From the I'm-not-making-this-up department comes this courthouse report of a lawsuit involving coin grading services.
A coin collector who invented an "eye appeal" grading method can sue companies that he says broke their deal not to use his ideas as their own, a federal judge ruled.
Duane Blake, attorney and coin collector, calls his method to grade the "eye appeal" of coins the "axial ultimate refractory angle of the coin" (AURA). A coin's grade reflects its condition and authenticity, and helps to determine its value.
Blake pitched his method to several coin-grading companies, including Professional Coin Grading Service, Collectors Universe and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America. He says he proposed that coin labels include a plus sign for an above-average AURA rating.
He also proposed taking a digital photo of the coin during the grading process, so collectors could track any alterations made to the coin's condition.
While the associations declined to work with him, Blake says that Professional Grading and Numismatic jointly launched a plus designation within their own grading system, despite their non-disclosure agreement with Blake.
Though U.S. District Judge William Young rejected Blake's claim to own the plus designation, he said Blake can advance claims that the coin associations stole his marketing ideas.
To read the complete article, see:
Collectable Coin Graders Can't Toss Inventor's Suit
Wayne Homren, Editor
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