12th July 2024

Minelab Patent Issues Prevent Sale Of Quest V60 & V80 In The USA.

Quest V60 & V80 Patent Issues

As many of you will know. The Quest V80 was launched back in January 2023 and was supposed to have been in stores for March. 

March came and went with no sign of the V80 or its sibling the V60. We were then told it would be available in April. Another deadline came and went and speculation was growing that perhaps there was more to these delays than we were being told. 

At the beginning of May we were informed that, due to feedback from testers, the tones were being updated. Upon making enquiries about this, THW was told that not only were the tones being updated but the handle and coil were undergoing a redesign. This seemed a little strange given that the machine had been in testing for over a year and no one mentioned at that time that there was a problem with the tones, handle or coil.

We had speculated that the real reasons for the delay probably had more to do with Minelab patent issues. Indeed we were informed back in January that there were patent issues, although Minelab was not mentioned, but that these had been resolved. 

Perhaps Minelab had taken issue with the branding of Quest’s simultaneous multi-frequency technology. Quest had originally named it “SimultiQ” which was far too similar to Minelab’s “Multi-IQ”. This was very quickly changed to “HyperQ” and all seemed well.quest-v80-main

We have recently seen Minelab launch legal proceedings against Nokta for patent infringement for technology used in The Legend metal detector. So any machine using simultaneous multi-frequency tech is bound to be under the spotlight. Nokta has denied any such patent infringement and is defending the action in the US courts. 

We have now learned that “due to patent issues” The V60 and V80 will not be sold in the USA. This seems to be a sensible move because it would potentially open the company to the same lawsuit that Minelab has brought against Nokta. Quest has stated that this only affects sales in North America, and the V60 & V80 will be available in other territories.

While the basic principles of patentability are similar across jurisdictions, there can be differences in the scope of patentable subject matter, examination procedures, and the level of disclosure required in the patent application. So it is “possible” that a patent infringement may be clear and valid in one country but not so straightforward in another. We say “possible” but in Minelab’s case, it is unlikely. 

We did contact Quest for clarification but at the time of publication, we had received no response.

It can only be assumed that if there are indeed patent issues, these are not going to be overcome anytime soon and the whole V60/V80 project, much like the G80 gold machine before it, may end up on the dusty shelf of good ideas that never quite got off the ground. 

Whilst we can understand that a small company such as Quest, would not want to take the financial hit of defending their products in the US court system, surely this sets a worrying precedent. A larger company such as Minelab can simply bully a smaller company like Quest out of the market using the threat of litigation. 

All efforts going forward will very likely be spent on promoting the new Quest Q35. A machine with several selectable single frequencies and for which, as far as we know, there are no patent issues.  

Editors Note:

Quest did respond to our request for clarification. They provided us with the following statement.

V80 and V60 has no issue with Minelab patent. Just a concern of potential cost. A big company can sue anything with no worry about cost. In 2017, we paid more than huge amount to lawyers to respond to First Texas lawsuit. Finally FT company found there is nothing wrong with us and made a settlement. We just don’t want to take the risk again.


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