Airbags – Italian powerhouses go head to head over airbag rights

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Dainese has taken legal action against Alpinestars for an alleged infringement over its airbag technology.

The move is significant as the Italian powerhouses effectively own the airbag market and whoever wins would have a monopoly.

However, today Alpinestars has hit back at the claims and has issued the following statement:

With reference to recent articles published about Alpinestars and Dainese being in dispute over airbag technology, Alpinestars is issuing the following statement to clarify the current situation:

Alpinestars has been subjected to an allegation of patent infringement by Dainese on a specific part of its airbag construction used in the Tech-Air Street system.

The Alpinestars’ Tech-Air Street system was launched in November 2014 as the world’s first self-contained street airbag system that independently functions without the need for sensors to be installed on the bike and the subsequent need to link a specific motorcycle to the airbag system used by the rider.

The allegations made by Dainese S.p.A in proceedings launched in Italy against Alpinestars, refer to the assembly of the bag itself, the physical material piece that contains the gas in an inflation and not with any reference to any other parts or Alpinestars’ Tech-Air street system’s use of an algorithm for registering when the airbag deployment should occur.

Dainese instead make claims that the physical construction of the bag in the Tech-Air system infringes upon Dainese’s patents.

In Germany, Dainese did make a direct request to certain retailers, that they cease and desist from offering for sale the Alpinestars Tech-Air Street system, however, no legal action has been taken against Alpinestars and neither has Alpinestars withdrawn any of its products from the German market.

All claims made by Dainese against Alpinestars and/or its retailers are disputed and Alpinestars is taking the appropriate legal measures to ensure that any such unfounded allegations will not prevent distribution and sales of the Tech-Air Street system.

Given Alpinestars’ own research & development has been undertaken through Alpinestars’ in-house Advanced Technology Department since 2001, Alpinestars is contesting the allegations made. The Tech-Air Street system is based on Alpinestars’ technology creation and the physical bag used in the Tech-Air Street system is from known airbag technology, used within the Automotive industry and does not infringe upon third parties’ intellectual property rights.

Alpinestars continues to distribute Tech-Air technology for the benefit of all motorcyclists throughout Europe and the rest of the world and trusts that the allegations made will be proven to have no basis through appropriate legal jurisdiction.

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