The Dahon/Tern Bicycles split has now become a lawsuit. Here’s what landed in my inbox from Dahon’s Patrick Fischer this morning.
Dear Mr. J.,
Attached you will find Dahon’s news release “Dahon Files Lawsuit Against Former Officers” for immediate release.
Dahon Files Lawsuit Against Former Officers
Lawsuit charges Joshua Hon and Florence Hon for breaching their fiduciary duties as officers of Dahon and unlawfully using company assets, resources and intellectual property to start a competing company
Duarte, California, July 21, 2011 – Dahon North America Inc. (“Dahon”), the world leader in folding bicycles, today announced it has filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against two former officers (Joshua Hon and Florence Hon) and their unlawfully competing businesses (Mobility Holdings, Ltd. and Tern Bicycles).
Dahon sued Joshua Hon and Florence Hon for wrongfully seizing control over Dahon’s Taiwan subsidiary (Dahon and Hon Industrial Labs, Ltd.) and related Dahon intellectual property, including the Biologic brand and the dahon.com website, and for using those assets and property to unfairly compete with Dahon. In addition, since Joshua Hon and Florence Hon started competing with Dahon while officers and employees of Dahon, they have acted in breach of their fiduciary duties owed to Dahon and to Dahon’s shareholders.
Dahon welcomes lawful competition in the marketplace. However, as alleged in Dahon’s complaint, the actions of these former officers are unlawful, and their refusal to cease their unlawful behavior has necessitated the instant lawsuit.
A number of false, misleading and self-incriminating comments regarding their departure from Dahon have been made public by Joshua Hon and Florence Hon. In particular, Dahon disputes allegations that any entity other than itself has ownership of intellectual property rights, copyrights, trademarks and patents relating to the Dahon brand and Dahon branded products. Also, statements by these former officers that they continue to represent Dahon either individually or through their fictitious company “Dahon Global” are simply untrue. “It is one thing to make unsubstantiated claims on the internet and through alternate channels, but it is another to provide documented evidence and make statements in a court of law under oath” said Dr. David Hon, CEO of Dahon.
Dahon pioneered the market for the modern folding bicycle more than 30 years ago and is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of folding bicycles. Dahon’s technologies, which include over 220 patents, form part of the industry standard for folding bicycles the world over. Dahon remains a strong and successful company today, and boasts more than 1,000 employees internationally, including a team of over 70 engineers. Perpetual innovation and reinvention continue to be the guiding principles that customers have come to know and expect from the Dahon brand.
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Update: Bike Europe has Josh Hon’s reaction to the Dahon lawsuit.