Markus Storck, principal and chief designer at Storck Bicycle of Germany, claims that British start-up brand Vielo is infringing on his designs and is also using the same Chinese factory to make its bikes.
Vielo is the new, UK-specific brand created by father and son Ian and Trevor Hughes. Vielo Sport used to be the UK distributor for Storck but their distribution contract was terminated in February last year. Prior to setting up Vielo Sports the industry veterans had operated through Storck Raddar UK, winner of the 2015 Bike Biz Award for best specialist distributor.
Storck was critical of claims made on “How to Launch a High-End Road Bike Brand,” a 45-minute podcast interview with the Vielo principals in which they discussed the termination of the distribution contract and the creation of their new brand.
Storck claims Vielo is a copycat brand using Storck technologies developed by Jens Buder. Buder was the head of research and development of Storck Bicycle between November 2011 and October 2015.
“Buder left the company, but now Ian is working with this guy,” Storck told BikeBiz. “That is OK, but what is not OK is that [Buder] is offering technologies he developed when he was a full-time employee with Storck.
“Ian’s frame has exactly the same technologies that Buder developed for us. It’s a copycat.”
Storck added: “[Ian] is also using our vendor in China. I am going to try and stop this. Our vendor has produced something identical to our product, and I am applying pressure on the vendor to stop selling to Ian. It is against the agreements I have with the vendor. We have worked with this vendor for 20 years.”