Update on Cervelo – Tridynamic Dispute
Following up on last Tuesdays Bike Europes Newsletter report on Cervelo’s alleged patent infringement, the Canadian bike maker denies that the European Patent Office came to a final verdict. Gerard Vroomen of Cervelo Cycles Inc. responded
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – Following up on last Tuesday’s Bike Europe’s Newsletter report on Cervélo’s alleged patent infringement, the Canadian bike maker denies that the European Patent Office came to a final verdict.
Gerard Vroomen of Cervélo Cycles Inc. responded on the Bike Europe report last Tuesday (click here for the full text of that report) by stating: “Contrary to the statements made by Tridynamic in the Bike Europe report, the main hearing with the European Patent Office has not even occurred yet. It will be held on 24 November. There are also other actions available to Cervélo in trying to correct the issuance of the patent. When the patent is ultimately withdrawn or invalidated there will no longer be a basis for a court decision against Cervélo and TriDynamic.”
Vroomen continues: “As most of you are aware Cervélo Cycles Inc. and TriDynamic are in an ongoing patent dispute with Canyon GmbH. Canyon had been granted a patent in Germany for a particular seat tube shape and has taken legal action against Cervélo and TriDynamic in the German court for patent infringement. The law suit deals with the older R-models (R3, RS and R3SL frames). The completely new 2011 R-models with the BBright(tm) innovation are not affected.”
“Cervélo has responded by defending in the German court and more importantly, filing an opposition to the patent with the European Patent Office. Cervélo believes very strongly that the patent should be invalid due to prior use and obviousness. It is a combination of features which is believed to be known publicly for many years before the patent application and more recently in very common use by many manufacturers.”
“In fact, although the new Cervélo R-models with BBright(tm) do not use this combination of features, many other frames on the markets do appear to and thus would also be at risk. Initially Cervélo included TriDynamic in the defence in the German court, but public statements by Peter Seyberth were disruptive and unnecessary, and have made a common defence difficult. As a result of this untenable relationship, the German law firm withdrew their representation of TriDynamic after the German lower court decision in September and advised him immediately.”
“As a result of Cervélo’s appeal of the court decision, the requirements of the decision were not automatically enforceable against Cervélo. Canyon has exercised its right to enforce part of the decision in demanding certain information from Cervélo. Currently this issue only applies to Germany, where the patent was issued, and of course Cervélo strives to minimize the issue for its dealers. Regardless of the outcome, this issue is not expected to have a material financial impact on Cervélo”, said Gerard Vroomen.
Tridynamic’s GM Peter Seyberth confirmed today to Bike Europe that he “expects a verification of Canyon’s patent after the hearing of the European Patent Office on 24 November 2010. The European Patent Office will confirm the patent which was granted to Canyon on 14 October 2009.”
Today Canyon responsed on the matter and said: “Awaiting the trial at the European Patent Office on the 24 November 2010 we expect a verification of its seat tube patent. Based on the facts and the recent ruling in Dusseldorf we expect a success.” This was stated by Roman Arnold, founder and CEO of Canyon Bicycles GmbH. He continued: “We have patented the Maximus seat tube Europe-wide. Furthermore we hold corresponding patents in the U.S. and in China.”
What probably contributed to dispute between Cervélo and Canyon is the clash between Cervélo and its former German distributor TriDynamic. Both parties discontinued doing business in August 2009. Click here for a report on the disrupted cooperation between Cervélo and Tridynamics.