America: A Genius-free zone? Part Two

The US-based B.O.S.S. report, a news PDF for execs in the bicycle and outdoor sports trades, has picked up on the Scott v Specialized story revealed by BikeBiz.com on 9th July. Because B.O.S.S. pays big bucks to a court subscription service, it has revealed details BikeBiz.com did not have...
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"The patent infringement lawsuit that has since followed, could determine whether or not Scott USA will be strictly a road brand in the American market or a contender in the mountain bike world as well," said Monday's B.O.S.S. report.

"BikeBiz.com is reporting that Mike Sinyard, the Founder and President of Specialized, is likely to follow through with this suit."

Then B.O.S.S. dug up the lawsuit filings:

Specialized filed suit on April 16, claiming that Scott had infringed on its “679” and “837” patents, both are for different elements of rear suspension design. Specialized has also asked for a preliminary restraining order, preventing Genius sales in the U.S. and asked for damages and royalty payments from Scott USA. Scott USA in its reply to the charges laid out a ninetiered defense plan and filed two counter claims against Specialized. In the response, it was stated, “Specialized purports to be the owner of the ‘679 patent and the ‘837 patent, both of which name Horst Leitner as the sole inventor. AMP Research has been the owner of at least the ‘679 patent and, upon information and belief, of the patent rights of Horst Leitner...” One of the counter claims filed by Scott USA apparently accuses Specialized of fraud, an allegation which Specialized quickly disputed, and the Judge overseeing the case has since dismissed.

B.O.S.S. concluded that it is "impossible to tell who will come out ahead in this one, but so far, Specialized has been quite successful in defending the FSR design."

Specialized's FSR four-bar linkage design was created in 1991 when Specialized collaborated with suspension guru Horst Leitner. Specialized claim they became owners of several of Leitner's patents in May 1998.

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