Patent Reform? Is Now the Time? Granted Patent for Vehicle Damage Inspection?

Modern Car Care has an article about Rugged CCTV (N-Spex or whatever this company wants to be called).  It is interesting about the patent which is here on  It’s Application number: 11/805,983 the title is “Method and apparatus for documenting the condition of a vehicle Kevin Allen Spears”.  There is no “prior art” to this claim in May 25, 2007?  Maybe it is made up that make more sense?

2 Replies to “Patent Reform? Is Now the Time?”

  1. Excellent point! So this guy invented the idea of placing cameras for damage inspection in car washes back in 2007? LOL! Security companies and car wash owners (like me) have been installing cameras all over our car washes for decades for this very purpose! Sounds like a “Patent Troll” to me. There is so much “Prior Art” regarding cameras and their placement in car washes, this Patent doesn’t stand a chance of being upheld if this guy decides to push the issue and try to take someone to court. The US Patent Office and the person(s) who reviewed the application are idiots!

  2. I am the “idiot” that designed this system. I was also one of the operators that were putting cameras in tunnels trying to see damage – prior to this system. Our customers were requesting cameras in the tunnel for a good while before I put them in mine. I immediately experienced what they were all complaining about – that they could not see most damage very well, and that the cameras were not helping all that much to refute damage claims. A number of our customers asked why we couldn’t design a better solution that would confirm or refute damage claims reliably. So we set to work engineering a dedicated system that would place cameras very close to the vehicle and provide better documentation and cover all the pertinent angles. We also had to design new cameras that would hold up well and survive being so close to overspray, chemicals, etc. The system we patented places cameras at the entrance and exit, then compares these two vantage points to determine if damage occurred in the tunnel. No more spurious damage claims at my tunnels. And it has also worked beautifully at hundreds of car washes, parking garages, car rental return facilities, car dealerships, etc. We have a Megapixel system as well that is phenominal. Tunnel operators tell us that the system pays for itself within one or two claims in most cases, and that they are happy we engineered a system that gives them inspection-quality views of each vehicle (and license tags as well), that reliably works without having to continually mess with it.
    So, maybe I’m biased, but I think the systems are worthy of a patent, and if there is prior art that does what our patent describes, I want to know about it.

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