a cementous mix is used, if the sub straight is vertical, if it is textured or imprinted and colored for effect......it violates his patent. End of story and he is serious.
I can't wait to see what happens.

Will the government uphold a vague patent for system, and allow attorneys to get rich off of the ambitious?

Will the industry bond together and flood the patent office with letters filled with white powder?

Will artisans make public their own mix designs and laugh as the manufactures try to sell their "patent infringed" over expensive bag mixes?

Will the producers and manufactures of sand and portland have to pay tribute to Fossil Crete?

Will the Lord himself have to pay tribute because his creation is in violation of a patent applied for some where?

I don't know.....but this is all exciting. As creative as I am I don't think I could have dreamed this one up.
Lightweight vertical concrete mixes go back way further than 5 decades, or even the 1800's. The Romans used all advancements available in their time to lighten vertical mixes used in everything from small statues to the mighty Acropolis. They even used fibers and had air entraining mixes. I am very limited in my legal knowledge, but it would seem impossible to enforce any patent covering processes that have developed naturally throughout millennia, not years. Formula patents should be more likely, to reward the laboratory-types for any advancements discovered through great time/diligence/expense. That being said, I am probably wrong, for logic and reason do not always prevail in the world of big business and their playground, the judicial system. What I do imagine will happen if the matter is pursued, a precedent will need to be set, and they will want to select a big player, for the sake of a big judgement/reward. They will then try to go after the little fishies using the precedent. Let's hope they don't have the deep pockets needed to fight and win the first battle. In the meantime, if we can come together in support of the greater good, that possibility should be considered.
As most of you know my sons and I have been working on our own mix's for the past four years now. We are in production and have all our mix's in bags to sell. They are all made from limestone aggregates. We are so small and are just getting off the ground. I really do not care what this man does. I have mixed our mix from scratch on jobs for years now never involving another companies mix or formula. We have figured this out on our own. I do not have a patent nor will I ever. Anyone can change one property and mix the same thing as ours. I really do not care if they do. I am going forward with our idea even if someone like fossilcrete sues us. I really don't care. Neither should anyone else. Wayne Sellon would be laughing right about now. He probably is. One more thing, maybe this was mentioned. Wasn't the original owner of fossilcrete a student from flex c ment before he went on his own?

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