Stan’s NoTubes of New York has prevailed at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in an eight-year battle against Specialized of California.
The Federal Circuit decision upholds a previous ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which had declared the rim, wheel and tubeless manufacturer 's U.S. Patent Number 7,334,846 to be valid.
The dispute began in 2008 when Specialized released rims that Stan’s NoTubes alleged to infringe the ’846 patent. Execs from Stan’s NoTubes said they were left with no choice but to protect the company's proprietary technology by suing to stop Specialized’s alleged infringement in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York. A judgement was entered against Specialized in that case in 2015, with Specialized paying compensation to Stan’s NoTubes.
The Federal Circuit heard arguments from Stan’s NoTubes and Specialized on February 2nd this year. At oral argument, the Federal Circuit panel appeared to credit evidence showing the industry’s rapid adoption of Stan’s ZTR rims and praise for their patented features and suggested that this objective evidence helps demonstrate that the claims of the ’846 patent are valid.
On February 4th the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s decision in a Rule 36 summary affirmance. An audio recording of the argument is available online.
“We are pleased to have reached a positive conclusion regarding our rim design patent," said Stan’s NoTubes co-owner Stan Koziatek.
Fellow co-owner Cindy Koziatek added: "The court’s decision further strengthens our patent portfolio. We look forward to continuing the advancement of tubeless wheels for all cycling appliations."
Stan Koziatek devised the original NoTubes sealing system in 2001.
Stan’s NoTubes currently holds the following four U.S. patents related to the rims and wheels in its ZTR family of products with Bead Socket Technology:
● U.S. Patent Number 7,334,846 (http://www.google.com/patents/US7334846)
● U.S. Patent Number 8,007,053 (http://www.google.com/patents/US8007053)
● U.S. Patent Number 8,613,485 (http://www.google.com/patents/US8613485)
● U.S. Patent Number 9,162,524 (http://www.google.com/patents/US9162524).