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”.