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Pinarello responds & refutes infringement claims from Velocite

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Right after the recent introduction of the new aero Pinarello Dogma F10, we saw an open letter by Victor Major of Velocite claiming that the new design infringed on his patented Intellectual Property. The topic at issue was the concave trailing section to the downtube with a water bottle tucked into it. But with a response today from Cicli Pinarello, unsurprisingly it seems that not everything in that open letter was as cut and dry as it seems. According to Pinarello they did in fact respond to what seems to have been a vague initial communication after the release of their new Bolide, and were waiting to hear back from Velocite. That never happened, so they only now seem to have found out what the concern was in the first place. Pinarello’s response wants to clear up the issue and move forward. Read on for more and the full response after the break…

Pinarello responds by essentially saying that they of course respect the Intellectual Property of others and want to address the issue directly. What they don’t want is a back-and-forth argument where one or the other party attempts to drag the other in the mud over a perceived slight and certainly doesn’t appreciate being branded as having stolen IP. Surely it is time for the patent lawyers to hash it out, but Pinarello asks to have a reasonable and professional communication so that the issue can e resolved.

Read the full response 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”.

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postophetero
postophetero
6 years ago

[deleted]

postophetero
postophetero
6 years ago
Reply to  postophetero

Oops, sorry about my earlier comment–forgot BR is beholden to Pinarello. How schilly of me!

2pacfan187
6 years ago
Reply to  postophetero

What did it say?

WhatchyouKnowAboutEthic
WhatchyouKnowAboutEthic
6 years ago

That sounded very lawyer-ey. A patent is a patent at the end of the day. Letter or not.

“THIEVES!” (Gollum voice)

haromania
haromania
6 years ago

Well whadda ya know, there’s another side to the story the other guy left out. Who woulda thunk it.

Maus Haus
Maus Haus
6 years ago

It’s not the patent holders job to help someone infringing defend their stance on his patent. He did the right thing to not work with them knowing they are too powerful and looking for any way to go around his patent. This is a legal matter now and all about money, time and possible damages. Pinarello will not back down even if they are wrong. This is the Italian way. They will defend to the end even if they loose and spend a lot of money, it would be worth it for them in their eyes and will grind to the bitter end.

captain derp
captain derp
6 years ago
Reply to  Maus Haus

a patent is only as good as your ability to defend it. if a patent owner can’t afford to litigate against infringers, there’s little they can do in terms of recourse.

thesteve4761
thesteve4761
6 years ago
Reply to  Maus Haus

Lose. Not loose.

TheKaiser
TheKaiser
6 years ago

Pinarello’s letter does not acknowledge the existence of a first communication from Victor Major, which he says pre-dated the July letter from his law firm.

At first I thought that maybe with 2 law firms in the middle, it was possible that Pinarello’s August reply did not make it to Major, but I just re-reread his open letter and he acknowledges its receipt, however he says it was cursory and that it left the ball in Pinarello’s court, saying they would be sending him a more detailed reply in September, with no mention of the forthcoming reply being contingent on more info from Major.

If either party would make public the content of Pinarello’s August reply, it would settle the matter of if Pinarello was stalling and giving Major the runaround, or if Major neglected to send them the additional info they requested…or if somewhere in those 2 law firms there is a really sucky translator.

Robin
Robin
6 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

How do we know that Major has provided all relevant communications?

TheKaiser
TheKaiser
6 years ago
Reply to  Robin

We don’t. But both parties acknowledge a reply from Pinarello on Aug 4, however they characterize the reply quite differently in terms of what is listed as a next step.

Sxm235
Sxm235
6 years ago

I think after the decade of Chinarellos diluting their presence and prestige in the noncompetitve market, any other ways Pinarello displays weakness or fault will further detract people from their brand – be it real or imagined validity.

People love to have something to hate. See: Specialized

Pinko
Pinko
6 years ago
Reply to  Sxm235

I agree with you, except that Specialized has years of horrible behavior, and people in and out the industry start to have very little respect.
Regardless… it is not fair to compare cycling aristocracy with an overexpensive Kmart.

Eleven_g
6 years ago

Yea yea, ya, ya. I get the whole IP thing, and patents and layers but this is everything that’s wrong with the cycling world these days right here.

It’s… a…. bike.

Roborbob
Roborbob
6 years ago

I haven’t seen enough comments saying the two designs aren’t that much alike. So I’ll say it. I don’t think the two are that similar or cause confusion in any way. One is ovoidal and the other rectangular. What confuses me is that one side says Dogma and the other Pinarello? 15 minutes are up on this. Except for the lawyers. Open letter libel? And I’m no Pina fanboy.

Pinko
Pinko
6 years ago
Reply to  Roborbob

You got it…. someone is just fishing for publicity..

gerardvroomen
6 years ago
Reply to  Roborbob

It doesn’t matter if they look similar, it’s about a patent, not a trademark. The principle was patented, not any exact execution. Not saying the patent is or isn’t strong, but it has nothing to do with whether the two executions look alike.

TimB
TimB
6 years ago

paten infringement is patent infringement. End of the story. Pinarello would earn a hell of a lot of respect to simply say they stuffed up and will be seeking an amicable solution with Velocite, shake hands and move on. velocite gets a bit of publicity, Pinarello earns respect and kudo’s. They may even land another production partner out of the deal win-win.

Or they could be as pig headed as the USCycling Nazi’s and just keeping on digging

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