Aussie firm sues Merida, Selle Royal over saddle design

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Aussie firm sues Merida, Selle Royal over saddle design

Postby Ross » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:26 am ... dle-design

MELBOURNE, Australia (BRAIN) — A privately held Australian company that owns two bicycle seat patents, Icon-Intellectual Property, is suing Merida Industry and Selle Royal and has notified Giant Bicycles that it, too, may be infringing its patents.

Icon-IP has filed its patent infringement case in the Regional Court of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany, and a separate action against Selle Royal in Italy. Selle Royal supplies Giant with Fizik-branded saddles spec’d on many of Giant’s high-end bicycles. Merida is using saddles in Europe branded with its own name.

If successful in the German court, Icon-IP would attempt to negotiate a global licensing agreement for saddles that essentially feature a groove in the middle of the seat. It’s a design first popularized in the U.S. when Specialized introduced its Body Geometry line in September 1999.

Merida has until Sept. 20 to respond, and unless a settlement is reached the case could be decided as soon as February 2017. The Mannheim Court specializes in patent cases and often rules on lawsuits within six to eight months of a suit’s filing — a system that’s much quicker than a similar action the in the U.S.

The saddle design in question features a narrow shape that concentrates the rider’s weight on the ischia or sitz bones, often with a split in the middle. That split creates, in effect, two hinges that allow each side to flex independently. The groove created by the design relieves pressure on the nerves and arteries connected to the !!! spammer !!!.

The saddle design has sparked several lawsuits over the years.

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