Aussie firm sues Merida, Selle Royal over saddle design

By Stephen Frothingham

Plaintiff has already reached settlement with Specialized, says Giant also may have violated patents.

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 early 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 …read more

Via:: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News