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  1. #1
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    ICT design question

    This is a pretty simple question so I would appreciate it if we could keep things civil. Does Ellsworth license the horst link from Specialized as part of their ICT design?

  2. #2
    Time is not a road.
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    I don't think so. The FSR design relys on pivot placement on the chainstay, while ICT is about the instant center. I think this is how they differ.

  3. #3
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    I didn't think they did either but then searching around there are a few posts saying that they do license it as part of their design.

  4. #4
    The Ancient One
    Reputation: Steve from JH's Avatar
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    Ellsworth does not license from Specialized.

    My guess is that Specialized does not want to challenge the issue because some of their bikes fall within the ICT claim. They might end up with each having to license from the other! The Demo 9, for example, is almost exactly like the Dare in pivot locations.

    Another consideration is the location of the dropout pivot. On the original Truth, which came out way before the ICT design, that pivot was right in front of the axle, not a bit lower. That should have made it not fall within the Horst link patent claims, which called for that pivot to be in front of and below the axle. Later Ellsworth models had that pivot slightly lower, but by then the ICT patent was filed for. If Specialized had protested, they knew that Ellsworth could strike back by not allowing Specialized to locate their pivots in the ICT manner.

    This is all just speculation on my part, but I've read the patents and thought about it a lot.

  5. #5
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    Great reply, thank you Steve.

  6. #6
    The Dude Abides
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    Maybe a little

    I don't know this for sure since I haven't read the Specialized patents very closely, but I would imagine Ellsworth has to license the one Horst Link patent. All of the ICT patents refer to the system of pivots working as a whole. Since Specialized owns the Horst pivot patent, and Ellsworth uses it their patent and design, then I would imagine they have to license it. They would only have to license that one patent however, not the other two Specialized owns.

    Just my 0.02

  7. #7
    Singletrack Addict!!!
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    Specialized did intend in suing Ells for their patent infringement, but according to some unofficial sources the legal battle was not worth it for some reason or was settled in some way outside the court. The horst Link desing goes back to around 92-93 and patented by spec around 97, so ells had nothing to do with it in the beggining. Recently Scott was going to fight the S in order to sell HL equipped bikes on US, but they withdraw. Me thinks Spec has a good army of lawers. They do (scott) continue to sell the bikes outside US, as does other companies that use the HL, like Davinci, Merida, Mondraker, even Giant a few years back in the NRS.

  8. #8
    "Furruccio....Bite Me!"
    Reputation: Zeke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH
    Ellsworth does not license from Specialized.

    My guess is that Specialized does not want to challenge the issue because some of their bikes fall within the ICT claim. They might end up with each having to license from the other! The Demo 9, for example, is almost exactly like the Dare in pivot locations.

    Another consideration is the location of the dropout pivot. On the original Truth, which came out way before the ICT design, that pivot was right in front of the axle, not a bit lower. That should have made it not fall within the Horst link patent claims, which called for that pivot to be in front of and below the axle. Later Ellsworth models had that pivot slightly lower, but by then the ICT patent was filed for. If Specialized had protested, they knew that Ellsworth could strike back by not allowing Specialized to locate their pivots in the ICT manner.

    This is all just speculation on my part, but I've read the patents and thought about it a lot.
    I think ICT is a mythical concept that TE came up with, after the fact, to separate his bikes from the competition. I don't believe there is any scientific fact to back up his claims.

    There are no S bikes that would remotely infringe on the ICT concept.

    Here's another question for you, How come the HL Turners are ICT, but the TNT's are not? DT says the axle path is only 1.1mm different. So how did this drastically change with ICT?

  9. #9
    The Ancient One
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    Wrong on all counts

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeke
    I think ICT is a mythical concept that TE came up with, after the fact, to separate his bikes from the competition. I don't believe there is any scientific fact to back up his claims.
    An auto racing engineer named Mike Kojima (whose name is also on the patent) came to Ellsworth with the idea. Only after that were the ICT bikes produced. It's certainly a scientific fact that in one gear combination the chain line passes through the instant center and stays very close throughout travel.
    There are no S bikes that would remotely infringe on the ICT concept.
    The Demo 9 and 8 have pivots located just like the Dare and are just as much ICT bikes. In the past I believe some of the Enduros also fell within the ICT claims but in their lowest gear rather than in a middle gear.

    Here's another question for you, How come the HL Turners are ICT, but the TNT's are not? DT says the axle path is only 1.1mm different. So how did this drastically change with ICT?
    The axle must be mounted on the seatstay link and the pivot on the chainstay link for it to be ICT.

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