Carlini Design Lawsuit Against Paul Yaffe Originals Over Patented Handlebars Design. Update.

carlini1carlini2I received the following statement from Carlini Design.

“Carlini Design would like this opportunity to show why Carlini Design & Paul Yaffe “Originals” are in a legal disagreement over patented handlebars. Regardless of what the outcome of our battle in court is, we would like the motorcycle community to know what we are fighting over. In the previous post covering this topic there was quite a bit of confusion and unwarranted trash talk in the comments over the designers, and what product this lawsuit was about. To help clarify things let us first show you the specific handlebars involved in the dispute.

As you can see the slightly taller bars are Paul Yaffe “Originals” and the shorter are Carlini Design bars. With the hand controls mounted and viewed from the side/profile (which is the established way of identifying Carlini’s patented signature style) there is no way to tell the difference between the bars. Their handlebar cannot include our patented design without our consent. We would like to make it clear we have NO issue with the regular “Monkey Bar

Here at Carlini Design we have a passion for creating innovative, unique, and original product. We understand that what makes our handlebars unique is the curve that can be best seen from the side or profile view of the motorcycle. We pioneered, patented, invested and marketed this unique design so that we could bring an innovative and high quality product to our customers.

Our unique handlebar design has been patented, marketed in many magazines, and available to our customers for years. As you can see above, other designers recognize the significance of this design and many over the years have attempted to copy us. We do not like suing companies who violate our patents. We have on more than one occasion offered a licensing agreement to infringing manufacturers in the hopes of making product together, Paul Yaffe “Originals” included. Unfortunately often times these are rejected or ignored and a lawsuit is our only remedy. We protect our patents because they are the designs that put food on the table for our employees and their families. Carlini design wants nothing more than to offer innovative, original, and high quality items to our beloved motorcycle community. We love to see new design and what others can create, but we will not be copied without consequence. If Paul Yaffe “Originals” is as original and innovative as they claim, why would they need to copy our signature style?”

36 Responses to “Carlini Design Lawsuit Against Paul Yaffe Originals Over Patented Handlebars Design. Update.”


  1. 1 Jeremy Nov 12th, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I guess Yaffe is going to challenge the validity of the patent. Very difficult. So I guess Carlni is going to win.

  2. 2 Paul Mercy Nov 12th, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Who is original?

  3. 3 Lyle Landstrom Nov 12th, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Good luck on that one. Trying to win a patent lawsuit with only the side view curve being similar?
    The only persons winning this one will be the lawyers on both sides.

  4. 4 Brian Nov 12th, 2014 at 11:56 am

    our shop tried to deal with these carlini guys and they are a bunch of snobby pricks. congrats on becoming the metallica of the motorcycle industry!

  5. 5 rebel Nov 12th, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    hey somebody’s got to do it, china is probably one container ship away from copying both! good luck Carlini, anyone can see your on the right side of this, i’ve used your product and the quality is there, when you get copied everyone thinks the inferior quality copy is just you getting cheap.

  6. 6 Shifter Nov 12th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Is it the 1st time Yaffe is accused of copying another part and claims his as original? Of course he can claim that a bent tube can’t be patented. It will be settled out of court when both parties realize that lawyer fees will cost them much more than selling 2000 of these bars. Or who has more money? Carlini or Yaffe. The richer will exhaust the other.

  7. 7 unclejackss Nov 12th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    What I want to know is how they got a Yaffe bar to compare, those things are unobtainable

  8. 8 nicker Nov 12th, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    RE:
    “… Who is original? …”

    Personalities aside, Carlini was building and selling stuff back in the 60’s.
    Always nice styling.

    -nicker-

  9. 9 TJ Martin Nov 12th, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I’m in no position to offer an opinion as to who may be right or wrong here . But what I can say for an absolute fact is that Carlini is doing themselves as well as their impending legal case no favors what so ever by trying to appeal to the masses with this news (?) release . One swift motion by Paul Yaffe’s lawyers and Carlini’s got themselves a definite case of intentional bias and prejudicial influence pedaling lined up square against them .Which is to say … bad form Carlini legal team . Y’all should of known better 😉

  10. 10 Ray Ray Nov 12th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    V-Twin (Taiwan Ted) has been making a living off of copying other peoples parts for years. No one fights it because it’s to costly. Good luck…

  11. 11 kriscoester Nov 12th, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    cant we all just get along and play with motorcycles like god intended! i just dont understand the big deal i ride a honda rebel and nobody ever bothers me. maybe yall should just get one of those and people will leave you alone too….

  12. 12 TheBaggerBlog Nov 12th, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Whoever approved the patent on the bend was an idiot. There are too many differences between the bars. Hopefully this gets settled out of court. I’m a fan of both peoples handlebars, but this whole situation is just plain dumb. Go after someone who exactly clones your product, not a company who has bars that are “kinda”, “sorta” similar. Thats wack.

  13. 13 Snoozbutton Nov 12th, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Hats off to Carlini. He’s been knocking off other people’s parts for years. And yes you should be able to patent an angle or bend , those angles and bends make products unique. Matt Hotch built the first radiused pipes, look how many people knocked him off. His style of pop-up gas cap, tons of people copied it. Paul even has a pop up cap. Look at Independent Gas Tank, people were knocking off his tanks left and right, Paul even sent one to Canada and had it copied to a T. So yes Carlini nail anyone that copies your hard work to the wall.

  14. 14 Homer Nov 12th, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    The tall bars look kick ass, the short bars look lame. A patent on a bend, and sueing a fellow industry leader is extra dumb. IMOP, Carlini looks like a group of total wankers….

  15. 15 Boyd Nov 13th, 2014 at 12:06 am

    What a joke. Pretty soon welding any 2 pieces of metal together will be an infringement on a patent!!! You shouldn’t be able to patent a handle bar unles you figured a way for it to give you a hand job while you ride. Now that is something to patent right there!!!!!

  16. 16 Stephen Nov 13th, 2014 at 5:35 am

    The two bars look quite different from the front and I don’t think they could be called “deceptively similar”. I can’t say the bend from the side is particularly unique either, I see lots of bars with bends at my local biker hangout.

    Looks to me like Carlini are doing the same sort of trick that the now defunct SCO UNIX people tried on the tech sector back in the early 2000’s. SCO were going broke so they tried to sue everyone including IBM and Microsoft so they could keep going. They died rather quickly…… I bet Carlini only picked Yaffe to sue because they thought he has enough money to get a payout from him. The lawyers don’t care who’s wrong or right only who has money or insurance.

  17. 17 Da Dog Nov 13th, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Carlini Design or a bunch of cry baby punks.. They always think people need to bow down to them.. I don’t think so … Next thing they’ll say is they had the first chrome bars… What a bunch of azz holes .. I hope Paul runs then out if biz..

  18. 18 KD Nov 13th, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Give me a break. All you have to do is look at that top picture and you can start a list as to how they ae different. Just treat that pic as one of those you find in magazines where they want you to find all the changes they made. I can find half a dozen in as many seconds. And the curve of each in the side pic looks different too. Guess I’m glad I never have and never will buy anything from Carlini.

  19. 19 takehikes Nov 13th, 2014 at 8:53 am

    No one has mentioned that they are ugly ass bars so who cares.

  20. 20 J Nov 13th, 2014 at 10:09 am

    LOL- both of those bars look like a dozen others I’ve seen- cudos to the patent lawyers on both sides, they’re gonna have a sweet payday on this one.

    In other news, I invented the round gas tank- where are my residuals?

  21. 21 J Nov 13th, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Just shut up and move onto the next project, Carlini- by the time this suit sees the light of the day, this fad will have passed anyway……

  22. 22 TopCat Nov 13th, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Completely stupid and one 1950’s/60’s chopper away from being disproved on both sides. Years ago a competitor tried to patent motorcycle jacket venting design and a company I worked for went through this. The company founder had a british jacket from the 50’s that predated all and this was the basis for dismissal. These bars have been around since home welding……

  23. 23 clydeglide Nov 13th, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Patents are granted for one of two reasons,
    1. a mechanical design that offers a unique advantage, (intermittant windshied wiper) or
    2. a design featdure that makes that product very unique and different

    curved handle bars have been around since the beginning of motorcycle
    time (late 1800”s) Both tall and short handle bars have also been around forever.
    SO, combining both is now patenable? Give me a break

  24. 24 Leatherneck Nov 13th, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Carlini ripped off the style from low rider bicycles! So not “original”
    On their part! The Yaffe bar has a better style! They both suck to run
    Internal wiring, especially TBW!!
    Their best bet is to jump in the ring put the gloves on and fight it out
    In Daytona! It’ll bring more attention to their products than a law suit!!

  25. 25 1550tc Nov 13th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Who is original?

    I think Adam and Eve ??

  26. 26 Rodent Nov 13th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    My ancestors invented the wheel

  27. 27 Smittydog Nov 13th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    A lot of responses. Why?

  28. 28 LC Fabrications Nov 14th, 2014 at 6:14 am

    too many patents means and end to the free enterprise system,it puts a major box around creativity especially for small manufacturers…..how can one design a new product without fear of getting into trouble over a patent on something so minimal? you’ve somehow patented a curve in a piece of tube? maybe you could patent using 1″ tube for your bars and then nobody else can make any. get your head out of your rear and make something new……vtwin is probably already working to rip off both designs in china anyway

  29. 29 CW Nov 14th, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Good point Rodent..lol!, did they invent fire too?

  30. 30 Jack deagazio Nov 15th, 2014 at 7:15 am

    I agree with Jeremy 100%

  31. 31 David Lefebvre Nov 15th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Not worth it at the end of the day. Another win for the lawyers. Patent something life changing not the curve of a handlebar!

  32. 32 Blackmax Nov 17th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Really ?????
    As said many times already
    the ONLY people that are going to make out on this are the lawyers !!!!

  33. 33 Chaos Cycle Nov 18th, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    what a joke, people have been building bars like them for years, to say anybody owns the right is ridiculous. Ive been building bars like them since i built a bike called the donkey punch 10 yrs ago and while its my own take on ape hangers i have seen tons of bars that are similar since, and i dont think anyone copied them.

  34. 34 Dave Nov 18th, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Wait a minute…..whose idea was it to put bars on top of a fork in the first place? He’s the guy that is owed billions of dollars by manufacturers and custom shops around the world.

  35. 35 Lyle Landstrom Nov 18th, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    If you take the master cylinder off both bars, then angle the bars so that the angle of the grips are parallel (which they would be if the same rider was using either bar on the same bike), you can see the angle of the most vertical part is very noticably different than the other bar. And the bend “similarity” then becomes less apparent. To me, it looks as if the bars and camera angle were situated to give the maximum illusion. I’d worry more about those welds breaking over time due to dynamic vibration at the pretty severe angles.

  36. 36 MH Nov 19th, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    LC Fabrications I think you’re missing the point. I hope Carlini wins. Small designers in this industry take a lot of the risk developing new and unique product and more often than not when they hit a home run are pushed out by the bigger companies with more money. If Carlini wins this it means that designers have the right and power to protect their designs so that, at least in the US, they cant be pushed out of the design they created. If Carlini wins it will be a huge win for the small designer and creative minds within the motorcycle industry. The small custom shop chasing the american dream is how this industry started and it is where I believe the best designs yet will come from. In a way I think Carlini is fighting for that.

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