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Wave pool wrangle: Kelly Slater responds

21:10 23rd November 2011 by Alex Dick-Read
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Yesterday we ran an excerpt and link to an article published on swellnet.com about two artificial wave pool concepts already under development that apparently conflict. On one side is Australian surfboard maker Greg Webber, and on the is Kelly Slater, 11-time world champ and the man behind the Kelly Slater Wave Pool company.
Today, Kelly decided he needed to respond to the article. His chosen platform was www.theinertia.com and his aim was to set the record straight on the so-called patent wrangle that’s been going on between his company and Australian Greg Webber’s.
Here’s the start of KS’ article. For his whole response, go to
theinertia.com:


Recently an article was published on SwellNet that called into question the inspiration and development of our Wave Company, and I thought I’d share my perspective on things. The timing works out pretty well given that the United States Patent and Trademark Office accepted eighteen out of our twenty-one claims filed yesterday. There are still some corrections to be made, but we’re well on our way.

First off, the patent process is a trying one. Something like 98% of patents are rejected in the first attempt. Webber’s original was actually rejected, but this was not mentioned in the Swellnet article.

There are clear differences in our technologies, and even Webber is aware enough about that to have modified and re-applied for a patent to include the core idea exclusive to our technology which is a “Solitary Wave.” Greg himself can tell you the difference between a Kelvin Subcritical Wave (boat wake/wind swell wave) that I believe he is producing and a Soliton or Solitary wave (groundswell) that we are producing. The fact that he has re-applied for a further patent 9 months ago to include Solitary Waves makes me wonder where he might’ve changed his mind on this. It was not a part of his original patent idea. I spoke about this being the key to our technology shortly after our patent application.

Greg and I spoke at lengths probably 5-6 yrs ago in Coolangatta about wave pools but didn’t catch on to the fact that we were both actually making our own, probably because we were both being tight-lipped or maybe didn’t realize the other was serious. I’m sure we were both unaware the other was in motion to make them. At one point about two years ago we could possibly have joined forces, but we were both too far down the road on what we’d worked separately on for years. I obviously knew he was surfing behind boats (and to tell you the truth I’d love to do that with them cause it looks like a blast) but to be honest, it is a boat wake combined with a displacement of water as opposed to surfing a proper wave.

Read the full article here.

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