Dave Weagle Sues Giant for Patent Infringement
It's no secret that Giant's Maestro suspension system looks very similar to the DW-Link (notably of Iron Horse Sunday fame) developed by Dave Weagle. Weagle, after having apparently extensively negotiated with Giant regarding potential licensing of his technology, and even entering a Joint Development Agreement to create a new version of the Maestro platform together with Giant, has now filed a lawsuit against Giant (both Giant Taiwan and its wholly owned subsidiary Giant USA) for patent infringement as well as for breaking the terms of the aforementioned JDA.
Consulting the text of the lawsuit (the full version is available HERE, if you have trouble falling asleep at night), it appears that Weagle is making a case for infringement of several patents, following him showing early prototypes of his work to Giant representatives in 2004. The text also describes how Giant and Weagle subsequently negotiated a Joint Development Agreement for the creation of a "G+" suspension system for Giant, an agreement which Weagle now claims Giant have failed to honor.
Looking at the drawings and the patent text, it's hard to see how this trial could be anything but a foregone conclusion, but as we all know, things are rarely that straightforward in the judicial system. We'll just have to wait and see - stay tuned!
Update: In a letter sent to retailers in early May, Giant responded to the lawsuit, vowing to defend against the patent infringement allegations. The text of that letter is below.
GIANT'S RESPONSE TO DW-LINK LAWSUIT
To our valued Giant retailers,
Earlier this week, several consumer cycling Web sites reported on the patent infringement litigation between dw-link/Dave Weagle and Giant involving the Maestro Suspension design. Below is Giant’s official response to this matter:
Giant vigorously disputes and intends to aggressively defend against the patent infringement allegations contained in the lawsuit recently filed by dw- link. Maestro Suspension is a Giant proprietary design, and our retailers can continue to sell Maestro-equipped mountain bikes with confidence.
Giant will continue to focus on developing world-leading technologies to help you grow your business and provide a superior cycling experience for riders worldwide.
We greatly appreciate your support and business.
-- GIANT RETAILER SUPPORT