Lawsuit Puts the Brakes on Theme Parks
It seems that just about every single theme park company out there is being accused of patent infringment for using a magnetic breaking system. Safety Braking claims they hold exclusive licenses to the patents from Magnetar Technologies Corp., based in Seal Beach, California, and the other from G&T Conveyor Co., based in Tavares.
Safety Braking won the patents in 1994 and 2003.
This could mean that if the court decides in the favor of Safety Braking that all theme parks involved, including DISNEY, will have to pay hefty fines. More on this as it develops.
I wonder if this will cause the rides with those kind of brakes to close, or whats going to happen b/c of this craziness. People will sue over anything these days(roll eyes)
A couple of questions. One, why is this company suing the park chains and not the ride manufacturers? Certain parks such as Disney build their own rides, so I could maybe see that. The other companies involved don't design and build their own rides for the most part. They hire firms to do that. Why not a lawsuit against Intamin or B&M. Some older rides have had the brakes installed on them for safety and economical purposes, but are the parks who do this really making a buck off of them? There's not an upcharge magnetic brake ride attraction out there is there? Two, magnetic brakes on rides have been around for 15 years, so that means that the rights have been "infringed upon" for a long time. Why a lawsuit now?
Derek, Disney also hires coaster companies to build their roller coasters, namely Vekoma.
There's an entire industry in the legal community that does the following:
I think the parks being sued should remove the brakes from the coasters and send the parts to the lawyers. It'll make for some wild rides, I'm sure!
I thought there was a law that went into effect to eliminate frivoulous law suites. I guess this didn't fall into that catagory. I agree about suing the manufacturers. I disagree w/the suing part of it but if they want to sue, what do the parks have to do w/it. They didn't make the brakes, they just put them in w/the coaster or they simply came w/the coaster. Stupid. Just another example of trying to get money w/o wking for it.
This doesn't necessarily fall under the term frivoulous lawsuit...yet. There is some legitimacy to the claims being made, it's just the circumstances under which they have been made that comes into question. The technology has been around too long and used too widely, and the parks usually aren't the ones who design the mechanical aspects of a ride. Quite honestly I don't think that the park companies are just going to settle on this one. Cedar Fair has been known to go to war with city councils, ride companies, and others who get in the way of their interests. I can't see Universal or Disney and their army of lawyers and piles of money just rolling over either. The suit is against 5 of the biggest companies in the business, and if the parks are ready to fight, they have a excellent chance of winning. I hope that the plaintiffs have a warchest ready to go.
There's something missing in this story. First of all different rides use different braking systems -- meaning the topic of discussion does not mean ALL the rides at the themeparks are using the system in question.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.