Fox sues SRAM over bleed valves on 2023 Rockshox suspension forks

In a complaint filed in the Central District of California courts on July 13, 2022, Fox Factory, Inc., is seeking damages from SRAM, LLC, for patent infringement relating to SRAM’s use of bleed ports on their latest Rockshox suspension forks.

In the filing, Fox refers to its Patent # 9,739,331 for a “Method and Apparatus for an Adjustable Damper” that contains a manually activated pressure equalization valve. We’ve seen these on their forks for years, and they’ve proven popular for keeping the forks working their best as temperature and elevation changes throughout the ride.

2023 rockshox forks get pressure relief valves on the pike, lyrik and ZEB forks

A pressure relief valve on one of the new 2023 Rockshox forks.

The recent Rockshox launch of its 2023 Pike, Lyrik and ZEB forks introduced a similar feature on those forks, and Fox is claiming they did so with willful disregard of their patent. Available on Ultimate and Select+ versions of all three forks, the feature appears to operate exactly the same as on Fox’s forks.

Fox is seeking actual and punitive damages, and has asked the courts to demand that SRAM cease sales of infringing products and deliver unsold inventory for destruction. Or perhaps SRAM could just pay damages and plug the holes…which would be easy enough since the valves are removable.

In reality, the end result could simply be that SRAM has to license the technology, much like Race Face (owned by Fox) now has to license narrow-wide chainring teeth from SRAM in a drawn-out legal ordeal that no doubt left a sour taste in Fox’s mouth.

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28 Comments
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Tobif
Tobif
2 months ago

My Mrp ribbon has had these years before Fox. Sew em all!

Otb4mtb
Otb4mtb
2 months ago
Reply to  Tobif

I don’t think a seamstress knows anything about hydraulic forks.

Randulous
Randulous
2 months ago
Reply to  Tobif

They’ve been on the Fox 40 longer than MRP has been making the Ribbon

Commonsence
Commonsence
2 months ago
Reply to  Tobif

Litigation is financed by higher prices, adding about 40% to production costs. Fire the litigators and let quality decide who wins.

knott 4me
knott 4me
2 months ago
Reply to  Tobif

They pay fox a license fee to do so

Swmpdwellr
Swmpdwellr
2 months ago

Basically just don’t support fox after this and the slik debate.

Jason D West
Jason D West
2 months ago
Reply to  Swmpdwellr

sram patented stanchion markings. So l don’t feel sorry for any of them

Ron
Ron
2 months ago
Reply to  Jason D West

That wouldn’t be a patent, that would be a trademark, and it takes very little change in artwork to do something equivalent but not the same and that is legal. Other than the fact that trademarks are cheap versus a patent, I can’t understand why they would have bothered getting one

Dan
Dan
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Sag markers on the stanchion is definitely a patent, not a trademark

paquo
paquo
2 months ago
Reply to  Swmpdwellr

please sram ripped me off with unfit for purpose avid brakes and the 400$ xx cassetes that broke teeth two days out, no sram deserves little credit although they have turned it around

Ron
Ron
2 months ago
Reply to  paquo

Supposedly they have their quality control issues resolved, however I have two friends that got new bikes both with the latest RSC sram brakes and H2 rotors and they’re making a lot of noise and they can’t fix it

Shawn B.
Shawn B.
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

My rear H2 wont stop making noise, my fronts are fine.
RSC with GuideRE Calipers.

TheNormsk
TheNormsk
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

My Codes RSC with HS2 rotors are also super noisy. Not impressed after spending so much $$ on this setup. Wish I’d stuck with Shimano…

Ron
Ron
2 months ago
Reply to  Swmpdwellr

Slik used fox logos and artwork without permission. If you choose to not enforce your trademark you loose them.

Why should fox give away thier trademark and patents?

Daniel
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

It was used by other manufacturers before fox. Why should their patient be valid.

Ron
Ron
2 months ago
Reply to  Swmpdwellr

Then why are there patent rights? If anything you shouldn’t support sram.

Kyle
Kyle
2 months ago

Every MX fork manufacturer should be suing Fox, no?

Josh
Josh
2 months ago
Reply to  Kyle

Patents are application specific so something patented in the automotive industry could be fair game in the cycling industry. It’s all dependent on the actual filing.

Ryan Webb
Ryan Webb
2 months ago
Reply to  Josh

Try “vehicular use”…that pretty much covers the bases and IS enforceable in many jurisdictions.

Eduardo Torres
Eduardo Torres
2 months ago

Buy Suntour!!!!

Piffpaffpuff
Piffpaffpuff
2 months ago

The best possible solution would be to destroy all unsold forks…. Because cycling is a green industry and we all care for the planet. Best idea ever

Tiopapitocustoms
Tiopapitocustoms
2 months ago
Reply to  Piffpaffpuff

And give the carbon,plastic and aluminium residues to the alpacas in order to have sintetic wool!!

Mitch Erwen
Mitch Erwen
2 months ago

Hey Fox, here’s an idea: take the potential financial settlement to re- engineer those POS Fox 36 CSUs that need replacing EVERY TIME I take my fork in for service. #garbage

Bob
Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Mitch Erwen

What do you mean by CSU? I own and have done 200hr services on numerous fox 36 and my only small gripe is the tiny snap ring that holds the low speed compression rod in the damper. That thing sucks to remove and when/if it goes flying its impossible to find. Plus without it your damper will leak.

Daniel
2 months ago

I don’t see ford kicking up a stink because other manufacturers cars roll on tires. What is the difference?

Daniel
2 months ago

2016 people. It’s not fox’s technology. https://www.bikeradar.com/news/mrp-launches-ribbon-suspension-fork/

RyanS
RyanS
2 months ago

Good. SRAM wants to own the whole cycling industry, buying up whatever brands they can to enter each segment of the cycling market. We need less conglomerates like SRAM. In 10-15 years people will be wondering where it all went wrong.

Woody
Woody
2 months ago
Reply to  RyanS

Please research how many companies Fox has bought.