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Little guys getting screwed

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by dropmachine, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. dropmachine

    dropmachine Turbo Monkey

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    So today I saw the new Specialized SS bike, which funny enough, is pretty much exactly like the Dobermann Le Pink. Then i was thinking about the problems DW had with Giant in regards to linkage similarities, and it got me wondering if the little guys have anything they can do? Obviously legally they can't fight a bigger company since the legal fees would be prohibitive, but anything else?

    Just curious.
     

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  2. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    Ah man, I thought this was midget porn. Nothing to see here......
     
  3. Tetreault

    Tetreault Monkey

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    sadly as you said, no, not really anything that they could do due to the absorbent legal fee's. Dobermann is kind of SOL because there is nothing patented with regards to their frame design, even though the new P-slope is essentially as close to a complete rip off as i have ever seen in a situation such as this. Even the description of what the bike is is nearly identical to how dobermann has marketed and portrayed the le pink for the last number of years. (identical geo to P3 to just with some suspension *paraphrase)

    All that you can hope is that specialized fails horribly with the project due to karma, and people in the market for something like this look to dobermann or black market or other brands that went out on a limb a number of years ago to create a desired niche.

    This is only adding to my out right hatred for specialized being the worst brand in the industry. ****s
     
  4. OffCamber

    OffCamber Monkey

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    My question is, what is Specialized legal recourse outside of the US. There are multiple companies running the Horst suspension outside the US? Do they have to pay for the copyright? Serious question. If not maybe it's Karma in reverse. I don't know.
     
  5. MrPlow

    MrPlow Monkey

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    Must spread rep before giving JeremyR...: :D

    My answer is spread the word and rat them out. And show some loyalty.
    I have some Australian patents going through on my bike. But I simply cannot afford to patent in USA, then Europe. Let alone fight the big boys in court.
    It is a shame that patents alone are really not enough. You need a spare half a million to fight them.
     
  6. tabletop84

    tabletop84 Monkey

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    No, that's the reason you can't buy some popular brands from europe overseas.
     
  7. sbabuser

    sbabuser Turbo Monkey

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    So Dobermann markets the Le Pink as having identical geo to a P3? I'd say Specialized is the one who should be upset... :rofl:
     
  8. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    Yeah that would scare me too.
     
  9. Tetreault

    Tetreault Monkey

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    figure it out :rolleyes:




    Like.... Really?

    Specialized, you're supposed to be the masters of heinous marketing and bull ****ting customers, yet not only are you essentially stealing a small companies design almost to a T, AND you describe your copied frame in a nearly similar matter?

    CTRL+C must be their favourite short cut....
     
    #9 -   Aug 16, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  10. rpet

    rpet Turbo Monkey

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    The two brands couldn't be further apart in size, positioning, dealer network, aesthetic.

    I'm always for the underdog, but I'm not sure if the Specialized bike threatens Dobermann.

    Has DW been set back by Giant? He's managed to expand his suspensions designs from 1 brand... to 6?
     
  11. Kanye West

    Kanye West 220# bag of hacktastic

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    The title of this thread is VERY deceiving...
     
  12. William42

    William42 fork ways

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    I agree with hacktastic.

    Also, concentric BB bikes have been around for awhile. Its not like this is some sort of new crazy tech. And i'm pretty sure I've see shocks going through the seattube on specialized bikes for a few years. dobermann hardly invented a concentric BB short travel slopestyle bike that is progressive and rides like a hardtail most of the time. maestro and dw link is a whole different ballgame. This is something that you'd see being made in somebodies garage.
     
  13. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    No kidding. They are copying a design that Next and every other major manufacturer has tried? No one can make a patent stick on something that isn't original, and just because you weld it out of different material or with slightly different angles doesn't make it original. To that extent, specialized can make bikes like that P3 and others that do not require a special patent (like a horst-link, etc). Clever companies even get around these patents, but we shouldn't go rewarding stupidity or lack of development.

    I was hoping for a post about leprechauns.
     
  14. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    Come on man, are you surprised? It's specialized. They rip off a design and then squish the designers. They did it with the epic, the horst link, the id valve, and others I'm sure.

    The take home though is that this isn't really a rip. That would be like saying any hardtail made after the first hardtail is a ripoff. People will still buy the dobermann because it's an awesome bike and dobermann is a cool company. Kona ripped off the Cove G-spot/Arrow DS3 design in 2001 or so, and nobody seemed to care then.

    I'm just excited to see more cheap concentric pivot bikes. I would love to own one as a cross jumper/park bike. I find that it's much easier to get to highland than it is to go real DHing.
     
  15. William42

    William42 fork ways

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    Are you going to slam dobermann too? because I guarantee you that if I spend 5 minutes searching, I can come up with at least three companies that were doing concentric bb short travel slopestyle bikes before dobermann was. Hell, some of them probably even had shock rate altering linkages. I am also confidant I can find bikes *made by specialized* that were driving the shock through the seattube before dobermann was even a company. There is literally nothing new or original about dobermanns design. Its not a "rippoff" when you have the designs sitting in a file cabinet for 20 years, you pull them out and think "hmm, I bet we could tweak this so that it would ride like a hardtail, and there seems to be a demand for that these days," when it turns out another company decided something similar 3 years ago.

    This isn't a conspiracy theory. Specialized is not out to crush the little guy. I have literally no affiliation with specialized, i don't own any specialized products (save my current gloves), but the constant conspiracy theories about how evil specialized are a little bit nuts.
     
  16. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    reading comprehension guy. The second paragraph states "The take home though is that this isn't really a rip. That would be like saying any hardtail made after the first hardtail is a ripoff."

    So no, this isn't a ripoff necessarily, but specialized makes a happy habit of ripping of smaller companies.
     
  17. no skid marks

    no skid marks Monkey

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    Good thread topic, not the best example.
    Off topic, is the Specialized steel? Doubt it, I'd pick theother one myself mainly for material choice.
    I'll dig this thread back up if they ever copy the Zerode. I think it was Specialized that aparently bought one.
    Only so many ways to skin a cat as far as keeping a small consentric pivot bike light, low and with the right shock leverage curve. They could've mounted shock to downtube and lowered seat stay a bit. Probably a better design for seat hight adjustability, but maybe at the cost of stiffness or weight.
     
    #17 -   Aug 17, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  18. bikerpunk98199

    bikerpunk98199 Turbo Monkey

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    There is no way in hell I would by the doberman, or any other bike similar, instead of the Spec. I honestly don't care about the history and all behind this. Just look at the two bikes together though, one Does look better than the other, it just happens to be red and have a S on it.
     
  19. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    can you elaborate on these three? Honestly just interested in a little big s history with respect to patents, etc. I'm interested to see what happens when Horst patent runs out.
     
  20. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    id Valve vs. stratos:
    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/f19/specialized-crushes-stratos-*unconfirmed*-165385/
    http://forums.mtbr.com/downhill-freeride/stratos-sued-out-business-225008.html
    Specialized used their lawyer pool to cease and desist stratos, who was making id valves which were actually licensed from a small off road truck shock company, iirc. With virtually no other customers at the time, stratos folded.

    Epic vs Merida:
    http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=129093
    Actually, this is a bad example as it turns out Merida has a significant share of specialized. I could have sworn there was a really small company that initially had a design like that, and specialized effectively "took" it.

    The horst link is a bit more vague. Specialized effectively bought it from Horst leitner in 1998. They then used their considerable might to squish everybody who had already been using the design without argument for the last 4 years. They had already been using the fsr system for at least two years before buying the patent.

    extra:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/california-norcal/specialized-again-760256.html

    Bikerpunk, are you for real? The dobermann is a hand welded cromoly, straight tubed ultra clean design. You're going to choose the aluminum specialized for no reason other than it's red? If the geometry works for you, that's one thing, but having ridden a pinscher before, the frame is pretty dialed. The le pink is a softtail pinscher. So, because hydroforming, you'd pick specialized?
     
  21. William42

    William42 fork ways

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    This is exactly my point. You're painting a big conspiracy theory here, and its not. Protecting your IP is not "screwing the little guy."

    Inertia valve, which is sounds like specialized owned the patent for, later went on to become one of their most successful products appearing on a huge portion of their lineup, and being a major selling point on all of their most popular lines of mountain bikes. Wanting to prevent other companies from using that tech is not "screwing the little guy" and its not halting progress. Look at how much further ran with it then stratos ever could have or would have. If specialized owns the patent, more power to them.

    Specialized and marida are heavily in bed together. Bad example as we both agree, why even bring it up? It certainly doesn't help your conspiracy theory.

    The Horst link? Specialized paid for it fair and square. Other companies clearly saw the benefit of it, and did not invest in the patent. Thats how intellectual property works: you get control of the idea, and if you want to sell it for lots of dollars, you can. If somebody else wants to buy the patent, and lay claim to it and protect it, that's entirely acceptable. You can't claim that specialized is being an asshole by making a sound business decision. Every other company like turner had exactly the same opportunity to think "wow that looks like a good idea, I should buy that patent" that specialized did. And you can't claim that specialized would have made anywhere near as much money if there were 20 other brands using the horst link.

    Moving on to your "extra": Wanna hear something interesting? It probably wont change your mind because specialized is the ultimate evil in bicycle companies apparently, but guess what: Specialized won the lawsuit. Quickly. It wasn't a "drag it out in court till the other guy runs out of money" suit. Hell, I think they only sued for a dollar, it was more of a "don't use designs that you came up with while working for us." If you're working for a company, and your contract says "we hold the rights to any designs you come up with while working for us" its probably not a great call to quit the company and begin using one of the designs that you came up with for that company. That doesn't fly in any industry. Coming out with a bicycle that is in direct competition of a company you used to work for is one thing. Using the designs that you made for that company while working for that company is a whole different story.

    I've only heard of one lawsuit of specialized genuinely being retarded to a small company, which was suing some outdoor company that made a backpack called the epic or something. Which I think they dropped.

    Specialized pulls some shady **** with dealers sometimes, asking them to drop other brands etc, which is pretty lame, but protecting IP is very infrequently lame.

    Anyway, I'm done, I doubt there is any amount of evidence that will convince you that specialized isn't the incarnate of everything you hate about bicycles, and not just you, but probably most of the people who want a "bad guy" to hate on too. And frankly, I just don't really care. If I owned stock in specialized, or worked for them or something i might, but I don't, and its no skin off my back.
     
  22. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    uh, no?

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/01/news/an-expensive-dollar-volagi-owes-specialized-1_203443

    In short, Specialized tried to crush Volgogi with legal fees, they fought back, and won, except for one of the creators technically breaching contract, to which they awarded specialized one dollar, instead of the 41,500$ they sued for.

    For somebody with "nothing vested" in specialized, you care a lot about defending them.

    As far as the id valve goes, the stories I read basically suggest that specialized was successful in doing to Stratos what they tried to do to Volgina, which is to crush their business with a massive lawsuit before it even goes to trial. Since stratos was already pretty much going out of business when they in-licensed the technology, it was significantly easier just to pack up and go home.

    But just like I won't accept that Specialized dances around with flowers in its hair, petting bunnies and planting trees, you won't accept that Specialized is a pitch fork wielding, apple-like patent trolling monster, so I suggest we agree to disagree.
     
  23. iRider

    iRider Turbo Monkey

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    What about suing Mountain Cycle for naming their CX bike Stumptown (after the nickname of the city they were located in = Portland) because it was too close to their Stumpjumper???? If they really believed that there was a chance that one of their customers would accidentally buy a CX bike instead of a trail bike then they must think only retarded people ride their bikes. :rant:
     
  24. bikerpunk98199

    bikerpunk98199 Turbo Monkey

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    Lifetime Warranty. Could careless about a bike being hand welded, to be honest. For me, it just looks prettier.
     
  25. marshalolson

    marshalolson Turbo Monkey

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    If anything, specialized ripping off dobermann's design will be the best thing to ever happen to dobermann.
     
  26. gemini2k

    gemini2k Turbo Monkey

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    I love when people pretend these designs and frame ideas are novel/new/innovative.

    Newsflash, somewhere, someplace, EVERY (worthwhile) geometry configuration has been tried. NO geometry numbers are innovative, period, that includes suspension travel. Add that to the fact that concentric single pivots have been around since the dawn of suspension bikes and well, yeah, you get the idea.

    Edit:

    Just for arguments sake, didn't Kona used to make a cowen signature full suspension jump bike with a concentric pivot like 6-7 years ago?
     
    #26 -   Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  27. LOOnatic

    LOOnatic Turbo Monkey

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    Yep. And later with the Bas model (Paul Basagoita).
     
  28. dropmachine

    dropmachine Turbo Monkey

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    I love how a forum built on people flipping out over the most inane, inconsequential bike details turns around completely and say that the Dobermann and the Kona are the same because they shared the same main pivot. lolz.

    The Specialized is pretty much a carbon copy of the dob. Pierced seattube and all. Its weird from a company that says FSR is the reincarnation of Jebus to pop over to something completely different, and produce a bike thats a copy of anothers for a segment of the riding scene they haven't touched before no? Not sayin Spec is evil or anything, cause I don't believe that in the least. Just sayin it seems pretty shameless here, and kinda obvious that they seem to have xeroxed another companies bike that was seeing a bit of success in a riding segment where Specialized had nothing.

    Anyways, point of the whole thing was just curious if little guys had any sort of leverage when something like that happens, but I guess not. All comes down to lawyers and bucks I suppose.
     
  29. no skid marks

    no skid marks Monkey

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    When does Specialized Horst Link patenet end? Possibly we'll see a lot more non Horst Specializeds in the next year or so.
     
  30. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    Like Arrow. I remember that they did a short-travel dual slalom concentric pivot bike. The idea is not original. Not even close.
     
  31. Tetreault

    Tetreault Monkey

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    that pretty well sums up my exact thoughts on this situation as well
     
  32. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    And here is a post from a Stratos employee in the thread that Sandwich posted. The thread really gets going on page 10. Stratos didn't fail because Specialized sued em, Stratos failed because they were a crappy company in just about every way. Keep reading through the remaining pages for further posts on why. It becomes obvious quick, and whether or not the Specialized thing was "fair" really doesn't have much to do with it, all of the other information points to the fact that they were a horrible company.