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KTM Bicycles Starts Legal Action Against Puello’s Pexco

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MATTIGHOFEN, Austria – The clear and present involvement of KTM Industries AG in the newly founded Pexco e-bike company already raised eyebrows at last September’s Eurobike. On stage at a presentation in Friedrichshafen, Susanne Puello pointed to ‘KTM’ more than once. Reason for KTM Fahrrad (Bicycles) GmbH to take legal action.

KTM Bicycles Starts Legal Action Against Puello’s Pexco
KTM Fahrrad GmbH initiated legal measures in Germany and Austria against Pexco GmbH for usage of KTM keyword by Pexco. – Photo Bike Europe

“For us the bicycle market and e-bikes are the next logical step to grow our business,” said KTM Industries AG CEO Stefan Pierer on stage during the Pexco presentation at Eurobike. This statement together with several other references by Pexco of their connection with KTM Industries AG spurred Stefan Limbrunner, MD of KTM Fahrrad GmbH, to publish the following announcement:

Exclusive right to KTM brand name

“We, KTM Fahrrad GmbH, have a common license agreement with KTM AG (the Motorcycle-Group) dating back to the year 1997. In this license agreement only we (KTM Fahrrad) were given the worldwide and exclusive right to use the brand and the keyword ‘KTM’ in the bicycle sector. KTM Industries AG (established in 2016) is a company which belongs to the KTM Motorcycle-Group. This company, including all the other companies of the motorcycle group, is not allowed to use the name ‘KTM’ in the bicycle industry. This is prohibited by contract and as such forbidden on legal grounds.”

Legal action against Pexco

In a press statement Limbrunner said to have initiated legal measures in Germany as well as in Austria. “We have done this to secure our rights towards KTM Industries AG (=Motorcycle Group). This has already been confirmed in an accelerated proceeding (not legally binding) in Germany. Consequently Pexco deleted only partially possible references on their website relating to a collaboration with KTM Industries AG as far as we can see. Also Pexco GmbH is not entitled to use the keyword KTM for any purpose in the bicycle industry. We are currently urging for a fast and fair solution in this case, if necessary also by taking legal action against Pexco GmbH,” said Stefan Limbrunner.

Lacking legal basis

According to KTM Fahrrad GmbH, “KTM AG (=Motorcycle-Group) already confirmed in a letter dated 19 October 2017 that they did not give any right to Pexco to use neither the brand nor the keyword ‘KTM’ in the bicycle industry. Therefore the usage of ‘KTM’ by Pexco is lacking any legal basis.”

Stefan Limbrunner points out that “The Austrian company KTM Fahrrad GmbH is the one and only company who is allowed to use the keyword ‘KTM’ in the bicycle industry. Since many years we stand for innovative products in line with our slogan ‘KTM Bike Industries for bicycles and e-bikes (pedelecs)’.

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