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Closing statements Thursday in Volagi case

Published January 12, 2012

SAN JOSE, CA (BRAIN)—Specialized and Volagi attorneys will present their closing statements Thursday morning in Santa Clara Superior Court here, and put their clients' fate in the hands of a jury.

Specialized is suing Volagi, a road bike brand, and its co-founders, Robert Choi and Barley Forsman, charging that the two launched Volagi while still employed by the Morgan Hill company. Specialized says it should own rights to Volagi's designs.

Both sides called their final witnesses Wednesday afternoon. The jury of six women and six men will consider whether Choi and Forsman breached their employment contracts with Specialized, among other charges. A verdict is expected Friday.

Earlier Wednesday, Specialized's lawyers called on an economist who said that, assuming Volagi borrowed intellectual property from Specialized, Volagi owed Specialized about $41,000 in royalties, based on comparable royalty rates he examined.

Also on Wednesday, the defense called Sean Sullivan, a former product manager and executive vice president at Specialized. Sullivan was asked about the development of the Specialized Roubaix bike. Sullivan said its inspiration was a custom Seven Cycles bike that a Specialized employee rode, and which caught the eye of Specialized's founder and president Mike Sinyard. The Seven had a tall headtube and a relaxed geometry that the Roubaix later featured, Sullivan said.

Volagi's Forsman also testified. During his testimony, a Volagi Liscio bike was wheeled into the courtroom and Forsman showed that the bike does not have a split toptube. Specialized's side had earlier tried to show that the Liscio design was borrowed from a Specialized prototype that had a split top tube.

Watch BicycleRetailer Thursday for a report on the closing statements.

—Nathaniel Woo

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