Pinarello responds after accusations the new Dogma F10 infringes Velocite patents

Italian brand hits back at Velocite concerning down tube design

This article originally appeared on Cyclingnews

Pinarello has responded to accusations of patent infringement from Taiwan-based brand Velocite, saying it will “take appropriate actions against any unsupported allegation, explicit or implicit, of being an infringer or a 'thief'.”

On Tuesday 10th January, Velocite CEO Victor Major pointed the finger at Pinarello after the Italian brand unveiled the new Dogma F10 frame that has a concaved down tube to improve aerodynamics around the bottle-cage area. The new bike will be used by Team Sky during the 2017 season. Major claimed in a blog post on the Velocite website that he has patented that design idea in China and Taiwan and that “with the new Dogma F10 your use of our intellectual property is deliberate”.

Here's the downtube of the Velocite Syn, with water bottle recess
Here's the downtube of the Velocite Syn, with water bottle recess

He suggested that Pinarello refused to talk about the use of Velocite’s supposed intellectual property during the summer of 2016, writing: “You know it belongs to us. You were notified. You chose not to engage with us. What do you expect should happen next?”

Pinarello has hit back, giving their side of the story and suggesting that it is Velocite who has refused to provide ‘essential information’ to back up their claims. Pinarello also pointed out that aerodynamic frames have been sold for many years.

“Cicli Pinarello SpA, as a leading company in the cycling sector, obviously takes Intellectual Property issues with the utmost seriousness, Pinarello itself being a patent holder,” Pinarello said it its statement.

“While it is true that Mr. Major, through his Taiwanese law firm, wrote to Pinarello in July 2016, it is also true that Pinarello promptly answered (on the 4th of August), through its law firm, clearly and unmistakably pointing out that Mr. Major’s communication was lacking essential information since it did not identify which of Pinarello’s products were contested nor did it give any explanation as to why such products would allegedly infringe Mr. Major’s patents. Providing this information is not ancillary but mandatory when an infringement is alleged.”

The downtube of the Pinarello Dogma F10
The downtube of the Pinarello Dogma F10

Pinarello claimed it is willing to discuss the matter with Mr. Major, but will not tolerate and will take appropriate actions against “any unsupported allegation, explicit or implicit, of being an infringer or a 'thief'."

Pinarello's statement in full

The full statement from Pinarello is published below:

Referring to “Open letter to Cicli Pinarello SpA” published by Mr. Victor Major, CEO of Velocite Tech, on velocite- bikes.com, Cicli Pinarello states the following.

Cicli Pinarello SpA, as a leading company in the cycling sector, obviously takes Intellectual Property issues with the utmost seriousness, Pinarello itself being a patent holder.

While it is true that Mr. Major, through his Taiwanese law firm, wrote to Pinarello on July 2016, it is also true that Pinarello promptly answered (on the 4th of August), through its law firm, clearly and unmistakably pointing out that Mr. Major’s communication was lacking essential information since it did not identify which of Pinarello’s products were contested nor did it give any explanation as to why such products would allegedly infringe Mr. Major’s patents. Providing this information is not ancillary but mandatory when an infringement is alleged.

Pinarello’s patent attorneys not only asked Mr. Major’s attorneys to clarify his position, but also pointed out that Pinarello’s reply was to be expected “not earlier than mid of September 2016, provided that, in the meantime, we will have received the information mentioned above”, information that Pinarello was still waiting to receive from Mr. Major when he decided to post his “Open letter”.

In the same letter, Pinarello’s patent attorneys also brought to Mr. Major’s attention the fact that bicycles with aerodynamic frames have been on the market for years, even going so far as to provide an example.

Neither the requested information nor any reply was sent by Mr. Major in response to Pinarello’s request for clarifications, which have now been provided by Mr. Major in his “Open letter”.

Despite his own fault in not answering Pinarello’s request for clarifications, Mr. Major chose to publicly write his “Open letter” and to depict Pinarello as a sort of “thief”, who uses a patented design without permission and does not respond to legal letters.

Although Pinarello can understand that his behavior may procure Mr. Major a rise in his notoriety, that same behavior is deeply unfair, since Mr. Major himself is perfectly aware that he chose not to discuss the issue with Pinarello.

Cicli Pinarello SpA was, and is, available to discuss the matter with Mr. Major, but will not tolerate and will take appropriate actions against any unsupported allegation, explicit or implicit, of being an infringer or a “thief”.

Related Articles

Back to top