When does flattery become intellectual property right theft or at the very least, blatant cloning in questionable taste? The following images seem to tell their own story, especially since a particular chassis geometry finds itself -- with one exception -- married to wideband drivers and has mushroomed predominantly in German-speaking Europe as though this family of offspring was mysteriously confined to a particular market. Who started this trend to inspire such veneration and be copied this extensively?

Clearly certain ideas cannot be patented since they're mere variations on existing precedents and not unique enough to warrant their own file. Even if they could be formally registered and awarded to an individual, that patent holder must be prepared to litigate the first infraction or patent protection becomes worthless. Also, patent descriptions explain the idea and execution in detail and can thus further stimulate rather than prevent duplication. Certain shapes, names and logos can be trademarked to establish origin and -- here a specialized attorney would be able to educate us properly -- perhaps even provide actual protection. Still, to enforce intellectual property right always presumes capitalization. Law suits cost money, with hourly legal fees of $300 or more very common. The deeper pockets often win not because they're right but because they can afford to drag out a case long enough until the prosecuting side cries uncle and walks away from the proceedings. Audio with its small owner/operator firms often seems ripe with a free - ahem, trading of ideas that -- one imagines -- doesn't always sit right with whoever was first with any given solution. Especially if it works well and is recognized as such by the intended audience. Needless to say, in the above case we lack the insight, means and even motivation to sort things out. It simply seemed like interesting case evidence to make a particular point. We shall let the images and associated websites tell their own stories and have our readers come to their own conclusions.