Pearl Izumi of Boulder, Colorado claims that Slipstream Sports, which manages the Garmin-Transitions team, is guilty of intellectual property theft.
The Daily Camera newspaper of Colorado reports that a lawsuit was filed last week in Boulder District Court. Slipstream Sports signed a sponsorship deal with rival clothing company Castelli last week.
Aero cycling strips produced by Pearl Izumi’s ‘Speed Shop’ skunkworks development team were supplied to Garmin-Slipstream in June 2009. These prototype suits should have been returned in July of the same year, but were kept by Garmin-Slipstream, claims Pearl Izumi.
The strips had "an aerodynamic winged sleeve for smoothing airflow around the bicep area of the cyclist." Such ‘wings’ are banned by the Union Cycliste International (UCI).
Nike had previously produced a ‘speed suit’.
According to the lawsuit, Pearl Izumi believes that the winged suit "contains valuable confidential information belonging to Pearl Izumi, including the patterns, fabrics and methods of construction thereof."
In 2009, Pearl Izumi poked fun at the UCI with a video purporting to be from International Federation Apparel Compliance. The IFAC was meant to be seeking to close down the ‘Speed Shop’ for producing "weapons of mass acceleration."