Speedplay's Legal Goon Squad

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Sheltowee said:
Speedplay. Money wasted for me. Back on Look. Yeah I can see why they need to bully: no platform, not durable, bad product.
Tried Look, poor bearings(recalled!!), terminal sqeak, short lived cleats, poor when compared to shimano or Speedplay.

I have Speedplay, have for 5 years(Zeros), reliable, great platform, great product.
 
BroDeal said:
Speedplay has been harrassing a man who sells rebuild kits on eBay. It looks like Speedplay wants people to buy their overpriced kits instead of buying standard bearings. You have to read a bit into the thread because Speedplay bullied the OP into deleting his posts.

http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=80010

This looks to be a long standing tactic with them. I can remember back in the day when they refused to let anyone sell their pedals if they also sold another pedal. I think it was Beebop. They did their best to drive the company out of business.
Ah that's what happened to Bebop, similar design and on the market well before Speedplay I believe.

I have a nice pair of Bebops stored for years if anyone wants em.
 
May 21, 2010
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If I were Frikinspit I would lay low for awhile and then start selling them again. This time advertising them as pedal rebuild kits with no mention of Speedplay or "Lollipop" design. Speedplay™ certainly doesn't have any legitimate legal claims to aftermarket bolts and bearings that they don't manufacture.

Now then **rubs hands together** who's interested in a tutorial on how to make your own Speedplay™ retention springs?!!
 
Jul 12, 2009
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Elagabalus said:
If I were Frikinspit I would lay low for awhile and then start selling them again. This time advertising them as pedal rebuild kits with no mention of Speedplay or "Lollipop" design. Speedplay™ certainly doesn't have any legitimate legal claims to aftermarket bolts and bearings that they don't manufacture.

Now then **rubs hands together** who's interested in a tutorial on how to make your own Speedplay™ retention springs?!!
Problem with this is he will no longer be able to use the word/s that potential buyers use to search at ebay.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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Never Again

Speedplay X stainless pedals. C springs wore flat in a very short time and broke. Replaced C springs 3 times in 1 year. Replaced cleats $50 in 1 year after the medal broke off in the corner of the original cleats. New cleats broke within 3 months same location
The pedals break all the time. I would not recommend the pedals to anybody. Too expensive to maintain.

Speedplay customer service recommended I sell my X pedals on Ebay and upgrade to their Lite action or Zero. No help from Speedplay to trade up.

At one point the customer service rep stated that I might have an anatomical abnormality and it was not Speedplay’s problem.
They were not concerned that they would lose a customer, they already had my money
 
Mar 18, 2009
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sameoldguy said:
Speedplay customer service recommended I sell my X pedals on Ebay and upgrade to their Lite action or Zero. No help from Speedplay to trade up.
The funny thing about that is that the thread I posted has several examples, including one today, of Speedplay shutting down the eBay auctions of people trying to sell their pedals.

From that thread and similar threads on other sites, it is apparent that this is a nasty company that will F its customers at every opportunity.
 
May 21, 2010
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sameoldguy said:
Speedplay X stainless pedals. C springs wore flat in a very short time and broke. Replaced C springs 3 times in 1 year. Replaced cleats $50 in 1 year after the medal broke off in the corner of the original cleats. New cleats broke within 3 months same location
The pedals break all the time. I would not recommend the pedals to anybody. Too expensive to maintain.

Speedplay customer service recommended I sell my X pedals on Ebay and upgrade to their Lite action or Zero. No help from Speedplay to trade up.

At one point the customer service rep stated that I might have an anatomical abnormality and it was not Speedplay’s problem.
They were not concerned that they would lose a customer, they already had my money
Sameoldguy, you really get around! Just saw some of your postings on cycling forums. Could you describe in a little more detail what piece of metal broke off of your pedal? Or better yet, do you have a photo and one which also shows where the c-springs wore flat? I have never known that to happen in such a short period of time. It sounds like your cleats are not completely flat and consequently the c-springs bind and cannot move along their entire length of travel. Is it really hard to click in when you use them?

Incidentally, you can make your own c-springs with a vise, a hammer and two sets of needle-nose pliers and some stainless steel rod.

And from the photos (although**Disclaimer** I have never tried it) it looks like the difference between the X/2's and the Zeros are just a Dremel™ bit away! :) But you'll have to buy another set of Zero cleats.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Elagabalus said:
Incidentally, you can make your own c-springs with a vise, a hammer and two sets of needle-nose pliers and some stainless steel rod.
Uh-oh. You should prepare for the inevitable assault by Speedplay's lawyers.

Double uh-oh. I used the word "Speedplay." I need to prepare as well.
 
The warped morality of punters in here is staggering.

You spend years working for NO PAY at all developing your product. If you are incredibly lucky you have something that you can patent and sell. Most times you just go broke.

After years of blood sweat and tears maybe you have something, you then spend years developing the company, the whole time you're on a knife edge, fending off the bank manager with one hand and the competition with the other. The only thing you have is your IP tied up in your patents (which you paid dearly for).

And then some guy comes along and copies it and sells it on the internet for a few bucks....then squeals like a stuck pig when he gets called to account.

It's THEFT plain and simple. If you don't like Speedplay's rebuild part prices, buy another brand, but don't blame them for protecting their property.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Polyarmour said:
The warped morality of punters in here is staggering.

You spend years working for NO PAY at all developing your product. If you are incredibly lucky you have something that you can patent and sell. Most times you just go broke.

After years of blood sweat and tears maybe you have something, you then spend years developing the company, the whole time you're on a knife edge, fending off the bank manager with one hand and the competition with the other. The only thing you have is your IP tied up in your patents (which you paid dearly for).

And then some guy comes along and copies it and sells it on the internet for a few bucks....then squeals like a stuck pig when he gets called to account.

It's THEFT plain and simple. If you don't like Speedplay's rebuild part prices, buy another brand, but don't blame them for protecting their property.
I don't think you understand which part(s) of Speedplays products are covered by patent and which parts aren't. I will give you a hint, the bearings were in existance long before the pedals.

From there it should be qute simple to piece the puzzle together. If you still aren't sure one of the posters on weightweenies gave a very good comparison from the motor industry.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Polyarmour said:
The warped morality of punters in here is staggering.

...

And then some guy comes along and copies it and sells it on the internet for a few bucks....then squeals like a stuck pig when he gets called to account.

It's THEFT plain and simple. If you don't like peedpalSy's rebuild part prices, buy another brand, but don't blame them for protecting their property.
I beg to differ. While I understand what you are saying, there is a question of fair use on the part of both the buyer and seller of aftermarket parts. All of the parts in question are non-proprietary. They can be bought over-the-counter for any application.

Say for example your car's tail light goes out. You go to the local parts shop, look in the compatibility catalog, find your model listed under your car's brand and select that part off the shelf and install it yourself.

Would you think it fair that you would be prevented from doing this? Would it be fair or legal that the shop should be threatened with legal action for selling the bulb? Or that the bulb maker would be threatened for publishing a catalog listing the automaker's brand?

It would be quite another thing if the parts in question were unique to peedpalsy. But peedpalsy uses off-the-shelf parts and "fair use" dictates not only that an aftermarket seller can sell parts for that application, but that they can also use the brand name (with certain restrictions), and the end user can buy the parts.

Polyarmour said:
...but don't blame them for protecting their property.
Once they sell the pedal, it is not their property. The design is. But the end users are within their rights to modify it as they see fit. Since the bearings in question are not proprietary, it is within the rights of buyers and sellers to conduct these transactions.
 
Jul 11, 2010
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FWIW, Speedplay is a 30 employee company. i.e. They're a mom and pop shop. There isn't a "goon squad," just a pair of goons: the owners, who are paranoid and have way too much time on their hands.

When people start selling aftermarket parts to augment your aftermarket part, you've created a standard. It's a standard I'll be happy to never adopt after reading about all the crazy crap they've done to people. I wonder if most pros would ride those pedals if they weren't free.

I wonder if Speedplay will sue me for not buying their pedals...
 
gregod said:
I beg to differ. While I understand what you are saying, there is a question of fair use on the part of both the buyer and seller of aftermarket parts. All of the parts in question are non-proprietary. They can be bought over-the-counter for any application.

Say for example your car's tail light goes out. You go to the local parts shop, look in the compatibility catalog, find your model listed under your car's brand and select that part off the shelf and install it yourself.

Would you think it fair that you would be prevented from doing this? Would it be fair or legal that the shop should be threatened with legal action for selling the bulb? Or that the bulb maker would be threatened for publishing a catalog listing the automaker's brand?

It would be quite another thing if the parts in question were unique to peedpalsy. But peedpalsy uses off-the-shelf parts and "fair use" dictates not only that an aftermarket seller can sell parts for that application, but that they can also use the brand name (with certain restrictions), and the end user can buy the parts.



Once they sell the pedal, it is not their property. The design is. But the end users are within their rights to modify it as they see fit. Since the bearings in question are not proprietary, it is within the rights of buyers and sellers to conduct these transactions.
It's one thing to fix up your own Speedplay pedals using standard parts. It's another thing entirely to make a business out of selling fake parts on EBay and labelling them as Speedplay.

I'm no lawyer but I do note that the legal letter states that selling those parts violates 35 U.S.C. Section 271(c).

Nobody has the rights to hamburgers either right? Try setting up a hamburger store and calling it McDonalds, see how long you last.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Polyarmour said:
It's one thing to fix up your own peedpalSy pedals using standard parts. It's another thing entirely to make a business out of selling fake parts on EBay and labelling them as peedpalSy.

....
The person who was selling the rebuild kits did not label them as peedpalsy original parts. It was very clear that the kits fit peedpalsy pedals.

Like my previous analogy, if a store sells an aftermarket part that fits a particular OEM application, they are perfectly within their rights to label and advertise that part as being applicable for a particular brand.

To further emphasize peedpalsy's disingenuous behaviour, many people have pointed out that there have been auctions removed for trying to sell used peedpalsy pedals. Ebay is being extremely cautious if not downright craven. Imagine if Ford told Ebay to remove an auction because somebody was selling a used Mustang. It would not happen. They make a lot of money on an auction of that type.
 
May 21, 2010
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Polyarmour said:
Nobody has the rights to hamburgers either right? Try setting up a hamburger store and calling it McDonalds, see how long you last.
It's more like I set up a bakery that sells hamburger buns. I don't know... let's call it "Buns 'n More" I then advertise that my buns will fit all McDonald™ style Hamburger patties. Not quite the same thing.
 
gregod said:
The person who was selling the rebuild kits did not label them as peedpalsy original parts. It was very clear that the kits fit peedpalsy pedals.

Like my previous analogy, if a store sells an aftermarket part that fits a particular OEM application, they are perfectly within their rights to label and advertise that part as being applicable for a particular brand.

To further emphasize peedpalsy's disingenuous behaviour, many people have pointed out that there have been auctions removed for trying to sell used peedpalsy pedals. Ebay is being extremely cautious if not downright craven. Imagine if Ford told Ebay to remove an auction because somebody was selling a used Mustang. It would not happen. They make a lot of money on an auction of that type.
Just went to ebay and there are 130 SP auctions, big proportion are for pedals.

Amazing what a phone call will do. Much of the aftermarket bits for these pedals were so poorly designed and ill fitting that SP were concerned about the users of the pedal having them break or not work(and then have the parts be associated with SP). For instance, some of the bow tie screws were too short with too big heads so they not only didn't engage the opposite side but the head stuck up so you couldn't get into the pedal.

If ya don't like 'em, don't use 'em. I do like 'em, think SP s just trying to protect themselves and their biz, just like you would do.

YMMV
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Bustedknuckle said:
....
Amazing what a phone call will do. Much of the aftermarket bits for these pedals were so poorly designed and ill fitting that SP were concerned about the users of the pedal having them break or not work(and then have the parts be associated with SP). For instance, some of the bow tie screws were too short with too big heads so they not only didn't engage the opposite side but the head stuck up so you couldn't get into the pedal.

....
YMMV
Assuming that their concerns are genuine, they still have no legal basis for going after any seller of aftermarket rebuild kits that are made with off-the-shelf parts. Just because you can get a lawyer to write a letter on your behalf does not mean you have any legal claim.

In addition, the person over at weightweenies where all of this started had been successfully rebuilding them for years.
 
gregod said:
Assuming that their concerns are genuine, they still have no legal basis for going after any seller of aftermarket rebuild kits that are made with off-the-shelf parts. Just because you can get a lawyer to write a letter on your behalf does not mean you have any legal claim.

In addition, the person over at weightweenies where all of this started had been successfully rebuilding them for years.
'Maybe' there is more to all this than what some posters have said on some bicycle forums.

Like I said, if you don't like them, don't use them but it makes no sense to make these statements when you nor I know the whole story.
 
gregod said:
Assuming that their concerns are genuine, they still have no legal basis for going after any seller of aftermarket rebuild kits that are made with off-the-shelf parts. Just because you can get a lawyer to write a letter on your behalf does not mean you have any legal claim.

In addition, the person over at weightweenies where all of this started had been successfully rebuilding them for years.

They may be standard parts but they form part of a patented product. On my reading this contravenes 35 U.S.C. Section 271(c) which is what Speedplay is asserting. There is no point in making a claim that it is legal if you don't address this issue.
 
May 21, 2010
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Polyarmour said:
They may be standard parts but they form part of a patented product. On my reading this contravenes 35 U.S.C. Section 271(c) which is what Speedplay is asserting. There is no point in making a claim that it is legal if you don't address this issue.
(c) Whoever offers to sell or sells within the United States or imports into the United States a component of a patented machine, manufacture, combination, or composition, or a material or apparatus for use in practicing a patented process, constituting a material part of the invention, knowing the same to be especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of such patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, shall be liable as a contributory infringer.

The commodity in question are the bearings and screws. Parts such as the "bow ties" are patented but frikinspit did not sell those in his rebuild kit. In fact his bearing are rated higher i.e. better, than the ones SP uses. And I believe he also did not use SP's name but instead used the term lollipop pedals or something like that to describe his rebuild kits which SP also claims is an infringement. I find that way OTT.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Polyarmour said:
They may be standard parts but they form part of a patented product. On my reading this contravenes 35 U.S.C. Section 271(c) which is what Speedplay is asserting. There is no point in making a claim that it is legal if you don't address this issue.
Speedplay's assertions are completely bogus. There is no infringement. This is an evil company that treats its customers like crap. It does not deserve one penny of my money or anyone else's money.
 
Jan 20, 2010
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Polyarmour said:
They may be standard parts but they form part of a patented product. On my reading this contravenes 35 U.S.C. Section 271(c) which is what Speedplay is asserting. There is no point in making a claim that it is legal if you don't address this issue.
No they do not contravene 35 U.S.C. Section 271(c). If you took the time to read the patent document you would see the items covered by the patent are the shape, function and overall design and concept of the Speedplay pedal i.e. the double sided lollypop design with the clip mechanism as part of the cleat.

The bearings, screws, etc are not covered by patent. Firstly because Speedplay didn't design or invent the bearings and screws, and as well as that prior demonstrated use overrides any patent. Bearing companies like SKF, Timken, IKO etc would have been using these bearings for fifty years or more and supplying them to automotive, engineering companies, etc that also patent their own product designs. In those patents commonly sourced replaceable items are not covered by patent, it’s the broad design that is covered by patent.

I hope that explanation helps. Really, like others have said, compare it to the motor industry. If your front wheel bearings wear out you don’t have to go back to Ford or Toyota, you can source any person that advertises repair services, or do it yourself with aftermarket bearings. Just like most pedal manufacturers.

And just one more point. The bearings being sold by this guy from WW were actually a lot higher quality than the originals.
 
Elagabalus said:
It's more like I set up a bakery that sells hamburger buns. I don't know... let's call it "Buns 'n More" I then advertise that my buns will fit all McDonald™ style Hamburger patties. Not quite the same thing.
That analogy is only relevant if the buns actually end up on McDonalds hamburgers. So let's say the McDonalds franchisee decides to buy the imitation buns instead of McDonalds Corporate buns...... what do you think would happen?
 
Elagabalus said:
(c) Whoever offers to sell or sells within the United States or imports into the United States a component of a patented machine, manufacture, combination, or composition, or a material or apparatus for use in practicing a patented process, constituting a material part of the invention, knowing the same to be especially made or especially adapted for use in an infringement of such patent, and not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, shall be liable as a contributory infringer.

The commodity in question are the bearings and screws. Parts such as the "bow ties" are patented but frikinspit did not sell those in his rebuild kit. In fact his bearing are rated higher i.e. better, than the ones SP uses. And I believe he also did not use SP's name but instead used the term lollipop pedals or something like that to describe his rebuild kits which SP also claims is an infringement. I find that way OTT.
I think you'll find Friknspit initially advertised as Speedplay replacement kits and only changed to lollipop pedals after being threatened with legal action. Lollipop pedals = Speedplay pedals for the purpose of this argument so that was just a case of more dishonesty. I notice he didn't use the exact same bearing, he used another bearing, why was that? As far as the bearings are concerned I don't think any of us are aware of the degree of customisation, design and application that this bearing had for this product. As a mechanical engineer I can tell you that bearing design and selection is a very complicated process. Sure Frikinspit says he found one that fit but it hasn't been through the testing that the Speedplay product went through. Does it comply with all the codes? He is using what he believes to be an equivalent bearing in a patented product. You can believe his line about it being a superior product, I'll reserve my judgement. He is doing it to make money from someone else's intellectual labours. I don't buy his story about helping out his mates and only selling a few here or there. That all changed the moment he went onto EBay. Unchecked it could have grown into a business selling hundreds or thousands, all the while destroying Speedplay's replacement parts business. I'm sorry but I don't have any sympathy for this intellectual parasite. What involvement did he have in the development of Speedplay pedals, a patented product? NONE! He's just doing what we accuse the Chinese of doing. If he wants to make money out of pedals he should invent his own.
 
BroDeal said:
Speedplay's assertions are completely bogus. There is no infringement. This is an evil company that treats its customers like crap. It does not deserve one penny of my money or anyone else's money.
Another high quality contribution from BroDeal.
 

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