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 Post subject: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:04 pm 
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Location: Bay Area, CA
KO puzzles hurt our community by hurting the designers and producers who give so much to us.

It is not easy, however, to always know what is a KO puzzle and what is not. Some cases are quite simple (patent infringing V-cube KOs for example) but others are quite a bit more subjective.

Our site has set our own standard and policy (here) based on the principal of respecting designers and much has been written on this topic. This policy and the reasons behind it make listing out KO products not a good option because it would serve as a shopping list for those who wish to purchase them.

As such we instead present a list of original puzzles that have been knocked off. This way an individual can check a potential purchase against the list and if they see it is similar to an item on the list but not original they know it is considered KO. This list does not, in general, attempt to list products that have not been knocked off as there is no chance of buying KO if it does not exist. Something like the not yet produced V-Cubes is an easy exception as it is pretty clear KO companies have targeted those products.

I have delayed creating this list because I am a bit busy but I think with some cooperation we can remove me as a major bottleneck. The process will be as follows:

Help me by posting names, links and pictures to original puzzles you know have been knocked off. I will organize and edit this information into the final list which will continue to be updated (this may involve deleting your post, it is nothing personal).

An important note: Be very careful about what you post here. If you have any doubts as to the authenticity of the item PM me, and DO NOT POST. Some one posting a KO product, link or picture in this particular thread would be a really bad idea. Also, this is not a discussion thread so limit your contributions to puzzle information: names, producer info, how to identify, picture, link to official site, etc. A link to our database is good too.

The format I will probably adopt is a list of links to posts further down in the thread, one post per puzzle in general but grouped where it makes sense.

Thanks,

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:09 pm 
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Mirror cube (also known as "Bump Cube") (Hidetoshi Takeji)
Floppy Cube (Katsuhiko Okamoto)
Super Floppy Cube (Katsuhiko Okamoto)
Void Cube (Katsuhiko Okamoto)
Windmill Cube (Katsuhiko Okamoto)
V-Cube 2x2x2 (Panagiotis Verdes)
V-Cube 3x3x3 (Panagiotis Verdes)
V-Cube 4x4x4 (Panagiotis Verdes)
V-Cube 5x5x5 (Panagiotis Verdes)
V-Cube 6x6x6 (Panagiotis Verdes)
V-Cube 6x6x6b (Panagiotis Verdes)
V-Cube 7x7x7 (Panagiotis Verdes)
V-Cube 8x8x8 (Panagiotis Verdes)
V-Cube 9x9x9 (Panagiotis Verdes)
V-Cube 10x10x10 (Panagiotis Verdes)
V-Cube 11x11x11 (Panagiotis Verdes)
Helicopter Cube (Adam Cowan, Jason Smith)

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:28 pm 
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The Verdes patent covers his unique mechanism in a cube (or substantially cubical, which covers pillowed cubes) from 2x2x2 to 11x11x11.
Of these the V-5, V-6 and V-7 have been produced and Verdes has stated plans to produce the rest of the line.

This post covers those puzzles covered by his patent not yet in production: V-2, V-3, V-4, V-6b (pillowed V-6), V-8, V-9, V-10, V-11

Information about them can be found at the V-Cubes web site.

KO versions of some of these have already been produced in violation of his patent and are eating up his market before he can produce his own

No mass production cubes larger than five have been built that to not infringe on the Verdes patent so all are considered KO. Refer to pictures of the V5-V7 to understand the mechanism, it is generally pretty obvious when a puzzle uses it. A puzzle that is essentially a V-4 with some modifications to the locking mechanism has come out and, given the rest of the design is Verdes mechanism, is considered KO on this site.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:34 pm 
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V-Cube 5x5x5 (Verdes)
Also referred to as the V-5
http://www.v-cubes.com
Puzzle Database Link
ImageImage
ImageImageImageImage

Available in white or black plastic.
Look for the V logo on the black or white faces, and the V-Cube logo on the packaging.
Authentic V-Cube colors are distinguished by a lighter blue than the Rubik's. They are stickered in standard BOY.
I am not aware of many V-5 KOs, most KO companies focus on the V-6 and higher.
Note that there are multiple competing 5x5x5 puzzles on the market that distinguish themselves by having different mechanisms (Rubik's, East Sheen). A 5x5x5 would only be considered KO if it were to use one of these mechanisms and not be original. I believe at the moment the East Sheen has been knocked off.

Rubik's, East Sheen and Verdes' 5x5x5 can be distinguished by their different size (69mm, 60mm, 65mm respectively).

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:06 am 
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Sorry but just a question: Does this topic include self product or self design puzzle?


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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:23 am 
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kevinnguyen wrote:
Sorry but just a question: Does this topic include self product or self design puzzle?
Our site policy uses the term "protected by their rightful owners".
The SuperFloppy is a good example of a puzzle designed and built by a member of this forum (Okamoto) that was pirated before he could produce it him self. Mr. Okamoto was quite clear in his intentions for his designs, so we consider copies to be KO.

Clearly some amount of work and creativity is required on the part of a designer before people will have a consensus that they are the rightful owner. Simply suggesting an idea or discussing a puzzle doesn't seem sufficient. But if you take the time to develop the concept and build it that seems like a way to declare ownership (Hidetoshi's Bump Cube for example, before it was mass produced).

Sometimes building it isn't even necessary if the puzzle is designed complete enough. Adam Cowan's skill in designing 3x3x3 shape mods and people's success building from his designs makes it pretty obvious that those designs are legitimate and his. Someone without his skill or reputation may be expected to prove their design works before the community would accept that any hypothetical puzzle is "theirs". There is a very large gap between a puzzle design and a working puzzle, and recognizing ownership without any rigor would lead to puzzle speculation that would not server any of us.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:55 am 
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Helicopter Cube
www.thetwistystore.com
ImageImage
This puzzle was independently designed by Katsuhiko Okamoto (Bevel Cube) and Adam Cowan (Helicopter Cube).
Adam teamed up with Jason Smith to design and produce an injection molded version that is now (2010) available.
There was some concern that there are KOs of this product but I don't yet have much information on that. Certainly the original source is www.thetwistystore.com (Jason's store), but Jason has sold a number to Meffert, and I believe some of these have been then resold to other sites. More info on this when Jason isn't so busy.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:49 am 
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Location: Hong Kong
Another site you can go to for non KO puzzles is http://www.puzzlemaster.ca Be warned though, shipping is insane!

This site has a variety of different puzzle types available including twisty, wooden, and wire to name a few.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:43 pm
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Add the mefferts megaminx and the puzzle master Skewb.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:37 am 
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The Fisher Cube just recently got KO, so I believe it is appropriate to put that one on the list.
Fisher Cube (Tony Fisher)


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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:10 pm 
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Also, I realized there are numerous other puzzles sold by Meffert's that have been knocked off:
Skewb (Maker?)
Skewb Diamond (Maker?)
Skewb Ultimate (Maker?)
I don't know who originally designed these, but I do know it's been knocked off by at least two companies. I mistakenly bought a Skewb Ultimate thinking it was a Meffert's one, and ended up with a terrible quality KO puzzle. The best way I've found to differentiate between the KO's and the Meffert's ones, is by the fluorescent stickers used by Meffert's. Also, one of the companies have been nice enough to apply a logo (I would like to name them, but that's against the rules, but I think many of you already know which company this is), so also stay away from those, by which I mean stay away from those that have a logo saying anything but Meffert's Challenge. This same information regarding how to differentiate the KO's from the non-KO's also apply to the Skewb Diamond and the Skewb.

If anyone knows the maker/designer of these, please let me know and I will edit my post accordingly.


Last edited by Katja on Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:15 pm 
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The puzzle Master Skewb's are Meffert's skewbs just being sold through a distributor.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:44 pm 
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Katten wrote:
The Fisher Cube just recently got KO, so I believe it is appropriate to put that one on the list.
Fisher Cube (Tony Fisher)
There were many posts debating this but they have been removed. Tony makes this all clear here, the relevant portion being:
Tony Fisher wrote:
All Fisher Cubes from that company will be legit and pay me a royalty whether they go through Meffert or not
Unless it has been established that there is more than one company mass producing Fisher cubes we don't really have a need for it in this list as there is nothing to avoid.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:02 am 
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Regarding mass produced skewb mods not sold by Meffert: Most concepts seems to have been first built by the master of Skewb transformation Mr. Tony Fisher. Meffert first produced them and I don't know of any arrangement or agreement between them. Certainly many, like the Skewb Diamond, fall into the category of "likely to have been independently designed".

This makes it difficult for me to know where they fall in the KO spectrum unless they are pirated from Meffert owned molds. Perhaps Roxanne can get a Meffert perspective on the situation for me.

Likewise, the Megaminx presents a problem in that its patent (DE3110834 by Christoph Bandelow, Helmut Corbeck) is expired and only predates the very similar Hungarian Supernova (WO8203564 by Szlivka Ferenc) by two weeks in October 1982. Clearly it is long since expired from the perspective of patent. There have been direct copies (Stickered Megaminx, often called PVC Megaminx) that were pretty much replicas of the molds and while Meffert's was out of stock for years it was hard to argue that even these were KO. I'm not sure we can call any Megaminx KO at this point but am open to discussion about it.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Non-KO puzzle list
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:50 am 
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Funny you should post this now. We just spoke of these two types of puzzles last week.

The skewb based puzzles have been copied as near as Uwe can tell from copies of his puzzles. The Muze puzzle Tony just made-copied from a photograph on Tony's own webpage and (Is this right?) reverse engineering. When I asked about these, Uwe just kind of tossed his head and shrugged his shoulders.

The megaminx. That is an interesting story indeed. (well, to me anyway.) We were speaking of this in Guangzhou and I wanted clarification on some of the finer points so I asked Uwe. He told me he designed a megaminx and filed a patent claim for it around the same time as Bandelow and Corbek. (I'm a bit fuzzy here so forgive me-the name wasn't familiar and it has slipped my mind) Another gent showed the megaminx in the US to a friend and the patent Uwe filed was declined.

Uwe then bought out the patent and went on to produce the megaminx that is so sought after. When Mf8 produced the megaminx, the designer showed it to Uwe and it was mutually agreed that it was a high quality puzzle. For this reason, Uwe had them in his shop for a while. This was the ONLY megaminx that Uwe was not bothered by. The patent has since expired (I can count :lol: ) and other megaminx's are fair game as we say.

Back to the skewb, let's see if I can do his explanation justice. The mechanism is based on the carbon atom. For this he has a design (oh help me here!) copyright. Is it a 90 degree angle inside on the core? That is what he has the copyright on. That lasts longer than the patents do, so If I am understanding this correctly, that inherently means that all skewb based puzzles that have the same core angle are KO's. (please don't ask me how this works, I'm simply repeating what he has told me)

Any other questions you may have I will put to him. But basically, these two are answered.

I do know that he has a number of new patents that he has applied for, and a few of them you already know of. Others that you don't know, you will soon enough :wink: Either through a very carefully worded: "Don't buy that" or an announcement from Mefferts.

**Edit** on the phone with Uwe right now, and he is telling me that he will be making another run of the megaminx soon. Tiles might be coming! Keep your fingers crossed, there is a hint of a rerun of the crystal pyraminx. But this is in the future! There are more coming out before the year is over...so these will be a bit off yet.

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