When Scott was relaunched in the US at Sea Otter earlier this year, Specialized execs took a keen interest in the suspension set-up on the Genius. Mike Sinyard's company filed suit, claiming patent infringement. Unless the infringement suit is settled, Scott cannot sell its headline-making Genius bikes in the US.

America: A Genius-free zone?

Genius bikes are just 15 percent of the 05 roster of bikes, said Scott’s general manager for Europe, but it’s a newsworthy line and Pascal Ducrot, a former road bike professional, may be disappointed if, as he thinks, there will be a deal within two months, claimed US journalists at the St Moritz launch.

Niche builders such as Intense, Turner and Ellsworth licence Specialized’s four-bar suspension, single chainstay pivot design but US journalists don’t think Specialized will back down in a hurry.

Andrew Juskaitis of VeloNews told BikeBiz.com: "Sinyard will never licence to Scott. It’s not the same as Intense, or the ‘secret’ deal with Giant, Scott is a major competitor in Europe. It’s personal."

The US journalists wondered why they had been invited to a product launch with many key products they wouldn’t be able to write about.

"American readers aren’t interested in the lawsuit or the politics, they want to read about product they can buy," said Juskaitis.

The other US journalists at the launch were Matt Phillips of Bicycling, Mike Ferrentino of Bike Magazine, and Richard Cunningham of Mountain Bike Action. All, apart from Cunningham, favoured the Genius platform for the downhill rides led by Marathon MTB world champion, Thomas Frischknect.

The Genius line was first launched at Eurobike last year, and has had rave reviews in the MTB consumer press. Scott’s three-position pull-shock on the Genius is a Scott-exclusive and the suspension set-up is marketed as IPS, Intelligent Pivot System.

A handlebar-mounted lever can change the suspension, on-the-fly. Depending on terrain, the Genius rider can choose ‘All Travel’ mode, ‘Traction’ mode or a locked out mode.

Scott Montgomery, the Idaho-based general manager of Scott USA Bicycle, told BikeBiz.com:

"Our Genius design was independently developed by Scott and offers unique features.

"The Specialized litigation involves US patents. Specialized has no corresponding patent in Europe or elsewhere, and therefore this dispute has no impact on our continuing sales in Europe and other parts of the world.

"Because this litigation is in an early stage, we cannot provide any timeline estimate as when it might be concluded."

Specialized has yet to comment.


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