Product News

Dainese claims Alpinestars must recall Tech-Air vests

Dainese releases statement on Alpinestars' German patent infringement

ON MONDAY, we broke the news that Alpinestars had been found guilty of infringing on a Dainese-held patent in Germany.  

Dainese had originally accused its fellow Italian motorcycle clothing manufacturer of three patent breaches, but only one was upheld.

On February 7, the Munich Court of Appeal found Alpinestars’ Tech- Air Street and Racing vests to be in contravention of the German part of Dainese’s European patent EP 2 412 257 B1, which concerns the general installation of an inflatable air bladder construction within a ‘pocket’ of a garment, featuring elastic panels.

This ruling comes after the German Federal Patent Court previously confirmed the validity of this patent in separate validity proceeding; a decision which Alpinestars appealed

And Dainese has now revealed in a statement the measures it claims Alpinestars must take to rectify the situation.

The statement reads: “The Munich Court of Appeal, with enforceable judgement with which it ruled in favour of Dainese regarding the core issues of the litigation, has issued an injunction:

“1)  prohibiting Alpinestars to commercialise the Tech-AirTM Street Airbag Vests and Tech-AirTM Racing Airbag Vests in Germany;

“2)  ordering Alpinestars to recall any such vests which Alpinestars has supplied since 1 July 2015 and which are still in the possession of commercial customers in Germany;

“3)  Compensating Dainese for all damages suffered due to the sale of the infringing vests in Germany since 1 July 2015.”

“This decision is a major victory for Dainese in an intensive patent litigation fought against Alpinestars in Italy, Germany, the UK and France.”

But Alpinestars disputes several of the claims made by Dainese. Responding to our story, the firm has told Visordown there was no recall action for its products currently planned in Germany - and that it's taking action in a higher German court to nullify the Dainese patent in question. The Asolo firm also claims the German decisions have no impact on its Tech-Air kit in the UK or France - and that it's already moving to nullify Dainese's patent claims in Britain.

With the vagaries of patent law, the length of time court action can take and the complexities of this case, it looks like this one will run and run - with lawyers, as ever, being the real winners.

We explored airbag suits in detail last year. Read the full feature here...

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