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  1. #1
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    Does any1 know when will the patent for brompton expired in the US?

    For example, when viagra first came out it has patent for like 15 yrs and now u see all kinda clone like cialis or whateva.

    So for the folding mechanish of the brompton, does any1 know how long do they have the patented for in the US and when will it expired? I think it is time for a clone like the merc to take them out of business.

  2. #2
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    nice attitude vinc. all that hard work to make a quality bike and you just want it cheaper at the cost of the innovator.

    I know I have a merc, BUT this was made on a value judgement of getting a slightly lighter alloy frame, and with the amount of genuine Brompton parts on the bike (valued at more than the base model they offer) I can sleep easy knowing I didn't swindle them.

    I always take a breath before reading one of your posts. They're always so... erm... random and abrupt.

  3. #3
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    Sorry as a consumer I have no sympathy for monopoly and slow innovation from one company. it is good for consumers to have more competition. With more competition, comes with more innovation and less prices.

    Dahon, downtube, citizen all have the same fold. And yet those company don't sue one another. I'm tired of one company protected by their patent system and sit on their butt with little improvement year after year. But sorry that's just my opinions.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chop!'s Avatar
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    Just like viagra & cialis are completely different in every way, the so called Brompton, Strida etc clones are often completely different to their original namesakes.
    A to Z of Folding Bikes, Designers, Sellers, Accessories, Forums, Meetings, Publications
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  5. #5
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    I look forward to more pill reviews Chop!

  6. #6
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    @ vincentnooyorkcity
    If you'd come up with the world class fold I'm sure you'd have a slightly different view. Competition does encourage innovation, but so does independence and clarity of ideas.

    Trying desperately not to type something offensive to flame you. You are just such a polar opposite to me.

  7. #7
    Non-Spandex Commuter jdmitch's Avatar
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    Okay, personal soapbox, Monopolies are defined as having >70% of the largest market one can reasonably said to compete in (in this case the folding bicycle market). Being the sole supplier / user of a particular widget (because of patents) that competes with other similar function widgets (that also have patents) is NOT a monopoly.

    It's like saying Schwalbe has a monopoly on Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires...
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    You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike.

  8. #8
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    anyway, i found my answer...it seems brompton patent on its folding mechanism has expired long time ago. but reading on about how brompton mauled anita (the only merc retailer) with all their lawyers in the uk...i feel bad for her.

    when flamingo bike start selling their "merc" in the us for half the price...i'm pretty sure brompton will be out of business.
    Last edited by vincentnyc; 08-12-09 at 02:43 PM.

  9. #9
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    patents protect innovators ........ usually, exceptions granted of course

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
    ...I know I have a merc, BUT this was made on a value judgement of getting a slightly lighter alloy frame...
    u r such a hyprocrite. if u got a merc for a slightly lighter alloy frame...y didn't u get a titanium brompton frame? it is also "slightly" lighter too. oh wait...let me guess, it cost too much and thats y u got a merc?

  11. #11
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    There are lots of copies of Dahons and Stridas, but few of Bromptons, Bike fridays, swifts.
    Strange.

    Chop, there is a viagra type pill which is unbelievably called 'Uprima' (Strange how that stayed in the memory).

  12. #12
    Non-Spandex Commuter jdmitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Simon View Post
    There are lots of copies of Dahons and Stridas, but few of Bromptons, Bike fridays, swifts.
    Strange.

    Chop, there is a viagra type pill which is unbelievably called 'Uprima' (Strange how that stayed in the memory).
    I'm pretty sure I have no desire to know how that's supposed to be pronounced.

    Those bikes, yeah, likely the design is intricate (I'm thinking another word fits better) that's it's hard to do copy right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike.

  13. #13
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Ahem. Vincent. If you did your homework, you'd know that a Brompton Titanium model is not all Titanium. It's a steel main frame with Ti forks, rear triangle and seatpost.
    Let me say that again. It's a steel bike with Ti components.

    My Mercton has all three of those very special Ti parts, but an alloy, not steel frame. I like to think of the way I built the bike as a similar thing to a race car where some of the main body parts are not the actual body parts you'd buy in the showroom but a light carbon/GRP/fibreglass replica. Same with my bike. It's a B in spirit and soul but not weight.

    If you really wanted a Ti main frame then you'd have to wait till *like never* for the vapourware bike (also a B copy, but somehow never mentioned in these clone arguments) - the UFB (ultimate folding bike). Sadly - no-one knows when this will ever come to market, and also - the likelihood is it's out of most people's price-range.
    http://homepage.mac.com/lenrubin/PhotoAlbum1.html

    Please don't throw around words like hypocrite before you're straight on your facts - it's only gonna blow up in your face and expose your true character. Which I don't think many people find that engaging or pleasant. Well I don't.

    Fin.
    Last edited by LittlePixel; 08-12-09 at 06:03 PM.

  14. #14
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    If you have the resources to built a Brompton-inspired bike for personal use (not comercial) I don't think you can get in legal trouble with the original Brompton makers.

    I suggest Vincent to start putting things together. I might be able to help, since I am interested in a compact fold bike that rides better than a Brompton, no matter how costly it is.

    We don't have to wait for the ultimate bike to be ready. We can be the change we want to see.

    Just my $0.02. Please understand that nobody has to agree with me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    If you have the resources to built a Brompton-inspired bike for personal use (not comercial) I don't think you can get in legal trouble with the original Brompton makers.

    I suggest Vincent to start putting things together. I might be able to help, since I am interested in a compact fold bike that rides better than a Brompton, no matter how costly it is.

    We don't have to wait for the ultimate bike to be ready. We can be the change we want to see.

    Just my $0.02. Please understand that nobody has to agree with me.
    thx 14r...i'm looking into the mezzo...it has arrived in the states and there are in bike shops in nyc....if it is compact (fit into luggage w/o any disassembly), ride better, and cheaper than a brompton...bye bye brompton.

    ps - i just google ur address 14r...u won't believe...i stay in at a hotel (holiday inn express) just right across from u...i have been traveling alot for my job and now looking to bring a folding bike with me.
    Last edited by vincentnyc; 08-12-09 at 09:01 PM.

  16. #16
    tcs
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    The Brompton patent in the USA expired a decade or more ago.

    tcs
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  17. #17
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    I am very interested in anything that is compact (fit into luggage w/o any disassembly) and rides like a brompton (or better).

    My main issue is that I have actually 2 needs: One is a light bike, not focused on comfort, but speed and performace so I can do 20-30 miles and not strugle to keep up with conventional bikes.

    The other need is a more comfortable bike that I can travel with and be able to do 100+ km. Super light is not really necessary here.

    So...ideally, I would have a single bike that I can change saddle, gears etc....


    OR


    2 bikes (equivalent of Bromptons S1E-X and S6L+Plus


    Any ideas?

    (on my way to research about this Mezzo bike.)

  18. #18
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chop! View Post
    Just like viagra & cialis are completely different in every way, the so called Brompton, Strida etc clones are often completely different to their original namesakes.
    Thanks for the info. Hopefully I will never need Brompton, Viagra, Strida or Cialis.

    Kam

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincentnyc View Post
    when flamingo bike start selling their "merc" in the us for half the price...i'm pretty sure brompton will be out of business.
    The Flamingo is not going to be a cheap bicycle! If it does arrive, the price will be slightly less than a Brompton but not much less! People like myself buy the Brompton because even though it's overpriced, there's much more involved. It's called Bling!


    The OP is angry because he cannot afford the Brompton and prefers to see them gone with the wind. LOL! However, you would figure with the Patent expired, others would have jumped in and started making Brompton Clones but this has not been the case.

    Dahon, Bike Friday and Birdy all feel their design is better than Brompton and there is no need to duplicate an original. Quite frankly, I would think less of Bike Friday if they did make an exact duplicate of the Brompton. It's all about pride.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    ...The OP is angry because he cannot afford the Brompton and prefers to see them gone with the wind. LOL! However, you would figure with the Patent expired, others would have jumped in and started making Brompton Clones but this has not been the case.

    Dahon, Bike Friday and Birdy all feel their design is better than Brompton and there is no need to duplicate an original. Quite frankly, I would think less of Bike Friday if they did make an exact duplicate of the Brompton. It's all about pride.
    oh trust me i can afford a brompton...i just dont want waste my hard earn money going toward a greedy monopolize corporation. i just hate big business i.e microsoft, ea crushing little guy. other have tried to jump into brompton design (i.e. merc). look what happen when brompton tried to threaten anita...she stop selling it.
    if brompton didn't feel threaten by the merc, y did they go after anita with a bunch of lawyers?

    ah....since ur nickname is dahon, i guess u haven't heard dahon is coming with a copy design of the brompton folding called the curl? i guess dahon doesn't have any pride huh?
    Last edited by vincentnyc; 08-13-09 at 12:51 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    There is this old patent http://www.pat2pdf.org/patents/pat4182522.pdf but it was filed more than 30 years ago.

    Kam

  22. #22
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    Sometime I have the feeling that we wouldn't hear a lot of this anti-Brompton sentiment if the bikes were an american icon, designed & built in a shed in say, Boston MA, rather than being a british icon, designed & built in a shed in Brentford Middx.

    Why are there no Bike Friday clones, why are there no Swift clones ?

    Just my 0.2cents
    Last edited by Diode100; 08-13-09 at 01:30 AM.

  23. #23
    PDR
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    I really donít understand why you hate Brompton so much!

    There are plenty of people who are very willing to pay the asking price for a quality, hand built, British bike like the Brompton and take pride in owning such bikes. I have bought 2 this year, a custom titanium S-Type & a custom steel M-type (total £ 1,850).

    If you want a cheap bike they are on sale in Asda (Walmart) from £50.

    I guess you also hate Pashley and Moulton, as the last remaining truly British bicycle makers they are obviously charging far too much for their products, especially when they could have the bikes manufactured in Taiwan or China for a faction of the cost.

  24. #24
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Vincent - if you were to look at photos of the Brompton factory - a rare thing in the UK these days - I think you'd understand how terrible your David and Goliath argument is.





    Brompton is a pretty small domestic engineering company that expands incrementally when it can, who trains it's own local staff.
    It sells purely on reputation and spends almost nothing on advertising.
    Flamingobike is in fact the 'Goliath' here - the company builds many bikes for many other manufacturers in the east, and can charge less due to reverse engineering (no need to 'develop' low land rents, cheaper labour and automation.

    So to sum up, using your criteria. Brompton is 'The Little Guy' and Flamingobike is 'Big Business' And you are wrong, sir.

    I really can't believe how loud you are prepared to be about a subject you clearly know pretty much nothing about. Sheesh.
    Last edited by LittlePixel; 08-13-09 at 05:28 AM.

  25. #25
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    vincentnyc, I'm with littlepixel on this one; firstly Brompton is a small engineering firm who design test and build their products in the UK not some large corporation like Trek or Dahon. They could make far more money by manufacturing abroad and badging their bikes like so many other companies do.

    What you are paying for, in part, is a hand built in the UK by a skilled workforce bicycle. Most of the work force live near the factory (not the most affluent area) and can be seen buzzing about on brightly coloured "work" bikes. Even through the recession they have been recruiting production jobs rather than shedding work for factories abroad. Isn't this what we should be looking for?

    To put it another way vincentnyc, Imagine you came up with your idea for a better folding bike. You spend years and thousands developing and refining it and finally start making it in a little local workshop. Then a factory in China (or other low wage country) took all your hard work and produced copies at a third the price?

    It's a free market, they have the choice how to make and price their wares, you have the choice of buying their bikes or not.

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