Stan’s NoTubes and Specialized Settle Long Lasting Patent Case
BIG FLATS, USA – In a long-fought battle between Stan’s NoTubes and Specialized the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided to uphold a previous ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which had declared Stan’s NoTubes’ US Patent to be valid.
“We are pleased to have reached a positive conclusion regarding our rim design patent. The court’s decision further strengthens our patent portfolio,” said Stan’s NoTubes co-owners Stan and Cindy Koziatek.
Last February 2, the Federal Circuit heard arguments from Stan’s NoTubes and Specialized. 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.
This case began in 2008 when Specialized released rims that Stan’s NoTubes alleged to infringe their patent. Stan’s NoTubes decided to protect its proprietary technology by suing to stop Specialized’s alleged infringement. A judgment was entered against Specialized in that case in 2015. “Specialized redesigned its Roval wheels many years ago, and settled the underlying case this summer. Accordingly, we will not pay a license fee or damages,” says Koos de Boer of Specialized Europe.
“We want to point out that Specialized stopped distributing the related rims many years ago as soon as the patent infringement was clear,” explain Koos de Boer. “As of then we have tried to solve the issue but both parties could not reach a mutual agreement. Specialized redesigned its Roval Wheels many years ago, because we respect the intellectual property of others. We attempted to avoid No-Tubes intellectual property when we saw their published patent application, and redesigned our products once the USPTO granted the patent. Fortunately it never affect our European operation as it was a US patent only.”
“As part of the process, Specialized submitted the patent to the USPTO for review because we believed the patent was overly restrictive and was very similar to other patents which had been issued before the NoTubes patent. We respect the decision of the Federal Circuit, and will not pursue it further.”
To better serve riders and retailers Specialized announced earlier this week to implement organizational changes and to reduce its global workforce by 3%. “We are tightening up our structure and focusing on three key areas: innovation, marketing and supply chain,” said Mike Sinyard, Specialized’s founder and CEO this week to US trade publication Bicycle Retailer. “We are investing in new R&D space in Switzerland, Taiwan and Morgan Hill that will keep us at the forefront of cycling innovation. We are focusing on marketing that will expand the global market for our brand and help our retailers drive traffic and sales. And finally, we are investing in our supply chain to ensure we are delivering the best product at the best price to riders and our retailers. All of this is an investment in our future.”