Pearl Izumi Sues Garmin Team Over “Theft” of Prototype Wingsuits

Ryder Hejsdal in a prototype skinsuit during a time trial earlier this year. Photo: VeloNews

No, that’s not simply a case of squeezing into a skinsuit that’s several sizes too small, but it just might be a case of stolen trade secrets.

Pearl Izumi has filed suit in a Boulder, CO, court against the Garmin professional cycling team for not returning the winged skin suits shown here.

Used by team riders David Zabriskie, Ryder Hesjdal and others during the Tour of California and Tour de France during 2010. Now, the Garmin team has signed on with competing clothier Castelli, and Pearl Izumi is claiming the team stole intellectual property.

The skinsuits were developed by PI’s Speedshop skunkworks branch and used “an aerodynamic winged sleeve for smoothing airflow around the bicep area of the cyclist”, which could technically be called a fairing and violate UCI rules, and used proprietary fabrics and construction methods. reportedly, the team was supposed to return the suits in July.

Of course the suits in question could have just been sold off at Denver’s veloswap this Fall…we’ve seen it happen.


Rae Merrill - 11/28/10 - 5:53pm

I can see Pearls point but then did they request their return or did they just realise a bit later that Castelli could copy the product. To be honest they could be grasping at straws because its quite likely it would be easy copied anyway.

Josh - 11/29/10 - 4:33pm

From the article: “… reportedly, the team was supposed to return the suits in July.”

Sure, they may be copied, but you don’t want to give your competition your own ammunition.

Seems like Pearl’s team liaison may have missed on this one, though?

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