Appeals court sides with Fox, sends SRAM patent decision back to board

By Steve Frothingham

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — A Federal appeals court has given Fox a small victory in its long running chainring patent legal battle with SRAM, but the case appears still far from concluded.

In a ruling Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated a 2018 decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office board. After a review requested by Fox, the board had upheld SRAM’s patent for a chainring with chain retention features. The appeals court sent the case back to the board to reconsider.

In 2015, SRAM had called out RaceFace, which is owned by Fox, for offering a chainring with chain retention features without licensing SRAM’s patent as other brands have done. SRAM sued RaceFace in Illinois for patent infringement, a case that is on hold pending the patent board review.

The case involves patent #9,182,027.

In a 2018 decision that at least a few legal observers found noteworthy, the board found that SRAM’s patent claims combined features shown in prior art, including some unpatented Shimano technology from the 1980s. On those grounds the technology might have been considered obvious and unpatentable. However, the board upheld the patent in part because secondary …read more

Via:: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News