This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Mere hours after Pinarello announced the release of the Dogma F10 — its brand new, flagship frameset — comes this open letter from Taiwan's Velocite, which claims that the Italian brand has infringed its patents by using its signature concave downtube on the new bike.
In the open letter published on Velocite’s blog, company CEO Victor Major claims that he contacted Pinarello in May 2016 after the brand released the Bolide TT bike, which also uses the concave downtube.
Since May, Velocite claims to have received no contact from Pinarello — or the “several [other] bike brands that are already using our intellectual property without permission” which are mentioned in an earlier post relating to the dispute — except a visit by “three members of [Pinnarello’s] engineering team who checked out my LinkedIn profile for some reason”.
As we reported on our first look at the Dogma F10, much of the reduction in drag comes from the concave rear of the down tube, which, when combined with a snugly fitting smaller bidon, helps to reduce drag by a claimed 12.6 per cent.
We’ll update this story as we get more details.
The full letter follows below;
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 personally 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 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 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.
CEO, Velocite Tech. Co Ltd