festool patents?

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Forum topic by seriousturtle posted 02-12-2012 06:10 PM 8762 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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101 posts in 3865 days

02-12-2012 06:10 PM

I could really use the festool domino, but refuse to pay what they’re asking for it. Aside from other joinery systems (like biscuits, dowels, pocket screws), I would really like to know when other companies, like Makita, Bosch, etc can legally copy the design and build their own versions of the domino. I refuse to pay outrageous sums of money for Festool products, but for how long can I hold out? If anyone knows how patents work in regard to power tools, please inform us. thanks


-- ~the turtle

19 replies so far

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9344 posts in 2863 days

#1 posted 02-12-2012 06:41 PM

I’m pretty sure that 7 years is standard….. Can be extended if they improve the design and reapply

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View seriousturtle's profile


101 posts in 3865 days

#2 posted 02-12-2012 06:47 PM

How long has the domino been out? I know it’s been out quite awhile. I was hoping it would be a matter of months, not years before someone else came out with their own version.

-- ~the turtle

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4183 days

#3 posted 02-12-2012 06:48 PM

Lamello’s 1960s era patent on the plate joiner expired
sometime in the early 90s and then suddenly biscuit joinery
became affordable. As long as Lamello had the market
cornered, it was a professional technology priced accordingly.

The Domino is like a cross between a slot mortiser and a
swing-chisel mortiser. You’ll find a dedicated slot mortiser
less tiring to use than a hand-held power tool you have to
hold and push into the work.

You’ll hold about for about 20 more years waiting for the
Domino patent to expire I reckon.

View bigkev's profile


198 posts in 3163 days

#4 posted 02-12-2012 06:57 PM

I’ve said the same thing about Festool for years, but I finally broke down and took the plunge last month. I purchased the RO 90 DX and the CT Midi hepa vacuum. The sander was 10% off and I had a $100 gift card to use at a local festool dealer. I’ve been using the sander on a Maloof-style rocker build and so far I have been more than pleased. This system is awesome and I have no doubt that from the feel of it and the way they are built they will last forever. Once I get more use under my belt I will do a review. It is pricey, but so far I feel it is worth every penny. My lungs second my opinion.

-- Kevin, South Carolina

View mondak's profile


71 posts in 2935 days

#5 posted 02-12-2012 07:00 PM

I do not own the domino but had the oportuntiy to use one about 8 months ago. Personally, I do not see all the hoopla over this tool. Yes, it does a nice job, but seems a little slow when making the wobbled out mortise. The other thing that was a turn off to me was the length of the splines. They seemed real short, as in about 1-1/2” in length. Maybe festool makes longer, but the owner only had the shoreter ones.
But, as a disclaimer of sorts, I have an old-old-old stanley dowling jig, a mortise jig, a table saw tenon jig, a buiscut joiner and a kreg pocket hole jig. I think I can achive a good joint with any of the above… a particular application… why spend that kind of money.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3843 days

#6 posted 02-12-2012 07:06 PM

The mortisepal works exceptionally well for any work I have done using mortises. I have a Powermatic mortiser and never use it.

View mondak's profile


71 posts in 2935 days

#7 posted 02-12-2012 07:08 PM

Loren….......Unless I read your post wrong, Lamelo’s patent must have run out way before the 90’s. I purchased a virutex biusut joiner back in early to mid 80’s. The reason I know that is because I have been here since 1988, and it came with me. And at that time…..if memory serves me correctly, there were 3 brands on the market at the time I purchased mine.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3609 days

#8 posted 02-12-2012 07:18 PM

I’m not an expert, but I think you will find that patents usually run about 20 years.

I’ll also second Greg’s comment on the MortisePal. I have one and I have, on occasion, referred to it as the “poor man’s domino”. I think it is great in most, but not all, the situations that a domino joiner works well and I have ways to get around its limitations in those other situations.

When I compare my MortisePal (with a router) to a domino joiner, I think the only advantage the domino joiner would give me is the ability to work a little (but not a lot) faster.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Kevin May's profile

Kevin May

74 posts in 2850 days

#9 posted 02-12-2012 07:24 PM

Note that the following is what I believe to be correct, but don’t guarantee, and is probably good enough to give you an idea about the duration of patents in the U.S. Until 2010, U.S. patents (the only ones that are in effect in the U.S.) were good for 17 years from date of issue. Beginning in 2010, the U.S. patents were changed to match those of most other countries (Europe primarily) to being enforced for 20 years from date of filing the patent.

-- Kevin May "Making wood useful and fun!"

View TheOldTimer's profile


226 posts in 3621 days

#10 posted 02-12-2012 08:30 PM

You appear to be a very young man, quality tools like Festool although expensive will last you most of your life. When buying a tool, I ask myself how much I am going to use it and how long will it last me. Buy quality tools and they will lasty you a lifetime and give you very good results. Weigh the cost of your project if you were to purchase it against the cost of the tool along with quality of what you are building. If you do not want to go for the Domino due to cost, conscider a good dowling jig.

-- TheOldTimer,Chandler Arizona

View ducky911's profile


237 posts in 3324 days

#11 posted 02-12-2012 08:43 PM

I have a festool sander and it is many times better faster than any other sander i own. If i figured my sanding time was worth 10 dollars a hour…it has payed for it’s self. You will save so much time with festool.

I thinking about the domino but i remember reading a studty that the joints are not strong. Even getting beat by a biscket. I will look for that artical.

Fou d the study
Mortest tendon. 1500lbs
Dowels. 759
Pocket screws. 698
Domino. 597
Biscut. 545

Nothing butt joint 473

Artical is in finewoodworking. Does not look good for domino. Just a little better than nothing

View MrRon's profile


5763 posts in 3778 days

#12 posted 02-12-2012 08:44 PM

You may not have to wait for the patent to run out. The Chinese could clone the Domino and sell it at Harbor Freight. Maybe they could rename it the “block” or the “tile”.

View stevemorris's profile


46 posts in 2840 days

#13 posted 02-12-2012 08:57 PM

how would you feel if you invented something that in your mind revolutionised a particular trade or hobby and there was no patent system?
thats where festool is. they spent years and millions perfecting it and their price reflects that
im not a festool user at all, i cant afford it, but want to use their technology and research? you have to pay, period

quote: “I refuse to pay outrageous sums of money for Festool products” end quote

so be it, its called capitalism, get over it or move to china

-- My Shop is a Beaver Lodge

View seriousturtle's profile


101 posts in 3865 days

#14 posted 02-12-2012 08:59 PM

Ducky, I’m interested in the article you referred to. I thought I saw one that stated that the domino was the strongest. I’ll look as well. I guess I’ll look into the mortise pal and see what it’s all about. I know that the domino is probably “worth every cent”, but I feel like taking a stand against their pricing scheme. You know, all the little plastic “add-ons” that cost $50 here for a plug, $70 there for a plastic doodad. It’s more of a boycott I guess.

-- ~the turtle

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4183 days

#15 posted 02-12-2012 09:02 PM

Mondak, I don’t know when it expired or whatever. I suspect
Virutex joiners were made under a license with Lamello.

The flood of inexpensive joiners happened when the patents
ran out. That’s what I know about it. I could not tell you
exactly how, when or why Lamello lost it’s corner on the

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