Split Pivot, founded by Dave Weagle, won the rights to the US split pivot suspension patent in 2010. He originally applied for the patent on August 25th, 2006. The suspension platform is designed to isolate braking forces by using a rear pivot that rotates around the wheel’s axle concentrically.
Weagle asserts that in February of 2007 he contacted Trek about a potential collaboration. A non-disclosure agreement was signed and designs and information regarding the suspensions performance features were subsequently shared.
On April 16, 2007, more than one month after receiving the Split Pivot PowerPoint presentation from Weagle, Trek filed a patent application for an eerily similar concentric pivot suspension design which is now marketed as ABP, or Active Braking Pivot.
Weagles lawsuit alleges that Trek has violated two of his patents and is requesting an amount sufficient to compensate for Treks infringement, at the very least a reasonable royalty, and to be compensated for Split Pivot attorneys’ fees, expenses, and costs incurred in this action.
The first Trek bikes featuring ABP where launched in 2007. Is it conceivable that Trek was able to rip Weagle of and launch a line of new bikes in mere months, or is this simply a case of two teams developing a system separately but at similar times? As Trek has pointed out, a similar design was utilized by Crestone Peak Super Active Suspension in 1994.
You can find all of the relevant patents here. Let us know what you think in the comments…