Cervelo has released a statement on its patent fight with Canyon of Germany:
In September the court in Duesseldorf made a ruling based on Claim 1 of the Canyon seattube patent. Yesterday, the European Patent Office declared Claim 1 invalid. They based this on the Barra patent from 1942, which already identified all features described in Claim 1. The EPO also accepted the Klein Q-Pro Carbon frame presented by Cervélo as evidence of a frame with flattening on the base of the seattube on the chain ring side.
The EPO would only allow Canyon to keep its patent after narrowing its scope. This narrower scope means the original Claim 1 on which the Dueseldorf court based its decision no longer exists, and we can now revert back to the court.
The EPO further stated that the features on the Litespeed Vortex and Gazelle ACC Pro, presented at the hearing by Cervélo, were of interest and could influence the outcome of this case if satisfactory evidence of first use can be presented.
We have at this point received a letter from Litespeed confirming that this frame was produced before the patent date and are confident we will obtain similar evidence from Gazelle, so that even the more narrow version of Claim 1 will not hold up.
Due to publicity surrounding this case, several other manufacturers have come forward with frames showing prior use of the features described in the patent. Together with other evidence already in Cervélo’s possession but entered too late for yesterday’s hearing, this makes it unlikely that any part of the Claim 1 can survive in the long run. We would like to thank all our colleagues in the bike industry for their continued support.
We agree with Canyon on one thing, which is that this case will have no effect on consumers.