The battle has been raging for a while now; Canyon bikes sued Cervélo back in November over what they say is a patent infringement regarding their Maximus seat tube design, a tapering tube shape that thickens and elongates as it approaches to bottom bracket junction. The suit started with a ruling in Germany in September, and continued with a November hearing by the European Patent Office. The dispute has now been settled – see who came out on top after the break.
Both sides announced a mutual settlement out of court today, issuing a brief joint statement in which both companies seemed happy with the outcome. Most details of the deal are being kept confidential, but we do know that Cervélo will continue to manufacture the disputed frames (RS, R3, and R3 SL) as is, and Canyon will be allowed to use some of Cervélo’s other patents.
“We’re happy this matter is resolved, that’s good news for both companies and for consumers,” said Gerard Vroomen, co-founder of Cervélo.
Roman Arnold, who heads up the Canyon brand, also praised the agreement. “After the long lasting lawsuit both sides can once again concentrate on what they can do best: build high class, innovative and trendsetting bicycles,” he said.
Cervélo had argued that the design was a result of widely held industry knowledge, and that Canyon’s patent had simply cashed in on information that everyone already knew, thus making the patent invalid. Canyon, however, believed that the design was proprietary to their frames, with Arnold saying back in November, ““Five years ago we made a contribution to the technical progress of bicycles with the Canyon Maximus Seat-tube. Now we are seeking protection of our invention.”
And so the dispute ends. While we don’t know which Cervélo patents Canyon will be entitled to, we’ll be keeping a close eye on future Canyon/Cervelo builds for any similarities.
What do you think? Was Cervélo stealing ideas or did Canyon just patent the obvious? Let us know in the comments section below!