I'm pretty sure the bits are not patented, only the chuck mechanism. But, I could be wrong.
I would expect both the chuck and the Centrotec connection design to be separate patents. The Centrotec system is a design for how a bit would fit into a chuck and the specifications on the design of the bit connection. It's common to patent such designs. (For example, the iPod connector is patented.)
The question is, does Festool let other manufacturers make bits? So for instance, GhostFist likes the Robinson made bit. Would Festool allow them to make bits with Centrotec connectors?
the problem is this... festool has copyrighted and trademarked all of their intellectual
property, and if they are like most companies, they patented the CEO's dog as well.
that being said, they my not want to bother with producing limited demand items like
square drive bits to fit directly into the centrotek, but if anyone else uses their
design, they have to go barking at them, or they risk losing the protection of the patent.
patent's, trade marks, and sales marks which are not defended can be weakened.
let's say someone on here makes for profit some bits we all want, and festool, not
wanting that market anyway, figures it keeps the customers happy, so why not?
next year, blork and dorkie decides to make a full range of bits that fit the centrotec,
and festool files for legal remedy.... and then it comes out in court that festool was
allowing someone else to use their intellectual property as if it was in the public domain.
me, if they were priced within reason, i'd love sets of fractional bits and unibits in
titanium dioxide, for drilling stainless.
so, i have bought some new unibits, and will go off and play with a lathe and toolpost
grinder, and put a centrotek shaft on those three or four bits, 'cause i'm stubborn.
festool could add square head tips without much inconvenience, seeing as lots of
people here would use them. i'd buy them in a heartbeat, as most electrical fittings
and panel screws, and circuit breakers use #2 square drive.
i don't think they are gonna do it, ever. so, we can either make bootlegs, or quit
whining about it.