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I was wondering if lens manufacturers like Tokina, Sigma, Samyang etc, need some sort of permission from camera manufacturers in order to produce and sell their compatibles lenses or if any company that has expertise and can can reverse-engineer the camera's capabilities is free to offer their compatible products ?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Without knowing whether the patents on the original components (lenses, cameras) have or have not yet expired, it's impossible to answer this question. It's also possible that what is legal in one country may not be legal in another. Not all countries are members of the Berne Convention, and not all members enforce the guidelines equally. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Apr 27, 2022 at 6:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ The mechanical aspect of the lens mount are mostly designed 5 decades ago (e.g. K, F and EOS mounts), so any patents, if existed, would have expired. M43, Z and E mounts are all advertised as "open" and explicitly encourages compatible lenses. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 28, 2022 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ This makes my answer below correct! Thank you user35… \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Robin
    May 1, 2022 at 14:40

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It seems this is strictly a legal question. Because it is easy to reverse engineer or google the pin interface between the lens and camera. I believe from a legal standpoint the answer is no. I have talked to the Canon engineering department about this topic. It would be helpful to talk to someone from a legal department.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Of course it depends on which manufacturer. I was referring to Canon specifically. And which country. I’m familiar with Japan and USA. Many European countries have similar patent laws. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Robin
    Apr 28, 2022 at 11:51

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