SRAM is not off the hook yet

If Shimano Europe sent Christmas cards - which it doesn't, preferring to pump the cash into a market-building, pro-cycling fund instead - it's safe to assume SRAM would not be on the mailing list. The patent infringement battles between the two corporations rumble on as Shimano insists that last Friday's decision by a Munich court was not as clear-cut as SRAM claims...
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The Shimano vs. SRAM patent infringement case is leading to heightened tensions between the two companies, especially now in trade show season.

Shimano believes that SRAM's Powerglide II cassette models 5.0 and 7.0 infringe its European Patent EP 0 313 345.

In a preliminary hearing, a court in Munich ruled that the cassettes did infringe Shimano's patents. However, last Friday, SRAM successfully appealed the decision and the the Munich courtruled that the provisional enforcement of the first decision be suspended after SRAM has posted a security deposit.

SRAM was clearly pleased with this outcome and was not backward in coming forward to express its pleasure with the appeal court's decision.

Shimano Europe, however, has today issued a statement reminding interested parties that SRAM is not a victor.

"We would like to emphasize that the Appeal Court decision does not refer to the question of patent infringement. In other words this last decision speaks of the provisional enforcement only and the Appeal Court has not decided that SRAM's cassettes do not infringe Shimano´s European Patent," said Frank Peiffer, Shimano Europe's commercial director.

"The finding of the first instance Court has not been overruled. If SRAM continues to distribute the infringing cassettes in Germany, SRAM will be liable for any damages when the Appeal court decision upholds the decision of the first instance court and also acknowledges patent infringement."

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