How to Voice Your Concerns to the FTC
Unfortunately the FTC does not seem to accept direct email in order to
voice consumer concerns - instead they have a generic form on their web
site. The form is not really designed for this sort of issue, but
nonetheless you will successfully get your message across.
The form is found at
You will need to complete the following entries on the form:
|First and Last Name
||Recommended to allow the FTC to contact you
||Required for a response
|Social Security Number
||Do not provide this information, it
does not apply
|Subject of Your Complaint
||Home - this is the closest match
|Name of the Company You Are Complaining
||Meade Instruments Corp.
|Company Web Site
|How Did the Company Initially Contact You?
|Explain Your Problem
||The following is
suggested text to describe the issue. Here is an
alternate contributed by
Copy and paste into the form:
|This is a complaint about
unfair trade practices that are bad for the consumer.
Due to law suits arising from Meade's very questionable patents,
Celestron has agreed to pay Meade royalties for scopes utilizing an
alignment method starting with a starting position of north and level.
Meade claims they can patent any alt-azimuth mount alignment procedure
that starts with the scope pointed north and level. Consider this - take
50 engineers with no knowledge of astronomy, put them in 50 separate
rooms, explain the motion of the sky and then ask them to design a
system that automatically points a tube at any given RA-Dec coordinates.
Almost every one of them will propose a model that starts with the tube
pointed north and level. It is so logical that all portable computerized
alt-az telescopes use this method for alignment.
Said another way - to determine the alt-az of any given point in the
sky, the common sense method is to know the point on the horizon that
lies directly beneath the north or south celestial pole and to have an
altitude reference - level. This is a fact due to the motion of the
Earth - a natural phenomenon. Meade has of course patented a natural
$100 per scope is the ludicrous license fee that Celestron will pay to
Meade. Meade is claiming that they did the research and development that
brought about this wonderful revelation. Their engineers spent perhaps 5
or 10 minutes deciding to use north and level; 100 per scope for that
amount of "intellectual property" is outrageous.
Meade knew precisely that these royalties would be passed to the
consumer and are using this as a market advantage. In the end, it will
be the consumers that are hurt by the decreased ability of other
companies to compete on a level footing with Meade's superior legal