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)

  • Skip

    Seemingly, this is Del rosario’s fault that a “former” had design inside info that was walked right into AGV, why not take what was included in the invite especially if they disclosed it on the greener lawn. . . psh.

  • Given the complexities of bringing a motorcycle helmet to market, a company like Del Rosario has the best chance of making a product (and making money) by licensing the design to an existing manufacturer, not trying to make it themselves.

  • Gritboy

    Doesn’t seem like a rip to me. I have a Shoei X-11 with a spoiler on top and if you painted it all block with some carbon fiber-esque treatment and added a little yellow lettering, would it be a rip-off too? Think not. Besides, I could swear I’ve seen a helmet like the Del Rosario in a comic somewhere.

  • TiagoV

    Hi all.

    I have worked in a helmet company, helping in the design of the helmets (exterior design, mechanical components).
    By that time, this helmet was known. Was a case study, mainly because there are few helmets prototype being designed and exposed on the internet. So, any prototype of a helmet it’s easy to find… And the concept it’s interesting, although it’s impossible to make this helmet respecting the standards… probably why you´ll never see it on the market… But, in my opinion it’s a good design concept.
    But for the shape, it’s unfair the say it’s a copy, because, even our company was in this same direction of design, because the aerodynamic together with the requirement to respect the standards, forces the helmets to look alike. Like the F1 cars, barchettas, etc… The aerodynamic rules the game, at this level.
    So… my point of view, del rosario, got it right about the aerodynamic principles for the overall shape. AGV using CFD and wind tunel shaped his helmet looking like…
    del rosario shoud be flattered for is work, and avoid this path, that will not take to any place good for is image…

    My 2 cents…

  • BBQdog

    At first glance I would say ‘Yes. Del Rosario is right’. But after giving it a though I think most helmet designs are for 90% identical. Spoilers are getting common, and the colour yellow is a trademark of Rossi.

  • MikeD

    They brought to themselves… (O_O)

  • mxs

    From the limited info in this article, you’d be hard pressed not to think that it’s a rip. Are most helmets look-alikes? Sure, but not this one. There are only two helmets looking like this … and one of them must have been first …..

    Anyways, I am not a fan of patents, copyrights …. whatever as they are implemented in US, but I hate when kudos are not given to the original thinker, regardless what field we are talking about.

  • Tim

    Doesn’t matter if they were inspired by a design concept or came to it on their own free-thought. If Del Rosario didn’t have IP protection of this design or force AGV to sign an NDA then it’s their own fault that the concept was ripped off.

    Some companies need to quit their whining and learn how to run a business…

  • 76

    Del Rosario knows that they dont have a snowballs chance in hell, they just want exactly what transpired here. A comparison and hopefully some public credit as being maybe part of some inspiration for the AGV. They are so freaking different its not even remotely possible for them to win this.

    How would they have a case? Well if they were in the initial ideation phase of the project with AGV, did the work and midway were tossed and somehow were not paid or were slighted contractually.

    Sorry this is just some PR move, or someone on DR’s side has about zero objectivity.

  • Ian W

    AGV in head shaped helmet scandal?! Good luck with that one.

    As 76 says, good bit of publicity. Just as the best way to get a bit of PR time for an IT company is to publicly try and sue Google for something.

  • john

    perhaps george lucas can file a patent infringement claim against del-rosario just to stir the pot even more ;-)

  • Anti

    I just look at the Del Rosario design and cringe at the thought of a high speed accident and the back of that helmet catching something and ripping that helmet off the head, maybe taking the head with it.

    Doesn’t look like a motor cycle rider has designed this. Possibly a scooter rider could have designed it, that wears a half face Momo design statement.

    Who gets your respect out of the 2 examples: Company who designs, manufactures and produces a brilliant and safe helmet v’s Company that is bitching about AGV on facebook……

  • BTB

    First of all, Del Rosario have a pending U.S. patent application, not a granted U.S. patent. The details of what was know in the prior art will come to light during the patent examination process.

    Second, a utility patent (which is what Del Rossaroi’s pending application covers) does not provide exclusionary rights to the way the helmet looks (that would be protected under a design patent or more likely under copyright law).

    I doubt AGV would go into production with a helmet they thought would potentially infringe a US utility patent. I’m sure AGV’s due diligence indicated the same, no worries Vale, your helmet is safe!

  • Moebius

    Jean Giraud aka Moebius should claim patent infringement on everyone.

  • Jon

    ‘AGV in head shaped helmet scandal?! Good luck with that one.’

    Whoever bit the worm and posted this story has been taken for a ride I think. They bare absolutely no resemblance except when tilted similarly and presented in similar colours. The concept one has stripes across the face? How is that even close to a working product?

    Cheap stunt, plus why is this AGV helmet getting so much coverage here? One article was enough.

  • 76

    “Jean Giraud aka Moebius should claim patent infringement on everyone.”


    I would add the first 2 Starwars & Space Odyssey 2001 and with that you pretty much cover design today and for the past 30 years… sue them all

  • Dawg

    Absolute nonsense! Cycle helmets have been styled like this for years.

    The only similarity is the colour combination, and as somebody has already pointed out Rossi loves his fluro green/yellow and has been using it for years. Maybe Rossi could sue them for using his colour!

  • jackie

    Soooo, Del Rosario rips off Daf Punk’s helmets, then claims AGV ripped Del Rosario off…all in an effort to try and get their said helmets picked up by some other company with the capital to actually produce them. Though now, Because AGV made the physical version first, will assure that Del Rosario’s version will never be produced for fears of copyright infringement.

    That just gave me a headache. =P

  • Tim


    Copyright infringement has nothing to do with physical designs and products… This whole situation is about IP in the form of patents or designs which were or weren’t protected by NDA’s, if shown to AGV as confidential information. If Del Rosario has patents pending then good luck to them, the courts decide this stuff, not us.

    But like what was said earlier, it’s a marketing ploy and us talking about it is why they did it. The whole thing also really helps AGV sell helmets.

  • paulus

    windtunnel designed + all heads are similar = limited number of designs.
    Who cares?

  • Sid

    Those helmets are about the same (or different) as the cars produced today. There are so many look-alikes out there but are car companies spending money on attorneys to fight those design copycats?

  • Westward

    The helmet seems inspired by Tron Legacy and Daft Punk. But like someone mentioned prior, I think I too have seen it in a comic book, maybe even a Moebius one.

    But what really makes things fishy, is the fact that the two parties met in the past, one showed a design, and the other produced variant of it some time after.

    It reminds me of the movie “Flash of Genius” with Greg Kinnear, that was based on a true story…

    What it does for me, is put into question AGV, or rather Dainese’s tactics when it comes to design or technology. In fact I’m beginning to feel a little perturbed that I own a couple of their helmets, jackets, and gloves…

    It sort of feels like bullying of the corporate kind…

    But hey part of capitalism it knowing how to capitalize on a situation. What this further illustrates is a lack of integrity in the world we live in, as if we expected otherwise…

  • Westward

    @ Anti

    Thats why I shy away from Icon helmets. If they were dumb enough to put a handle on it, what else did they do that would have a deleterious affect to my safety…

  • Dan

    Tiago V has nailed it in one, helmets at this level are engineering and ergonomics, if you look at helmet design evolution over the last 20 years there is a definite trend towards streamlining and increased comfort around the neck and chin., If shoei released a helmet tomorrow with the same shape you wouldn’t say it was a copy of the pista it would just look like a natural evolution of the x1000 and the xr1100.
    AGV probably don’t even remember the conversation, the only design elements del rosario have to make a claim to are the visor and the second spoiler, both of which wouldn’t pass ce testing anyway making the argument irrelevant and nothing more than a cheap claim to fame.

  • Ian Miles

    I had an Arai Giga, which was one of the best helmets I have owned and the first. It dropped down off the chin at the front. Then arai dumped this and made them all flat. Never understood why because it provided great protection. Looks like the idea is back and supersized.

    Looks like the 2 companies have done some research and ended up with similar solutions that are not the same. This happens all the time. Car companies reintroducing twin turbos, does that mean they are stealing designs off eachother.

    The Del Rosario was definitely in Judge Dread.

    For those of us in their middle age this helmet is not an option because you wont be able to look down to see why the zip on your leathers has split again as they shrink. Looks seriously cool though.