Beacon Helmet, a Kickstarter project that road.cc recently reported on, is being accused of copyright infringement by Blaze because they claim the laser image of a bike that projects out of the front of the helmet is Blaze’s own patented innovation, appearing on their Laserlight front bike light.
The £249 helmet has indicators, built-in speakers and also beams lasers either side of the rider, but the use of the laser-projected image of a bike out front is where Blaze claim the product utilises their own copyrighted technology. Blaze founder and creator Emily Brooke said of the Beacon Helmet product and its Kickstarter campaign: “It’s very frustrating to see a company use our innovation and imagery when we’ve invested so much time and energy in to making cycling safer, it’s unsatisfactory.
“We just hope they take it down on this occasion, or we will be taking legal action because it goes against what we do as a company.”
In response, Jeff Zhang of Beacon Helmet told road.cc: “The third party company is referring specifically to the laser-projected bike image. They wouldn't be able to claim to have a patent for laser projection from a helmet because I hold that patent. This company only allege that the shape of our green bicycle projection looks like their trademarked image.
“I guess some companies just don't like new companies like ours competing with them.”
Beacon Helmet have changed the bike image in their promotional video (above) that appeared in our original article, saying: “This does not mean we agree with the third-party’s view that using the green bicycle image is a violation of their trademark. We are doing this so to make sure our campaign would not be forcefully stopped for the moment.”
Blaze also began life as a Kickstarter project itself, successfully raising more than double its original £25,000 target to bring their Laserlight into production, and also the Burner rear light in a separate campaign. The company scooped a contract with Santander Cycles in late 2015 to have 11,500 Santander hire bikes fitted with Blaze Laserlights. An advert featuring Jenson Button, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Rory McIlroy was made to celebrate the partnership.
A source also claimed that a Beacon Helmet employee purchased a Laserlight last year; however Zhang claims that isn’t possible, as the company was only incorporated in February 2017.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.