Knolly is suing Intense for an alleged patent infringement of a rear suspension design, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reports
The suit was filed on Monday as 'Knolly Bikes Inc. v. Intense Cycles, Inc.' at California Central District Court with case number '5:20-cv-02571'. Knolly is alleging that Intense has infringed on the patent US 10,363,988
granted to Knolly CEO Noel Buckley that was filed in 2014 and granted in 2019.
This patent describes a rear suspension system with at least four inches of travel and a seat tube that can accommodate a dropper seat post with at least four inches of travel. The patent also states that the seat tube intersects the downtube above the bottom bracket at an angle between 50° and 75° relative to the horizontal.
The suit claims that six of Intense's models infringe on this patent - the Tracer, the Carbine, the Tazer e-bike, the Primer 29, Primer S and Primer 27.5 - and that Knolly believes and has information that Intense has examined Knolly's bikes that use the technology.
B.R.A.I.N reports that Knolly is asking for a jury trial and to be awarded damages and attorney fees. We have reached out to both parties for comment and will update this article when we hear more.
To be eligible for a U.S. patent, the claimed invention must be new, non-obvious and useful. 35 U.S.C. 103 defines obviousness. There is most definitely a "not obvious" clause.
And they have 'useful' and 'novel' clauses, which equate to 'innovative'
Especially to a company like intense.
The process gets mixed review. On the plus side, the U.S. patent system (defined as the USPTO, and the Federal Courts system) does a better job of vindicating the rights of the small inventor than most other jurisdictions. On the minus side, the U.S. patent system is costly as all get-out to utilize, as getting issues before judges and juries requires lawyers, who, if they're any good, don't work for free. But, if you can afford to feed the proverbial beast, the system works pretty well - certainly in comparison to other jurisdictions.
The Specialized FSR patent was for the most common type of suspension used on vehicles... but for bikes. Which is I guess novel? Actually that is not novel in my opinion, just like nearly every bike suspension, it is just automotive suspension in 2D instead of 3D like the automotive suspension that inspired it.
Then the VPP patent was for a path that an axle takes and somehow covered all the ways that could be accomplished without naming them. It is even named something not novel, it is just a point that you calculate while designing suspension.
This seems to be a patent on having seat tube offset on a full suspension bike. It seems strange that you can combine 2 not novel things, but both exist in the same industry and somehow it is a novel idea.
If this is patent trolling by Knolly I hope it costs them dearly.
In my opinion, in this and many other cases, it isn't that adapting the most common suspension design in cars to bikes, or placing your tube junction in a slightly different place than most, is actually novel. You just need to be the first to convince someone that it is, and then see if you benefit later.
So maybe Knolly is simply starting with Intense(smaller company without the ability a behemoth has to bankrupt them with motions and filings before they even get to court), and if/when they win their suit they'll have precedent to go after everyone else
A horst link/Macpherson strut type of suspension consists of a lower arm and then a member that attaches the wheels axle to the main body/frame of the vehicle which also contains the damper and spring. A linkage driven Macpherson strut is just a version that separates that axle bearing member from the shock and spring. I think linkage driven Macpherson struts were first used on WW2 British military vehicles. The only real difference between the bicycle and the automotive versions is that the bicycle angles the member that has the axle, more than would work well on a auto(too much camber change due to suspension movement). Chain forces are something that the autos don't have, but that doesn't make the layout of the suspension an obvious one to try. As a sniff test I can't think of one type of suspension that wasn't patented on bicycles, except for single pivot bikes and some linkage driven single pivots. Somehow companies have been able to patent leverage ratios, which is totally bizarre to me, it is literally patenting geometry.
As for cars and bikes, they work completely differently. The axle of a single tracked vehicle (bike, motorcycle) moves in the plane of the linkage, while with a car the whole setup is 3D, both the kinematics and the position of links. The closest system to mountainbike suspension is a double wishbone setup (akin to any four bar linkage), but with the axle (mostly) in plane of movement, as opposed to perpendicular to the plane with single tracked vehicles.
And let's not get started with toe and camber changes through the travel (both front and rear) and caster and inclination effects on the steered axle.
As for patents, you have to look at the fine print. DW's patent, if I read it correctly, states that at the end of the travel the instant centre will be positioned on the lower link, between the two lower link pivots. By that metric, his own DW link designs are not conforming to the patent anyway, as the top links on certain current bikes rotate further than that.
FSR was patented in USA (or Northern America) only as well, many brands sold horst link bikes in Europe, but quite a few brands either ditched single pivots for horst links as soon as the patent ran out (Transition, Scott, etc.) or started selling bikes in the US (Canyon).
So it's more about the marketing in the long run.
There are a number of reasons for this, but chief among them is determinacy - the hope is that the standard for obviousness is set such that people can agree when something is legally obvious.
Looking at the argument in support of why the Knolly suspension is "obvious" in your post, your argument is that bicycle suspension design is merely a trivial extrapolation of automotive suspension design. That may, or may not be true, but the real issue is that your standard for obviousness is not conducive to determinacy in deciding legal questions. Get five engineers to talk about what is and is not a trivial extension of well-known principles, and you'll get five different answers.
By contrast, the "patent math" approach to obviousness (i.e., do references 1 and 2 disclose limitations "A,B and c", while perhaps erring on the low side as to what's "not obvious," provides a framework that gives more consistent, and predictable answers. Lawyers and judges love determinacy.
If you claim that bike and auto suspension work completely different, you can't double back and claim that bike suspension works like a cars double wishbone suspension. Lawwill suspension was most like double wishbone and I think there is a small company now doing long link suspension again. These types of suspension typically feature longer virtual swing arms who's virtual pivot points move much less radically than other multi link designs.
I do understand a bit about patents, but do not claim expertise. Again my sniff test on this is that every type of suspension except single pivots have been granted a patent, even some single pivots that have linkage driven shocks have received patents(delta link comes to mind). To me this shows that patents were granted for reasons other than obviousness. I think that it is pretty obvious to experiment with link length and pivot point locations when designing suspension, but every configuration has been patented at some point. That leaves every suspension designer a strange process to follow:
Do normal and obvious experimentation
Develop a suspension that works well for the application
Then find out who they need to pay to use the patented design(pre FSR expiration)
I know that technically I am wrong as these patents withstood scrutiny in court, just seemed like a patent on obvious stuff.
I guess, since when the horst link was introduced, it was refered to as a Macpherson strut suspension system, so it seemed to have been derived from auto suspension.
I don't think I will likely ever actually need to know the technical definition of legalese terms, I have made it over 40 years so far without knowing, so I'm probably good.
It has just always seemed funny that companies can patent what comes down to geometry, that doesn't involve a specific way of building anything or other real life parameters other than the geometric layout. For me, geometric layout is an easy and early part of the experimentation process in the design phase of something like suspension, and to be able to patent all possible layouts(except simple swingarm with no linkages)of step one of suspension design... That doesn't seem right. Obviously I am also wrong, since they have all been patented at some point.
I can't see that the patent is regarding their 4by4(?) suspension design, but just a general full sus bike. How is it even possible to get a patent for such a non specific design?
So will they start with Intense and will sue every other bike brand in the next few years?
In my opinion, without having read the description, they want to prevent other companies to design a straight seat tube positioned in front of the bottom bracket that would allow more room for longer telescopic seatposts.
Dying to know what their evidence is that intense examined their bikes lol. For what? To see how ugly they are?
If the issue at stake here really is the use of a straight seat tube that doesn't coincide with the BB... how miserable. I can't believe that was granted IP rights.
Good point, I referenced the commencal as i had one and couldn't really be bothered to look for a better example, but I am sure they are there if you look, you would only need to find one for it to count as prior art.
If the patent stands only in the US, sure then it wouldn't apply to EU market bikes, the issue is whether the patent should be granted in the first place. Something doesn't have to be patented to count as prior art, it just needs to have already been presented / placed in the public domain. so if something incorporating the ideas presented in the patent was available in the EU, someone else wouldn't be able to rob the idea and patent it in the us as it would be prior art.
I know I'll get downvoted for this.
Everyone defends the patent system saying it protects the little guy & new innovator against the big, established players. The overwhelming evidence says otherwise. Patents help large, entrenched firms maintain pseudo-monopoly status in various markets. Its why my inhaler costs $60 instead of $5 (the inventor of albuterol was able to renew their patent for the most ridiculous reason) decades after it came to market. Once again, it doesn't matter what the intent of the patent system is, the outcome is bad for the consumer.
The bottom line is that the legal system has proven itself to be incapable of mediating or moderating the differences in engineering between brands. See Apples patent on a square with rounded corners for more.
*I have an aunt that is a Patent Attorney and I've seen several patents over the years and it blows my mind how specific they need to be....
I heard of pharmaceutical companies using borderline tricks like that to claim royalties on something that is well-known in the art years later, I didn't know bike companies would go there too...
On the other hand, a patent like that has no chance to ever be granted in Europe (that restricts the possible lawsuits), and patent examiners mostly check for patent literature to assess novelty. In court, it's possible that one simple picture of a bike with that design prior to the first filing would keep Intense safe.
exemples from early 2000 : 24 Pornking frames, Evil Imperial
Nearly everything in this world is a product of capitalism. Given the current economic system, for the survival of the individual and the survival of companies, they need to make money. One way they make money is to offer products or services that the public wants. Patents provide them with protections so that another company cannot simply steal their ideas and sell the exact same thing, because if a copycat company could be set up that could do that, you know because of capitalism, a copycat company would do exactly that thing.
Take a toy company for instance. If you come up with a new toy that you spent $100,000 dollars to develop, research, and design that you think kids everywhere will want. Your marketing team figures out for the company to make a profit, the best price point is to sell it for $25 and they need to sell 40000 units just to break even. But a week after the toy is released, a competitor company simply steals your idea and manufactures something exactly like it but they didn't bother spending $100, 000money into the development, research, and design. Instead, they went to the local toy store, bought it for $25 then just reverse engineered that toy and began their own production, maybe their cost to do this is $2000. They also decide to undercut your toy, and sell it for $15. So while you may have gotten a month or two ahead start on market, Christmas time is upon us (the big capitalist scam holiday), and parents shop for Christmas presents for their kids. They see in the toy store, the toy that their kids want side by side, where one is $10 less than the other one. The parents start buying up the cheaper one because there doesn't seem to be any difference between the toys, so why not buy the one that is $10 less.
Without a patent system in place, who would bother developing and designing new products, when you can for much cheaper reverse engineer it and arrive at something similar.
@hamncheez: On the computer side, I've been an open source fan for the past 25 years but I can still see value in what paid stuff like what MicroSoft does can bring to the market. This is the same thing with patents. This is great that some people just throw new stuff out in the wild without looking for having them patented (Rubix cube) but if you want small companies and individuals to still be able to bring their ideas to the market without being ripped off by the big guys (Google, Apple, Amazon, GM, Exxon Mobil, etc) you need a system to protect them. Sure, the patent system isn't perfect and it also benefit those same big guys BUT at least it gives a chance to the smaller fish to rip some benefits from their ideas.
Beyond that, how do you measure "benefit to the customer"? Government regulations typically help some people at the expense of others. The patents that make $5 epipens sell for over $300 certainly benefit the stock holders of Mylen but at the cost of everyone else. How can you even know what innovations are being squashed by current patent law?
A great, real world example is open source code. Android is open source. 65% of servers (that enable all websites, most apps, and many other things) run Linux, which is open source. Chromium, what Chrome and Edge are based off of, is open source. All my development tools that I program in are open source. Not only is the code not patented, its made to be as available, as well known, as un-hidden as possible. The authors actively recruit and advertise to get people to adopt (copy) their code. Even much of facebooks code (Reactjs) is open sourced.
What tech companies don't open source their code and do patents instead? Oracle. When was the last time that Oracle delivered an actual product? All they do now is sue. The same thing happened to the Wright Brothers. They invented the aircraft, but made no contributions to flight afterwards. Wilbur died young, and Orville spent the rest of his life miserable, doing nothing innovative and spent all his years in endless lawsuits trying to monetize his patents.
To file a provisional patent ends up costing at least $5,000. Paying a lawyer to help you formulate an actual patent application STARTS at $15,000. Patents are great if you're big enough to have an entire team of patent law specialists on your payroll.
Patents and copyrights have long since been a way of protecting the intellectual property of the individual. Sounds like you're advocating for the benefit of society as a whole at the expense of the individual.
And the "free market" point is a weak argument. Capitalism has never existed in an entirely free and open market. The only time we've seen a free market with no controls would be a century ago under an autocracy.
This guy has some good insights with hard numbers:
Copyright law is related, but a whole 'nother animal. Do I have replies that are 10 pages long that no one reads? Haha
By your logic, property rights, whether in intangible or physical property, are an infringement of individual liberty. I respectfully disagree. The legal structures for enforcing property rights are an instrument for vindicating your personal rights to enjoy your property.
As an example, think of someone squatting in a tent in the front yard of the home you own. Whose "individual liberty" is more important - your individual liberty to possess and enjoy your property, or the guy in the tent's right to live rent-free by your begonias.
In this example, whose side do you want the system to rule on, yours, as the rightful owner of your house and yard, or Squatty McTent, washing himself with your garden hose?
Patent systems seek to achieve the same results for intangible property as tangible property. It's inaccurate to characterize them as a tool for depriving you of any individual liberty, other than the liberty to physically and metaphorically camp out on someone else's lawn.
Knolly who ?
But maybe that’s just… wrong ? As something intangible IS different from something physical.
I wonder if the first human to sculpt a silex was the only one granted to use it for 20 years, or if he let the others of the tribe sculpt theirs as well. Or maybe with a tip limited to more than 90° so only his were really effective ? Or if the first human to whistle a melody prevented the hunter-gatherers around to whistle it as well unless they gave him a couple of raspberries.
I know patents sound « normal » and if I invented something my 1st reflex would also be to think « hey maybe I should patent this ? », but if I look at it as a homo sapiens rather than a homo economicus then it seems to me patents are a by-product showing how messed up our society is, how human beings, supposedly social, turn quite individualistic as soon as it’s « out of our tribe » (and for some even less than this).
In a way one could say that patenting an intangible subject matter is similar to a deer patenting the right to f*ck the whole herd, as if it had any right over hinds lives. The problem seems to me that (both for deers and patents :p) « property » conveys a meaning of « domination » or monopoly.
I know what I’m saying sounds weird, maybe « extreme » in a way and the deer comparision may not be the best :p , but I think humanity has lost it, and I’m pretty hopeless about our future. Those « cease and desist » letter for using a common word or adidas trademarking « 3 freaking lines » just like this straight tube and 4 inches of blablablah. In a moral point of view, that’s sickening.
Yeah I know, but I’ve been watching some videos about climate change, the predatory aspect of humanity over the environment (it seems that about 2/3 of arthropods have disappeared over the last couple decades and that wild mammals account for only 4% of mammals, humans being 36% and "livestock" 60%) as if we had a right over everything for free, even over intangible things and words, and I don’t know what to think of humanity anymore.
Unfortunately you kind of have to pick between one and the other. Personal property rights lead to the development of technology because they say that if I spend all of my resources to develop something I get the benefit produced by whatever I create. Without that someone else would capitalize on what I've developed, and all of my resources I spent on development were wasted while they get them for free.
Patent/copyright law is not inherently bad and allows for companies to invest vast sums of money in terms of research and development knowing they will get the benefit of it. The application of patent/copyright law often leaves a lot to be desired though.
I am libertarian..... I dont like trump either...... just thought I would poke the guy claiming it is all Trumps fault...... two party system fails all...... as neither is really of and for the people anymore. Interesting how it was Republicans who lead the fight to end slavery....... and now Democrats hold to that title to help. But who are you helping when your doing it for self preservation..... I ride and love bikes and the outdoors. It's about enjoying the creation he made for us and having fun. Simple
(And now you seem to have brought religion into it, but I'll leave that be for now.)
“Sit down, shut up, and accept our version of reality.”
But you have to accept there are DEGREES of badness. Only Republicans have made anti-democratic policy a cornerstone of their political strategy. They have significantly less popular support nationwide, so they are forced to Gerrymander and suppress voting. its not a new phenomenon, its strategy going back back for decades. The argument "Democrats would do the same thing" just literally is meaningless. Right now, Dems DONT do the same thing. If they did start advocating for suppressing Republican votes, and that was an important policy position for you, you'd vote for someone else.
The Democratic caucus is forced into more moderate positions because of the diversity of its voting base. You think an overwhelming majority of democrats want hardcore socialism? It sits at around 50% (www.npr.org/2020/02/19/807047941/poll-sanders-rises-but-socialism-isnt-popular-with-most-americans). And even then, the problem becomes that Rs and Ds define socialism differently. Its too squishy a word for people to even have a debate about it. Ds hear socialism and think of a healthy and robust safety net, with government options for some essential services like healthcare. Rs hear it and think of government takeovers and monopolies of certain industries, a la Venezuelan nationalization of oil production.
But if you can look at the bast 20 years and say "these two political groups are the same" when one fabricated evidence so that we could invade Iraq, consistently made voting harder for Americans so they could maintain power, worked diligently to weaken environmental protections, denied climate change despite overwhelming evidence (seriously, as someone who knows several climate scientists, and went to their thesis defenses, the GOP stance may as well be "the sky is green."), blocked state and local funding aid during a PANDEMIC, cried "dont politicize the pandemic" and then proceeded to politicize f*cking masks.... I dunno man. I'm not sure you're really paying attention.
The war on Christmas?
the constant hand wringing about deficit spending, followed by tax cuts and increases in military spending once in power?
Repeatedly allowing corporations to bring back offshore money tax-free to "stimulate" their expansion and infrastructure spending, only to see them use the money for stock buybacks and executive bonuses?
Remember when it was "unpatriotic" to criticize GW Bush for pushing the war in Iraq, and then we went on to kill a quarter of a million Iraqi civilians?
McCain, who seems to generally be someone that had quite a bit of integrity, thought it would be helpful to his campaign to bring on SARAH EFFING PALIN to broaden his base. Tells you exactly who the GOP has been courting for 12 years.
The trajectory of the GOP insulating itself from facts by discrediting the media and using Fox as a propaganda arm started well before Trump. They used that strategy to push the whole Bengazi investigation that went nowhere, and to whitewash the fact that the GOPs main goal for 8 years of Obama's presidency was to prevent him from doing as much as possible. He may be the proverbial tiger they caught by the tail, but the GOP decided long ago to set lures to bring the tiger closer.
1> The US changed from a "first to invent" to a "first to file" system about a decade ago. What this means is that if you invent something and choose not to patent it, the first person who sees it and wants to patent it can. This means the companies with the most money (think Giant, Trek, Spec). This change creates business for the USPTO because everyone is forced to file for and defend patents. This also creates opportunity for the biggest companies to wander around patenting the inventions of small companies that don't have the cash to play the game.
2> Knolly is required to defend its patents for them to remain valid- not in the same way that Trademarks require constant defense, but in practice.
3> The patent world is like the nuclear missile world. Everybody has patents that everyone else infringes- anybody can destroy anybody else. What they do is sign contracts not to use patents to nuke each other. EVERY bike company has these contracts. What you are seeing here is a negotiations failure.
This isn't Backcountry or Specialized suing mom-and-pop for a commonly used name.
A patent needs a "novel" idea that improves upon existing design. Their patent all revolves around allowing the seat to be dropped significantly (4-8") using a continuous, straight seat tube that (insert italics here) does not compromise the suspension kinematics nor the wheel clearance respective to the saddle or seat tube.
Looking across various manufacturers, yes, nearly everyone adds a bend in their seattube where it joins with the frame near the bottom bracket. Looking at Intense and Norco it's very clear they're using a long, straight, continuous seat tube that technically violates Knolly's patent.
I like Knolly, had an Endorphin and it was a fantastic bike. I do enjoy the engineering posts on their website and their thorough explanation for their "why". I'm not a fan of this litigation but Knolly has every right to do so; their IP is being violated and they have full legal right to sue.
Unbeknownst to me on whether they do or not, but if Intense has any old patents that Knolly appears to be violating things could turn very quickly.
Depending on actual vs theoretical many Transitions also dodge the sta range.
Yetis SB115 however seems to be straight, ahead of BB and in angle range.
Transition Spur, Scout and Sentinel appears to, although they change the tube shape by widening it which makes it appear slightly bent.
Ironically nothing from the big guys, Specialized, Giant, Trek all seem to have features outside of these parameters. I'm sure there are numerous others, it just isn't as blatantly obvious as the Intense designs appear to be.
My guess is that a cease and desist letter was sent to Intense (and others possibly, just speculation) and it was confronted and Knolly decided to persue. Patents aren't super cheap to maintain all things considered, so if they feel they are losing revenue to a company that is infringing on their IP it's a business decision to do so.
Knolly applied for a patent on basically a tube at an angle, hardly proprietary and somehow bribed or at least found a few sleazy scum patent attorneys to make it push through 5 years later. Be willing to bet they have a list of other bike companies to hit next IF this one wins, and I most likely won't..especially if folks Dave Weagle lost to Trek who actually violated a real engineering development such as his split pivot as another poster commented on.
Also doesn't matter how many uninformed, not-a-lawyer-or-judge MTBers are "on [Intense's] side on this", it only matters if the law is on their side.
The patent shouldn’t have been awarded and knolly should have good enough business sense to not pursue it without expecting severe damage to their public image. Honestly it’s shocking cause most perceive them as a small brand with local values rather than some sue happy money loving cockroaches.
Not to diminish Dave Weagle (dw-link is amazing, I own an Ibis), but you brought it up, so: is Split Pivot or ABP really that much of an "engineering feat"? KHS, and probably others, did concentric BB and swing arm pivots back in the 90s. Is it really such a huge stretch to make a concentric pivot elsewhere on a bike? And there is only one location for this concentric pivot: on the axle. It's not something that can be tweaked, it's either concentric with the axle or it isn't.
At least Knolly's patent is about optimizing layout for the entire rear suspension. They're claiming that moving the seat tube to a specific place that it was never put before (at least if their prior art check was thorough, but that's for the courts to decide) allows suspension layouts that are not possible otherwise. And not just a four-bar layout in general, the patent specifically refers to being able to get _everything_ , except the shock, behind the seat tube, and one specific method for getting that arrangement.
The other super important piece of this case is the willful infringement of the patent. We won't know for sure until the case proceeds but it sounds like there was some communication between the parties where agreements on using information in those communications were not upheld by Intense.
So maybe the patent is weak, and\or the patent system is broken, but it does exist, and it sounds like Intense knowingly violated it. Denying Knolly's right to enforce the patent diminishes every other patent in existence. Maybe the court will find the patent invalid or weak, or that Intense didn't knowingly violate it, but until then no one should be picking on Knolly for defending it.
Not asking for an injunction on sales of Intense products that might violate the patent actually shows that Knolly isn't being a dick about it. They had an idea, wrote it down for everyone to see and study, applied for exclusive rights for a period of time, and got them. That's a f*cking cornerstone of capitalism and the USA. They just want some reparations from someone who made money by (allegedly) knowingly violating those exclusive rights.
The argument shouldn't be that the patent is bad or the patent system sucks, or that Knolly is shady, it should be "I doubt Intense knowingly copied something from the patent, it must be a misunderstanding", though the fact that a suit was raised points to that maybe not being the case...
Everyone seems to have this unassailable love for Intense since they've been around for a while, forgetting that Knolly comes from a similar place of a small team making bikes they love.
No one would defend Specialized if they were getting sued, even though they've also been around for a long f*cking time, because they're huge and everyone thinks huge has to equal evil or sneaky. But being small does not make you immune to following the rules.
I think if any brand sued anybody for the part of that patent that knolly is attempting would be looked poorly upon. They are definitely not the first to attach a seat tube infront of a bb. You are not wrong it is in their rights to go to court but that doesn’t mean consumers and the bike industry doesn’t have a right to judge them for doing so.
Sure, you have a right to judge them, but to judge them poorly for using their own rights to protect their investments is pretty shitty. They obviously think it's a worthy idea, and the patent office agreed that it was unique enough. It seems that allegedly Intense also thought it was worth something, so there's another reason to use their rights to protect it.
Maybe the courts decide there was concurrent discovery, or the Intense design doesn't infringe, it does infringe but there was no illicit knowledge transfer so it doesn't matter. Until then, assuming Knolly is being shitty just for the sake of it and/or some money, well, that's pretty shitty.
If Dave Weagel couldnt win his case against Trek for stealing Split pivot design I don't see Knolly's chances of outright winning being very high.
Also knolly needs to be careful in how they go about this when saying things like "they studied our bikes" because unless they have hard evidence of that it will be dismissed by the lawyers long before a judge dismisses it and unverifiable claims like this just make those who make the decisions cranky and bitter against you.
I have gone through the federal court system before. Their want for a jury is pretty unlikely as the legal system will do everything they can to deal with this before a jury trial is necessary. They want it for fees to be paid and what not but that can be applied to a settlement without needing a Jury.
Haha oh man I can't wait to see how this whole thing goes down. One company could look bad or one could look even worse haha
If the two were in talks that would be solid evidence that they knowingly copied the design.
Noel Buckley is a smart cookie. He wouldn’t be wasting his time if it wasn’t a big deal. There are innovators, and there are marketing companies. Choose wisely.
And hey, you be careful with that last sentance... People gonna think you a big fan of Knolly and this isn't comments section for that currently haha.
I spent 3 years developing images and artwork for my company only for the company I left to claim I stole theirs.
A year's worth of dragging bullshit through more bullshit in US federal court only to be told I didn't steal it and living with the financial blow.... that's right folks, just cause you win in court doesn't mean life is perfect. Still paying those lawyer fees.
I know knolly boasts it like a major feature. but dam, thats really low.
Plus, most of them are just thinking about how they don’t want to have to talk to the guy from IT...
Someone else besides the patent holder wants to use a design that falls within a granted patent. They must be given a license to do so from the patent holder.
Pretty simple, no?
Why shouldn't Knolly pursue an infringement on their patent?
Remove all emotion from the situation, and it's just business. Right?
This litigation has nothing to do with the look of the bikes and little to do with the suspension design.
This old interview details it a little bit:
Zumbi and Brooklyn Machine Works are two examples that come to mind,and certainly there are many more.
I would love to hear more of the details regarding this, directly from Knolly Bikes, because with only the info above, I would surprised if they manage to hold on to that patent.
Guess it finally happened...
Like this Knolly only goes down the same way as Specialized.
I guess it would depend on their date of priority. If they were granted the patent with a priority date earlier than the Intense release (2018?) then that would make sense.
Living up here in America's toque I don't know where you go to read published patents for free. Got the link?
Out of everyone I know who rode a Knolly 10-5 years ago, I’m the only still on one, and only because I’m too cheap to get a new bike.
Don't think I'd buy a Knolly. To be honest I'm not really a Intense customer but I don't think I'd pull my credit card out for a Knolly know.
I defended Fox (Fox v Slik) but this seems like a money grab on a technicality.
Curious what details come out, its pretty clear we only have pieces of the story. I doubt Knolly is willing to burn time and $ in court without good reason.
What is happening with Knolly vs. Intense is twisted and wrong - get your products out, get patent years after selling your product, then demand retrospective charges Seems irrational for me/European law
Some massive non bike related company get few bike design patents for example "29" mountain bike with at least 3" of rear suspension travel." and another one, and another one.
What a waste of time and money not mentioning the CRY BABY factor coming from tough mountain biking free riders it made me hate the BIG S for life after that. They burnt a German bike maker because they could.
Bergwerk stopped selling bikes in North America after 2003 ending another amazing frame maker from landing here. I loved the option of 4 or 5 inch shock mount and the linkage was all carbon fibre the first like it for a 2001 frame. The frame was fit with zipp tie braze ons and beautifully welded.
I think Knolly is doing themselves a disservice here and I would avoid them now.
What a waste of time and effort not even talking about the lame community spirit destroyed in the process.
A shame that they destroyed any competition instead of a good creative fight outside any courts or lawyers.
When it comes to bike suspension, there's a good argument that early patent protection on mountain bike suspension delayed the development of modern suspension. My favorite example is John Castellano's patent on "sweet spot" unified rear triangle suspension. The sweet spot in this case covered a basketball sized area in the middle of the frame. Trek famously tried to overturn the patent by outlitigating Castellano before simply out maneuvering their adversary with suspension platforms that place their pivots below (the Trek Y bike) and above (the Klein Mantra) the area Castellano protected. These bikes are widely regarded as among the worst suspension bikes in history, with the Klein being nearly unrideable. What is interesting about this example is that Castellano's original idea wasn't that good (URTs got stiffer when you stood up) but somehow it led to an even worse idea that, ironically, was more successful.
Also everyone “ it’s such a simple design why can’t someone steal that patent “
every second Bike Builder(no matter the scale)has,will have or had a model in their lineup wich could potentially brake this Patent
"the patent infringer intentionally or knollyngly infringed the patent considering what the infringer knew or had reason to know at the time of infringement."
Disclaimer: working on patent trolls in Europe at the moment ffii.org/bundestag-vote-for-unitary-software-patents-ffii-call-on-software-companies-to-donate
Intense invents 16 bar linkage, Knolly sues
Good for Knolly fi its true.
Makes me want to buy an intense more than ever
A straight seat tube in a huge angle range that connects to the down tube in front of the BB.
Others basically have the same thing except they don't take the seat tube all the way to the downtube.
Look at the Nomad picture on the front page of PB.