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Old 01-03-12, 02:37 PM   #1
3alarmer
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Specialized bicycle components suing two former employees

Quote:
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.
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Old 01-03-12, 02:40 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 01-03-12, 02:51 PM   #3
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This is futile without knowing the specifics of Specialized claims.
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Old 01-03-12, 02:59 PM   #4
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Agreed, T-Mar.

This doesn't even belong in C&V.

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Old 01-03-12, 03:03 PM   #5
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Unless they are referring to the mythical 3Rensho Specialized...
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Old 01-03-12, 03:08 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 01-03-12, 03:09 PM   #7
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Everyone should hate Specialized and send me their higher-end frames to destroy.
54cm - 58cm
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Old 01-03-12, 03:13 PM   #8
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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.

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Old 01-03-12, 03:39 PM   #9
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Why should the tech industry have all the fun with lawsuits?
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Old 01-03-12, 04:47 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 01-03-12, 05:12 PM   #11
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Yeah, right. Like Specialized never copied anyone else's idea.
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Old 01-03-12, 05:16 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 01-03-12, 05:17 PM   #13
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yup
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Old 01-03-12, 05:35 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 01-03-12, 05:38 PM   #15
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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......."
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Old 01-03-12, 06:49 PM   #16
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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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Old 01-03-12, 06:52 PM   #17
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Reminds me of Barbie Vs Brats, 2 billion dollars and 10 years in court. End result, nothing but lawyers fees.
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Old 01-03-12, 06:55 PM   #18
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all ideas are 'stolen'. everyone did it before you.

i read techdirt a lot.
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Old 01-03-12, 08:03 PM   #19
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Business practices

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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
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Old 01-03-12, 08:10 PM   #20
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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.
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Old 01-03-12, 08:18 PM   #21
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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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Old 01-03-12, 08:41 PM   #22
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The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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 08:45 PM.
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Old 01-03-12, 08:46 PM   #23
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3alarmer, thanks for posting this. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the lawsuit.
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Old 01-03-12, 08:59 PM   #24
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Patent online at http://www.google.com/patents?id=mtD...page&q&f=false
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Old 01-03-12, 09:26 PM   #25
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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.
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