A court in Germany ruled in favour of Dainese in their airbag patent infringement suit against Alpinestars.
They first sued Alpinestars in 2015 for using a part of their D-air vest in the latter’s Tech-Air vest without payment for the patent.
They also filed litigations in Italy, UK and France.
The Munich Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Dainese in their airbag patent infringement suit against Alpinestars (A-stars).
The case had been going on since 2015. A German court found Alpinestars had infringed on the patent previously in 2017. A-Stars brought the case to the Munich Court of Appeals and they lost again. Their next and last course of action is to refer the case to the German Federal Supreme Court.
Dainese sued A-stars in 2015 after finding the latter had copied an essential part of the D-air vest. The part was then used in A-stars’ Tech-Air airbag vests, without payment to Dainese for licensing.
A-stars could well be in deep trouble, pending the German Supreme Court appeal. Dainese did not only file litigations in Germany. They also sued A-stars in Italy, the United Kingdom and France. The litigation floodgates could swing open in those countries should they lose in the German Supreme Court.
The confusion started in 2015 when Dainese released the D-air technology as an open platform as a responsibility to rider safety. This meant that other riding gear manufacturers can use the technology in their own products. But that did not mean they shouldn’t pay Dainese to use the patented technology. Unfortunately, this was what A-stars did.
So, what happens now? If A-stars loses their last appeal, German riders may not be able to keep their Tech Air vests. There’s no word of the case in other countries, so far but we’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear of something.