Velocite cries patent foul over new Pinarello Dogma F10

Velocite Syn aero disc brake road bike

Almost immediately after the all-new Pinarello  Dogma F10 road bike debuted, Velocite’s founder Victor Major made it known they were potentially infringing on his patented downtube design.

In 2015, the Velocite Syn aero road bike came out with a concave trailing section to the downtube that nested the water bottle into it. This effectively uses the water bottle to finish the tube shape, helping air slip past it and minimize turbulence. His concern is that Pinarello’s new bike is using a very similar design, and even did so on the previously released Bolide TT bike, but hasn’t responded to Major’s inquiries. Check more pics and his reply to our inquiry below…

Bikerumor: What’s up with the Pinarello design infringement?

Victor: “Ha… Well look at my blog post here, it gives good background. I basically just want them to talk to us. And yeah it was on the Bolide TT originally and now on the Dogma F10. Their approach seems to have been “cool, we’ll take it.”  And that kind of grates as I spent a lot of time developing the concave down tube and airflow solution, that besides the original idea to do this in the first place, properly. We get copied a lot, but this time we have patents so I decided to take a stand.”

Full copy of the letter copied below:

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

We’ll update as things progress.

Check out Pinarello’s response here.

Comments

32 thoughts on “Velocite cries patent foul over new Pinarello Dogma F10

  1. Bad Europeans stealing “intellectual proprieties” from TW? Lol.
    Free publicity for the Victor Guy… design is totally different, and it has been done already in the 90’s.

        1. Their patent is about a concave tube.
          The pinarello does not have a concave tube.
          It ends here. If the technical meaning of “concave” is clear to all parties.

          If the pinarello people looked at his LinkedIn page does not prove anything. Maybe they were trying to source info on the patent, or who is behind the company. They definitely did not copy his “idea” as I have seen it already done in the 90’s by Colnago-if I remember well. Look at colnago museum photos.

          1. Its also clear that he does not have a patent or design in the EU or the US. Therefore there can be no infringement in those two countries. The bike is made, and mainly raced in the EU, and the US. Patents and designs are territorial rights, and therefore must be applied for and granted in a country for there to be infringement in that country.

            The only place Victor will have any chance of enforcing his IP is with the countries he has patents/designs in Taiwan and China, and possibly copyright in GB.

  2. Maybe yes or no, take it to patent court. (This could only be better if another arm of velocity was also producing the “Chinerello” and now they are claiming patent infringement by Pinerello)

  3. Do all manufacturers who uses a “cut out” in the seat tube where the rear tires goes, so it can be tucked further in for better aero dynamics infringe on the original design makers patent as well? Serious question, IDK the answer, but it seems to me like every manufacturer uses bits and pieces from all the others in some way shape or form, no pun intended.

    1. Generally speaking, patents have a predetermined time they are effective. Around 17 years for a common design patent IIRC.

      After that time period, the design becomes open for public use without payment or penalty. They basic idea is to allow a person to reap some rewards from a unique idea, but eventually propagate it to the broader public for wide benefit later.

      1. That doesn’t really answer my question, because everyone jumped on the seat tube cut out long before the 17 year time frame you referenced.

        1. Usually they’ll agree to compensate the original designer in some form in return for permission to use the design, if that designer wants to allow it. Certain percentage of earnings per bike, lump sum, licensed for a timeframe. Whatever is agreed upon.

          1. Color me very doubtful any manufacturer paid anyone a dime for a cutout seat tube. Now maybe I’m completely wrong, but you can’t patent an idea, which is kind of what this feels like to me, an aero downtube, as in, idea. We’ll see, but I seriously doubt Pinarello has anything to worry about.

      2. Depends on what right in which country. Patents run for 20 years (if the owner pays the renewal fees due regularly). Designs vary, 10yrs in China and AU, in the US (referred to as a design patent, hence some confusion) is 15 years, and in the EU 25 years.

    2. Haromania, you are making the assumption that the design for the cutout is patented. I don’t know that it is or is not. If it was never patented, it would be in the public domain. If it was patented, I am sure the patent owner tried to defend it.

      The funny thing about patent law is that it is really only as strong as the patent holder can defend it. For example, my grandfather invented/patented the mechanism for the modern folding stadium seat. He was building a church in southern California and utilized his seats instead of traditional pews.

      Someone took the idea and obviously ran with it. He wasn’t litigious and did not really care so he never pursued any type of legal remedy… or at least that is how the family legend goes.

  4. Well, no, actually it isn’t entirely different and it’s all about what the claims state. Concave downtube profile to help tuck the bottle cage closer. What’s really damming is that Pinarello looked up the inventor on LinkedIn and still did nothing to communicate with him so they can’t even use ignorance as an excuse. This was calculated. Rather than pay a little in licensing fees they instead are going to let their legal resources win over the little guy. Corporate greed. Not sure if the patent is protected in the U.S. but if it is, there should be a stop-sale issued immediately assuming Velocite are sold here as well. Pinarello are totally in the wrong on this one.

  5. How recently do you think the cutout seat tube shape was developed?

    Even if unscrupulous patent attorney snuck a patent through the system within the last 30 years, it’s pretty easy to find examples of prior art. They won’t have much luck enforcing it.

    1. Just because a parent is granted it doesn’t mean it can’t be challenged. Pinarello may just figure they can present a case on prior art that would get the patent voided. No reason for them to bother till Velocite set the lawyers on them. Also if the patents haven’t been filed in the countries that Pinarello then hard luck. Original filing in Taiwan (not a WIPO) signatory and China only give world wide protection for a year after that you need to file every where you want protection. I suspect Pinarello know exactly what they are and are not obliged to do.

  6. No mention of a patent in US or EU… Victors only stand is that the Pinnarellos can’t be sold in Taiwan or China, or, made there! If Victor knows what factory is actually making the 2 models he could stop it down at that end but without valid patents in US and EU he can only protect where he has patents. Even if he had US and EU patent, it still depends on each and every word of the patent and a grip of money to fight it out, and with Pinnarellos new parent Co they could drag this to death in European court, IF there was a valid EU patent.

  7. Tricky one. Concavity alone is likely not an enforceable patent, at least in many countries. Just a glance at the two bikes shows vastly different designs to the concave section, not to mention the tube shapes will be different.

    It would be like patenting an “aero” bike and then claiming all aero bikes infringe on one’s patent. The patent would have to specifically outline aero details/shapes and use of those details would be infringement.

    That said, I am not saying his idea wasn’t stolen but not sure he has a patent infringement case.

      1. and right there is Pinarellos prior art argument. Good spot. Maybe Litespeed patented and will follow up with Velocite……

  8. If the original patents were written with broad enough wording, they are totally enforceable. That’s the trick – define your invention as broadly as the patent office will allow you.

    Remember, Apple nearly got several hundred million $ from Samsung for a ‘rectangle with rounded corners’. Likely would have gone through if it weren’t for the derivative nature of Apple’s original patent. I’m not so sure the concave aero downtube is so obvious (I certainly never thought of it)…

    1. Patents are territorial rights. In general, the exclusive rights are only applicable in the country or region in which a patent has been filed and granted, in accordance with the law of that country or region (source: http://www.wipo.int/patents/en/faq_patents.html)

      So If Victor holds patents in Taiwan and China then he can exclude Pinarello from making, using, offering for sale, or selling an infringing product in Taiwan and China and nowhere else.

  9. If I were serious about sending a letter like this, I’d definitely address it “Dear Pinarello.”

    It is nice of BikeRumorvto give this rando free publicity.

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