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Specialized's IP theft claim against former employees reduced to breach of contract. Volagi to pay Specialized one buck.

Spesh v Volagi: “Best dollar we ever spent,” says Volagi

Volagi has lost one of the claims brought against it by Specialized, but not the most serious one.

Volagi (Latin for ‘a will to go’) has to pick up its own legal expenses tab. 

Responding to a BikeBiz.com question on Twitter, Volagi’s Susan Forsman, wife of company co-founder Barley Forsman, said: 

"We spent $400,000 defending ourselves." 

Sarcastically, she added: [This is] expensive advertising.

But, she said, it was "More expensive for Specialized."

Choi and his business partner Barley Forsman are former employees of Specialized. They left the company and founded Volagi. Specialized had claimed the pair had worked on the creation of the company when at Specialized and had stolen ideas for their high-end bikes while still employed by Specialized.

Earlier today a jury in a trial in California found Choi guilty only of breach of contract. Other charges had been dropped earlier. Choi was ordered to pay Specialized $1 in damages.

Barley Forsman was found not guilty. 

Specialized spent in excess of $1.5 million on the Volagi lawsuit. The start-up company does not have to change any products, colours or designs. 

Susan Forsman tweeted: "We stood up to the largest cycling company in the world."

She added: "Yes, very smart on their part. Hire the most expensive lawyer to get $1. We are very happy that the jurors humiliated Specialized."

Specialized founder and president Mike Sinyard said he was satisfied with the outcome:

“This lawsuit was a matter of principle and about protecting our culture of trust and innovation. We respect the ruling of the court in our favour. We are very satisfied with the outcome and the damages set at $1.00. We really want to put all our passion and time into growing the sport of cycling.”

In the 1980s Choi – then of VistaLite – developed and patented the first LED bicycle light. He sold VistaLite to Bell Sports in 1994, and has also designed products for Blackburn and CamelBak.

Pic by Volagi

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