Stans NoTubes wins 5th patent on tubeless rim design

Stan’s NoTubes helped pioneer the modern tubeless tire system (or, at least, the non-UST version of it), and has accumulated several patents along the way. One of the key differentiators of their design is the extraordinarily low internal sidewall height. Now, they’ve been awarded a 5th patent that describes the interior shaping of the bead hook and more. They’ve also come to an agreement with Velocity about their use of Stan’s designs. Full press release below…

PRESS RELEASE: Stan’s NoTubes is proud to announce the addition of a fifth patent for their innovative tubeless rim design. Building on Stan’s original Bead Socket Technology (BST) design first patented in 2004, U.S. Patent 9,649,878 provides additional details about the interior rim shape and sidewall height of Stan’s influential tubeless rim design.

Stan’s portfolio of rim design patents describes lower rim sidewalls and how a rim’s interior shape relates to sidewall height. They also detail a specific range of dimensions for rim shape and how it interacts with a tire during inflation. Stan’s patented rim shape was designed to work with a wide variety of tubeless road and mountain bike tires.

Stan’s NoTubes is also pleased to announce an amicable agreement with Velocity regarding the use of Stan’s NoTubes’ patented Bead Socket Technology. Per the agreement, Velocity will produce their popular Blunt rims as an officially licensed Stan’s BST product. Changes will be made to other Velocity products to remove them from any conflict with Stan’s protected design. Velocity’s A23, A23OC, Aileron, Cliffhanger and Quill rims will be altered to fall outside the
scope of Stan’s intellectual property.

Velocity’s General Manager Matt Ruiter was happy to find a resolution that worked for both companies. “Velocity is pleased to feature Stan’s Bead Socket Technology on our Blunt SS model rims, providing superior strength, weight, and tubeless performance to traditional rim designs,” said Ruiter.

Stan’s NoTubes President Mike Bush said, “Stan’s rim designs have had a clear influence on the development of tubeless technology. Obviously, we need to protect investments in time and money that helped create our rims, but we also want to see tubeless development continue to improve. Tubeless technology has made bikes faster, more reliable and better handling for everyone, and we think more tubeless in the world is a good thing. We don’t want to jeopardize the ongoing development of the tubeless technology, and we look forward to creating positive partnerships with anyone currently using or looking to license our proven designs.”

NoTubes.com

9 COMMENTS

  1. People are going to hate on this press release I’m sure but I for one think that it is very professional for Stan’s to provide transparency in their legal matters. It has been cool to watch a small company in upstate grow into a very influential one over the years.

    • Stan’s has a right to protect their patented IP.

      The problem is, doing exactly the same thing (shortening the sidewall) as car rims did when we stopped using tubes in cars over 50 years ago, is not novel, & should have NEVER been granted a patent.

      Our overworked patent system with clerks that aren’t encouraged to look at patents with a critical eye is the real problem, & it costs us all taxdollars as cases go to court for things that should have been rejected at the patent office, rather than making it all the way to a jury.

  2. Samuel Colt patented drilling a hole all the way through a piece of metal in the mid 19th century and he defended it vigorously. I think it’s really cool that Stan’s has 5 now. I much prefer patents to trademarks.

    • At the time, you can argue that was actually novel. Stan’s patents are taking a concept used in one field (cars) & applying it to another (bikes.) That’s specifically called out in the rules on what’s patentable, as being not eligible.

      Which is why the companies always settle these matters. Put this in court, & Stan’s loses their patent. But it’s cheaper for the target to settle than take it to court, so they go that route instead. There’s a word for this: extortion.

  3. Exclusive patents usually don’t mesh well with wider adoption. What tires are (and aren’t) compatible? Will the “compatible” tires not be compatible with other rims?

    Stans can do whatever their lawyers want, but I think I’m done with their products. I need more compatibility, not less.

  4. What essentially is happening… that’s amicable… is that the best selling Blunt….if it wasn’t labeled as a ‘licensed’ design, was going to be fought in court and then bye-bye patents altogether. It was in Stan’s best interest to arrive at a solution, as Velocity is NOT a small company easily bowled over like some brands might be.

    Folks often say “well they have to defend their patents or they become invalid”… and that’s wrong. Simply not going after X entity who might be infringing on a patent or trademark or copyright doesn’t render them public domain for all. Many companies pick and choose wisely who they go after.

    Take copyright for example… Harmony Gold, a tv/film production company acquired the international distribution rights for the re-broadcasting of the original Japanese anime series, Super Dimension Fortress Macross, which became the first third of their original creation english-language Robotech cartoon series from Tatsunoko Production which had been granted the rights as part of their workshare agreement with Studio Nue who actually created the Show. Harmony Gold would later zealously launch lawsuits claiming they owned the copyrights to all the original animation, mecha designs, characters, concepts etc. But largely they only tried to bully companies on equal or lower footing than them financially. They went after FASA for example over Battletech, which had also gone right to Japan to Studio Nue in the first place to license some of the artwork. Studio Nue is who ACTUALLY holds the copyrights to Macross (as proven by a Japanese Court), and Tatsunoko thus never owned them to sell to anyone else.

    Thus, Harmony Gold isn’t actually authorized to be enforcing any sort of copyright on the Macross images but nevertheless they still try and do so…in US courts anyways. But again, only against companies they think they can win against usually. When they tried to bully Hasbro Toys… Hasbro went to the trial stage and a Judge dismissed HG’s suit with prejudice. Likewise, they didn’t even threaten a suit against Microsoft, who owns the digital rights to everything Battletech/Mechwarrior, and who produced several of the best Mechwarrior series PC games, because again, Microsoft has the money to pay lawyers to go thru a full trial…where they’d also likely win.

    They’ve now gone after Piranha Games, HareBrained Schemes, and Jordan Wiseman (one of the original founders of FASA, which itself no longer exists) over their supposedly copyrighted images yet again. So far the latest case is in the pre-trial phase. HG is aware of the Japanese court ruling over who owns what of the original studios but basically dismisses it claiming it doesn’t apply to them at all. A US judge likely will not think the same thing though, when its pointed out all their copyright claims are based on an agreement with a Japanese company 30 years ago, which fraudulently sold them something they didn’t actually own.

    One of the things they’re claiming this time, is that their copyright includes derivative artwork… so not only are the Mecha designs of the Macross itself apparently covered, but so are any other mecha designs which resembled the original artwork. Again based all on an invalid copyright to begin with.

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