Comments: 393 • Responses: 95  • Date: 

Pandos636100 karma

I don't think this AMA meets the minimum qualifications of this subreddit because it isn't uncommon for an engineer or inventor to argue over patent rights. I respect your resolution to see this to the end, but you have very little to say about your own case because of whatever non-disclosure agreements you've signed. At which point you've become dismissive of the criticism brought up in this thread. My question is why are you doing this AMA if you aren't allowed to talk about the specifics of your case?

canvs-7 karma

I can talk about some specifics. Let me give you an example of one sided enforcement. ITT night vision got caught shipping secret designs to China (one of the infringing devices), as the statute of limitations was running out they made a deal, two count felony for the company (no one went to jail) and $100 Million dollar fine. What do think the Department of Justice would have done to you if you were caught smuggling classified night vision to China, you would be in a dark hole in a Super Max prison till the Sun ran out of hydrogen.


My point is not just about about my specific case. Without equal justice the system won't work. How big you are or how much money you have should not dictate how much justice you should get. I can answer questions about the case and my experience that might help others avoid some of the nightmare I was forced to deal with.

WilliamAgain39 karma

canvs0 karma

I served Honorably in the US Army as a Sergeant and a Warrant Officer. I have always loved my Country. And yes that is the mission statement. I am very proud of it, it may sound a bit like a comic book, BUT, I have delivered on every word of it for the last 16+ years.

WilliamAgain1 karma

My issue with it is that it offers no insight to your company or your product/services. The inclusion of the statement "continued success in the fight for truth justice and the American way" along with a picture and quote relating to 9/11 seems to be a blatant attempt to capitalize via pandering and fearmongering. I am reminded of this.

canvs0 karma

The page has been up since 1998, the 9/11 graphic was put up to share the way I felt about the event. The fact is I have done everything in my power to help our folks in uniform in any way I can, most of what I am referring to was done at no cost because it was the right thing to do.

WilliamAgain1 karma

If you're happy with it, salute.

canvs0 karma

I hope to have time to re do the page in the near future. Salute back.

canvs-17 karma

I have delivered on every word.

jpropaganda11 karma

I like how you start referring to the brave men and women, and by the end of that long paragraph you just refer to them as "end users."

canvs-9 karma

End users is the highest compliment, these are the folks whose lives depend on my equipment working.

m84m2 karma

End users is the highest compliment

Maybe in North Korea.

canvs0 karma

I guess if you are not beloved of the end users...

nofunitalian38 karma

im new to reddit. seen a few AMA's and really read maybe the top 10 comments then just went to something else. but this AMA i read every single post. love how bad this went.

InitiatePenguin15 karma

Just did the same.

W/o reading all the legalese it does seem he's already patented something with prior work.

What really gets me though is I know it's over your work but I haven't learned anything besides all of OPs awards, achievements etc, and only refers to counterarguments in the abstract big money\government.

Half of the court case is disproving OPs claim. The other half is another guy who has ALSO done a lot of work and he's going to fight for his rights too. That's the judicial system.

TL;DR: Op only refers to his own achievements, the opposition in the abstract and someone else has done ALOT of work too to keep their invention regardless of the timeline.

canvs2 karma

Inventions do not take place in a vacuum. Patents are awarded to "advance the state of the art". If you don't like the idea that improvements to existing inventions can be granted patents, ask your Government representatives to change the laws.

InitiatePenguin1 karma

That's very true!

Again. I haven't read the reports but from what I've gathered you've added functionality but haven't advanced the technology itself.

canvs1 karma

Your real issue then is you believe that adding functionality is not advancing the state of the art and no patents should be granted for added functionality. This is a different conversation.

InitiatePenguin1 karma

You should get royalties for when they use your system of adjustments. Not the actual goggles themselves.

canvs1 karma

A more the technically correct answer is if they infringe on the claims of an issued patent the law states that the Government will pay the patent holder a "reasonable royalty fee".

InitiatePenguin1 karma

So you are only looking reasonable royalties for:

(Claim 4: ... wherein said thermal image adjustment assembly and said photon image adjustment assembly are structured to be independently and separately adjusted relative to one another.)

Is that correct?

canvs1 karma

As of now the Court of Federal Claims has upheld claims 4 and 5 of Patent 6,911,652. The process is far from over and the other claims can be reinstated by the Federal Appeals Court. To answer your question in a way that is consistent with the laws that dictate the process, I am seeking a reasonable royalty fee for the use of my Patented invention.

evapor8ted32 karma

Why do you write AMA after all of your posts in your AMA?

canvs-21 karma

I removed it, thanks.

Erich_Hartmann15 karma

You should make a better product and make your money from sales.

Heck, here's a great idea. Make an affordable nightvision goggle that the average joe can buy for say less than $200. Mini-lcd displays are cheap as shit, LEDs cost nothing, CCD technology? They put that in watches nowadays. You could make a killing. Make it durable enough for paintball and an you'll carve out an entire market for yourself.

canvs-15 karma

I challenge you to do what you just described. It sounds so easy. Let me know how it goes. The difference between your concept for an awesome product (not joking great idea) and actually bringing it to market is the doing it part. It is not as easy as you might have people believe.

Erich_Hartmann4 karma

I've never tried starting a business before. But maybe I'll develop a prototype for the fun of it.

canvs-1 karma

That is always the best way to start, for the fun of it. If you pull it off, you may be able to get money to produce the product. Document everything and file a provisional patent. The invention part is awesome fun the rest is a necessary evil.

DigTw0Grav3s12 karma

Hey OP, I'd just like to say this: Some people are asking you some hard questions in this thread. It seems like you're responding up until you run out of responses, and then clam up. It makes you look illegitimate.

m84m5 karma

It seems like you're responding up until you run out of responses, and then clam up.

Isn't that how all dialogue works? You respond until you run out of responses?

canvs1 karma

Facts can be independently verified, opinions are just that. I am willing to talk about how the system is broken, and thoughts on how to make it better, not all the details that are currently being addressed within the existing system. And yes, I agree that is how a real dialogue works.

canvs-1 karma

Tell me specifically what you are referring to and I will try to address your comment.

Tsquared108 karma

I don't think I've ever seen an IAmA where the hosts comments all got down voted this severely.

canvs1 karma

Pretending problems don't exist doesn't make them go away.

Bat_turd8 karma

What sort of financial result could this bring?

coastjo8 karma

Night vision is a big part of the military, depending on the applicability of the patent, could be a lot...

canvs-29 karma

At 1% that is $10 Million for each $1 Billion they have spent, just on the Enhanced Night Vision Goggles (1 of many potentially infringing programs) they are on track to spend ~$3 Billion, so yes it could be a lot. This partially explains why it took me 10 years to get permission to sue and why we have been in court, so far, since 11AUG10.

Look here: http://canvs-v-usa.blogspot.com/2013/10/unclassified-top-ten-list.html?m=1

canvs-4 karma

If we prevail perhaps other Small Companies will be treated differently for at least a short period of time. Also if real changes are made to the law or enforcement of existing laws based on what happened it could be helpful.

vivamario6 karma

Any lessons you can share for people starting businesses to prepare for litigation before it happens?

canvs-26 karma

Do the right thing every time and document your activities completely (and keep multiple copies at different physical locations).

I have been fighting this for around 14 years at this point. My advice is you need to decide from the beginning that you really believe in what you are doing and go the distance. Like minded people to help is invaluable. It is very frustrating and takes an amount of determination that is almost indescribable. One person can make a difference but if you don't stand up for what you believe, why should anyone else.

Avoid litigation if you can, it can consume massive amounts of time and money and will impact your ability to work on more rewarding tasks.

coastjo5 karma

Do you have any cool night vision photos or videos then?

canvs-19 karma


I won an SBIR Small Business Success Story Award for delivering Color Night Vision Goggles to SOCOM back in 2003 time frame...

This is part of what the case is about:


coastjo5 karma

Whats an SBIR?

canvs-7 karma

Small Business Innovative Research grant. Government asks for solutions. If you win a Phase-I, usually $100,000 for 12 months to explain what you want to do. Phase-II up to $750,000 to do it. There is no official PHASE-III but it's supposed to result in a procurement contract. It's actually just a systematic program for stealing intellectual property from small business. Many Government Agencies have SBIR money, mine was for US SOCOM:


We also won their highest award for the work:


USSOCOM FY2002.1 SBIR Subsection: Sensors Topic Number: SOCOM 02-001 Title: Multi-Spectral Low-Light Imaging

desecate5 karma

green has the most shades of any color visible to the human eye, this is why the color green is commonly used in night vision.

canvs14 karma

Actually the dirty little secret is although green is best color for night adapted eye, the real reason most likely is that green phosphor after WW-II had good efficiency, small grain size (better spatial resolution), fast decay time (temporal resolution), we're not too dangerous, and the biggest factor, green phosphor was cheap and known when the initial image intensifier technology was being developed. Actually black and white, white phosphor tubes do much better in the real world than green. I delivered white phosphor rubes in 1998 and they are just now being adopted.

m84m3 karma

Mac_H seems to have actually read up on the case and contends that the only point of difference between your NVG and previous existing models made by competitors is the adjustable brightness control. If untrue please explain for the layman all the other points of difference between your NVG system and those patented before your own systems. Bullet points are preferred.

Mac_H3 karma

To be fair - my argument was that the only difference covered in the patent was the adjustable brightness control.

There's a hell of a lot of work in creating a working product that is never covered by patents. I'm sure his is a great system that might have a dozen other advantages. But that isn't an issue in this patent case.

Apologies for the pedantic de-rail ..

m84m2 karma

The core of any patent case comes down to "How is it different from other patents?" so I'd like to hear to hear a concise summary of the differences.

canvs1 karma

Mine worked at a time when no one else was able to do it is the short answer. They must have liked it as it has been deployed on thousands of systems for over a decade.

m84m1 karma

So the US Military have used your NVG systems thousands of times and not paid you a cent?

canvs1 karma

Uncompensated use of the patent, yes.

canvs1 karma

Thank you for expressing that. No need to apologize. I defer patent related issues to the Patent Office and the Federal Courts. My warning is this, if anyone is attempting to bring a product or invention to market where they are in direct competition with large concerns, the laws designed to protect you and your rights are not sufficient given the lack of enforcement.

mebeonreddit2 karma

You need to spend some money on your website

canvs-1 karma

I do it myself. You are correct it needs work. Thanks for the reminder.

Iliketophats2 karma

What is your gameplan if you lose in court?

cayal33 karma

Regular glasses with a dimmer switch?

canvs-5 karma

That is an awesome idea...it could be done with LCD shutters, although you will need heaters in freezing temps. How bout just two polarized lenses on each eye, manual gain control sunglasses...I can hear the infomercial now...manual gain control blue blockers...

cayal31 karma

Well glasses are no doubt patented already so all you need to do is grab one, any will do, clearly not a requirement for you and add the dimmer and you've got yourself another winner.

canvs-2 karma

This is actually a good example to talk about some of the issues at hand. Do you consider manual brightness control sunglasses as an invention? If you came up with a novel configuration that was inexpensive to produced and worked well could you get a patent. Sure, as long as you meet the requirements of the patent office. Any intelligent comments?

canvs0 karma

The old joke is I'll burn that bridge when I get to it. It goes Court of Federal Claims, Federal Appeals Court, then Supreme Court (if they will hear it). It will be some time to the end game unless the Government decides to cut a deal.

Iliketophats1 karma

Sounds agonizing, but given the potential payout I suppose it could be very very worthwhile. Best of luck.

canvs1 karma

There is one thing the other side rarely has to face, THE TRUTH. Thanks for the well wishes, Luck favors the prepared (and those who work their buts off). One of my friends likes to say, he was an overnight success, after 20 years of 20 hour days...

canvs1 karma

The real reason for waging this war is about a sense of fair play. If there are rules, then they should be applied equally to all players on both sides. People that don't know me or the full and true story of what happened tend to think it's only about the money. The Government thought enough of my case to assign The Chief Justice of the third highest court in the land to it. There really are systemic problems that need to be addressed if small concerns are to have any chance to succeed moving forward.

Boxscape1 karma


jbs09002013 karma

I work in a law firm whose specialty is white collar crime. You do not want to fight the government -- they do not play fair and most of the judges are on their side. Coming from a civil law background, it is frightening to me what government attorneys are allowed to get away with.

canvs1 karma

The "they do not play fair" part is what this conversation is supposed to be about.

canvs-2 karma

Send me an email: [email protected]

PrincessHandjob1 karma

You might want to DM him for that... Email on reddit = spam

canvs1 karma

If that is true I will remove it. Please show me link to rule that says that.

canvs-6 karma

I don't look at this as a fight. If someone has an intelligent question about what it takes to protect your intellectual property against the most powerful defendant (The US Government), I might be able to provide a meaningful answer. As to most of the comments so far, let me know when you invent something that our troops use for over a decade in two wars, and you survive the legal battle to even make it to the Court of Federal Claims to protect your intellectual property.

canvs0 karma

Perfect example to test my Equal Justice Under The Law premise.

This is the law in question: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_Identities_Protection_Act

This is what happened: http://m.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/white-house-mistakenly-identifies-cia-chief-in-afghanistan/2014/05/25/ac8e80cc-e444-11e3-8f90-73e071f3d637_story.html

Any predictions, does anyone think someone will be held responsible? What do you think would have happened if you had done this?

canvs0 karma

How many of you who posted here are Small Business owners?

canvs-1 karma

Let me tell you a story about winning the SOCOM SBIR Success Story Award for Color Night Vision Goggles. 9 out of around 9,000 small business owners were selected for the award. I flew to San Diego on my own dime to accept the award. The Top person, I think the proper title is Chief Administrator for the Small Business Administration, gave the awards. After his speech he asked if there were any questions. I was the only person to raise a hand, much to the dismay of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research Development and Acquisition who was seated near me. I said that although I can not presume to speak for the other companies I think it's fair to say we all appreciate being recognized for our hard work. But there are two fatal flaws with the SBIR program, there is no POM Cycle funding for a transition to a procurement contract, and there are major problems associated with protection for the Small Businesses Intellectual Property. POM Cycle funding is Congress has to ask for money 5 years before it is spent. I asked why Congress did not have POM Cycle funding for SBIR projects that could transition to procurement. His answer was astounding. He claimed that the SBA had asked Congress every year for ten years and it was rejected. He said he would look into helping me on the IP issue on a side bar. Standard SBIR contracts make anything done by the small business property of the Government after 5 years. So the standard operating procedure seems to be ask hard questions, throw $100,000 to $850,000 on a grant, if anything interesting happens just wait and hand it to the large contractors. This is why Congress won't fund a procurement transition for Small Business.

There are laws about Government Program Managers sharing information marked as Proprietary. No one seems to care about it and the information freely flows to contractors who donate to their Congressman. The protection of IP isn't taken seriously because the laws are never enforced.

retroencabulator-2 karma

IANAL, so I wish you all the best! I feel a lot of the commenters here are unduly harsh.

Can I ask what led you to invent this night vision technology?

canvs0 karma

A note on "harsh comments". I love it when someone has a better idea than me, it makes my job easier. This conversation was for the benefit of small business owners and the lone inventor so I could share notes that might help if you go the route of patenting your invention and expect to attempt to do business with Uncle Sam. I would venture to guess that most of the harshness is from people who have never started their own business and have never had any first hand dealings with trying to deal with the Government in an industry that is populated with the largest sharks in the history of the ocean.

canvs-6 karma

I have an Experimental Physics background, I was an Army Aviation Warrant Officer and was involved in the investigation of Class A incidents (when people die). It was designed to prevent our guys from getting hurt, and provide combat over match capability for kicking but. Some of the technology has also been used for combat medics doing burn and blast wound assessment in the field. I was sick of everyone saying it was impossible. It is difficult to appreciate that the work was done in 1998 time frame, a much different world from an available technology stand point.

dissidentrhetoric-2 karma

I've always said that governments and their agencies steal technology, to be honest you are lucky to still be alive. Usually if they want your technology enough the likes of darpa or DOD will just kill you and your family and steal your inventions.

To bad the government owns and runs the only courts in the land as you will be lucky to get a fair trial knowing how corrupt the whole thing is.

canvs0 karma

Fortunately, Luck favors the prepared!

canvs-1 karma

Yea I briefed and demoed at DARPA many times at the Director and Deputy Director level within various divisions, it is one of the more bizarre agencies to deal with. If you are beloved of DARPA there is no end to how much money they can throw at a problem.

canvs-4 karma

I will look at this again in a few days. Let us see if anyone can propose a positive change that can help small business so we can talk about how to fix things. Any intelligent commentary on my proposal for POM Cycle funding and better protection for Small Business intellectual property under the SBIR Program?

canvs-4 karma

This might help you understand what I am trying to do:


buzzkillin-7 karma

Classic reddit... quick to criticize the big corporations but can't stand to listen to the common man.

fryzoid13 karma

Classic reddit down voted you. I can't balance it out but yes it is annoying. Every comment from OP has been replied to harshly and if he has responded politely to each one.

canvs-7 karma

Remember sticks and stones...this is sort of like trying to share valuable information with an unruly class. Teacher can stay calm because all they need to do is help one person and they have succeed. I don't need other people to tell me I Rock, I know I Rock. I also know what I have done for the folks in uniform. I am trying to start an intelligent conversation about how to make a climate where Small Business and the Individual Inventor have at least a better chance than they do now under the current climate.

canvs-9 karma

I love when folks throw pitch forks. The wooden Handel can be burned for a BBQ, and the metal can be melted down to build tin soldiers :)

canvs-10 karma

If that was directed at me could you please be more specific.

maxp84z-12 karma

The government is corrupt. Sadly you have an uphill battle. You may not win this. Once again. Corruption. Corruption idiot voters voted into power. Which I'm sure this will get downvoted for. But it's the truth.

super6logan7 karma

No, he won't win this because he patented something that was, by and large, already patented a decade prior.

Also, federal judges serve lifetime appointments so it's not like they're trying to appease the current administration to stay in power. It's a sweet gig.

canvs0 karma

Court of Federal Claims Judges are 15 year appointments.

Mrdirtyvegas-12 karma

Contact adam kokesh if you want publicity.

canvs-12 karma

Feel free to have him email me: [email protected]

canvs-32 karma

Average over the last decade in US Court of Federal Claims I seem to remember is between 1% and 5% of what they spent, the law states "a reasonable royalty fee". Look here for some background on "how much".


Skiiwalker-33 karma

Please kick their treasonous fucking ass. Good luck brother

canvs-26 karma

It will be an honor and a pleasure!