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H-D Files Suit Against S&S Cycle

 

Powersports Business Newsletter

Friday March 25, 2005

 

S&S Cycle, Viola, Wis., has been named in a lawsuit brought by Harley-Davidson claiming infringement of several Harley-Davidson patents and trademarks. The lawsuit was brought in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Delkron, Inc. was also named as a defendant in this lawsuit. The patent infringement portion of the lawsuit is aimed at certain twin-cam engine parts that S&S is marketing. Harley-Davidson did not name any S&S customers as defendants.

 

In a prepared statement, S&S said it believes Harley-Davidson's claims are without legal basis. “S&S respects the intellectual property rights of others,” the company said in a statement, “and the S&S products at issue in this lawsuit were the result of S&S's own engineering designs. S&S does not have any connection to Delkron in this action and does not believe that Harley-Davidson had any basis to name them and Delkron in the same lawsuit.”

 

“It is a great disappointment that Harley-Davidson is taking legal action against us,” said S&S President, Brett Smith. “We have always felt that a mutually beneficial relationship existed between S&S and Harley-Davidson,” Smith said.

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2005 Press Releases: 03/24/2005 - S&S Cycle responds to Harley-Davidson lawsuit    

VIOLA, WI (March 24, 2005) S&S Cycle was recently named in a lawsuit brought by Harley-Davidson concerning alleged infringement of several Harley-Davidson patents and trademarks.  The lawsuit was brought in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.  Delkron, Inc. was also named as a defendant in this lawsuit.  The patent infringement portion of the lawsuit is aimed at certain twin-cam engine parts that S&S is marketing.  Harley-Davidson did not name any S&S customers as defendants.  

 

S&S has reviewed the issues raised in Harley-Davidson's complaint and believes they are without legal basis.  S&S respects the intellectual property rights of others and the S&S products at issue in this lawsuit were the result of S&S's own engineering designs.  S&S does not have any connection to Delkron in this action and does not believe that Harley-Davidson had any basis to name them and Delkron in the same lawsuit.  

 

While S&S would obviously prefer never to become involved in these kinds of disputes, they understand that as they continue to grow, there is always a possibility that they will become the target of lawsuits.  

 

"It is a great disappointment that Harley-Davidson is taking legal action against us," said S&S President, Brett Smith.  "My grandfather, George Smith, helped found the V-Twin performance aftermarket industry in the mid-1950s and assisted Harley-Davidson with their Bonneville record run in 1970.  We have always felt that a mutually beneficial relationship existed between S&S and Harley-Davidson; our 145-Tribute project in 2003 is evidence of that-100 years for Harley-Davidson and 45 years for S&S and the performance aftermarket."  Smith went on to say, "We do not understand why after all this time Harley-Davidson is raising these claims.  Whatever the reason, this lawsuit will not affect our continued commitment to be the premier provider of Proven Performance components to the V-Twin aftermarket."

 

Please direct any questions regarding this lawsuit to Brett Smith or Brian Conyers, Senior Manager of Communications & Marketing.

 

S&S Cycle has been a leading manufacturer of Proven Performance V-Twin motorcycle components and engines for over 45 years.  George Smith and Stanley Stankos founded the company in 1958 in Blue Island, Illinois .  Shortly after the founding of S&S, George, and his wife Marjorie (whose maiden name was also Smith), bought out Stanley Stankos and Smith & Stankos became Smith & Smith (S&S).  In 1969, S&S moved from Blue Island to Viola, Wisconsin and expanded to La Crosse , Wisconsin in 2004.  This 3rd generation business supplies components and/or engines to several large custom OEs including: American Ironhorse, Arlen Ness, Big Bear Choppers, Big Dog, BMC, Bourget Bike Works, Hellbound Steel, Rucker Performance, Swift, Titan, Ultra, Vengeance, & Victory (please see the S&S website for a complete listing).  

 

 

For more information, please contact Brett Smith or Brian Conyers .  The S&S website is located at www.sscycle.com .

 

 

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HARLEY DOES NOT OWN THE MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY ! THEY DID NOT CREATE THE SOFTAIL  ! AND SURE AS HELL DID NOT CREATE THE JAP FRONT END AND CARB ON THEIR BIKES! LAWSUITS LIKE THIS ARE ABOUT GREED AND POWER !
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HD is still the 800 pound gorilla. I imagine they pay a higher retainer fee for their legal advisors than the whole payroll at S&S.

 

S&S has enjoyed some extratight relations with Milwaukee, and regardless of public infringement battles, there's no reason to think either entity is looking at severing that relationship.

 

Delkron, on the other hand, has gone down and dirty with The Factory before.

 

 

Funny thing is, you do a build in Delkron cases, yer HD buds talk about yoer motor like it's friggin magic, but show up at the sock hop with S&S cases and they act like ya done sold out. Some people just drank too damn much of the kool aid.

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HARLEY DOES NOT OWN THE MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY ! THEY DID NOT CREATE THE SOFTAIL  ! AND SURE AS HELL DID NOT CREATE THE JAP FRONT END AND CARB ON THEIR BIKES! LAWSUITS LIKE THIS ARE ABOUT GREED AND POWER !

Most definitely about money. I'm sure HD is trying to limit, as much as possible, aftermarket parts for twin cam bikes. Look how much they "lost" on evo parts in the 80s and 90s.

 

Funny thing is, though, one of the greatest benefits of buying HD during that time was the endlessness of options for customization due to aftermarket parts availability. Just look how successful custom chrome, or revtech, or J&P have been by selling nothing but aftermarket.

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HARLEY DOES NOT OWN THE MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY ! THEY DID NOT CREATE THE SOFTAIL  ! AND SURE AS HELL DID NOT CREATE THE JAP FRONT END AND CARB ON THEIR BIKES! LAWSUITS LIKE THIS ARE ABOUT GREED AND POWER !

Most definitely about money. I'm sure HD is trying to limit, as much as possible, aftermarket parts for twin cam bikes. Look how much they "lost" on evo parts in the 80s and 90s.

 

Funny thing is, though, one of the greatest benefits of buying HD during that time was the endlessness of options for customization due to aftermarket parts availability. Just look how successful custom chrome, or revtech, or J&P have been by selling nothing but aftermarket.

:I-Agree[1]:

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HARLEY DOES NOT OWN THE MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY ! THEY DID NOT CREATE THE SOFTAIL  ! AND SURE AS HELL DID NOT CREATE THE JAP FRONT END AND CARB ON THEIR BIKES! LAWSUITS LIKE THIS ARE ABOUT GREED AND POWER !

not to mention if it weren,t for merc-cruiser getting there tit out of a ringer on there electrics some years back.and to date. and showing them how to make a casting thats worth a shit. they wouldnt be in the possition there in today.

  but got to agree    they have some major $$$ and lawyers behind them.                      who,s next???

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This rates right up there with the time Harley tried to patent the sound of the V'Twin as their own.

 

Ridiculous.

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Jerry Merchant (Merch Performance, Merch Motorworks) was telling me a while back that H-D had applied for some 300+ patents on the Twinkie but in the end they only received something like 17.  Those 17 however were critical in keeping Twinkie clones from sprouting up, things like engine to frame mount design.  This was why Merch was staying away from manufacturing any Twinkie stuff of their own.  I assumed S&S had an agreement of sorts with H-D for the Twink stuff - guess I was wrong.
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I think this may be the workings of a desperate company that can see the handwriting on the wall.  Their monopoly on the American motorcycle market is slipping through their greedy fingers. Not only have the Jap bikes hurt them but now companies like Big Dog, Iron Horse, etc., and not to mention all the small chopper builders, have got to be eating Harley's guts out. I hoping that Indian will soon take a good bite too.
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I think this may be the workings of a desperate company that can see the handwriting on the wall.  Their monopoly on the American motorcycle market is slipping through their greedy fingers. Not only have the Jap bikes hurt them but now companies like Big Dog, Iron Horse, etc., and not to mention all the small chopper builders, have got to be eating Harley's guts out. I hoping that Indian will soon take a good bite too.

:I-Agree[1]:

Bunch of greedy bastards.... Hope they get spanked!! :SmackBottom:

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Harley is just shittin bricks right now becaused they forced all of these dealers to build these palatial estates they call dealerships which put everyone in the hole. Now that there is good competition and the economy is in the dumper they are looking for any way to extract the almighty dollar from its customers by patenting their parts so that the consumer has no choice to but to pay too much for screamin eagle shit to modify their bikes. S&S as ususal just came up with a better mouse trap and harley is acting like somone pissed in their cheerios. Hell I was at three dealerships last week in PA during the springtime and I have never seen the showroom floor so flooded with bikes. Haven't seen that in over ten years. They must be in trouble. Also MSN Money downgraded their stock to a sell. Somethin's up at HD! :1106:
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You allowed to copy and sell patented items after 7 years anyway.

Well, depending on what parts they're referring to, perhaps that's the basis of the lawsuit?

either way, Harley is being alittle whiny here., and last resort is right..just one more reason not to like them. :bomb:

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