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  1. #1
    "El Bwana"
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    Pearl-Izumi sues Garmin-Slipstream

    Louisville's Pearl Izumi sues Garmin-Sliptream cycling team over 12 winged suits

    http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_16702705

    Louisville-based Pearl Izumi has filed a lawsuit against Slipstream Sports — which manages the Garmin-Slipstream pro cycling team — over a dozen “winged suits” that the technical clothing manufacturer made for the riders.

    The winged suits were developed by Pearl Izumi’s advanced clothing design team known as The Speed Shop. The group of developers works exclusively on making technical clothing that allows athletes — such as runners, cyclists and triathletes — to shave off seconds by reducing drag.

    The winged suits are cycling outfits with “an aerodynamic winged sleeve for smoothing airflow around the bicep area of the cyclist,” according to the lawsuit filed last week in Boulder District Court.

    .....

    Last week, just a few days before the lawsuit was filed, Slipstream Sports announced that the company would now be partnering with Castelli, another cycling clothing manufacturer. A press release from Slipstream Sports quotes Castelli brand manager Steve Smith as saying, “We have created a joint research and development program working with Robby Ketchell... and we have outlined an innovative agenda focused on making the athletes as fast as possible in every racing condition.”

    In the lawsuit, which also names Ketchell as a defendant, Pearl Izumi asks the court to force the team to return the suits, to give up any information that may be related to the suits’ design — such as data compilations, drawings, diagrams and videos — and to award Pearl Izumi any damages that may relate to the theft of their intellectual property as related to the winged suits.
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  2. #2
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    This seems completely ridiculous to me at first glance.

    Pearl is pissed because pro cyclists will not return skinsuits that they were issued for racing? Really? The protour guys get so much stuff that they probably have no idea where those specific skins suits are.

    I wonder what the specific agreement was with the company. Generally clothing is considered a disposable sponsorship item. It doesnt go back to the company after use like a bike or set of wheels might.

    Assuming Garmin didnt break their contract with Pearl to switch to Castelli, Pearl seems to just be acting vindictive.
    Last edited by chase196126; 11-24-2010 at 03:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Darling of The Lounge
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    Riveting stuff.

  4. #4
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    I don't think that PI really cares about the skin suits per say, but more
    about the technology and development put into them. They are quite
    unique with the wings. Taking one companies technology and intelectual
    rights to another company has in the past been successfully legally
    challenged.

  5. #5
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    Prototype

    The skinsuit was in middle of dd/prototype. With that said, typical practice is to return the product for further development. PI is well ahead of the curve and I can totally see Slipstream trying to keep it's resource as long as they can to carry it over to next race season. I'm sure Castelli wants to see the secret too.

  6. #6
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    Agree with Pearl on this one. The design and technology is not owned by SlipStream but Pearl. Assuming that they refused to return them so they filed the lawsuit. Lawsuit I am sure was predicated by a few conversations and didn't come out of the blue. Surprised they changed though since both companies are Colorado based. Seemed like a great fit....
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  7. #7
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    I think that Pearl Izumi has a good argument here, and think that they are correct to file a legal challenge.

    On the surface it might seems kind of petty, but I think that the R+D is worth trying to protect (for as long as possible). I would bet, though, that what Pearl is concerned about has already occured, in some shape or form.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by piano,piano
    I think that Pearl Izumi has a good argument here, and think that they are correct to file a legal challenge.

    On the surface it might seems kind of petty, but I think that the R+D is worth trying to protect (for as long as possible). I would bet, though, that what Pearl is concerned about has already occured, in some shape or form.
    If someone from a competing company wanted to get a suit, they could get it very easily. PI is retaliating for Garmin changing clothing suppliers, plain and simple.

  9. #9
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    nice one

    Quote Originally Posted by 55x11
    If someone from a competing company wanted to get a suit, they could get it very easily. PI is retaliating for Garmin changing clothing suppliers, plain and simple.
    That's the likeliest of scenarios, for sure.
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  10. #10
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    Seems to me Pearl doesn't want its intellectual property going over to a competing brand ! If I worked hard on developing something and believed to have an advantage in that arena then I wouldn't be too happy about just giving it away!

  11. #11
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    The Slipstream folks are really stirring the pot with their co-sponsors this off-season. First this Pearl Izumi issue, and now Canyon is claiming that Cervelo violated a patent for frame design. Things sure were a lot more simple when they were an up and coming team.

  12. #12
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    speaking of which, will felt be sponsoring any team next year?

  13. #13
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    For me, one of the most important parts of the article wasn't quoted by the OP, and puts PI in a much more positive light:

    Pearl Izumi, which has been sponsoring the Boulder-based Garmin-Transitions team since January 2009 -- when it was known as Garmin-Slipstream -- claims it gave 12 prototype winged suits to the cycling team for them to test in competition in mid-June. In late July, Pearl Izumi asked the team to return the suits, but they refused, as they have after "repeated requests" since then, according to the lawsuit. Pearl Izumi now believes the winged suits are in the hands of Robby Ketchell, a consultant who works as the team's sport science director.

    The sponsorship agreement between the clothing manufacturer and the cycling team outlines that any confidential information provided by either party must be kept confidential.

    And according to the lawsuit, Pearl Izumi believes that the winged suit "contains valuable confidential information belonging to Pearl Izumi, including the patterns, fabrics and methods of construction thereof." Pearl Izumi has also filed for a patent on the suit's design.
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  14. #14
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    Biceps fairings? Expert a ban.

  15. #15
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    Yeah, some riders could use these to hide the blood bags.......

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by spade2you
    Yeah, some riders could use these to hide the blood bags.......
    And we're moving on...... See you all in another forum soon.
    insert witty comment here

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by piano,piano
    I think that Pearl Izumi has a good argument here, and think that they are correct to file a legal challenge.

    On the surface it might seems kind of petty, but I think that the R+D is worth trying to protect (for as long as possible). I would bet, though, that what Pearl is concerned about has already occured, in some shape or form.
    Intellectual property management is everything these days. If someone is stealing your stuff you have to file immediately. If you don't file right away and wait to sue for damages until the other party is making money on the idea the courts will leave you out cold. Pearl is doing what they have to do.

    David

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55x11
    If someone from a competing company wanted to get a suit, they could get it very easily. PI is retaliating for Garmin changing clothing suppliers, plain and simple.
    Seeing as they don't have a skinsuit on their site, how is a competitor going to get this?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mootsie
    And we're moving on...... See you all in another forum soon.
    I did this in jest.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison
    speaking of which, will felt be sponsoring any team next year?
    Rumor was they would be under Fly V Australia this year. I saw a Fly V team car last weekend and it had brand new Felt stickers all over it so I am guessing that is confirmation.
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