I have been reading a discussion on MaestroNet with interest. It regards Thomastik's U.S. Patent Number 7,947,885. They claim the helix on the Amber E violates this patent.
The discussion is lively, and occasionally runs off into the weeds (what discussion does not?). But it gives enough info that you can track down the patent at the USPO web site and read it for yourself.
Now, I'm not a lawyer, but the patent in question is pretty vague. Being an engineer who has dealt with the technical side of intellectual property, I find it hard to see how the patent covers the design of Amber E. It covers a string which has different vibration properties in a specific area of the string over the fingerboard, and not the area in which Amber Es have the helix (the afterlength).
I'm not trying to stir up a hornet's nest, but I know that Amber Es have gotten a lot of discussion here. This also explains why we have not been able to obtain Ambers through US distribution channels.
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