Canyon and Cervélo settle patent dispute

Long-running legal wrangle resolved with swapsies

by Mat Brett   January 14, 2011  

Maximus seat tube.jpg

Bike brands Canyon and Cervélo have reached an amicable settlement in their legal dispute regarding the Maximus seat tube patent. Cervélo is allowed to continue manufacturing its frames using the familiar seat tube design and in return Canyon gets the right to use certain Cervélo patents.

Canyon’s European patent refers to a seat tube with a special load-bearing design which is characteristically flat on the driveside, creating clearance for a front mech and chainrings. The German manufacturer argued that Cervélo’s R3, R3SL and RS frames violated this patent.

The European Patent Office had declared the Maximus seat tube fully patentable, although it had demanded Canyon adjust its claim. It is patented in nine European countries, and corresponding patents have been granted in the USA and China.

The legal action is now settled although the Cervélo patents that Canyon are permitted to use have not been made public and neither side will comment further on the arrangement.

“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, chief executive of Canyon, expressed his satisfaction as well.

“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.

Canyon’s marketing description of the Maximus Seat tube goes like this: “Narrow at the top, elliptical at the bottom and flattened on one side: The patented Maximus seat tube allows maximum stiffness of the rear triangle for sprints thanks to the wider contact area of the hollow section bottom bracket shell. A front derailleur can be easily mounted thanks to the flattened right side, and the tapered tube which becomes narrower towards the top and the VCLS Stays allows for better damping characteristics despite the extreme stiffness of the rear triangle.”