Open letter to Cicli Pinarello SpA

Dear Pinarello,

I am personally flattered that you like my concave downtube design so much that you used it not only on the Bolide TT frame, but also on the just released Dogma F10 frame. If we had not patented the concave downtube design I would have indeed been very flattered that a noted bicycle brand like yours chose to use our design, thus validating the year of development that I personally put into it. Alas, we actually hold three patents on the concave downtube design. One patent is a design patent in China (ZL2015 2 0139826.6), one is a design patent in Taiwan (D 170607) and then there is the main one, an invention patent valid for 20 years also granted in Taiwan (I562931). Both Taiwan and China are signatories to WIPO, just like Italy.

I initially alerted you to this issue in May 2016 once I observed our design and associated aerodynamic performance claim on the Bolide TT bike, only to be met with complete silence until July when three members of your engineering team checked out my LinkedIn profile for some reason (July 16th to be exact). They did not talk to me, or anyone in our company. I guess visiting my LinkedIn profile was deemed sufficient.

Our law firm sent you a letter on 21st of July 2016 formally notifying you of our concerns regarding your use of our intellectual property without ever discussing its fair use with us. Your law firm replied on the 4th of August and stated that owing to the long August holidays in Italy that you will be able to reply to us “no earlier than mid of September 2016.” Well it is now January 10th 2017 and there is still no response to our concerns. Instead today you released your second model that uses our intellectual property, the new Pinarello Dogma F10.

I find this personally upsetting, both because this is my personal work that you decided to claim for your own and because we could never establish any meaningful dialogue with you regarding fair, or compensated use of our intellectual property. I could understand that perhaps you used our intellectual property by accident when you made the new Bolide TT. After all finding out who owns what patent is not that simple and in the bicycle industry perhaps it is not the norm to investigate the intellectual property space before forging ahead with a new design. However, with the new Dogma F10 your use of our intellectual property is deliberate. You know it belongs to us. You were notified. You chose not to engage with us. What do you expect should happen next?

Thus, I hope that this letter encourages you to at least talk to us about the use of our intellectual property. You can either contact our law firm whose details you have, or you can find me on LinkedIn just like you found me before, or even use a contact form on our website here: Contact us

Sincerely,

Victor Major
CEO, Velocite Tech. Co Ltd

  • velocite

    Quality letter Victor. Looking forward to updates. Best wishes.

  • Jason Miles

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1b5747880f42826508a3aefafc4567756460f700e834118de67b7e8bac8552c1.jpg

    Hey do you have any comments about the 2010 Litespeed Archer? It looks like it has a similar downtube shape to your IP. I think your patent was applied for in 2015 so this would represent pretty significant prior art.

    • The Litespeed Archon (and others) was part of the prior art review during the patent application process. It was deemed that our design was sufficiently different to be awarded a full 20 year invention patent. More information here if you search for I562931: http://twpat3.tipo.gov.tw/tipotwoc/tipotwekm?.1882090000000E0000000001000000A00000000000000002023003b0d

      • Jason Miles

        Awesome Victor thanks for the response. I agree that the Archon does not look functional, the downtube is much too narrow. I wish the claims of your patent were in English so I could follow along 🙂 Good luck with resolution.

    • Cross post from the Weight Weenies forum with some more information:

      I do not want to go into details lest it be used against our claim sometime in the future if Pinarello/LVHM decides that court is their preferred mediation venue, but, in a nutshell it has to do with integration of the water bottle into the airflow, not just concavity. Concavity was the only way to achieve this.

      Our solution that Pinarello is using is functional, it is not styling.

      Second and the easiest to observe difference between Archon and Velocite Syn/Pinarello Dogma F10 is in the length of the concave section. It has to be long enough to work with the bottle in place. The concave section on the Archon is too short in a horizontal plane. Pinarello’s follows our patent and our research.

      A little bit more info and one of our CFD simulations can be seen here under point 1. It is aerodynamic, published in May 2015: http://blog.velocite-bikes.com/2015/05/velocite-syn-live-testing-program-is-now-active

  • Pingback: Polémica sobre patentes tras el lanzamiento de la Pinarello Dogma 10 2017 | Iberobike()

  • kai

    i have a cube mtb from 2006 with a concave tube shielding the suspension cylinder. there are since long times a number of bikes with concave seat tubes shielding the rear wheel. are these violating this patent?

    • In a nutshell the patent is about integration of a round water bottle into the airflow, not just concavity of the downtube.

      Concavity was the only way to bring the bottle close enough to the down tube in order to achieve this.

      Thus concave features in MTB, or eBbikes or wherever else where the intent is not to integrate a round water bottle into the airflow would likely fall way out of the enforceable parts of the patent.

  • Rasmus Funk

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53b3639763de232d61eb1108962bb26f794da737a9c895d5da30a7639d9cbf4a.jpg

    Hi Victor,
    interesting case. I hope LVHM enters into a dialogue.

    I can’t help thinking of a case here in Denmark in 2011 when Louis Vuitton sued a small danish artist for using their bag design pattern in a painting.

    Read more here:
    http://www.nadiaplesner.com/simple-living–darfurnica1

    They seem hell bent on honoring IP rights as long as they hold it 🙂

    Best wishes
    Rasmus