The $1 Jury Award for Specialized Bicycles
I’ve been riding bikes and racing triathlons for several years and been able to ride in some amazing places. Below is a picture of my brother, my Dad, and me during a trip to France in 2010.
Specialized is a premier American bicycle manufacturing company that has had significant success in the European peleton and in the triathlon world. They are also very aggressive about defending their technology.
Specialized sued two former employees in California who were starting a competing bike company. The lawsuit claimed the employees were using proprietary information and violating their non-compete agreements.
The case went to trial and the jury awarded Specialized $1.00. The jury seems to have agreed that there was a breach of contract, but no real damage. Regardless, Specialized was able to slow down the progress of the fledgling company through litigation. As one of the former employees noted:
The bike industry is all about the small amount of innovation that brings new people in. We should all celebrate that. Between them and us, we spent 2.5 million dollars on this. It’s just so silly. Think of what we could have done with all of that (to improve bicycles).
No one really won in the lawsuit except the lawyers. Specialized has a $1 verdict and both companies have incurred significant legal fees. Now they can get on with the real competition – who can build the better bike.