Dave Weagle's Spilt Pivot Vs Trek's ABP Saga continues

jairaj Posts: 3,009
edited December 2013 in MTB general
A US judge has ruled that Trek's ABP suspension system does not infringe on Dave Weagle's Split Pivot design.


Something to do with different leverage ratios and utilising different shock technologies. Don't understand any of it my self. To my untrained eye they both look the same. Hoping our resident suspension guru Supersonic can clear it up?


  • bennett_346
    bennett_346 Posts: 5,029
    The patent for the split pivot design probably only covers a very specific range of leverage ratios and applications etc. Trek will have one hell of a patent attorney on a heck of a wage. The US court system works on technicalities in the commercial sector. I would be willing to bet the case was quashed on a technical term associated to the wording/drawings in the patent.

    What you are reading in the article is likely only 1% of the full picture here.
  • lawman
    lawman Posts: 6,868
    I've heard that the big deal is not the eccentric pivot, so it could be leverage ratios and stuff, I guess the main reason it has been ruled as it has is because Trek's shocks are attached to the extended chainstay and Split Pivot doesn't, but that's a wild guess!
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    I've not looked into the patents, but it always surprises me with what people can actually patent. A leverage ratio curve?

    As far as the concentric axle/rear pivot goes, I was under the impression it was deemed they both developed that idea at the same time. I say 'developed' - more like actually decided to do it. It seems now that there is a bit of patent nit picking going on. And the ironic thing - the split pivot is just away to bypass another patent, FSR.
  • jairaj
    jairaj Posts: 3,009
    supersonic wrote:
    ... but it always surprises me with what people can actually patent. A leverage ratio curve?

    Yep that's the bit that surprised me too. I know nothing about Intellectual Property protection or much about mechanical engineering but from a common sense point of view, I don't get it. How can you have two patents on the same thing just used differently.

    Its a bit like me patenting the hammer as a tool used to drive nails into wood and then someone else patenting the same hammer but as something used to break a wall?! Its the same thing just just differently! :?
  • rockmonkeysc
    rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    The patent will cover how the ratio curve is achieved. You can get a patent to cover a linkage system which achieves a curve shape by using levers driven by a swinging arm and driving a shock absorber. It covers the entire design philosophy rather than specific details.
    A patent which covers specific details gives no protection at all.