The founders of new folding bike brand Tern have hit back after market leaders Dahon filed a lawsuit against them, accusing them of "unlawfully using company assets, resources and intellectual property to start a competing company".
Florence and Joshua Hon used to work for Dahon and are the estranged wife and son of company co-founder and current CEO Dr David Hon. They own the company's Taiwanese subsidiary, Dahon and Hon Industrial Labs, and earlier this year announced their intention to begin producing bikes under a new name, Tern.
In a press release issued in response to the lawsuit, Josh said: "My father has done a tremendous amount to further sustainable transport. Obviously, the decision to separate wasn't taken lightly. I've spent virtually my entire working life building the Dahon brand. It's always been my wish, my mother's wish and the entire Global team's wish to let my father continue with the Dahon brand with dignity. That's why we took the hard road of starting a new brand. My father has a legacy to be proud of and we don't want to see that legacy tarnished.
"Sadly, however, it seems that this isn't to be. It's true that a lawsuit has been filed by Dahon North America. We believe that the suit is entirely without merit. In addition, we believe that the press release announcing the suit is misleading, inaccurate and defamatory. We're preparing an appropriate legal response.
"Although you can imagine that I have plenty to say, since we're currently in litigation it's better to let our attorneys handle additional statements. Meanwhile, we're all busy getting ready for Eurobike and getting the new Tern bikes ready for shipment – there are lots of customers waiting who just want good bikes."