Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
Sometimes, but not when it potentially infringes a patent.
And that might be the case with Profoto’s dispute with Godox over the A1’s light.
Apparently, the as-yet-unreleased Godox V1 infringes on a patent pertaining to Profoto’s A1 which is currently available on the market.
The cheaper Godox V1 was introduced at Photokina last year according to DPReview and is currently being listed under Adorama’s Flashpoint brand. The official Godox V1 is expected any day now – well, that is if no one gets sued, we assumed.
In terms of who was to market first, the Profoto was released all the way back in 2017, so there’s little debate in that regard.
As DPReview points out, the Godox V1, “sports a number of similarities with the A1, including a round head design, Fresnel lens, magnetic modifier mount, and LED modelling lights,” and should come in at a lower price point than Profoto’s A1 which retails for $USD 995. We can imagine that, if the Godox V1 does come in at a substantially lower price point, Profoto might be even more motivated to pursue legal action.
Profoto’s CEO Anders Hedebark maintains that his company has stayed in touch with Godox about the V1’s design with discussions dating all the way back to Photokina 2018. Profoto’s A1 spent about four long years in development. Needless to say, the company is feeling a little protective of its investment. In terms of patents related to the A1, Profoto has filed about seven different patents concerning various aspects of the A1.
The CEO commented, “We spend a lot of time and money on development and will protect our investments…It feels like we have an obligation to act.”
As of press, it doesn’t seem like it has come to that. Of course, if things change we will update you on the new developments.