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Suit: Disney Stole FastPass Ride Idea

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Suit: Disney Stole FastPass Ride Idea

Old 10-29-04, 12:09 PM
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Suit: Disney Stole FastPass Ride Idea

http://www.local6.com/news/3871700/d...110292004&ts=H

POSTED: 6:31 am EDT October 29, 2004
UPDATED: 10:17 am EDT October 29, 2004

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A Tennessee inventor is suing the Walt Disney Co. claiming the company stole his idea for the FastPass ride reservation system, according to Local 6 News.

Five years ago, Disney theme parks began using its popular FastPass system where visitors receive a ticket with a reservation time allowing them enter a ride at a separate entrance and skip long lines.

Robery Keyes said he came up with the FastPass idea nearly a decade before Disney came up with the concept. Keyes said he dreamed the ride system in 1990 after watching an elderly man collpase from heat exhaustion at Disney MGM Studios.

"I thought I had it," Keyes said. "This is the magic bullet to do away with lines."

Keyes said he mailed a description of his invention to Walt Disney World.

According to a federal lawsuit, Keyes received a letter from Disney saying his invention would not work and would result in "more guest inconvenience," according to Local 6 News.

Keyes said he was watching the Travel Channel when he noticed a show promoting Disney's FastPass.

"I heard in the background, they were describing their system, and I said, 'darn that sounds familiar,'" Keyes said.

Keyes logged on to the U.S. patent Web site and found Disney's claim to the invention.

"I looked at the patent, I read the abstract and description and said, 'my God, they took the whole thing'", Keyes said.

Keyes is suing hoping to get credit for the invention as well as financial compensation.

"Here Disney had told me that the system wouldn't work," Keyes said. "They told me it was an inconvenience to the guests. Then they turn around and patent it, so that others couldn't use the system, and they didn't even put my name as the inventor."

A Disney spokeswoman said the company is still evaluating the lawsuit.

Local 6 News reported that companies like Disney are often targets of intellectual property lawsuits.

Four years ago, a jury awarded two businessmen $240 million ruling that Disney stole the idea for their Wide World of Sports complex.


This should be interesting to see if this guy is telling the truth or not.

Chris
Old 10-29-04, 12:14 PM
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If Disney did steal the idea, then the patent should be overturned based on the existence of prior art. However Keyes has no right to compensation since he made a public disclosure and did not pursue patent protection within a year.

Sorry, no easy $ here.
Old 10-29-04, 12:14 PM
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dumb ass needed to get his own patent

pretty sure this is going to get tossed and laughed out of court
Old 10-30-04, 09:25 PM
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Won't get tossed necessarily. The issue here isn't the existence of "prior art" but the fact that a false declaration was filed by the listed inventor(s). Disney has no rights to a patent if they didn't invent it. It can still be declared invalid if the inventor's story holds up. And Disney might owe $$$ for their deceptive conduct.
Old 10-30-04, 09:56 PM
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When I go to Outback Steakhouse, i use their call ahead seating to put my name on the wait list. On arrival , I get the next available table usually without waiting. The concept of reservations (fastpass) has been around forever. Seems like it should be tossed.

Its amazing that there is people that will not use fastpass at WDW. But they will bitch about those people that get in without waiting in line like everbody else.
Old 10-30-04, 11:25 PM
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Since this is exactly my field of law, I'd like to clarify:

The patent will get revoked due to a false declaration of inventorship. That's pretty serious, and the patent firm that filed the application might receive some unwanted attention from the USPTO, unless they really didn't know the circumstances.

As for the inventor: Disney is free to use his idea unless the inventor got them to execute a confidential disclosure agreement, which seems wildly unlikely. And even then, most CDAs have a limited term: the recipient agrees not to use the idea for a period of (x) years. After that, they're free to use it unless the inventor gets a patent on it (filed in the interim.)

- David Stein
Old 10-30-04, 11:34 PM
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Ha ha. what a dumbass.
Old 10-31-04, 12:05 AM
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Don't give a $h1t who invented it. Best idea at a park ever!!!
Old 10-31-04, 01:23 AM
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Remember Cartman saying this on South Park, "then they have lines so you can get tickets to stand on other lines." Universal Studios has the same thing he should sue them as well.

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