16 thoughts on “Oh, for Fuck’s Sake”

  1. (Quoted from Lambretta.com for posterity:)

    Official warning statement LN and LS models

    Lambretta enthusiasts will undoubted be encouraged by the news of the introduction into the market of the new “Lambretta” LS and LN models as reported. Buyers must however be very careful that they are indeed witnessing the launch of a true, authentic and legitimate Lambretta, approved by the Lambretta Consortium, the international owner of the Lambretta brand.

    The two new models, the LN and LS, have been produced by GAMAX Moto Corporation (Charles Huang) in Taiwan under the authority of DBM and two companies, CLAG International Limited (Ireland) presenting itself under http://www.lambrettamotorcycles.com and MOTOM Electronics Spa (Giovanni Cottone) in Italy presenting itself under http://www.lambretta-italia.it respectively. Both these models are unapproved and unlicensed for the global market as a full inspection of their authenticity and quality has not yet been conducted by Lambretta Consortium. Additionally contractual issues still remain to be resolved. Our highly valued international consumers (Lambrettisti), distributors and resellers should take care to ensure that DBM, CLAG and MOTOM receive official approval from Lambretta Consortium before entering into any financial arrangements to acquire or distribute these models. Lambretta Consortium obviously cannot afford to allow unlicensed scooter models enter the market that bear the name Lambretta. Lambretta Consortium will continue to take the appropriate legal actions against unauthorized distributors and resellers, like Moof and WKBikes, to prevent counterfeit products entering the market.

    Please notice that a general, non exclusive license agreement has been entered with CLAG for the territory resticted to Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Russia, Georgia, Thailand and Cambodia. Please contact us for additional information. All license agreements with Motom have been terminated.

    Lambretta Consortium wishes to ensure that it will do all it can to bring you a genuine, high quality, Lambretta scooter in the best traditions of the Lambretta heritage as soon as it can. We are endeavouring to clarify the situation on both models with both parties in the very near future and hope to issue a statement which ratifies both models. If you require further clarification or information please contact info@lambrettadistribution.com or visit http://www.lambretta.com.

    more information

    Lambretta Consortium
    Lambretta International

    I’m still confused, honestly, but I just lost all interest in the new Lambretta and any future Lambretta, and I’m just about to lose interest in Lambrettas of the past.

  2. Here’s what I hear:

    Lambretta Consortium wishes to ensure that it will do all it can to bring you a genuine, high quality, Lambretta scooter in the best traditions of the Lambretta heritage as soon as it can.

    “Once we add an engineer and a salesperson to our huge staff of corporate intellectual property attorney trolls, we’ll look into making stickers to put on Chinese scooters, in the meantime, it’s much more lucrative to just sit around and sue anyone that tries to use the name that we burnt down the landscape acquiring through various legal loopholes and financial hi-jinx.”

    We are endeavouring to clarify the situation on both models with both parties in the very near future and hope to issue a statement which ratifies both models.

    “Boy, motor vehicles are more complicated than cologne and energy drinks. We had a deal almost worked out, but every party involved is so shady and full of crap that it imploded at the last minute, and now we’re trying to look like the good guys. As soon as the other parties agree to shower us in cash for doing nothing other than hogging a trademark, you can bet we’ll be totally behind any crap these guys want to put on the market, as long as the checks keep coming.”

  3. That said, I dont’ feel a bit sorry for CLAG or MOTOM either, and I question their ethics and sanity going on the market without the consortium on board.

    And the introduction of GAMAX to the equation opens another whole mystery now that it’s been alleged that the scooter is based on the SYM Fiddle. Not that the Fiddle is without it’s own mysterious legal battle and sudden resolution (Fiddlegate).

    Also, last but not at all least, I just noticed CLAG appears to be ripping off Glenn Reid’s art on their contact page: http://www.lambrettamotorcycles.com/contact_us.html

  4. Holy Hell, indeed.

    They easily could have built the bike, called it something else, and said it was “Lambretta-inspired.”

    But didn’t you think that had all gone a little too smoothly?

  5. its interesting that the consortium uses the ST George’s cross as a logo, which is associated with England and not Italy although the religious aspect knows no bounds.

  6. I’m pretty sure the Brits invented the Lambretta, Bosco. As with everything else, they did it first, got tired of it and had a revival before anyone else even thought of trying any idea. Or so I’m to believe through interweb bragging.

  7. Or, since it’s kinda old to be a Lamb-retta – maybe it should be called a Muttonretta.

  8. The St. James cross of the British lambretta importer (not to mention the RAF rondel milked to death by both the consortium AND modern Piaggio) really bugs me too bosco. What’s even weirder though is that The Consortium’s website features “coming soon” drawings of the two new models that they insist aren’t “legit,” a fact I meant to point out in the original post, thanks Rob for reminding me.

  9. You know, it’ll look awesome when LANCE is importing it as the replacement for the Cali Classic.

  10. I posted this as a comment a couple weeks ago over on Orin’s blog, but I now realize I missed some of these points here, so I’m just reposting it here verbatim. It came as a result of my conviction that Orin was publishing the various press releases as news, which I feel is a disservice to the scooter community, since none of the companies involved are clearly sharing the real facts. Here goes…

    PR NEWSWIRE is, as the name implies, PR. It’s not news, any content there is supplied by the entity issuing the release with absolutely no journalism or fact-checking involved. So no one’s calling it “the biggest anti-counterfeit operation in history” except Lambretta SA (The Consortium).

    Counterfeiting is the production and distribution of a fraudulent project posing as the real thing. As I understand it, that word is totally inappropriate in this case, as MOTOM/CLAG were working to develop this under some sort of tenuous license with the Consortium. I’m almost postitive the same photos used for marketing this new model by CLAG were on the consortium site, even as they posted that letter, though they’re gone now. It sure looks to me that It’s not in any way a counterfeit of the Consortium’s product, it’s a licensing deal gone bad. The consortium doesn’t seem to have anything at all in the works, they just spent millions of dollars scoring the legal rights to the name at the expense of other companies that thought they legally held it, and now they’re shutting everyone down because they’re not paying up.

    As far as Lambretta USA (the adlys sold here), As I understand it, they had a deal in place with SIL, probably via FWL. Obviously, as all these plans were being negotiated, they were all keeping their mouths shut hoping they’d get rich. Now that the biggest deal (MOTOM/CLAG vs the consortium) has fallen through, they’re apparently all just slashing and burning everything they can, which is helping no one.

    Jack, with all due respect, you couldn’t be more wrong about “The Lambretta Company,” as you call them. They have no historical connection to the Lambretta brand and just acquired the name recently through various legal processes and at great expense. They talk about the integrity of the brand, but Innocenti, the original manufacturer of the Lambretta, is long gone (1971, IIRC) and the name has been under dispute ever since. This is a very complicated case that I and others have been following for years and there’s very little solid information, all these transactions happened behind the scenes. There have been lawsuits, countersuits, settlements, government intervention, and even a documented death threat over the last few years and I’m not sure if anyone, even the parties involved, are fully aware of all the relationships and agreements that have come and gone over the last few decades.

    The sick part is that all the players are expecting to get rich off a legendary brand name. The name has been sold off to bicycles, cologne, energy drinks, watches, shoes, clothing, and anything else you can think of. It no longer means anything to anyone, it’s a brand name. All parties position themselves as the heroes that will rescue the brand, but MOTOM has sold the cheapest of chinese scooters as Lambrettas in Italy for years now.

    It says a lot that SIL had the tooling and know-how to build Lambrettas since Innocenti closed, and they manufactured the DL/GP model for years until the late 90s. If SIL couldn’t sell a reasonably-decent-quality more or less exact copy of a Bertone-designed metal geared Lambretta, I don’t know how many plastic asian scooters these guys think they can sell. No one’s getting rich here, and if they somehow do, it’ll be in settlements, not in manufacturing and distribution. Bringing a legitimate Lambretta to market is not a labor of love for any of these people, it’s a necessary step in re-legitimizing the brand, so there’s a scooter behind the international marketing push of t-shirts, perfumes, liquors, boutiques, a la christian audigier and his savvy but depressing exploitation of the “Ed Hardy” brand to chavs and aspirational reality-TV actors worldwide. If they sell twenty scooters and give twenty away to high-profile celebrities, that’s all they need to move on to ‘stage 2.’

  11. Since one side’s “Warning” was posted, I thought it only fair to post the other side’s statement, so here is the statement from Clag International Ltd. (CLAG) and Motom Electronics Group S.p.a. (MEG) concerning why they own the rights to sell the LN 150 and LS 150:


    “Lambretta LN125 – This is not an imitation!

    It is with reference to the statement issued by Lambretta SA (a Swiss company in liquidation) on behalf of the “Lambretta Consortium” to various press agencies on a worldwide basis on 2nd August 2011 that Motom Electronics Group S.p.a. (MEG) and Clag International Ltd (CLAG) would like to jointly issue the following statement.

    1) The original “Lambretta” trademark was sold in 1972 by executors acting on behalf of the Innocenti family (founders of the brand), to an Indian Government owned company Scooters India Ltd (SIL).

    2) In 2006 SIL granted a license for the use of the trademark Lambretta to a UK company, Fine White Line Ltd (FWL).

    3) In 2010 FWL, through two affiliated companies, Lambretta Scooters Ltd and Scooter Asia (TBS) Ltd, granted sub licenses for the use of the trademark Lambretta to MEG and CLAG for Class 12 products (land, sea, and air powered vehicles).

    MEG and CLAG therefore validly and legally use the “Lambretta” trademark and by virtue of these license agreements allow them to design, manufacture and sell scooters bearing the trademark “Lambretta” in most countries of the world.

    Despite the clear and legitimate of the use of the “Lambretta” trademark by MEG and CLAG, a group of companies styling themselves as the “Lambretta Consortium” has, for several years, been trying to revoke the rights pertaining to the original “Lambretta” trademark, currently owned by SIL. Amongst other spurious arguments, he constantly alleges that the trademark has not been put to genuine use. However these arguments were nothing more than an elaborate ruse to allow the “Consortium” to illegally attempt to register new “Lambretta” trademarks in the name of various companies including Lambretta S.A. (a Swiss company now in liquidation), Brandconcern B.V. (a Dutch company which has featured in numerous other legal actions relating to old established trademarks), Heritage Licensing S.A. (another Swiss company), Lambretta Licensing LTD (UK), Lambretta Distribution Ltd (UK), Lambretta Licensing (IRE) Ltd (Irish company) and Lambretta S.r.l. (the Holding Italian company). According to copies of legal documents seen by MEG and CLAG, these illegal attempts to steal the “Lambretta” trade mark have been going on since the late 1990’s.

    Despite MEG and CLAG taking the matter to the Italian Courts in Milan and obtaining no less than three decisions in their favour (decision No. 8912 of 2010 on the 7th July 2010, an injunction on the 26th November 2008 and a further injunction on 30th May 2011) the “Consortium” persist in its illegal actions. The decisions of the Court clearly established that the “Lambretta” trademark is owned by SIL (and by virtue, the Indian Government), is indeed valid, and cannot be revoked. Furthermore the Court decided that there were also no reasons to consider the termination of the sub license contract for the use of the “Lambretta” trademark.

    Despite his defeat in the judicial courts, the “Consortium” continues to defy the decisions taken by the judges in Milan. He is now seeking to stop the legitimate commercial activities of MEG and CLAG, by attempting (or threatening to attempt) to take action against them in various countries around the world. The aim of this is nothing less than to try and terrorize MEG and CLAG’s suppliers and their lawfully appointed distributors of their new “Lambretta” scooters with the clear but unlawful purpose of dissuading them from conducting business with MEG and CLAG.

    It should also be pointed out that the “Consortium”, despite unlawfully and in bad faith registering his own “Lambretta” trademarks, has never produced any scooter (“Lambretta” or otherwise). Clearly they feel that they are not subject to the very same legal arguments their own spurious actions have set out in their attempts to revoke the SIL owned “Lambretta” trademarks, i.e. that they should be revoked for continued “non use”. In addition, and not just content with issuing frivolous legal action, the “Consortium” has also publicly defamed the managing director of MEG, an action he will personally have to explain before the Italian Courts. For this outburst the “Consortium” has formally been reported to the Italian Public Prosecutor’s office in Monza.

    At present the “Consortium” continues, through the tangled network of companies, to issue press releases to the whole world with news that is contrary to the truth. By doing this the “Consortium” thinks that he can vilify MEG and CLAG, threaten their clients, and attempt to halt the supply of goods from their suppliers. the “Consortium” has even tried sending his representatives to visit prospective clients with the sole purpose of intimidating them and dissuading them from purchasing MEG and CLAG’s scooters bearing the “Lambretta” trademark.

    Not content with his clearly ambitious actions, the “Consortium” (via his Italian company Lambretta S.r.l) has now fraudulently attempted to file an application with the European Trademark and Patents Office (OAMI), to register the intellectual property of the new “Lambretta” scooters designed and previously registered by CLAG. This action is a clear attempt to illegitimately and illegally appropriate third part owned intellectual property and design rights and is nothing short of attempted theft. Please see the revocation request filed to OAMI

    Consequently CLAG will be shortly reporting the “Consortium” to both the Carabinieri (the Italian Police) and the Italian Public Prosecutor’s Offices in Rome, with the hope that the Italian Courts will soon be able to issue appropriate and effective measures to stop the continued actions of what both CLAG and MEG believe is nothing more than a pirate.

    As confirmed by the Italian Courts’ decisions, MEG and CLAG are confident of their position and will not let the unlawful, illegal, spurious and prejudiced actions of the “Consortium” intimidate them. They will continue, and escalate their efforts, to establish a proper and successful commercial network to re-launch the iconic “Lambretta” brand of scooters to the world in their role as legally appointed and legitimate licensees.

    Note to Editors:

    Both Motom Electronics Group S.p.a. (registered in Italy with offices in Milan) and Clag International Ltd (registered in Ireland with offices in Rome) are more than able and willing to release any and all collaborative information showing both tangible and incontestable evidence of the allegations as set out by MEG and CLAG in the above statement. In the first instance, you are directed to contact:

    For Motom: Avv. Nicola Gurrado +39 335 610 9641 – n.gurrado@studiogurrado.it
    For Clag: Dott. Gabriele Carbucicchio +353 860491681 info@lambrettamotorcycles.com

    Since SIL has long owned all the rights to the Lambretta name, statement 1 is true.
    The question is if statements 2 and 3 are true.
    If they are, then CLAG and MEM clearly have the rights to sell the LN/LS 150.
    And the “Lambretta Consortium” are a bunch of snake-in-the-grass lawyers who go around trying to steal old trademarks.

    It would be good if SIL issued a statement concerning who they have licensed the scooter rights to. But that would be too simple.
    Let’s hope statements 2 and 3 are correct and these new Lambrettas get into volume production.
    Since CLAG and MEM seem to be producing scooters that actually look like Lambrettas, I’m rooting for them.

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