On Thursday, a German court of appeals in Munich released a ruling that Alpinestars had infringed upon a patent by Dainese, which held bearing over the the brands’ airbag suit systems.
The impact of that decision amounted to a big blow to Alpinestars’ ability to sell its Tech-Air garments in the German market, as the ruling meant that Alpinestars could no longer sell its Tech-Air products in the German market, and also that Alpinestars would have to pay restitution to Dainese for damages.
Letting that news circulate through the weekend, Alpinestars has now issued a statement about the German court’s ruling, which not only adds more clarity to the patents in question, but also shows that the legal battles between the two companies are far from over.
After a lengthy legal battle over the intellectual property found in the Alpinestars Tech-Air and Dainese D-Air airbag systems, the Munich Court of Appeals has ruled that Alpinestars violated a Dainese patent (EP 2 412 257 B1), which confirms the decision of the Munich Court of First Instance.
A patent application spotted by Ben Purvis at Cycle World hints at Honda expanding its variable valve timing technology on its two-wheeled offerings, with designs of a sophisticated VVT system could come to a new CBR model.
Filed in June 2018, the patent application (not yet an actual US patent, mind you) is a restatement of a Japanese patent that dates back to 2017, and in it Honda describes a mechanism where “an internal combustion engine is provided with a variable valve operating apparatus.”
The Indian Motorcycle company has been teasing us about the upcoming FTR1200 street bike that it’s bringing to market next year, and now we have a pretty good look at the machine, thanks to a patent application with the USPTO.
Showing the engine and chassis of the Indian FTR1200 in line drawings, we can see that the new street bike will have a trellis frame, and an engine that looks very much like the v-twin motor found on the Indian Scout cruiser.
Today, we get a good look at the 2019 BMW S1000RR, which after much teasing is likely to debut at this year’s EICMA show in Milan, Italy – though it could arrive as early as the INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany. Described to us as a “game changer” in the superbike space, the 2019 BMW S1000RR is set to once again disrupt what we have come to expect in the liter-bike category.
Now with CAD renders leaking from the bike’s design patents, we can see quite clearly the 2019 BMW S1000RR in detail. The first obvious change is to the bike’s engine, which is obviously completely new based off the case design. Inside those cases our sources tell us a counter-rotating crankshaft resides.
If you were reading other moto-news sites this week – first of all, shame on you – then you would have noticed much noise being made about Ford Motor Company applying for a patent on detection technology for when a motorcycle is lane-splitting between cars.
What you didn’t notice, along with those other publications, is that this is nothing new from Ford, as the American automobile manufacturer was already granted a patent for this technology over a year ago.
Much ado about nothing? Not quite, but the story isn’t remotely close to what was being reported elsewhere. In fact, this news of Ford’s lane-splitting patent strategy is much bigger, and much more important, than what has been in the media thus far.
For quite some time now, manufacturers have been focusing on this concept called the “last mile” – the idea that the final mile of a daily commute will have to be undertaken with something other than an automobile.
Driving this concern is the vehicle crackdown in urban centers, with cities like London, Paris, and others already creating congestion zones for their city centers, which all but outlaw the ability for one to commute via car into a downtown area.
Mass transit is surely filling this void, as are taxis, but we have also seen a shift towards two-wheeled solutions. That is where today’s story kicks in, as Ford is looking at its own city center solution, patenting a car concept that has a built-in motorcycle.
We know to expect a Suzuki Hayabusa reboot in the coming months, and in a way, that is all that we know. The iconic superbike is in its 20th year of production right now, and an all-new machine is set to take its place, for the 2019 model year.
Will it be turbocharged? Will it have a larger displacement? How about a dual-clutch transmission? That remains to be seen.
Safe bets are that the 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa will have updated electronics, likely powered by an inertial measurement unit (IMU). Euro4 emissions homologation is a must, and Suzuki will presumably be building the new Hayabusa with the Euro5 standard in mind as well.
Beyond these givens though, it seems that every week there is a new rumor regarding the next Hayabusa generation, and this week is no different.
In this installment of “This Week’s Suzuki Hayabusa Rumor,” we again take a look at the motor of this venerable sport bike. The rumor going around the interwebs right now is that the 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa will feature a “semi-automatic” gearbox.
Side-stepping the part where saying a gearbox is semi-automatic is a lot like saying someone is “semi-pregnant” (you either are, or aren’t), the rumor stems from a patent filed by Suzuki that shows a gear-shifting mechanism with the foot-shifter that doesn’t require a clutch.
If this sounds a lot like an up/down quickshifter system, then you score extra bonus points today for being a rational human being, but you would be very wrong about what this whole rumor should actually be about.
This is where reading the patent is actually really useful, because it turns out that this patent has a lot less to do with some sort of new transmission type, as the internet rumors would suggest, and a lot more to do with repackaging the transmission of a motorcycle (or any engine with an integrated gearbox) into a tighter unit, while retaining a standard manual shift mechanism.
A verdict has finally been reach in the German patent law dispute between Alpinestars and Dainese, concerning their respective airbag suit technologies.
In the ruling, the “Landgericht” court in Munich found that Alpinestars violated two Dainese patents concerning its D-Air technology, and thus issued a verdict that sees Alpinestars forbidden from selling its Tech-Air products in Germany.
Alpinestars will also have to pay Dainese restitution for damages incurred from Alpinestars selling Tech-Air products in Germany. The monetary amount of the damages will depend on how much Tech-Air product the Italian firm sold in Germany, which has yet to be determined.
After the verdict, both companies issued press releases touting their side of the patent dispute story, with clearly no love lost between the two parties.
I thought when I wrote this piece – “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly About Motorcycle Patents” – that we would see a more sophisticated handling of motorcycle industry patents from the motorcycling media going forward.
Clearly my expectations were too high, since I just saw RideApart’s story, “Honda Underseat Exhaust Patent Hints at V4 Supersport”, which claims to show a patent for a new Honda V4 supersport. It doesn’t, and quite frankly, RideApart should know better…let me explain.