While we are excited and anxiously awaiting the AGV PistaGP helmet, one American helmet manufacturer is less-than-thrilled with the Italian company’s latest offering: Del Rosario. A small boutique firm based out of New York, Del Rosario’s aim was to bring to market helmet designs that were “caught up to the rest of the industry.” Showing off a number of CAD renders since its inception, Del Rosario has clearly missed its late-2011 shipping date, and as far as we can tell, has not actually produced any physical prototypes or finished models.
Getting a fair bit of press and then falling off the radar, Del Rosario is back in the limelight as the company sent a worded warning to AGV through its corporate Facebook page. According to a message posted by Del Rosario on its social media portal, one of the company’s former advisors showed AGV Del Rosario’s stylebook, and now three years later the PistaGP has emerged with a shell design that has some obviously similar characteristics to Del Rosario’s renders.
“AGV should tread very lightly with this…3 years ago a former advisor showed them our stylebook, they wanted to own the license (according to him)…we didn’t want to give it up (we don’t want to be majority owned by anyone)…guess who has a sudden stroke of design genius 3 years later…they’re a huge company and we’re small fries still trying to get financed, but if there’s anything to be learned from the past, they’ve got some splainin’ to do!” reads the company’s statement on Facebook.
Del Rosario has a point with its statement, as the PistaGP’s chin bar and rear spoiler make for a striking resemblance to Del Rosario’s helmet renders, though it should be noted that similar rear spoiler designs can be found on several helmets already, like the Shoei X-Twelve. We will let you decide whether Del Rosario’s work and the PistaGP are cut from the same cloth, and whether those design elements are novel or not, but legally Del Rosario has some good leverage with the fact that they can presumably prove that AGV had seen the company’s designs before the PistaGP’s inception.
It is a double-edged sword whenever a company shows its IP to another, as the door for creative lifting, whether intentionally or intentionally, gets opened by the approaching party. With there being a bevy of “if/then” statements involved in a proper legal analysis of a situation like this, it would be too complex for us to ponder through all the scenarios at this point in time, especially with just a small amount of information. To its credit though, Del Rosario has a pending patent on its helmet, which was filed in February of 2011.
That date however could prove troublesome for the Del Rosario, as it post-dates many of the company’s CAD render publications online and in motorcycle print magazines, potentially invalidating some of the patent’s claims with prior art — most notably the helmet’s physical attributes. With the Del Rosario project seemingly stalled and the company actively looking for funding to bring its product fully to market, there are enough business and legal issues here to keep IP nerds and MBA students salivating at the mouth. Since this author falls into both those categories, expect more updates as we get them. Thanks for the tip Geoffrey!
Del Rosario Motorcycle Helmet Renders:
AGV Pista GP Studio Shots:
Source: Del Rosario (Facebook)