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  1. #1
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Specialized bicycle components suing two former employees

    A lawsuit between Morgan Hill-based Specialized Bicycle Components and
    two of its former employees is ready to go to trial this week in Santa Clara County
    Superior Court.

    Specialized says Robert Choi and Barley Forsman stole the design for their
    signature bike when they left Specialized to form their own company called
    Volagi last year.

    Choi and Forsman say they did not steal any designs from their former employer.

    They further claim Specialized is bitter about the pair's success, and that the
    large high-end bike maker is trying to squash the smaller company.

    Jury selections in the trial is set to begin today.

    http://kliv.com/Specialized-Bicycle-...er-em/11891505
    Thoughts ?? I know from experience that Specialized can be
    "difficult" as a corporate entity to work with.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat
    Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

  2. #2
    Ellensburg, WA scozim's Avatar
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    From speaking to my LBS Specialized can come down pretty heavy on a shop if they want to have any other brands in the shop. I could say I'm not surprised by the move - but, then, I don't know much about the case.
    1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France;1982 Trek 610; 1980's Univega Supra Sport; 1975 Teledyne Titan;1984 Peugeot PSV10N; 1968 Peugeot PL8; ;1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1977 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1981 Trek 510; 1993 or 1994 Scott Comp Racing mtb; 1996 Klein Pulse II mtb; 1980's Peugeot Limestone hybrid;

    My cycling blog

  3. #3
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    This is futile without knowing the specifics of Specialized claims.

  4. #4
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Agreed, T-Mar.

    This doesn't even belong in C&V.

    -Kurt

  5. #5
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    Unless they are referring to the mythical 3Rensho Specialized...

  6. #6
    Curmudgeon in Training 20grit's Avatar
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    Didn't specialized just take an early Ritchey designed bike and send it off to Japan to get them to make mass produced copies? Pretty sure that's how the Stumpjumper came about.

    Kind of ironic if so.

  7. #7
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    Everyone should hate Specialized and send me their higher-end frames to destroy.
    54cm - 58cm
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

  8. #8
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Newton View Post
    Everyone should hate Specialized and send me their higher-end frames to destroy.
    54cm - 58cm
    Ironically enough, all the bikes I've been fixing for the neighbors in recent months have been knackered 90's-era Specialized MTB's.

    -Kurt

  9. #9
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Why should the tech industry have all the fun with lawsuits?
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  10. #10
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20grit View Post
    Didn't specialized just take an early Ritchey designed bike and send it off to Japan to get them to make mass produced copies? Pretty sure that's how the Stumpjumper came about.

    Kind of ironic if so.
    I was about to say the same thing. As the story goes...Gary Fisher gave friend Mike Sinyard one of their "Mountain Bikes" which used a Ritchey frame. Sinyard took that frame to Japan and had a copy made of it calling it the Stumpjumper. Sinyard makes bank and calls it globalization and that he's simply opening the doors to everyone to the mountain bike scene. That guy can burn in my book. I will never own a Specialized bike or allow anyone in my family to ride one.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Yeah, right. Like Specialized never copied anyone else's idea.

  12. #12
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Hmm, is not the Volagi with the disc brakes in this month's Bicycling?

    Hmm, jury trial, always a crap shoot.

    The underdog is always a jury favorite, but judges often sway the outcome.
    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
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  13. #13
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    yup

  14. #14
    Senior Member catmandew52's Avatar
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    Maybe Mr Sinyard is channeling Ignaz Schwinn?
    He should look around and see what history does to those who want it all.
    Take care that no one hates you justly. ~Publilius Syrus

  15. #15
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    Agreed, T-Mar.

    This doesn't even belong in C&V.

    -Kurt
    How would you categorize it ?

    Certainly Specialized has been around a looong time. Their bikes
    show up here regularly, don't they ?

    The issues of designs, and borrowing of them in bikeworld go back
    in history to time immemorial.

    I'm working on digging up the claim specifics, because i'm curious.

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio......."
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat
    Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

  16. #16
    Rhythm is rhythm max5480's Avatar
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    i'm pretty glad that the responses so far have been against specialized, because i feel the same way about their corporate domination in the bike scene. then again, i think the C and V crowd run against the grain and if this were in the road section there would be completely different responses.

    imo the Volagi doesn't look at all like any specialized rig and def think spesh is playing the role of the dominating corporate gorilla
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Alan Edwards's Avatar
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    Reminds me of Barbie Vs Brats, 2 billion dollars and 10 years in court. End result, nothing but lawyers fees.
    Totaly cheap wieght weenie. Totaly cheap bike snob. But I love Italian hand made stuff. 84' Ciocc, 85' Raleigh Super Course, 96' Sakae Litage, 2000 Lemond Maillot Jaune,
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  18. #18
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    all ideas are 'stolen'. everyone did it before you.

    i read techdirt a lot.

  19. #19
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    Business practices

    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    Yeah, right. Like Specialized never copied anyone else's idea.
    Companies with questionable business practices are often the quickest to sue others for the same practice - IMO

  20. #20
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Edwards View Post
    End result, nothing but lawyers fees.
    And the much smaller, start-up company more than likely out of business because of it.

    I have no idea what the result of the lawsuit will be, but I'm very interested in it.

  21. #21
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    well rumor has it the some of the earliest Indenpendant Fanrications bikes were built for tubing aquired in an odd way. so not only were the IF staff using the knowledge they aquired at Fat Chance there were actually using (allegedly) Fat Chance tubes.

    if these two guys left Specialized and started having their own carbon bikes laid up I have no doubt their bikes have some Specialized influence. proving they stole the design for bikes mass produced in chaina for both companies sound dumb to me
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  22. #22
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

    Robert Choi and Barley Forsman left Specialized in April 2010 and launched Volagi at the Interbike show in Las Vegas in September that year. The Volagi line features carbon road bikes with disc brakes and distinctive “long-bow” seatstays designed to absorb road shock. Specialized filed suit against the company in October that year.

    The pair recently received a design patent on the seatstay design.

    After several preliminary hearings and three requests for preliminary injunction, the case will finally go to trial this week, Choi told Bicycle Retailer.

    “I can't believe it got this far,” said Choi. “We didn't do anything wrong, we didn't steal anything,” Choi said.

    Choi said he and Forsman developed the Volagi bikes on their own time and that neither were involved with bike design at Specialized. Choi and Forsman, who also worked together at CamelBak before joining Specialized, have about 40 patents between them, including patents used on products sold by CamelBak and Easton-Bell. Choi's first patent was for the VistaLite blinking LED taillight.

    A Specialized's spokesman said the company does not comment on on-going litigation.
    http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/...tail/6331.html


    Also, look here for some insight:

    Specialized Bicycle Components, one of the nation's most prolific and well-known
    makers of high-performance bikes, filed the lawsuit last year, alleging that Choi and Forsman
    stole the design for their bike before leaving the South County-based company in 2010.

    They say Volagi and its signature bike, the "Liscio," is based on Specialized's trade secrets.

    Choi and Forsman deny stealing any designs from Specialized, maintaining that their former
    employer is simply bitter because the pair have developed a unique product that's drawing
    raves in the biking world. The partners view the lawsuit as an attempt by a powerful company
    and its well-paid lawyers to wipe out a small competitor.

    "They were embarrassed," said Forsman, 41. "A lot of this came down to appearance."

    Added Choi, 50: "We thought we had a better idea. And in order for us to pursue it, we
    were going to have to quit Specialized. For them to pursue this is an incredible surprise."

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19662131
    Last edited by 3alarmer; 01-03-12 at 07:45 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat
    Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

  23. #23
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    3alarmer, thanks for posting this. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the lawsuit.

  24. #24
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  25. #25
    If I own it, I ride it CV-6's Avatar
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    So what is different about this frame that it deserves a patent....says the guy who has never ridden carbon. And probably never will.
    Lynn Travers

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    ISO: Lejeune Champion du Monde Ultra Leger Reynolds 753, 53-55cm

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