Evil is such a bad word to use here. The problem I have is really the way they went about doing it, which is at least 50% the USPTO's responsibility as well, but certainly of a nature that was both unethical and consistent with other behaviors of the owners. Of course, this will soon rectify itself anyway. There is at this time absolutely no evidence that DYE or any other manufacturer was going to patent "above themselves" to reach across the entire market, to fail to disclose prior art, and then enforce said patent across the market. Patent enforcement is fine, this particular patent was not.
Smart Parts was not the evil company many of you think it was.
Ultimately, we can choose to give money to unethical companies or not - plenty of people seem to have no problem with what the owner of the company does with the buyer's revenue so long as the current product is good. Past products were not good, but that's neither here nor there at the moment. As long as we're honest that the owners have a track record of acting without ethics and a direct or indirect purchase still provides those owners with revenue, that's all there is to say. It just amuses me that you can read back into 5-6 years of forum history to see that Bill used to be the "good" brother and Adam was the scoundrel, but these days we now talk about Adam running GOG as a clean, good company and getting that darn evil Bill away from control. The lies we all tell ourselves to sleep at night, I suppose.
If you own a blackberry, an iphone, or any android, you are supporting what you are calling an "unethical" company. All these companies are trying to use the same blanket patents (what you call "above themselves") accross the market for royalties in the same way SP did. SP supported paintballers and funded many teams and events. More than most companies did. I dont think they deserve the rap they got. They were entitled to their views on their patent, some companies challenged, and that is what the legal process is for. The smartphone companies on the other hand were/are abusing said processes repeatedly in order to delay product release, and slander the companies. SP did no such thing.
This is incorrect, and I believe a mischaracterization of what happened. What's happening between the phone companies is more like what we'd expect to happen between Kee, Dye, Eclipse, and any other companies in two years and into the future. That's not a problem. To make the comparison more accurate, you'd have to say that Apple patented the PHONE in the past five years. Not just a mobile device, not a data phone, not a smart phone, but any phone with a circuit board. I would not agree at all that they were entitled to that patent, but they got it approved none the less.
Back on topic, I think Tippmann could go a long way towards improving their product line by pushing the mechanical Phenom and Crossover brands and retiring the A5/98 platform. The only problem is that they'd need to lower the price on both to compare to the price point they held the other markers in. Assuming they won't retire the A5/98, I wouldn't mind seeing them improve the feednecks (and feedneck location), barrel thread, standardize on "slice" disassembly, barrel length, foregrip style, foregrip location, and add regulators. There's a lot of low hanging fruit still on the two markers.
Happiness... is a warm mechanical marker
Mechanical Marker Fan: Azodin Kaos-D / Tippmann Crossover