A legal battle has ensued between two of motorcycling’s biggest and leading apparels brand. It appears that the Alpinestars and Dainese brands are feuding over their respective Tech Air and D-Air airbag technologies.
A trusted American-based source is reporting that Alpinestars had initiated the first legal manoeuvre by issuing a cease and desist letter to Dainese for the latter’s use of its D-Air tech. Alpinestars is claiming that rival Dainese and its D-Air products are infringing its own Tech Air technology.
Dainese responded by having its D-Air patents evaluated, following it up with a suit against Alpinestars in both Germany and Italy citing the use of an algorithm in the operation scheme of Alpinestars’ Tech Air suite. From this point, Dainese is claiming that it has the controlling patent on the use of a computer-deployed airbag system, which registers when an airbag deployment should occur.
As a result of Germany’s rapidly efficient legal system, Alpinestars were forced to pull out its Tech Air-equipped products in the German market. This also sees Alpinestars halting its development efforts of Tech Air suits for BMW Motorrad – ironically, a project that BMW Motorrad initially began with Dainese.
The legal proceedings between Alpinestars and Dainese seem to be taking place in Germany and Italy only presently – the latter being both brand’s own home market. This is possibly due to the fact that Alpinestar has been slower in rolling out its Tech Air products around the region as opposed to Dainese’s rapid introduction of its D-Air products.
The result of this lawsuit in Italy will likely affect things on a global level for both brands. The motorcycle industry could potentially see the emergence of a sole manufacturer of self-contained airbag apparels as a result. Should it pan out this way, it will undoubtedly be a huge bonus for the winning side of this lawsuit, whereby it will control perhaps the most revolutionary safety equipment to hit the two-wheeled scene in decades.
How this, and the ensuing monopoly by a single entity, will affect consumer trends is something only time would tell. The biggest ripple of this lawsuit would instead be felt in the worldwide racing community. Both Dainese and Alpinestar will have difficulty in retaining top-level riders, who act ad their brand ambassadors, should either one lose its ability to fulfil the demands of those who are highly conscious of safety.
Since Dainese has already begun licensing its D-Air tech to other brands, it most certainly has much more to lose here on this front. We will have more on this battle as it develops.