Knolly Bikes Suing Intense for Alleged Patent Infringement

Dec 15, 2020 at 3:04
by James Smurthwaite  

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.


424 Comments

  • 324 43
 Did Knolly decide their reputation was too good so they needed to balance it out with a lawsuit that makes them look like jerks?
  • 164 27
 Nah they just desperately need to make some money somehow.
  • 106 9
 @nhlevi: I really hate frivolous lawsuits, especially from patent trolls who hoard patents without employing any of the technology in actual products. In this case, however, if it’s a valid patent, Knolly is well within their rights to defend the patent. It does seem like an oddly generic, off-the-shelf patent. There must be more to the patent than meets the eye or the USPTO doesn’t deal with bicycle-related patent applications often.
  • 77 12
 @gnarlysipes: this is the issue with the US patent system, there is no 'not obvious' or 'innovative' clause. Protecting the fact your seat tube intersects the down tube above the bottom bracket isn't about protecting your IP, it's about trying to catch people out.
  • 40 3
 @ermoldaker: Agreed. Either sleazy patent attorneys , lazy/ incompetent patent office clerks (or a combination of both) awarded this patent. Seems Knolly was seeing the dropper post trend growing and is trying to cash in. A straight tube at a certain angle is not groundbreaking engineering nor too great time/resources to realize. My two cents.
  • 15 6
 @gnarlysipes: It might be technically a valid patent, but it also seems like an obscure detail that they came up as a way to raise funds in case anybody else unknowingly used it.
  • 25 7
 Knolly is a small Canadian company going up against a bigger American company, also they are filing in California, not a Provincial court in Canada so I doubt this is just a trivial coincidence and Intense's sales in the US must be material.
  • 17 1
 Commencal had bikes like these almost 15 years ago. Meta 5.5 and Meta 6 of around 2007 vintage also had a straight seat tube with more than 4 inches of seat post insertion and the tube offset forwards on the downtube.
  • 49 1
 @Primoz: boom. the patent should have never have been granted in the first place as the design is not novel.
  • 31 15
 @racerfacer: Possibly, but it seems odd that people are criticizing Knolly. They were able to secure a patent, and they are enforcing it. Everything else seems to be a fault of the US patent system.
  • 4 1
 @kingsRunEast: Not sure of Knolly's motivations on even applying for a tube at an angle to begin with. That said, agreed on the patent office point, lazy (shady) patent granting on this case especially.
  • 29 0
 @ermoldaker: You're thoroughly incorrect regarding the U.S. patent system.

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.
  • 7 4
 @rodeostu: this depends pretty heavily on the patent office and your attorney’s ability to prove that it’s novel. Doesn’t actually have to be novel, in many cases.
  • 19 0
 @ermoldaker: This is extremely wrong. The US absolutely has 'non-obvious' clauses:

www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2141.html

And they have 'useful' and 'novel' clauses, which equate to 'innovative'

www.justia.com/intellectual-property/patents/patentability-requirements/usefulness

www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/35/102
  • 7 1
 @bman33: Except the origins of their design predate modern dropper posts by several years, as do the origins of this patent. The actual patent documents show all the related provisional and continued application data going back to 2003-2004. At that point the original Gravity Dropper had just hit the market and it didn't have any need for a long seat tube (and everyone thought it was a total gimmick as well.
  • 7 0
 @Catch22: There are also several big companies using the same or similar post position and/or angles pre-dating the patent. I don't have the inside line of course, but from my view, Knolly is being suspicious ..could be wrong..
  • 20 4
 you cannot be a jerk when trying to protect your work/design/ideas...Can you?
  • 27 11
 If you ever get to know Noel you’ll know he is one of the nicest people in the biz. He isn’t the type to file a lawsuit just because, he is because a patent he owns has been violated. Legally, you need to defend your patent in order to keep it as well....you don’t sue one person and try to sue another good luck. Ya have to go after anyone who does. Give me patent applications alone is a speedy process not to mention all the money spent developing a patentable suspension design and well you’d be a fool to throw that all away.

Especially to a company like intense.
  • 23 0
 @onlyDH: As a U.S. patent attorney, I respectfully disagree. If the subject matter is demonstrably not novel, the patent is not valid. However, an issued patent's invalidity has to be shown in either opposition proceedings or litigation. But, the idea that stuff which is not novel is not the subject of a valid patent is fundamental to patent law.
  • 1 3
 @rodeostu: It was novel in 2003 though, though maybe still obvious for those skilled in the art.
  • 3 0
 @audric: ask Specialized haters. A lot of people think they can.
  • 2 0
 @rodeostu: admittedly, I worked adjacent to our IP practice group for about 5 years. My perception of things was that the practical application of the patent process had flaws that were frequently exploited by our attorneys.
  • 4 4
 There’s a reason why patents are available and enforceable. It could be this very challenge. Why are they jerks?
  • 1 1
 Absolutely not! @audric:
  • 5 0
 I Can't afford neither of one of them anyway.
  • 14 3
 @audric: the fact that they have patented something so vague and so typical of any bike kinda proves his point, they have just done it to make money out of a law suite!
  • 4 3
 @rocketboy21: I actually think it isnt totally spurious. If you look at the respective designs they both have a little extension past the downtube/seat tube junction that is specifically for the bottom bracket. It is a unique design, and quite similar between both the knolly figitive and the primer.
  • 2 0
 @onlyDH: I think we're talking apples to oranges here. The underlying laws, at least in the U.S. are pretty sound. Apart from the America Invents Act, there haven't been that many substantive changes to the U.S. patent system.

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.
  • 3 0
 @ermoldaker: Yes, there is a documentary out called "The Patent Scam" a must watch on how everyday people are scammed by these patent lawyers. Its legal but its super shady,
  • 1 0
 @metong: Buddy that's why we buy used. Budget builds
  • 5 0
 Does this mean my Intense bikes are like contraband and need to be replace with new legal models? Intense, call me.
  • 5 0
 @rodeostu: I have always wondered how many of the patents in the bike world are able to be seen as "novel".

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.
  • 2 1
 @insertfunusername: The horst link patent was absolutely novel because the vehicle application operated in a completely different plane, the horst link used in an automobile works nothing like the one on a bicycle, except that there's a shock and linkage. Chain forces and the direction of forces are completely different.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: People often confuse the "patent" generally, with the patent claims, which define the legal protection. The claims have to be novel and non-obvious, so if the specific combination of parts recited by the claim was not practiced before the patent was filed, it's novel. The question of obviousness depends on whether a skilled person (i.e., a bicycle designer) would have stumbled onto the design with routine experimentation. Given the very different design parameters between cars and bicycles (2 wheels, very limited power, the human engine's ability to move significantly relative to the rest of the vehicle), it'd be a stretch to argue that innovations in bicycle suspension design are obvious in view of automotive suspension design.
  • 1 0
 In the prison-like bike industry, if someone takes your shit, you fight. If you don't fight, you'll be a mark for the rest of your bid.
  • 5 2
 @gnarlysipes: I agree. Read the entire patent, it certainly seems pretty generic and could describe any of the modern suspension designs. This looks like Knolly going after a company that has fewer resources to fight a lawsuit than say Santa Cruz which has a very similar design to Intense.

If this is patent trolling by Knolly I hope it costs them dearly.
  • 5 3
 Brooklyn Machine Works’ seat tube / BB design predates Knolly’s 2003 priority date for their first patent on this. Knolly’s subsequent continuation and divisional patents all claim novelty of the seat tube/BB relative position PLUS their extra linkage (and the shock being in front of the seat tube). Intense’s design does not infringe on the multi-element independent claims (the first #1 claim) of these Knolly patents — as it doesn’t have the extra linkage. Likewise, Brooklyn Machine Works had that seat tube / BB configuration in 2002 or before...but without the extra Knolly linkage. So there’s prior art for the seat tube / BB claim, and Intense doesn’t have the extra linkage. Either Knolly hasn’t done their homework, or they will attempt to persuade a jury that their imprecise language (or rather, inaccurate language, in my engineering opinion) related to “rear suspension” and “linkage” in their claims actually covers Intense’s VPP linkage-mounted shock — instead of Knolly’s claim covering Knolly’s extra linkage bar between their two swing links that drives the damper/spring. But I doubt a judge or a jury would fall for that. Sad that Knolly wants to waste the time of the American public (the jury) and American tax payer dollars for this frivolous lawsuit — potentially ruining their reputation along the way. I’m starting to think of Knolly as “Greedy Canadians” instead of “Friendly Canadians” =P
  • 2 0
 @rodeostu: It is very hard to say that a skilled bicycle designer wouldn't analyze the most common suspension design. They even called it macpherson strut in the early days when the AMP research bikes first came out with what was later called FSR. Even the short link bikes are simply a 2D drawing of double wishbone suspension, but with short links(which wouldn't work in cars, so maybe because the links are short it is novel?) Obviously I understand that this has withstood scrutiny in courts, but it has always mystified me that you can patent something that is just geometry. It seems analogous to someone putting a patent on a bike with a 62° head angle and a 75°seat angle. There isn't anything novel there, it is just geometry.

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.
  • 2 0
 @bman33:
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
  • 1 0
 @Primoz: and what about 24 bikes play right? that was year 2000
  • 3 1
 @WRCDH: Maybe knolly should look up this article on PB Smile

www.pinkbike.com/news/article852.html
  • 1 0
 @ermoldaker: Couldn’t be farther from the truth. The US patent system has a “non-obvious” requirement. If fact, it’s often the biggest hurdle that patent applicant’s have to overcome. Articles about patent suits rarely convey the reality of the patent coverage, and with mechanical patents, there is often a design around. Also, the European Patent Office has plenty of blind spots. They’re imperfect systems run by people.
  • 5 0
 @bartender: First, don’t believe every documentary you see just because it’s a “documentary.” Second, I’ve been a practicing patent attorney for over 20 years, and I have helped many clients protect their intellectual property, bring products to market and create successful companies in the process. Like every profession there are bad apples, but the vast majority of patent attorneys are just trying to make a living doing something they enjoy, while also helping their clients succeed.
  • 1 0
 @rm7freerider: I really disagree that because the direction of travel is turned 90° that a completely standard automotive design for suspension is not an obvious solution for bicycles. Many of the design problems are the same, you have your wheels center out away from the main frame of the vehicle, and you are trying to achieve vertical travel of that wheel, just to name 2.

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.
  • 2 1
 @suspended-flesh: Not always. Knolly is the new Specialized, and not in a good way. Specialized doesn't pull these a*shole industry moves anymore because they realized the bad publicity was bad for the brand.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Horst link is in no way similar to a MacPherson strut. By definition there is no linkage driven MacPherson strut.

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.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: That's not really how the concept of obviousness patent law, either as drafted statutes or as implemented by patent practitioners (i.e., patent examiners and judges) works. For something to be obvious, in the patentese sense of the word, all of the limitations of the claimed invention have to be present in two or more art references. By way of example, if a claim recites "A, B, and C" and Reference #1 discloses "A&B" and Reference #2 discloses "C," then if there's some reason to combine the teachings of Reference #1 and Reference #2, then the claim may be obvious.

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.
  • 1 0
 @Primoz: I disagree that a horst link is nothing like a Macpherson strut. Looking at an AMP Research B3 and to me it looks like a Macpherson strut with the strut at a large angle.
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.
  • 2 0
 @rodeostu: I think that is the real issue here. The word obvious in legalese and in common usage are totally different. Using the word in the commonly understood way results in me saying"It is obvious to try the most common auto suspension on bicycles".

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.
  • 129 11
 So Knolly has managed to get a patent for a general full suspension mountainbike, with 100mm of travel and up?
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?
  • 46 2
 I feel like I’m missing something here, it seems a really flimsy patent. Anyone know the exactly features/areas in question?
  • 37 1
 The article makes it sound like a patent for offset seat tubes... not that that's any better.
  • 7 0
 @JCO: yeah that’s all I can think too. I get that you have to protect your parents if you want to keep them, but this seems like a proper crock
  • 41 1
 Looking at the first claim it is definitely more restrictive than that: "said seat tube has a longitudinal axis coaxial with said sleeve that intersects said down tube at a location spaced forwardly and upwardly from said bottom bracket" and "wherein said upper portion of said seat tube configured to receive said seat post is of a sufficient length to enable at least 4 or more inches of adjustment of said seat post within said seat tube along said longitudinal axis".

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.
  • 99 47
 Knolls = patent trolls.
Dying to know what their evidence is that intense examined their bikes lol. For what? To see how ugly they are?
  • 53 0
 @thingswelike: @brianpark That'd make for an interesting piece of investigative reporting - how many bike companies have had to create work-arounds for common sense solutions that turn out to be patented. Even conversationally, and without rattling any swords - it'd be an interesting insight into the constraints of design, which are probably far greater than good mechanical sense.

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.
  • 24 3
 @gui21st: Thats it. They are suing because the other brand got a straight seat tube that doesn't meet the bottom bracket. This is ridiculous. Norco just launched the shore that has this same setup. Propain uses it. Its just a broad and carefree patent, it shouldn't have been conceded.
  • 62 2
 Better call the Warden to sort this out.
  • 60 1
 Got to protect that knollegde
  • 44 11
 @shredddr: So true, and Knolly, come on, what the heck, this is just such a low thing to do. You aren't doing yourself any favours, people will remember this petty action on your part.
  • 41 29
 I am never buying or even considering a Knolly again period. Troll Buckly should take notice.
  • 42 8
 What we learned today, or rather reaffirmed, is that US patent law is retarded. It's pretty insane that you can hinder development by taking out extremely broad patents like this.
  • 21 3
 @mashrv1: As I understand it, their "invention" is to use a straight seat tube, a slack seat tube angle and offset the seat tube forwards so it intersects the down tube forwards of the BB, in order to make better use of long travel dropper posts. See old commencal metas (circa 2007) for why this is not novel, exists in prior art and their claim is, in my opinion, bulls**t.
  • 2 1
 @gui21st: I guess this "intersects" the gear box and not the down tube. www.bicyclebluebook.com/value-guide/product/11369
  • 22 12
 the irony here is that this is a crap design. It leads to horrid slack actual seat tube angles... If Knolly wants to patent that, well, be my guest.
  • 5 0
 @MeAlex: Just looked up that bike and I agree, but the Knolly patent claims priority to a 2003 application, so you'd have to find something earlier than 2003.
  • 5 1
 @Notmeatall: those brands are not American and I believe the patent wouldn't apply unless they were sold in America. I understand Knolly is Canadian but the patent is American and only applies to bike's sold in America. Kinda like the old Giant NRS that had an enormous horst link that violated Spesh's patent. Giant just stopped selling it in the US and the problem was solved.
  • 2 0
 @MeAlex: Was that 07' Commancal even available for purchase in the US? If not then it has zero weight in this situation, US patents only provide protection in the US for products sold "in" the United States.
  • 2 0
 @MikeGruhler: I agree with your point, and would add that in addition to selling products in the US, a patent may prevent another from "making, having made, using, selling, offering to sell" products in the US.
  • 2 1
 Ok, despite the BS this patent is, what bikes Intense has that this patent applies to?
  • 23 7
 I'm pretty sure Knolly tried to talk with Intense first in order to get some royalties from their pattented idea and Intense must have told them to go f*** themself. There isn't only Specialized vs all (horst link) in the history of pattented Mtb things. As an example, there was also Trek vs DW (abp/split pivot) where DW didn't have the money to go in court against Trek. If Knolly can do it, why not? This is the way all this pattent thing is working. You NEED to take care of it yourself because no one will do it for you. The thing that will be ridiculous is the big amount of money they get if they win because the way it's handled in the US. Do the same thing in Canada and you may not even get enough to cover the attorney cost.
  • 15 7
 @lRaphl: The patent is literally saying if you have a seat tube angle between 50 and 75 degrees (actual) and the seat tube connects to the down tube instead of straight to the bottom bracket. This applies to 95% or more of full suspension bikes out there. It is retarded beyond belief that this patent was ever issued, and will be more retarded if it holds up in court (which wouldn't surprise me).
  • 3 0
 @Paulsen801: Trek Diesel from 2003 appears to match the description highlight in the article, straight seat tube forward of bb at 50-75 with at least 100mm of travel and can accommodate a 4" dropper post, but there maybe other parts of the patent it doesn't match.
  • 21 4
 @hamncheez: So then why are they suing Intense and not any of the other companies? Maybe Intense is just the right size, big enough to have money but not so big they have Specialized/Trek-level legal teams? Seems pretty dickish by Knolly.
  • 5 5
 @Drew-O: Or like the article states that they have evidence of Intense examining there bikes which would help make there case alot stronger.
  • 17 4
 @MikeGruhler: C’mon everyone “examines” each other’s bikes. As far as I can tell there’s nothing in this patent that you couldn’t “examine” from a photo. Not like Intense engineers had to cut apart a bunch of Knolly frames to figure out where the seat tube/down tube junction is.
  • 6 5
 @lRaphl: IP can be hard to defend, especially when the technology used to achieve a similar concept is entirely different. I imagine that intense would much rather take their chances in court. Just because you’re awarded a patent doesn’t mean that it’s bullshit. That is why these things go to court. I hope that knolly gets beat and drops about $75k on attorney and court fees.
  • 2 0
 @Paulsen801:
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.
@MikeGruhler:
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.
  • 1 0
 @Paulsen801: Yup, was a vital piece of their designs going back to the V-Tach in 2003 and they've stuck with it ever since then.
  • 34 13
 @onlyDH: Unpopular opinion: all patents are bullsh*it.

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.
  • 8 0
 @Losvar: based on my limited knowledge*, it's usually the other way, they (the patents) generally have to be very specific, so much so that it's hard to get patents through the office.

*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....
  • 2 0
 @onlyDH: They'll spend a heck of a lot more than $75k in legal fees. They probably have already surpassed that in filing the lawsuit.
  • 12 1
 @hamncheez: You know the beauty of patents? You can build one (or many) thing(s) patented for yourself and no one will be able to sue you for that. This is only when you want to sell it that it will infringe the patent. So you can browse all the patents recorded and if you find something you want to try for yourself, then you can do it. It's a really nice way to share information and inovation while giving credits to the one who invented it. Also, if you modify a concept enough and can prove it's an improvement over what was patented before, then your patent will be granted. So if Knolly patented an old concept with enough improvements over that old one, then it will be granted. Now, nothing prevents anyone from taking that inovation and modify it enough to get even better results out of it. They just need to prove it's different and brings improvements.
  • 6 0
 @mashrv1: Speaking as a patent attorney, depends what you mean by "flimsy" - depending on construction, the allowed claims are likely kind of narrow in that they require the seatpost to be tangential to the wheel at full compression, and that the seatpost be in the range of 50-75 degrees. What "tangential at full compression" means is subject to expensive debate in federal court, while the recited range of seatposts seem to be outside the current vogue for steep seatposts on slack bikes.
  • 4 0
 @mcassellmtb: The patent is a continuation of application of a divisional application of a continuation of application that claims priority of a first application (not kidding). Depending on what has been disclosed in the previous files, it's possible that you'd have to find a prior art dating before 2003.

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.
  • 1 1
 @gui21st: yup. It's all in the claims
  • 2 0
 @lRaphl: but is this patent an invention?
  • 1 0
 @MeAlex: And let's say that putting a straight seat tube in front of a bottom bracket isn't exaclty new... I know my exemple isn't on a full suspension bike of 4'' or more of travel, but just pointing that it isn't a ground breaking not original frame design concept:

exemples from early 2000 : 24 Pornking frames, Evil Imperial
  • 5 2
 @hamncheez: I completely agree. Nothing is created in a vacuum; there are no original ideas. Parents just hold us back. I certainly think the industry became better off when the FSR patent expired
  • 3 1
 US patents are a joke. You can patent anything if it hasn't previously been issued as a patent
  • 2 1
 @MikeGruhler: if you go to Eurobike you find all the engineers and product managers on the forest test tracks taking each others demo bikes apart. It's not even subtle!
  • 2 0
 @lRaphl: are you suggesting we should file a patent for 76 degree sta in front of bb?
  • 5 10
flag hamncheez (Dec 15, 2020 at 9:56) (Below Threshold)
 @lRaphl: You shouldn't have to keep awesome products to yourself just because someone else has a patent on it. It is not morally right. Yes, it can be bad to steal someones idea. However, the world benefits from open, sharable information more than by artificially siloing information. What if Nikolai Tesla kept his patents to himself? The founder of Siracha never bothered to even trademark his products name. Hes said in interviews that the widespread use of the word Siracha on various products only helps his brand.
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: Honestly it sounds like most modern bikes would be exempt from this patent having seat tube angles steeper than 75 Deg.
  • 7 12
flag Skooks (Dec 15, 2020 at 10:17) (Below Threshold)
 @healthy-not-sick-biker: Myself and lots of other people are Knolly customers for life. I think they are going to be OK even if you choose not to buy another Kolly!
  • 5 1
 @shredddr: Right. I’m just a spectator in all of this but Knolly is reminding me of all the dirty, rotten copyright infringement claims on YouTube right now. Thank you and keep us posted PB!
  • 3 0
 @gui21st: Probably some other detail in the patent as well that makes this also not count as prior art www.bicyclebluebook.com/value-guide/product/45287
  • 2 8
flag friendlyfoe (Dec 15, 2020 at 10:51) (Below Threshold)
 @hamncheez: it sounds an awful lot like you're advocating for socialism.
  • 5 7
 @friendlyfoe: no, 100% the opposite. Any intervention in the free market, such as patent enforcement, is socialism. It might not be "good" socialism, but its still socialism. I didn't want to bring politics into it, so I'm sorry to everyones notifications if this starts a flame war.
  • 4 3
 @rideonjon: its the "actual" STA in the patent description. I think many bikes still have actual angles less than 75 degrees, except for longer chainstay bikes. Certainly all DH bikes.
  • 17 2
 @hamncheez: not my words , I copied it !
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.
  • 7 0
 @Matt115lamb: And this is exactly what happens in China where there is no patent world. They copy and reverse engineer everything they think will benefit them. Sure, lots of this cannot be sold outside of their country but they still fill their market with what we would call here counterfeits.

@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.
  • 9 10
 @Matt115lamb: Without a 5 page response, I'll just address the last line: "Without a patent system in place...". this is a hypothesis: "IF we give firms limited monopoly status through police enforcement, we will gain economic activity and benefit the customer". I say this hypothesis has proven to be false. 100 years ago patents were used to keep black inventors at a disadvantage (in the USA). Now they are only beneficial to companies that can afford an entire department of lawyers.

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.
  • 5 5
 @lRaphl: as I said before, the hypothesis "patents allow small companies to bring their ideas to market" has been proven false, as per the data.

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.
  • 3 0
 @Matt115lamb: Yeah, and the IT industry is the best example of this, oh wait, sorry, actually no ...
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: You're saying "as per the data" but what data? Sources of studies showing this? Is it only in the US? Does your thinking apply to copyrights? If so, how do you deal with that? Here the patent law is tied to the copyright law.
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: I don't know in the US the real sticking point is individual liberty over collective liberty.

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.
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: Ahh. My bad.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: The effective seat tube angle can still be "steep" with this design, hence moving the seat tube forward of the BB...
  • 3 4
 @lRaphl: By "data", I meant the huge cost of filing patents. A single patent, on the low end, is $15k. For a robust one its probably closer to $30k. You'll need several per invention. Now, to defend it in court you're looking at several million per court case.

This guy has some good insights with hard numbers:
www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2013/10/04/for-most-small-companies-patents-are-just-about-worthless/?sh=6b6e82a13ef3

Copyright law is related, but a whole 'nother animal. Do I have replies that are 10 pages long that no one reads? Haha
  • 3 5
 @friendlyfoe: Patents are a violation of INDIVIDUAL liberty, not pro-collective liberty. I make something, that happens to be similar to something else, in our case, a shaped piece of metal. My friend wants to buy that shaped piece of metal (a bike frame). How close can that shape resemble something that someone else patented before I can't give it to my friend? You have to have an enforcer hovering over, watching me shape the metal tube. It starts out straight. I bend it o 45 degrees. Thats ok. 46....47...48...49... oh, now its 50 degrees and I owe a complete stranger money. Thats individual liberty being violated. Not collective liberty.
  • 18 2
 @hamncheez: Patent rights create personal property rights in intangible subject matter, so that people can hold and enforce their rights in their intangible property the same way they do their physical property.

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.
  • 2 0
 @JCO: I read through the patent for a while, it looks like it's that the seat tube intersects the downtube well in front and above the bottom bracket, and 4" plus travel. I looked through the 10 or so most common brands off the top of my head, and the Intense Primer is the only one I see that seems to match the patent claims. The Santa Cruz Blur probably would also, but it's 100mm travel squeaks in just below 4" (101.6mm).
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: Fundamentally, you aren't selling your friend something you own. You didn't design or invent that 50 degree bent piece of metal, someone else did. Whether or not you created the physical item doesn't mean you created the idea or rather the intangible item. If you were to sell that hypothetical 50 degree piece of metal, you would simply be selling someone else's product. This would be a pretty aggressive infringement on the inventors INDIVIDUAL liberty, would it not? Keep in mind, every patent has an actual human inventor behind it, regardless of the commercial assignee.
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: Your inhaler costs $60 for other reasons besides the inventor's patent on it.
  • 1 0
 @gui21st: does that pass the "obvious" test though? I've wondered why this isn't done more often and am by no means an expert in frame design.
  • 2 0
 @rodeostu: Thanks! Saved me some time lol.
  • 1 0
 @Drew-O: rumour has it they contacted a number of other companies as well. I think it's a reasonable assumption that if they win this suit, others will follow and probably be settled out of court. I'm curious who their law firm is, and if they're suing on some sort of commission arrangement. I don't know how this works, but perhaps something like that?
  • 1 0
 @rideonjon: Virtual vs actual comes into play here.
  • 3 3
 @shredddr: I have seen 2 people riding a knolly in the past three year and I’ve been all over the country

Knolly who ?
  • 1 0
 @Mlhales: My Pivot does.
  • 2 0
 @sspiff: I guess it did. In my view, it would not be that difficult to argue that the skilled person would not have thought of such solution.
  • 1 0
 @gui21st: they were building there first bike right about that time. Look up 2004 Knolly V-Tach, I believe before that it was just a Knolly in 2002-2003. I'd be surprised if they don't find a similar design prior to those bike's being made.
  • 3 0
 @rodeostu: This. Best comment of the thread. Think critically people.
  • 2 0
 @shredddr: I doubt this is a contingency fee arrangement. In my experience (lawyer here) the vast majority of corporate work like this is billed hourly. Stuff like personal injury and debt collection may be subject to a contingency fee.
  • 2 3
 @rodeostu: « Patent rights create personal property rights in intangible subject matter, so that people can hold and enforce their rights in their intangible property the same way they do their physical property. »

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.
  • 7 1
 @Will-narayan: Capitalism is based on individual property rights. You don't get medicine and technology without capitalism. Many indigenous cultures shared their wealth between tribe members and didn't fundamentally believe it was possible to own land.

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.
  • 3 0
 @friendlyfoe: well said.
  • 1 0
 @gui21st: best comment I saw, and its an annoying move but makes sense considering trends in design.
  • 3 0
 @Will-narayan: your deer comparison is confusing me. In the world of deer, they do establish dominance over who gets to mate, and who doesn't. They just enforce it with violence instead of legal processes. Most species that I am aware of do this over mating, and territory/food sources. Our current society is an improvement over the animal kingdom, and while a society built of helping each other (sharing knowledge and resources freely,) would be better than what we have now, we aren't there yet. Until lust for what someone else has goes away, we will need laws that protect individual rights to own property, both physical and intellectual.
  • 2 1
 @Matt115lamb: well said, the patent system is here to protect our products and ideas.
  • 2 3
 @healthy-not-sick-biker: On their website Knolly has cartoon characters of employees. They all look fun and happy except Noel, who is dressed in a lawyer outfit and has a look on his face like he wants to do something sly, evil, and corrupt. Fitting, he seems to know he's an a*shole and is proud of it. FU Knolly.
www.knollybikes.com/contact
  • 2 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: seriously dude,those are Lego characters.
  • 1 2
 @rideonjon: That's not the point. The point is he chose to publicly look like a prick lawyer. Which he obviously is or desires to be.
  • 115 7
 Wait, so Knollys are patently hideous?
Wild.
  • 14 3
 #commentgold
  • 18 1
 I once saw them described as ‘having a back end that looked like a smashed crab’. Strong visual. It stuck with me.
  • 5 1
 I mean think they look fine, but take my upvote lol
  • 1 0
 The old ones remind me of grasshopper legs.
  • 83 2
 Knolly being so Specialized...
  • 18 73
flag chriskneeland (Dec 15, 2020 at 3:33) (Below Threshold)
 Intense being dirtbags.
  • 3 52
flag D1L (Dec 15, 2020 at 3:52) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: kudos
  • 31 20
 @chriskneeland: Intense used to be an industry leader and innovative..... their designs and models have lacked original thought for years.....
  • 8 0
 @D1L: M29 was pretty original, though not enough to redeem the whole brand. Credit where credit, you know?
  • 3 3
 @D1L: the Sniper was the first real downcountry bike when it launched 3 years ago. The specialized Evo just updated their geo close to the Sniper's this year and everyone raves about that bike.
  • 1 0
 @creativefletch: Norco Shinobi predates that by quite a bit. Even the Evil the Following or a Kona Process 111 is a lot more on the forefront of the DC thing.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: I should have added lightweight.
  • 1 0
 @creativefletch: The Shinobi was pretty light and the 1st gen Optic was pretty light as well(I built a 28.5 lb XL Optic with aluminum wheels and a Pike). The following was pretty easy to build up light as well. The thing that always bothered me on Intense bikes was how they had a ton of flex in the rear, so unless that has changed since the mid teen Spider and Tracer models, they should probably put on a few pounds.
  • 122 44
 This will get tossed like our dip shit presidential election challenges, maybe Noel should call Rudy, he might be looking for another case.????
  • 67 331
flag D1L (Dec 15, 2020 at 3:43) (Below Threshold)
 You must be on government assistance and lazy like most who vote for socialism...
  • 57 11
 @D1L: That comment is brilliant if it's meant to be humour.
  • 69 15
 @D1L: Poor little snowflakeSmile
  • 19 116
flag D1L (Dec 15, 2020 at 3:51) (Below Threshold)
 Obama played weekly....... so your point is?
  • 5 51
flag D1L (Dec 15, 2020 at 3:52) (Below Threshold)
 @dsut4392: lol... fair and funny
  • 31 8
 @D1L: But he didn't cheat
  • 19 7
 @Steventux: maybe every Democrat winner ever cheated tho! Makes you think......
  • 21 5
 @D1L: Cults are tiring, ammiright?
  • 30 132
flag D1L (Dec 15, 2020 at 5:18) (Below Threshold)
 @Steventux: didnt cheat.... like Biden family filtering illegal money through Hunter.... Joe says he knew nothing and he had keys ordered for him.... aka CNN, NBC, ABC ignore the real truth..... as they don't want to make their bogus "Mr. Magoo" Joe Biden look bad and show his true colors
  • 64 12
 @D1L: lol remember the part where trump used taxpayer money to golf and host events at his own resorts and hotels? Or are we still stuck on the four seasons total landscaping incident?
  • 12 42
flag Steventux (Dec 15, 2020 at 6:06) (Below Threshold)
 @mashrv1: Lol I'm certain they did, a core value of socialism is unfairness for all.
  • 92 5
 @D1L: your clearly on the right side of centre, and that’s ok, I’m on the left side of centre, but here we go. Biden sucks, your not wrong. Further, the democrats also suck, as a general rule, across the board. I’m guessing we agree so far. Here’s the thing though. The repubs also suck. Trump isn’t a swamp drainer by any stretch of the imagination. Lindsey Graham is the least idealistic person I’ve seen in public life. I’m hoping you might be different, but so often people are willing to poo-poo the other side while touting the greatness of theirs. Politics doesn’t have a great option very often. There wasn’t one in your last election, and there wasn’t one this year. Until corporate dollars are blocked from influencing your house and senate, nothing is going to change-regardless of party in power. Money will constantly transfer up because both of your parties are corrupt and bought by big business. Upward transfer of wealth while the citizens bicker. Ironically, what is referred to as Antifa, and what was referred to as the tea party started with similar grievances about the disparate distribution of funds through the country.
  • 25 38
flag D1L (Dec 15, 2020 at 6:36) (Below Threshold)
 @VwHarman: well said..... my girlfriend soon to be fiance is far left...... that's what makes the world go round........ most if not all at the top of politics, lie, cheat and steal from those they can and where they can get away with it. They claim to be here for the masses...... and to make the world better when really they are about money and power.....

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
  • 31 4
 @D1L: No one claimed this was "all Trumps [sic] fault". Someone made a joke about frivolous lawsuits (and took a dig at a terrible (in his opinion) president), and you jumped in to speculate on the social and financial standing of the OP for insult purposes.

(And now you seem to have brought religion into it, but I'll leave that be for now.)
  • 11 3
 @D1L: I have no doubt you hate AOC, but it’s amusing that your grievances line up exactly with those of her caucus: the one and only qualification to be in the Justice Democrats caucus is a refusal to accept lobbyist/corporate money.
  • 4 1
 @VwHarman: Haha, yup. It's been working for the last 50 years or so, since JFK. People make excuses for it, but it's inexcusable and we need to see things for what they are: both sides offering up the same $hit sandwich in a red or blue wrapper.
  • 4 2
 @D1L: truth hurts! Don’t you know you aren’t supposed to think logically or evaluate facts.
“Sit down, shut up, and accept our version of reality.”
  • 40 6
 @D1L: I mean, this is such a specious argument. "Both sides are bad." Yeah, no duh, our entire constitution was written to try and mitigate the way that craving power rising in the ranks is inherent to any political system, especially a democracy.

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.
  • 16 4
 @protwurst: I don't consider Trumpublicans the same as Republicans used to be. Trump hijacked the GOP by offering something different from what was on offer for the last 50 years, which is very tempting because so many rural Americans have been f'ed in so many different ways. But Trump is even worse, and has successfully brainwashed 1/3rd of the country. It may end up being a good thing in the future, as a continuation of what we have been living with for decades is not acceptable either. We've had a string of complete losers in power since JFK. Trump has likely destroyed the GOP and I hope we can replace it with something else. We can't afford to do the same thing we've been doing. We need to face the facts of climate change with changes in energy and food production, this is not something that either party would have allowed since both are controlled by corporate interests. So, I can only hope this leads us to somewhere different and better than the 2-party system that has been failing us for so long now.
  • 5 1
 @davec113: Did Trump hijack the GOP or is he the natural extension of it? I'm not saying it's one way or another, but it's something I've been considering.

www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/11/how-greenwich-republicans-learned-to-love-trump
  • 2 3
 @D1L: Result of an indoctrinated, noncritical thinking Society that is devoid of ethics and immersed in ideology, which are to undermine the thing they believe is tethering and oppressive; yet ushering in the radicalizing that institutes an outcome of disillusionment.
  • 4 2
 @protwurst: Stop making sense! Shit, with knowledgeable and logical rhetoric like that, if you start arguing _for_ owning multiple e-bikes, I'll be a broke, many-battery-charging, boost-most climbing hypocrite in no time at all!
  • 7 3
 @davec113: I dont know what you really mean by this. He has pushed forward most Republican goals, while also enriching himself and his family, and working to consolidate power with himself and those "loyal" to him. But the underlying demagoguery is classic Republicanism.

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?
FREEDOM FRIES?
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.
  • 2 0
 @D1L: end it with her dude or youre in for a world of hurt. Trust me.
  • 61 2
 There are a LOT of people in this thread arguing about patent law and corporate R&D without experience in either department. Some things you might want to know:

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.
  • 13 1
 Sad this isn't the top comment.
  • 5 0
 I think you have hit the nail on the head there...litigation is a means to an end but you only go there when you have to
  • 4 0
 True story: Dave Turner had a handshake agreement with Mr. Horst himself to use the Horst Link design and DT didn't think there was "anything to patent". Years later, Tony Ellsworth filed a BS patent application and got it approved and then threatened to sue DT for essentially his own design, the design he came up with himself (with the help of Mr. Horst). That's about as low as you can get. That's the US Patent system, although they try to avoid this, it becomes a game of trying to obfuscate and use fake science to get a patent on something. Several companies, including Knolly, did this to get around the Horst Link patent. Now for Knolly to go after other companies for what's been a common frame design since the inception of FS mountain bikes, that's just pretty low. It may not stack up to all the low stuff Tony Ellsworth tried to pull, but it's definitely headed down that road. I can't imagine this ending well.
  • 1 1
 @rm7freerider: If this somehow put Intense out of business, Knolly's reputation would be ruined also. People would never forget. I hope Intense holds the line, doesn't give them a penny, and publicize the issue more. If this goes to court Knolly can eat shit, and their lawyer troll owner Noel will regret it.
  • 54 4
 I'm not patent attorney and Holiday Inn was booked, but why is filing a lawsuit to protect something automatically bad nowadays? If this is frivolous, it will prolly get tossed...maybe it's not and Knolly will win some $$$...or they'll reach an agreement and Intense will pay a "license fee" to use the design/Knolly will get some $$$.

This isn't Backcountry or Specialized suing mom-and-pop for a commonly used name.
  • 19 3
 Everytime I see people fawning over the new stumpy, I wish they would remember stuff like this. Everytime I like the look of a specialized bike I google "specialized bicycles lawsuit" to remind myself of the pure corporate evil that is the big S.
  • 16 1
 @Afterschoolsports: Wow. just spent 15 minutes reading through some specialized lawsuits and safe to say i dont think ill be buying a specialized anytime soon. Suing a small wheel company because they have the same name as one of your bikes. Specialized is at an 8 with the lawsuits but they should be at like a 4.
  • 5 0
 @NivlacEloop: glad you've taken something away from this. It's important not to support companies that actively do harm like this.
  • 7 0
 Also I have no problem with protecting innovation, just malicious behaviour masquerading as protecting innovation.
  • 44 6
 Seriously? They both have completely different suspension designs. If this is over the seat tube shape and angle then it’s pretty sad and is a real dick move on Knolly’s part
  • 36 3
 As others have mentioned this is not about the suspension design, it is about the continuous straight seat tube at an angle that puts it ahead of the BB.

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.
  • 3 0
 The Shore is straight/ahead, but it's STA is outside the patent.
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.
Any others?
  • 5 0
 @juanny: The effective seat tube angle is outside of the patent. Knolly's patent is regarding the physical seat tube angle, as that is what is gaining them wheel clearance by shifting that at a much more slack angle than their effective.

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.
  • 1 0
 @juanny: Missed your note on the SB115, yes that looks like it would follow suit as well assuming neither of the two pivot points protrude into the "useable" seat post area on the inside of the seat tube.
  • 3 1
 There is so much prior art for "offset seattube" that Intense should not have a problem getting this suit and the patent itself tossed out, IF they have a decent lawyer.
  • 29 7
 While I'm not big on litigation, I can't Fault Knolly for this one. They've been using this design since their VTach frames back in 2003-2004 and applied for the patent over 6 years ago. Apart from the 4x4 suspension design (which isn't in question here though some people seem to be missing that), the ultra slack and offset seatube design was possibly their most unique and important design feature that has stuck around from day one. They took a ton of flack for the look of it over the years but it was vital back in the days before dropper posts. Knolly wanted to be able to run full length seatposts on longer travel frames so you had a decent seatpost available for pedaling but would allow for the saddle to move forward and out of the way when lowered for the downs. For their early trail bikes they had to make huge accommodations for this design as it required welding a little nub of a post above the BB to allow for use of front derailleurs (remember those things?), That same design logic is equally important now with long travel dropper posts that need more straight length in the seat tube. I'd say good on Knolly for having the foresight to protect such a unique design that they've been using for 17+ years. It's not like engineers don't have access to existing patents when designing new frames, if Intense tried to skirt a patent without making proper arrangements with Knolly they were quite literally asking for this. If Knolly doesn't enforce it sets a precedence for everyone to do the same.
  • 3 0
 Brooklyn Machine Works had this design before 2003.
  • 2 0
 So what you're saying is that Jim Busby should have patented the offset seatpost in 1999 when he used it on the LTS 2. Or maybe Paul Turner should have patented it in 2000 when he used a similar design on the Maverick. Moving the seat tube out of the way of the rear wheel isn't really an earth shattering idea.
  • 2 1
 @rm7freerider: Yes, Brookly’s seat tube / BB design predates Knolly’s 2003 priority date for their first patent on this. Knolly’s subsequent continuation and divisional patents all claim novelty of the seat tube/BB relative position PLUS their extra linkage (and the shock being in front of the seat tube). Intense’s design does not infringe on the multi-element independent claims (the first #1 claim) of these Knolly patents — as it doesn’t have the extra linkage. Likewise, Brooklyn Machine Works had that seat tube / BB configuration in 2002 or before...but without the extra Knolly linkage. So there’s prior art for the seat tube / BB claim, and Intense doesn’t have the extra linkage. Either Knolly hasn’t done their homework, or they will attempt to persuade a jury that their imprecise language (or rather, inaccurate language, in my engineering opinion) related to “rear suspension” and “linkage” in their claims actually covers Intense’s VPP linkage-mounted shock — instead of Knolly’s claim covering Knolly’s extra linkage bar between their two swing links that drives the damper/spring. But I doubt a judge or a jury would fall for that. Sad that Knolly wants to waste the time of the American public (the jury) and American tax payer dollars for this frivolous lawsuit — potentially ruining their reputation along the way. I’m starting to think of Knolly as “Greedy Canadians” instead of “Friendly Canadians” =P
  • 45 24
 I'm pretty confused about all of the ire towards Knolly here. They secured their IP and are defending it, IMO good for them.
  • 11 13
 exactly , and Intense should have done their research before infringing another design, Its pretty standard practice in design and engineering to do patent searches during the research and concept stages of the design process. Knolly clearly thought it was a clever idea to have the pivot and or BB back from the seat tube to allow that dropper insertion or they wouldn't have patented it. protecting IP or licencing IP is a damn good idea if you are a relatively small player. we want innovation and we like small brands but these things have to make money and develop USPs how do you expect this if people don't protect their IP ... sigh
  • 14 20
flag bman33 (Dec 15, 2020 at 6:46) (Below Threshold)
 @g-sewell: Knolly was/is patent trolling. Hard stop. Intense has been around since the early 1990's and was at one time on the bleeding edge of suspension performance. Pretty sure they know how to navigate patent offices. Not a huge Intense fan anymore, but most are on their side on this.

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.
  • 20 3
 @bman33: Lots of speculation in there re: active patent trolling from Knolly. Besides, a patent troll doesn't actually use their patent, they just sit on it and use lawsuits to turn a profit. Knolly actually uses what is described in that patent, so by definition that is not trolling.

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.
  • 9 5
 It’s a low bar patent and hardly a knolly invention. People expect brands to make money selling bikes and not in courtrooms. More importantly they are seeking damages and not even trying to block the design.

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.
  • 5 2
 @just6979: fair points. That said, for Knolly to try to patent something that generic (and honestly for the patent office to actually patent it) is a stretch and pretty damn lame. It's an angle and a tube. At least Dave wiggles split pivot had some engineering behind it.
  • 19 2
 @bman33: did you read the patent? It's much more than just "an angle and a tube". It's about ideal locations of everything in the rear suspension.

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.
  • 5 3
 @just6979:

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.
  • 8 1
 @bulletbassman: It's not "attach a seat tube infront of a bb", that's just Pinkbike's stupid shorthand probably from just looking at the pictures. Take a look at the patent, it's the whole idea of doing a four-bar in a certain way, and the arrangement of the rest of the bike, specifically the downtube and BB, that is suitable that layout.

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.
  • 2 1
 @just6979: I read the patent and agree with most of your points. That said, in essence it's 'we moved the tube forward to be out of the way'. I fully understand there are engineering terms and concepts applied in great details and they pointed to a free up of room for suspension design. Both Knolly and the Patent office seem suspect in my view as with many others. Maybe Intense /Knolly had discussions and that is why they are moving forward. All said and done, just doesn't pass the 'is this legit' litmus test of popular opinion....not that that matters regardless of legality. And as a note, never have owned an Intense. Was a fan years ago in their heyday, not so much now.
  • 2 0
 @just6979: Brooklyn Machine Works "moved the seat tube forward" and "out of the way" before Knolly. If I spent time on the internet, I'm sure I could find dozens more examples.
  • 16 0
 I hope there is some missing information on this case cause currently this sounds like a f*cking shit show....
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.
  • 3 0
 Perfect point regarding Dave & Trek. Forgot about that
  • 6 0
 Sorry for commenting on my own post. But I forgot to mention something. Knolly needs a fucking big argument against Multiple Discovery theory which would allow Intense to argue that they came up with their design within the timeline of knolly applying for their patent. If the judge feels after all evidence is put forth that this is essentially a coincidence that the patent was infringed upon. final decision won't be the victory knolly apparently is out for.
  • 8 0
 Or! Or! Knolly got a hold of an email that specifically shows that Intense studied the bikes and then the designers were told to proceed with a design that copied parts of Knolly's patent.
~~
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
  • 6 0
 @TheBearDen: it wouldn't completely shock me if Intense was in talks to license the idea, didn't like the fee Knolly was asking for, and decided to go ahead with the design hoping the patent wouldn't be protected or would be ruled frivolous.

If the two were in talks that would be solid evidence that they knowingly copied the design.
  • 2 1
 @mtmc99: Yeah that could very well be the case. But man for intense to have done that they would be ignoring their own history with VPP.... Crazy
  • 20 1
 @TheBearDen: could be that Intense wasn’t taking it seriously since Knolly is based out of a different country, or didn’t realize it was a US patent, or thought Knolly was too small to pursue it. 10 years ago at Interbike in Las Vegas, I watched Rocky Mountain’s designer nearly come to tears when a US brand made a direct copy of the suspension design of their Switch frame. It was patented, and nothing ever came of it.

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.
  • 1 0
 @bradwalton: could be. I always have a hard time understanding companies' shortsightedness at times.

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.
  • 1 0
 @TheBearDen: since we’re in full speculation mode (and who doesn’t love a bit of that...): it’s also possible that Intense developed their suspension design independently - since, after all, a straight seat tube isn’t rocket science. They then did a patent search for due diligence, which is a common part of the process after you’ve come up with a design, and found that Knolly had one which their design infringed. That might be the ‘studied our design’ part. Perhaps they tried to work it out with Knolly, perhaps not, but of all the things to ‘steal’ from another company, this seems a little odd. The engineering time invested in developing a linkage would be so much more valuable.
  • 10 1
 @TheBearDen: I’m just a guy who has put in lots of work that a business is now capitalizing on. It’s the same with intellectual property. Innovation and development is often unpaid, so for someone else to come in and capitalize on those efforts is a bummer.
  • 3 0
 @bradwalton: totally understand. I know all to much about how you feel.
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.
  • 17 3
 Knolly got a patent and sued intense because of a front triangle? They literally sued because another brand got a front triangle with the bottom bracket behind the seat tube?
I know knolly boasts it like a major feature. but dam, thats really low.
  • 23 8
 So Knolly figured out how to make decent bikes before everyone else, they protected their idea and now are trying to defend their IP. Good for them. Imagine you were in their shoes and someone stole your designs.
  • 15 2
 Im always amazed at how little respect for IP this comment section has. If you come up with a novel concept and patent it you absolutely should be allowed to protect that IP. This isn't even the case of a powerhouse of a corporation going after a small boutique brand so I really don't get the animosity.
  • 5 1
 @mtmc99: Preach
  • 1 0
 @mtmc99: probably not lack of respect. Probably not even aware of it. Besides in the age of cheap knock offs on Wish.com, IP is clearly a diminishing concept.

Plus, most of them are just thinking about how they don’t want to have to talk to the guy from IT...
  • 31 14
 Boooooo! Knolly just lost all their street cred.
  • 10 1
 I was thinking the same thing. Even though I happen to like Knolly bikes, this suit will do more harm than good to the brand.
  • 2 0
 Knolly has been doing a great job for a long time and doing it on their own.In my opinion It will take more than this blip to lose the cred they've built over the years.
  • 26 12
 I WAS a fan of Knolly, talk about laying the boot in for literally designing a mountain bike, nah not for me if that's how they deal with stuff
  • 13 1
 If people only knew how common this is you wouldn't even bother commenting on it, damn near every brand worth a shit has been and continues to do this. It's alarming the amount of licensing agreements between companies in this industry. Unfortunately sometimes companies don't want to cooperate and they bring on the lawyers to see who's dick is bigger. I do believe Intense is owed by a very large company that has much more to lay on the table than Knolly..good luck Knolly. Hope you're Hung like horse..giddy up.
  • 2 0
 I was wrong, Intense is still under its own ownership. I was thinking of when they restructured and brought in some new investors. Either way good luck Knolly, you're going to need it. Also, it's nothing to change the seat tube angle a half degree or so with a different spec'd headset, shock length or slide the crowns down on a triple clamp.
  • 11 0
 The ability to run a long seatpost is just one of the advantages of Knolly's offset seat tube design. This design also allows the seat to move forwards and away from the rider as it is lowered, as well as providing more clearnce for the rear wheel to allow for shorter chain stays. Knolly was definitely ahead of the curve with this design and there is a reason so many other companies are copying them. Good on Knolly for defending their patented IP.
  • 12 1
 I always thought Intense bikes looked a lot like Knollys -Kappa. What a silly patent, it baffles me that it is even possible to patent stuff like that.
  • 5 1
 That's because you are in Europe where people don't do this silly shit as often. Be greatfull lol.
  • 15 6
 So, a patent is granted for a particular design. How broad of scope the patent is is determined by those issuing said patent.

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?
  • 10 0
 There's literally nothing in common with the two brands... this should be interesting!
  • 1 4
 Exactly what I thought. If anything, Santa Cruz should be suing Intense. Maybe it's just me, but Intense looks exactly like SC. VPP is VPP
  • 2 0
 @DAN-ROCKS: The patent on VPP, which SC purchased from Outland, expired years ago. I believe they may still have some legal rights to the name "VPP" but not the design.

This litigation has nothing to do with the look of the bikes and little to do with the suspension design.
  • 4 0
 @DAN-ROCKS: both Intense and Santa Cruz use VPP. The original VPP patent was bought by Santa Cruz and Intense was given exclusive rights to the patent at that time. The idea was to partner and better develop the platform.

This old interview details it a little bit:
mbaction.com/the-return-of-the-virtual-pivot-pointmay-15/amp
  • 1 3
 @DAN-ROCKS: intense licenses weagle's dw link which is a different twin link/short bar design than vpp (co-rotating vs counter-rotating)
  • 1 0
 Oops, my bad, I thought intense had used dw at one point, but just took a look at their current line up, and certainly looks like vpp
  • 7 0
 While I do not know the details of the lawsuit or patent, it is not like this kind of seat tube construction was not used before filing of that patent (2014).
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.
  • 3 0
 Good call, I'm sure there are more, having the seat tube intersect the downtube instead of joining at the BB is not a novel idea at all
  • 1 2
 Yes, Brookly’s seat tube / BB design predates Knolly’s 2003 priority date for their first patent on this. Knolly’s subsequent continuation and divisional patents all claim novelty of the seat tube/BB relative position PLUS their extra linkage (and the shock being in front of the seat tube). Intense’s design does not infringe on the multi-element independent claims (the first #1 claim) of these Knolly patents — as it doesn’t have the extra linkage. Likewise, Brooklyn Machine Works had that seat tube / BB configuration in 2002 or before...but without the extra Knolly linkage. So there’s prior art for the seat tube / BB claim, and Intense doesn’t have the extra linkage. Either Knolly hasn’t done their homework, or they will attempt to persuade a jury that their imprecise language (or rather, inaccurate language, in my engineering opinion) related to “rear suspension” and “linkage” in their claims actually covers Intense’s VPP linkage-mounted shock — instead of Knolly’s claim covering Knolly’s extra linkage bar between their two swing links that drives the damper/spring. But I doubt a judge or a jury would fall for that. Sad that Knolly wants to waste the time of the American public (the jury) and American tax payer dollars for this frivolous lawsuit — potentially ruining their reputation along the way. I’m starting to think of Knolly as “Greedy Canadians” instead of “Friendly Canadians” =P
  • 9 0
 If that’s the true extent of the patent then why aren’t they basically suing every full suspension bike brand?
  • 8 8
 My bet is Knolly's sleaze bag attorneys for the most vulnerable brand at the moment. I say that because the patent was filed in 2014 and numerous brands have a similar seat post layout. They just now got the patent in 2019 and are probably preparing others after they see the results of the intense lawsuit. Not I'm a huge intense fan but f*** Knolly. They used to have some decent Street crab out in the mountain like wrong. However, this appears to be classic patent trolling and pretty sleazy
  • 1 0
 Steer cred, not "crab". Damn autocorrect on voice text. Big Grin
  • 8 0
 Very few other brands are using a full length, straight seat tube that would meet the requirements of the patent. If they are, they likely properly reached a licensing agreement with Knolly or they could be subject to the same situation Intense has put themselves in. This kind of stuff is incredibly common in the bike industry and consideration of patents and licensing are an aspect of any company's design process. Despite what the deep thinkers of the comments section may say, it's not some unheard of, unethical, or unexpected thing. It's definitely vastly different than something like Specialized suing small bike shops for usage of common cycling terms. People are so burned out on those kind of lawsuits that sentiment towards anything involving lawyers automatically generates 100 "bro, they've lost all their street cred" comments.
  • 3 1
 @Catch22: just seems odd that you can patent something so simple. Must be a nightmare to design anything today. At face value I’d have never guessed Intense was infringing on any patents from knolly based on looking at their frame designs.
  • 3 0
 @TimnberG: I get where you are coming from but it is the reality of design and engineering for bike brands. It doesn't seem super novel from the outside but for Knolly it's a very important design feature that they have stuck with for 17+ years across every model in their line. Given that most companies change nearly everything with their frames every 3-5 years, it is telling they haven't wavered from that design despite quite a lot of criticism over the years for it.
  • 8 1
 Lawsuits should all be like my divorce agreement. If the case brought forward by the plaintiff is found to be without merit, the plaintiff will be responsible for all legal fees for both parties.
  • 12 3
 For those who think Knolly are patent trolls must have zero experience in a large corporate R&D environment...
  • 10 0
 Ahh the pinkbike peanut gallery Go ride bike monkeys
  • 11 0
 Funny how many patent lawyers and mechanical engineers there are on Pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 @mdg3d: ever wondered if there are really enough dentists to buy all the highend stuff here -there you have your answer.
  • 10 1
 Did any of you read the patent? There's a lot more in there than the tiny exert that PB posted above...
  • 3 0
 elaborate
  • 1 1
 Yeah, more to do with suspension design it seems
  • 6 0
 Not sure what is wrong with designing something, applying for IP, getting IP and then defending your IP? There sure are a lot of want to be lawyers on the PB forum. I'm not a lawyer, but do deal some with IP at work so I know enough to know that there are only a few people commenting on here who are qualified to comment. The rest is just the normal PB BS.
  • 9 2
 What about suing them both for providing seat tube angles belonging to an era without dropper posts?
  • 4 0
 Looking at the Intense bikes, I can see why they're suing. That being said, it seems like a long shot... but I understand that as a company, you've got to try and protect your IP, even if it seems "over the top" to many. If you just shrug at let it go for the "small stuff", it won't be long until something more malicious comes up.
  • 4 0
 I owned a Knolly for a brief stint, and I remember being on the phone with Knolly and having one of their guys mention their patent on the offset seattube design, saying that other companies had been stealing it for years. I was honestly pretty offput by the comment at the time, but figured that they wouldn't take any real action on it because nobody was actually ripping off a discernably "Knolly-only" design trait.

Guess it finally happened...
  • 4 0
 I don’t get it, why does @pinkbikeaudience put up such a clickbait article that generates so much hate against a local bike company. If there is more than just the straight tube that intersects in front of the BB please give us more details.

Like this Knolly only goes down the same way as Specialized.
  • 4 0
 Knolly invested in this IP for a reason. It costs significant money and time to follow through and get the patent awarded, and I bet they can prove that the criteria granted puts them in a position to design better frames that meet their geometry goals than others that will need to fall outside of the IP criteria. I seriously doubt they would want to bring this to trial, without first exhausting all communication with Intense to try and get a resolution out of court.
  • 1 0
 They invested in BS patent to try and get around specialized’s Horst link patent.
  • 5 1
 Validity of the suit aside, why is it being filed so late? The current Intense Carbine frame came out in 2018 and has not been updated since. Why wait two years to file the suit?
  • 1 0
 You can't sue for a pending patent, they were awarded there patent in 2019. Not even sure they can sue for anything prior to being awarded the patent in 19' unless they prove Intense did it willingly prior to being awarded the patent.
  • 1 0
 @MikeGruhler: Ah k i didn't realize they were awarded the patent that recently.

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?
  • 1 0
 @Catch22: oh cool thanks! Judging from that document it looks like their priority date is in 2014. That makes sense for the timelines then. In theory, Intense could have known of the prior art any time after 2014. It would be interesting to see the Intense patent and what priority date they have.
  • 3 0
 You'd be surprised at what can be patented. Just looking at bike frames and design, this is one that Electra/Trek owns about moving the seatpost behind the bottom bracket vs. in front of the BB like the Knolly patent - patents.google.com/patent/US7740262B2/en
  • 3 0
 Small Bike Company on Small(ish) Bike Company crime... Both manufacturers will lose money, lawyers will make money. I cannot see Knolly being awarded anything from this lawsuit so it is solely the law teams that will be benefitting from it. This is not something this industry needs right now.
  • 13 7
 lol people still aren't going to buy your dated bikes Knolly
  • 12 6
 Knolly sure knows how to ruin its reputation
  • 6 1
 what a bullshit.... as always.... really 'creative' patent law in USofA ....
  • 1 0
 Interested to see an example of a better patent system. Based on your experience, patent offices produce better results?
  • 8 6
 One of the conditions for a patent being granted is for the invention to be non-obvious. Having read the first claim, I think Knolly's "invention" is obvious and uninventive. I just lost all respect for Knolly and I hope they lose the case.
  • 4 2
 Knolls is going to be like Ellsworth in a few years. Outrageously overpriced, hopelessly dated designs, and small but vocal group of “techie” riders who say “ you would know how good if you ride one.”

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.
  • 3 1
 The argument isn't over anything innovative, that's how I'm reading it right just angle,diameter?

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.
  • 2 0
 No need for a trial or jury, the PB commenters have made their verdict.
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.
  • 2 0
 Anyone else find it kind of ironic that the bike pictured in "image 2" of the patent looks like someone basically drew a picture of Shaun Palmer's 1996 Intense M1? I don't know much about patent law and I'm all for companies protecting themselves from getting ideas stolen, but this one just seems vague/lame.
  • 4 0
 Wow, tons of comments here... There's a lot to this patent stuff. Ask I can say is Noel Buckley is a genius and Knolly's kick ass.
  • 1 0
 So is Jeff Stebber, and so do Intense's. Last I checked, no major company like Santa Cruz ever invested a ton of money in Knolly and had them design bikes for them.
  • 4 1
 I'm gutted I didnt file my patent on a 67 to 62 degree head angle that had a fork steerer pass through a tube in mounting cups. With the ability to take suspension travel of 5 to 8 inches
  • 2 0
 In Europe we have EUIPO that deals with issuing design patents. Aim is to help new products to be introduced to the market. You create a design, get it patented (takes some weeks) then you go out on the market.

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 Big Grin Seems irrational for me/European law
  • 6 0
 Que?
  • 15 10
 Seems to me like Knolly is pulling a desperate move to survive....
  • 6 1
 Not that I fully agree with the patent and what you can patent in the US but if you check out Knolly's online store they have been sold out of bikes just like everyone else this year so I would highly doubt they are on the verge of collapse. Check out patents on electronics or software for things that are crazy for patented ideas ie Apple owns the patent to tap on a phone number on your screen and then let it directly make a call.
  • 4 3
 What a total waste of time. This is a logistic legal manner to obtain money because of a legal loop hole of applying for a patent and year later getting it approved, to then sew all companies that may have came up with a similar design. Besides, their design came from santa cruz VPP system when the patent expired, so being that they used almost the exact same design from an expired patent, they should be in the clear from a legal stand point. This is by far a stretch looking that the information given so far. However, there could be more to it.
  • 4 2
 Next up!
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.
  • 6 5
 THIS JUST IN: "Sram is also suing every ancient civilization that created forms of measurement. Apparently it infringes on the marking on their forks and shocks which *gasp* resemble forms of measurement. All monetary gains from every culture ever existing will be collected." This is coming from a knolly owner myself. The mountain bike industry is a joke and ALWAYS provides a good laugh.
  • 3 2
 Let them sue each other to extinction... wouldn’t buy either of these bikes. Knolly can’t make money selling clunkers and intense could never make a straight frame anyway. They had to outsource it to get a decent bike ????
  • 4 0
 When the day comes to sell my Knolly should I put "Pre-lawsuit model" so people still want it?
  • 1 0
 I like Knolly bikes a lot. However, I think this suit is pushing to say that the infringement is regarding the bottom bracket with the straight seat tube positioned behind it, which is a very Knolly trait (for which they took a lot of flak for having "ugly" bikes). However, the patent doesn't seem to focus on that particular aspect. I don't fault Knolly for the suit; Pivot appears to be taking the design, and did this righteously so because the Knolly patent is unfortunately as clear as Canadian snow.
  • 1 0
 IN 2001 I bought a $3,200.00 German frame the "Faunus" from Berwerk and after a few months riding this 4 or 5 inch frame I received a bill or request from Specialized for $25.00US. Turned out they successfully won a court case claiming their Horst link 4 bar was king in North America. bergwerk had been using this and another odd design like the Epic strut shock as well for a few years in EU.
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.
  • 1 0
 We used to distribute Bergwerk in North America and I can remember the letter of cease and desist from Specialized! I even have the Faunus frame you speak of, and remember clearly the LSD frames that were Epic copies. Crazy enough I have 3 Knolly frames and a Warden LT is my daily driver...
  • 1 0
 @Local717: The Lupine dealer distributed the frames to Canada. Maybe a dozen frames made it to the great white north and the Big S decided to harass us with C & D letters like you said. They also demanded we put a sticker on our bikes....what a friggin joke
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.
  • 1 0
 @madmon: Yeah I work for the Lupine distributor. We actually made one piece carbon chain/seatstays with no pivot on all the remaining Bergwerk frames we could no longer sell. It actually became a cool thing as the rear end would flex. The bike builder at Bergwerk went on to make some personal frames, I have his DH and 4X frames. His independent stuff was awesome and did not use a Horst link design.
  • 1 0
 Whenever these patent issues come up, I like to ask: how does this patent benefit the consumer? did the patent yield an innovation that, absent protection, wouldn't have occurred? was the innovation actually that innovative? is it better to have more ways of solving a problem or more firms refining a good solution?

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.
  • 1 0
 If they win against Intense this sets a precedence to sue or seek settlement against any others. This is probably a big deal for Knolly. Who knows what hasn’t already been agreed with Intense for this to end up in court in the first place?
  • 1 0
 I love how vague patent descriptions are. "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" would literally describe most bicycles. I'm sure the patent goes into details of pivot placements and whatnot (I'm not going to read it because I wouldn't know what it meant anyway), but it's still funny.
  • 8 5
 doesn't Intense use their own flavor of VPP which has nothing in common with that drawing?
  • 13 0
 That is kinematics, that has nothing to do with the accusations. This topic deals with specific tube layout.
  • 4 0
 How? Never would have thought those two designs resemble each other.
  • 4 1
 Why now? Has intense recently come out with new models that are different (ito suspension layout) than previous ones?
  • 7 4
 Going by the abstract of the patent, if Intense were more on trend and had SAs steeper than 75 degrees they'd be fine...
  • 6 3
 @mashrv1: they apllied in 2014, a while back and only received the patent in 2019. 1) slacker seat tube trends back then 2)they had to get a few sleaze bag lawyers to look for the most vulnerable brand to hit first considering many brands have a similar layout. Very Specialized of you Knolly
  • 7 0
 I think they are referring to ACTUAL seat tube angle rather than effective seat tube angle. By that criteria, most new bikes with a straight seat tube that starts in front of the BB would be infringing. For instance, my Sentinel has a 77ish effective seat tube angle but the actual seat tube angle is around 71, so they could be next.
  • 4 0
 Gah, if only intense had made their STA 75.1deg!
  • 1 0
 Slap some bondo on their to make it look like 75.1 and call'r a day bud!
  • 7 7
 Ridiculous that this patent was granted. I hope Knolly loses. I know my bike (Guerilla Gravity) also uses a straight seat tube in front of the bb, and I'm sure many others do as well, but there's got to be prior art for this out there somewhere.
  • 5 1
 Wait, so two bike brands I have no intention of ever buying are bickering?
  • 6 3
 From steezy to sleezy... tisk tisk Knolly Love all the Intense debate in here....
  • 4 3
 My question is, even if it's legit, how is this impacting Knolly? Are prospective Knolly customers really wanting this _one_ feature... But they jump ship when they see that Intense has it too? I don't buy it
  • 9 2
 If you don't enforce a patent you lose it.
  • 10 6
 This is sad and pathetic.
  • 3 0
 Shit I knew I should have patented - human powered vehicle with front and rear triangle.
  • 3 1
 fuck, its a good thing patents werent a thing when the wheel was invented or we wouldnt have mountain bikes after the first ever bike maker was sued.
  • 2 1
 Patents are typically only valid for 20 years, and wheel existed in prior art long before bicycles.
  • 1 0
 @superkeen: no way...
  • 5 3
 Most bikes have the bb behind the seat tube this has to be a joke. Also intense uses vpp that’s completely different from four by four
  • 3 0
 Isn't the Santa Cruz Blur the same configuration as the Tracer or Carbine ?
  • 1 0
 Replying to myself : As someone else said, the Blur has 100mm of travel, just under the 101.6mm/4" of the patent
  • 1 0
 @Will-narayan: very close for sure, Intense helped SC with many of their designs for many years.
  • 2 2
 So I'm very curious how this wouldn't also apply to several Santa Cruz bikes, since the Intense/Santa Cruz business partnerships resulted in Intense doing bike designs for Santa Cruz, and several SC bikes were basically the same as an Intense.
  • 4 3
 Everyone “why do podiums have so many bearings and links it seems so complicated to me “

Also everyone “ it’s such a simple design why can’t someone steal that patent “
  • 4 4
 Lost all respect for Knolly after seeing this. What a joke, sorry Knolly but I can no loner recommend your brand. Do your homework, Intense was in the business of making solid 4bar designs way before you and now you want to bite the hand that feeds you? Poor form at best.
  • 3 0
 Thank god this patent doesn't apply to the Grim Donut thanks to the seat angle.
  • 2 0
 This legal action does not even come on the radar compared to the actions the Big S has taken against basically everyone for the last couple decades.
  • 1 0
 Or backcountry .com. How did that work out?
  • 1 1
 intellectual patent law is completely broken. I HIGHLY recommend businesses look to innovative ways to secure their designs and ownership besides paying lawyers all of their profits. They'd have been better off to keep the cash and have never patented anything. its just a 4 bar anyway. Theyre probably gonna lose and get counter sued and then loose the bisness. look at Dip n dops ice cream. Lawyers are the scum of the earth
  • 4 5
 I haven’t read the entire text of the suit obviously, but Knolly has 4 bar linkage suspension and Intense uses a VPP type. Their nothing like each other in form or function aside from the fact that they both move a rear wheel up and down. Many companies have had to alter the way they place their seat tubes in response to modern geometry. Bottom brackets? Same thing. This hardly seems patentable. I know Jeff Steber. He’s one of the most creative and and brilliant designers out there. He designed and built a fully functional hydroplane race boat in his garage as a 7th grade shop project. Apparently his mom grounded him for getting screaming yellow paint all over the place! Never mind that he crafted a boat that could go 100+ mph all by himself. Jeff is too creative, smart, bad resilient to be beaten by Knolly.
  • 2 1
 Meant to say; “and resilient to be beaten by Knolly.” Damn autocorrect.
  • 6 5
 Well, this was very apple/samsung of Knolly... So many good bikes now a days, guess I can add Knolly's ugly ASF bikes to the do not buy pile?
  • 3 1
 I was really interested in getting a new Knolly this summer, they are completely on my do not buy pile now forever as well.
  • 1 1
 @alexisfire: people complaining about Knolly's ugliness just prove original design uniqueness.
  • 3 0
 Intense should update and release a new Uzzi. Just sayin'.
  • 2 0
 Or a new SS, either would be awesome.
  • 4 1
 A real case of bumping uglies.
  • 2 0
 Its just a bike lol alot of bikes have the same design and everything. who cares we just ride, not decide
  • 5 2
 Disappointed. Kinda lost a little bit of respect there.
  • 2 2
 How many other Companys could they sue,honestly?
every second Bike Builder(no matter the scale)has,will have or had a model in their lineup wich could potentially brake this Patent
  • 1 1
 Pretty much every single one.
  • 2 0
 Last I checked that was originally an for design....and specialized hasn't said shit.
  • 3 1
 A fsr design. Many companies used it with out complaint until now. Pipe down Karen you're not that special.
  • 2 0
 Who knew that a legal battle would get more comments then a brand new bike release and review.
  • 1 0
 Not convinced this is a good idea on Knolly's part. Intense has much deeper pockets and could drag this out and prove their original patent wasn't novel.
  • 2 0
 deep pockets? its a small privately owned bike brand? Jeff Steber aint flying no jets or driving beemers.
  • 1 0
 @yakimonti: Maybe "much" deeper is stretching it, but they're a bigger company.
  • 2 0
 @njcbps: I'd say they have some much bigger investors than knolly does as of last year.
  • 4 2
 The suspension design of Intense bikes really look nothing like the suspension design of Knolly bikes. Just my opinion.
  • 4 2
 That's not an opinion, it's a fact
  • 3 1
 This has nothing to do with suspension design.
  • 1 0
 .....but if Intense bikes are much less hideous, I think the jury won't really respect whatever knolly is trying to preserve.
  • 15 14
 what an Intense accusation Knowllyngly theyve build these for years like this. lol iam so bad at this. hahahah
  • 4 1
 Intense was Knowllyngly infringing the 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."

www.finnegan.com/en/insights/articles/enhanced-damages-and-willful-infringement-depend-on-what-the.html

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
  • 3 1
 That’s quite Intense...
  • 8 7
 Sounds like Knolly is hurting for money. Almost ever new bike made has almost the same seat tube design.
  • 14 1
 Probably not the 50-75-degrees part, Most bend back towards the BB towards the bottom. Which does actually limit the length of droppers on some bikes. I hate patents like this. A good common sense solution that's blocked from widespread adoption. Too many on bikes.
  • 1 0
 A suit like this will cost them $150,000 USD, or $250,000 CAD plus beaver pelts. Doubt the attorney is doing it for winnings. Maybe.
  • 1 0
 Imagine having to be the person at google who scans and writes the decription and details for every patent
  • 2 2
 I saw the bottom linkage bolts blow right through an intense frame, on a pretty chill 5' drop. Hope thats not what theyre claiming the copied.
  • 12 10
 Knolly Bikes is now Trolly Bikes. They became a patent troll.
  • 5 3
 Hey Knolly! Shwing shwong my ding dong...
  • 6 4
 nope no tbuying a knolly this was a real poop move
  • 5 5
 Knolly just made Specialized looks cool. What's wrong with these guys? To patent straight tube placed somewhere. C'mon America, you can't be that stupid.
  • 4 2
 Knolly is a Canadian brand (yes they are North American). That said, our patent office should slapped on this one...
  • 3 2
 Wow crazy how exclusive. A bike with a dropper post and a seat tube and a shock!!!!! Insane let’s sue every bike company
  • 1 0
 Jeff Steber, who is pretty good at playing blues, can now write his own song..."the patent blues"
  • 2 0
 TL;DR

Intense invents 16 bar linkage, Knolly sues
  • 2 0
 Who owns Knolly? Are they their own company or subsidiary?
  • 1 0
 I thought Jeff Steber just laid welds until he came up with something that worked, and that his riders liked.
  • 2 0
 knolly, what do you think about FSR?
  • 5 6
 Meh, both their design language is either hideous(Knolly) or generic(Intense) and is an afterthought. I wouldn't consider either one.
  • 4 5
 Knolly has enough pivots and links that they could technically sue everyone. I always thought intense was using a VPP style setup.
  • 1 0
 this is over a seatpost angle..
  • 1 0
 A picture is worth a thousand numbers, eh?
  • 3 2
 When did Intense start making ugly AF bikes?
  • 7 10
 I find this to be a really lame move by Knolly Bikes. It would be one thing if you could CLEARLY see the design aspect that was copied. But there bikes look nothing alike. Also, they choose to sue someone that operates in the small volume like themselves. It's really sad. People seem to forget that back when Intense first got started they modernized current Downhill bikes. So much so that major corporations leased out there frames and put there own names on the Intense M1 frames. Nobody was suing anyone back them. They all worked together in unity. Now Knolly is following it the steps of big corporate BS companies. Sad.
  • 2 1
 My Podium is pleased to hear this news.
  • 3 2
 I actually thought this was a piss take.
  • 10 8
 Dick move Knolly
  • 5 5
 @KNOLLYBIKES Trying to be the Warden around here. Feel ashamed to be riding mine now.
  • 4 4
 @KNOLLYBIKES yep, just confirmed that I'll never buy one, and I had been looking at several.
  • 1 0
 At first I thought this was Intense but now its totally Knolly
  • 1 0
 You knowlly, it is going to be an Intense battle !
  • 3 3
 Intense... Now talk about an ugly bike.
  • 4 4
 JS Tunes= Just stealing hahaha
Good for Knolly fi its true.
  • 5 6
 Every one should boycott Knolly for wanting to make the leachy Lawyers rich, unts.
  • 1 0
 "did this"
  • 1 4
 What better way to recoup money when you’re failing as a business than to sue your competitors doing the same thing as you but better.
Makes me want to buy an intense more than ever
  • 1 0
 both designs are horrid
  • 2 2
 I will never think of buying a knolly bike because of this lawsuite
  • 5 6
 How does intense stay in business in the first place....
  • 4 2
 by being direct-to-consumer...or brick and mortar...or direct to...
  • 2 0
 Behind the scenes investing.
  • 2 1
 Thats what I'm saying . Who even knew they still made bikes?
  • 4 6
 They make great bikes
  • 4 0
 @THE-GUNT: Everyone in the "tiny" market of Southern California
  • 1 0
 @drunknride: you right on that
  • 4 1
 By being business partners and designing most of Santa Cruz's bikes for them over the last 20 years. Also, their bikes are several thousand dollars cheaper than most of their competitors. Jef Steber is one of the most respected bike designers in the business.
  • 1 0
 @drunknride: I live in LA and most bikes I see now are either YT, Soecialized, Trek, or Santa Cruz. Not seeing too many intense now a days
  • 1 0
 By raising capitol?
  • 1 0
 @THE-GUNT: Aaron Gwin & Neko Mullaly know they still make bikes.
  • 1 1
 Been wondering this too with their garbage bikes
  • 6 7
 Who knew “JS Tuned” was for just stealing...
  • 2 1
 They make great bikes.
  • 1 1
 Oops that goes one comment down
  • 7 7
 dicks
  • 3 4
 the real quesiton is if the knolly design is worth copying?
  • 1 1
 Even the longest seatposts never go that far on the seat tube, so the pattent is moot.. Having a straight tube is not an advantage over a tube with a little bend at the end, it works exactly the same.
  • 1 0
 @Antoncor: bends cost $ and do affect frame design/cost/tolerance constraints.
  • 2 4
 Esos de Knolli se han dado un golpe en la cabeza ??????
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