Specialized and doing the right thing
Last Post 01/03/2014 07:17 AM by entheo genic. 73 Replies.
Author Messages
79pmooney

Posts:1023

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12/07/2013 07:21 PM
Specialized is suing (or has threatened to sue) a tiny Canadian bike shop over its use of the name Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio.  The shop was started last winter by a Afganistan vet.

blogs.calgaryherald.com/2013/12/07/...ecialized/

I know this is Specialized privilege and indeed duty before shareholders but still, is this remotely kind, Christian or caring?  Does it make one whit of difference to Specialized?  Yes, it does now since they chose to make this a big deal that is now public.  But had it done nothing?  I doubt inaction would ever have bitten them in the a**, so to speak.

Specialized has made its choice and I guess I have to respect them for that.  I'll make mine.  I'll buy no more Specialized.  I make even make it known to local shops that I may curtail shopping where Specialized is sold.  Sucks that seats that work really well for me are theirs.  I'll use them 'till they die and move on to someone else.

Ben
Master50

Posts:217

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12/07/2013 07:47 PM
I guess Specalized will need to sue a small town in France, Just about every cycling clothing manufacturer has a Roubaix fabric. More than 1 bike race has Roubaix in it too. It is very likely that Specialized could not defend that name except maybe as a name for a bicycle. Shame on them for this bullying.Glad I bought a Trek instead of the Epic. Oh darn now we can never go for an Epic Ride unless it is on their bike?
C2K_Rider

Posts:168

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12/07/2013 10:22 PM
Bogus. How is a shop name infringing on a bike name. And how do all the products with roubaix names get a pass (or are they paying liscense fees? They just picked on someone they knew couldn't afford to fight.
Hoshie

Posts:111

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12/07/2013 10:50 PM
you guys are heartless; it's the holidays. corporate lawyers need to employed too how else will their children go to private school and afford a vacation house if they don't get paid 6 figures to do simple trademark infringement searches and send off proforma cease and desist letters?

Furthermore, now you expect them to use judgement on the difference between a bike shop named after a French town and a trademark on a bicycle model? The ivy league is all drill and kill, don't expect them to be able to make up their own mind.

Really, sometimes the high expectations of my fellow forumites is mind boggling ;-)


j
Hoshie

Posts:111

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12/07/2013 10:58 PM
In all seriousness, I think here is where trademarks can get tricky since it's all in a similar industry code which is part of the point of the trademark system.

You have a car, it's named Tahoe, and you have trademarked it and it's been in commercial use for awhile. A car accessory maker names their utility rack "The Tahoe." That might be tough to co-exist in the same industry with out some either very good corporate relations w/ a major company or a set of very good lawyers. Probably no way.

Now, if you have a bike model called the Tahoe (like Fuji does by the way) and the logo / mark looks totally different than the car, you'd likely have an easier time of it because you aren't really misleading the customer w/ the brand which is a central point of the trademark system.

J
longslowdistance

Posts:592

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12/07/2013 11:23 PM
Well, I am surprised to see Specialized do the "resistance is futile" thing. What will they gain? Maybe there is more the the story?

Hoshie, I like your rant but will call you on your dismissive slight of top liberal arts schools like those in the Ivy League: it's the exact the opposite of your claim that it's all memorization. Most of the bright minds they encounter get expanded, more creative and more capable.
mondonico

Posts:32

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12/07/2013 11:30 PM
I read this story also and I'm confused. I have a great amount of respect for the founder of Specialized. We are about the same age. Rode bikes in Europe in the late 60's early 70's. He started to import parts from Europe to the US. I helped a bunch of my friends get into cycling and fixed their bikes etc. in the 70's. He built one of the largest cycling companies in the world. I did not.

Now the confused part. My understanding from the story is that If they don't fight to keep their name they might lose the right to that name.

“A simple trademark search would have prevented this,” Koury wrote in an email, along with a reference to the federal government’s trademark database showing Specialized’s registration of the word Roubaix. “We are required to defend or lose our trademark registration.”

But as others have said Roubaix is used on many different products so what gives. But If I were the one who had built Specialized. I would fight my ass off everytime someone, even a small fry, started to nip at that brand.

So while I find it a little like Goliath vs David. It also seems like it's defend it or lose it.
eurochien

Posts:37

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12/08/2013 12:59 AM
Roubaix is a town in Northern France for fu**'s sake, what are these lawyers thinking? I hope that this story does Specialized more brand and PR damage than they hope to save by "safeguarding" their bull$4it trademark on a city name. Like the town of Roubaix should now pay royalties to Specialized or something? What a crock.
Entheo

Posts:316

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12/08/2013 08:36 AM
part of the problem stems from the parameters of trademark and patent grants. the term "roubaix" should not be granted a trademark in and of itself; "specialized roubaix" okay, and the company must build the brand identity around that phrase to defend it.

same problem on the patent side... monsanto is trying to get patents on existing non-IP-developed living organisms. i wouldn't be surprised if they've submitted a patent request on water & air.
longslowdistance

Posts:592

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12/08/2013 08:52 AM
"Roubaix"
"Roubaix"

Hey Specialized, I used your Trademarked word. Twice! How can you stand for this? So send me a bill or a cease and desist, or shut up.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/08/2013 09:36 AM
Posted By Bill H. on 12/07/2013 11:30 PM
I read this story also and I'm confused. I have a great amount of respect for the founder of Specialized. We are about the same age. Rode bikes in Europe in the late 60's early 70's. He started to import parts from Europe to the US. I helped a bunch of my friends get into cycling and fixed their bikes etc. in the 70's. He built one of the largest cycling companies in the world. I did not.

Now the confused part. My understanding from the story is that If they don't fight to keep their name they might lose the right to that name.

“A simple trademark search would have prevented this,” Koury wrote in an email, along with a reference to the federal government’s trademark database showing Specialized’s registration of the word Roubaix. “We are required to defend or lose our trademark registration.”

But as others have said Roubaix is used on many different products so what gives. But If I were the one who had built Specialized. I would fight my ass off everytime someone, even a small fry, started to nip at that brand.

So while I find it a little like Goliath vs David. It also seems like it's defend it or lose it.


Specialized has the TM in Canada. Parent company if Fuji (ASI) has it in the US. My understanding is that Specialized has a licensing agreement with ASI. Whether the manufacturer of the Roubaix material has an agreement with ASI, Specialized or anyone else, I don't know. Specialized is correct that they need to protect their TM.....that said, they could easily have reached out to the guy and said "give us a dollar and we'll call it good." Massive PR fail for Specialized on this....they are getting ripped in social media.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
winterale

Posts:43

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12/08/2013 11:20 AM
S'holes has got it wrong yet again. They have a history of lawsuits not unlike -7...Hope the shop owner makes lots of T-shirt sales cause of it. Really really winterale.
winterale

Posts:43

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12/08/2013 12:10 PM
Yep done before...F-em
http://bikeportland.org/2011/03/10/epic-wheel-works-will-change-name-due-to-potential-trademark-conflict-with-specialized-49504
vtguy

Posts:222

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12/08/2013 01:35 PM
Hard to believe that Specialized couldn't have found a less draconian way to handle this. I'd be interested to hear their side of the story.
Gonzo Cyclist

Posts:196

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12/08/2013 01:41 PM
The big "S" taking it an all time low.....................Sorry mondonico, Sinyard's a prick
Hoshie

Posts:111

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12/08/2013 02:47 PM
LSD - sarcasm on the ivy league. Got lost on the forum. Of course those schools pride themselves on the case method, and inquiry based learning not wrote memorization which is why reasonable accommodation seems to be an easy outcome for thinking men and women.

But frikken no!!! Not for the big s.
Entheo

Posts:316

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12/08/2013 04:33 PM
here's a new slogan for them, royalty-free with my condolences:

"We're Specialized... the New Trek"
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/08/2013 06:03 PM
Our old friend, Charles Pelkey, has something to say.....

http://redkiteprayer.com/2013/12/the-explainer-because-i-ing-hate-bullies/

I just ordered a few things from specialized.....WB's and helmet replacement pads. Unfortunately, I need the helmet pads, but unless Specialized drops this case, after XMas, everything else goes is going back.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Hoshie

Posts:111

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12/08/2013 07:46 PM
Ck, ironically, They sued the person who was the product mgr of their water bottles. He's one of the volagi guys.

J
longslowdistance

Posts:592

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12/08/2013 09:10 PM
CK, thanks very much for the link, in which Mr. Pelkey makes a brilliant suggestion:
Don't just rant at the tone-deaf Specialized bullies,

**help the little guy with some business**.

I ordered a shop logo T shirt. If they sold replica bike shop signs, I'd buy one in an instant. It would look super cool in a bike space/man cave/mountain cabin or the like.
Dale

Posts:442

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12/09/2013 01:58 AM
The whole trademarking of names is funny and while Spez uses the name Roubaix and it does have a cycling connection (the model, the city, and this Canadian bike shop), Bill France aka NASCAR got Campagnolo and Bianchi to drop the model Daytona. WTH? No correlation between a city in Florida where car racing takes place and a bike model or a component grouppo model designation.
Spud

Posts:181

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12/09/2013 08:12 AM
Liked them on Facebook and going to order one of thier shirts, in support of the shop.
Yo Mike

Posts:254

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12/09/2013 09:46 AM
A little 'internet hyperbole' here, but hey; I'm a visual person, and made the connection between the logos:



and



huckleberry

Posts:215

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12/09/2013 09:52 AM
Damn!

Good thing the t-shirt was fairly good looking.

Nothing like supporting someone with a purchase you don't want ; )

Will wear with pride. Or with a sneer of "F@ck You" Specialized...
winterale

Posts:43

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12/09/2013 10:09 AM
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=672589656119751&set=p.672589656119751&type=1&theater
jrt1045

Posts:357

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12/09/2013 10:33 AM
This isn't too uncommon behavior in the bike biz.

If I remember correctly, Cannondale once sued rock shox/manitou because they had the audacity to use a hydraulic dampening unit in their forks and cannondale felt it was covered in their patent for the cruddy headshock. even though dampening units have been used for eons by pretty much anybody that has developed suspension components

Another stake in the specialized heart; they were highly litigious with the horst link which they defined as pretty much any rear suspension design that used 4 pivots - or one by the rear dropouts. kinda clogged development of active rear suspension with their crappy FSR design. patent finally ran out.

If you think think is bad, you should research the way that they have treated their dealers over the years with attempts to floorplan their stores. Sinyard is a real piece of work
jrt1045

Posts:357

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12/09/2013 11:25 AM
I saw this and chuckled

Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/09/2013 11:54 AM
Another stake in the specialized heart; they were highly litigious with the horst link which they defined as pretty much any rear suspension design that used 4 pivots - or one by the rear dropouts. kinda clogged development of active rear suspension with their crappy FSR design. patent finally ran out.


I've mentioned this before.....the Horst Link patent has 2 parts; a pivot on the chainstay near the rear dropout and a pivot above and behind the BB shell. IOW, you need to have both aspects to violate the patent, but Specialized only focused on bikes with chainstay pivots.

If you had a chainstay pivot, they came after you, no matter where the BB pivot was located. If your BB pivot was not "above and behind" the BB shell, you didn't violate the patent, but that didn't matter to them. You got served either way. Remember how they shut down both Giant and Scott? I also ahd run-ins with them along this same line (albeit with much smaller volume).

Problem was that it was just cheaper to agree to a license than it was to litigate. I knew we could prevail in a lawsuit, but the cost would have been 10x (or more) what we would have paid in licensing. So it was 'easier" to just play along.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
jrt1045

Posts:357

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12/09/2013 12:57 PM
Thanks for cranking up the way back machine, I remember that about companies moving the pivots from the different stays and still getting nailed. Scott had a world beater design that never made it to the US as a result of the crack legal team of Specialized.

My understanding was that this situation is what led to the Fuel, jekyll, fuel, sugar designs being developed and hanging around so long. they all had less than 4 pivots and flex built into something (except for the Jekyll) - and they wouldn't get sued FWIW: the FSR of that generation was a festering, flexy POS. sad that it held technology back for a bit, but special-ed made $
bobswire

Posts:290

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12/09/2013 03:48 PM
Sue this....
Courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151749235865974&set=a.14204710973.33282.610075973&type=1&theater
longslowdistance

Posts:592

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12/09/2013 04:06 PM
and more:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/One-Less-Specialized-Bicycle-Frame-Sticker-/321270838438?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4acd3bf4a6
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/09/2013 04:22 PM
@ JRT - To the best of my knowledge, Specialized never went after all 4 pivot designs, only those that utlized a chainstay pivot. If suppliers changed the location to the seatstay (a very common practice) Specialized had no grounds for the case.

From a drivetrain efficiency perspective, the Horst link design was clearly the best of the bunch, and one reason why Specialized over-litigated the patent, IMO. They ahd the "best" design and they knew it....but the also knew that the key was the chain stay pivot, even thought he patent clearly identified 2 components.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Entheo

Posts:316

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12/09/2013 05:13 PM
riffing on yo mike's theme...

longslowdistance

Posts:592

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12/09/2013 07:14 PM
One more, a Specialized faceplant on the cobbles, how perfect for this thread:
 
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/09/2013 11:53 PM
Hmmmmm....that pic from LSD may be very appropriate.....

http://www.bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2013/12/09/asi-says-calgary-bike-shop-can-use-roubaix-name#.Uqacs7e9KSP

Could be a massive faceplant for the big S.....

Wouldn't it be hilarious if ASI rescinded their agreement?
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
winterale

Posts:43

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12/10/2013 12:22 AM
BREAKING NEWS! http://www.bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2013/12/09/asi-says-calgary-bike-shop-can-use-roubaix-name#.Uqajs_RDt1e

" Specialized Bicycle overstepped its bounds when it registered the Roubaix trademark in Canada and then tried to prevent a Calgary retailer from using the name, Advanced Sports International’s CEO told BRAIN on Monday".
79pmooney

Posts:1023

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12/10/2013 02:10 AM
Thanks CK and winterale. I have always had a soft spot for Fuji, sporting their/NEBC club jersey '76, racing its Professional '77-8 and working at the flagship dealer '77. I have followed them loosely since them adn always felt I was watching a well run, responsible company. I know nothing of ASI but assumed Fuji would partner up to or sell out to a company with their best interests in mind and one that had some level of heart. This confirms my belief.

To me, ASI's statement says a lot:

"While ASI does have the authority to object to Mr. Richter’s use of the name and while we at ASI understand the importance of protecting our bicycle model names, we believe that Mr. Richter did not intend for consumers to confuse his brick-and-mortar establishment or his wheel line with our Roubaix road bike. And we believe consumers are capable of distinguishing his bike shop and wheel line from our established bikes.”

and "We have reached out to Mr. Richter to inform him that he can continue to use the name, and we will need to license his use, which we imagine can be done easily".

Doing the right thing isn't hard. This blew up over last weekend and it took ASI what, 7 hours after opening on Monday to set things straight.

Ben
Inferno7

Posts:219

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12/10/2013 05:42 AM
Update.

http://bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2013/12/09/asi-says-calgary-bike-shop-can-use-roubaix-name#.Uqbsjmt5mSO
Entheo

Posts:316

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12/10/2013 07:59 AM
doh! specialized gets b*tchslapped by ASI.

what a PR debacle, and the very definition of hubris.
Inferno7

Posts:219

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12/10/2013 08:43 AM
Oops on posting something that was already posted. Now I'm conflicted, I love my Specialized saddle and my shoes but I do not want to own anything Specialized.
bobswire

Posts:290

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12/10/2013 09:01 AM
http://www.bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2013/12/09/asi-says-calgary-bike-shop-can-use-roubaix-name#.Uqcd6I3e4T6
Take That Specialized!!!! ASI says Calgary bike shop can use Roubaix name

Drats! Never mind CK beat me to it again.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/10/2013 11:41 AM
As a side note - this may not be over. ASI may have overstepped their limits on their press release. See the below post from a Canadian lawyer on Slowtwitch:

It is not uncommon for two parties that have a trade-mark dispute to reach an agreement between themselves that divides up the world with each acknowledging the other's rights in their respective territories. Take a look at http://www.scrabble.com to see how this has been implemented in the case of the Scrabble trade-mark.

Such an agreement might even have a clause that says that neither party will seek to register a trade-mark in some parts of the world where they both operate - that might be what ASI is suggesting here. This does not, however, create "worldwide trade-mark rights" - it is just an agreement between the two parties. It has no effect against other people.

If Specialized and ASI agreed between themselves not to register "Roubaix" as a trade-mark in Canada, then ASI has whatever remedies the agreement and the law of contract gives them. It does not by itself, though, invalidate Specialized's registration. It would be up to ASI or Cafe Roubaix or some other "interested party" to bring a court application to strike out the registration on whatever grounds they believe they have under Canadian trade-mark law.


Now, if they were smart, Specialized would just use this as their opporunity to bow out and save whatever face they can at this point.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
CERV

Posts:145

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12/10/2013 12:10 PM
"if they were smart"

What's the definition of stupid? Doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result.
The internets will eat them alive if they decide to now take on ASI instead of bowing out with their tail between their legs..
Interesting move by ASI to wade into this ugliness.
longslowdistance

Posts:592

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12/10/2013 12:48 PM
It was just a matter of time. The Onion weighs in:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/tanzania-loses-name-to-tanningsalon-chain,701/
79pmooney

Posts:1023

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12/10/2013 01:08 PM
Whatever the legal ramifications, ASI has shown that there is a very different way of operating and I suspect will benefit at the bottom line from it. Suddenly, there is a reason to ride their brand, Fuji, with pride. (Fuji owners actually have been doing that a long time, Fuji makes good bikes, but now they can wear that pride on their sleeve.)

And the actual law really doesn't matter here. No one is going to court. It is all about perception. Specialized correctly guessed that the perception of them being a giant who can squash this bike shop like an ant would get that shop to quietly change their name. This went viral and all of a sudden the perception was that Specialized was behaving as a bully. (All the past cases that have been drug up since this came out hasn't helped Specialized.) And ASI steps in with words that are perceived to be far more just and kind. (I used the words "kind, Christian and caring" in start of this thread.) ASI is perceived as a company people would like to be associated with. Because of perception, this little bike shop will keep its name. ASI will win some at the dealership/sales/bottom line and Specialized will lose some. (And there will be some serious hand wringing and finger pointing at Specialized I'll bet. Probably not a fun place to be right now.)

Ben
C2K_Rider

Posts:168

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12/10/2013 02:12 PM
Kind of reminds me of a time in my lab industry that a vendor trademarked a name of a method, then said anyone using that name would have to license it from them. The mistake they made was actully going after not only other vendors, but researchers as well who would use that term in their papers and demanding licensing fees. That provoked a huge backlash against the company and their sales dropped by 75% in one year. They dropped the demands, but the damage was done. The irony is that later the trademark office took the trademark away after determing the term was too general for a trademark.

So, How does ANY company trademark the name of a town? doesn't the town itself own that name? This just sounds like total BS to me. Typical business BS that businesses use to try to get something for absolutely nothing.

Also, another amusing anecdote. In Atlanta there is an ice cream shop called Basket Rabbit. yes, it used to be a Baskin Robbins but the owner got fed up with paying franchise fees to BR and getting absolutely nothing from them in return that he quit the franchise and renamed his shop. He said they made a little noise about coming after him but nothing every materialized. Maybe he was just lucky.
SideBySide

Posts:144

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12/10/2013 02:49 PM
It's a no-win situation for Specialized now. Their best choice would probably be to just let it die.

It's sort of like the Olympic Games trademarking the word Olympic. During the Vancouver games, they went after a pizza place Olympic Pizza in Seattle, ~140 miles away, and telling them they needed to change their name. Seriously, no one is going to mistake the Olympic Games for a pizza place, or think it is endorsed.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/10/2013 03:16 PM
Update:

From the Facebook:

Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio
I had a great conversation with Mike Sinyard today, and I am happy to let everyone know that things will be working out fine.

We thank you for your continued support. You have all been so very awesome to us!

Thank you,
Dan
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/10/2013 03:20 PM
So, How does ANY company trademark the name of a town? doesn't the town itself own that name? This just sounds like total BS to me. Typical business BS that businesses use to try to get something for absolutely nothing.


It can't trademark a town's name universally and no one does. A company can TM a geographic location for commercial purposes in specific product categories, i.e. bicycles, etc. happens all the time....Dodge Durango, Hyundai Santa Fe, etc.

Durango is still free to use tis town name as they need / wish....unless they get into the car manufacturing business and make a line of cars named the Durangos. then Dodge would have legitimate TM case against them.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:1023

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12/10/2013 04:07 PM
Giving up Specialized is going to be a challenge. I remembered last night the floor pump I got about 3 years ago that I love and have raved about here is Specialized. And I have 3 pics of the Specialized angel from the 2006 TOC. (Well that's a little easier. She doesn't inflate tires.)

Ben
vtguy

Posts:222

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12/10/2013 04:35 PM
Jeez, Ben, in thinking about how much I love my Specialized shoes and, dare I say it, my Roubaix, I'd forgotten all about the floor pump. Then there's my Stump Jumper. This is going to be tough.
Pin0Q0

Posts:229

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12/10/2013 04:53 PM
Yep, I’m with Ben. Insult my intelligence with commercials like Bud, Miller and Coors and pi$$ me off with corporate greed and I’ll boycott the brand, even thou it’s a vapor in a bucket, but the point is I do not want to represent that brand.

When I was much younger my Dad use to drive around looking for free air to fill up his tires, I use to get frustrated and say Dad you’re spending more money in gas by driving around. His response was “It’s the principal”.
Took me a while to get it but I am so glad I got it.
Entheo

Posts:316

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12/11/2013 06:51 AM
i'm not sure a lifetime ban is in order for their transgression; i suspect they've learned a valuable lesson here. nike, on the other hand...
longslowdistance

Posts:592

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12/11/2013 09:20 AM
Remember that this is not their first or second or probably even 3rd act of bullying a small businessman under a technically legal but otherwise absurd pretense.
Entheo

Posts:316

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12/11/2013 10:24 AM
others are arguing that S has done a lot in terms of sponsorship, IBD loyalty, product design/testing, fighting for land access and advocacy. each person can choose to mete out, with the non-use of their wallets, the punishment of their choice.
C2K_Rider

Posts:168

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12/11/2013 12:33 PM
Posted By Cosmic Kid on 12/10/2013 03:20 PM


Durango is still free to use tis town name as they need / wish....unless they get into the car manufacturing business and make a line of cars named the Durangos. then Dodge would have legitimate TM case against them.


So really, all towns should trademark their own names and license that name to all companies wanting to use it. The businesses could then have the pleasure of paying for the right to make money off a name that has nothing whatsoever to do with their company.

The idea a company can trademark a word that is in common usage is a completely unethical (and stupid) notion. The fact it happens shows how utterly unethical our society can be. It's a lot like the nonsesical notion that corporations can be considered as "persons" for legal reasons.

79pmooney

Posts:1023

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12/11/2013 12:40 PM
Entheo, they can do all of that stuff and still refrain from squashing small businesses that are absolutely no threat. In fact, in cases like this, doing the right thing is exceptionally easy. Considerably easier than the actions they chose to pursue. Sitting on one's hands requires legal time, envelopes, stamps or phone calls and has no hidden costs (or consequences).

Witness ASI. That approach served them well.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1023

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12/11/2013 01:03 PM
C2K, I would have less problem with corporations being "people" for legal purposes if like actual people, they can serve jail time for crimes. For BP's actions in the Gulf, wouldn't 15 years be appropriate? No production, no sales, no business transactions, no financial transactions for 15 years. For shareholders, that paper is worthless and un-tradeable for 15 years. I suspect that would get attention (and make more than a few regret that corporate "person" thing).

Ben
winterale

Posts:43

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12/11/2013 04:36 PM
Just saw Sinyard flew up north and had breakfast with Dan at Cafe Roubaix...DAMAGE CONTROL!
Orange Crush

Posts:1148

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12/11/2013 07:26 PM
Pretty contrite

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/sinyard-takes-responsibility-and-apologises-to-cafe-roubaix-owner
Dale

Posts:442

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12/11/2013 09:44 PM
How'd that crow taste, Mike?

Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/11/2013 10:22 PM
Hmmm....I know counterfeit products are a pretty big deal right now (been there, seen it), but I'm not buying his cop-out excuse. Especially given their litigious past.

And this may be one of the biggest cr@p paragraphs ever written.....the quote don't even address the question. WTF?

As Richter was not attempting to sell fake products but was being targeted for the name of his business, Sinyard explained the misguided action against the shop owner. "I still remember losing sleep about this guy who submitted a lawsuit to us and his face was completely destroyed and teeth knocked out," he said.

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Hoshie

Posts:111

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12/11/2013 10:49 PM
Well, regardless, he backpedaled. Tried to save some face and looks like the owner gets to keep his name, so hard to take issue with that. It's about the most positive outcome one could expect, so seems fair enough to me.

j
Hoshie

Posts:111

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12/11/2013 10:52 PM
CK - if you re-read, I think Sinyard's point is that he was worried about a product liability case and it turned out the bike that broke was a fake, Hence, his "reason" stated for going nuts on legal / counterfeit stuff.

Whether that is true or not, not for me to judge, but that was the intention of the paragraph if you read that and the next one near as I could tell.

Regardless, seems like a decent end result.

j
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/11/2013 11:04 PM
Oh yeah, I (eventually) got the point. I just couldn't believe what a horribly constructed paragraph it was. Bad enough that someone wrote it, worse that an editor signe off on it.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Entheo

Posts:316

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12/12/2013 07:39 AM
final thoughts -- i'll reiterate my original statement that this was as much the fault of the TM grant itself as it was the over eager S legal department not wanting to get caught out by counterfeiters, etc.

stop granting TMs and patents to that which can be rightfully argued to be in the public domain!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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12/12/2013 09:19 AM
"Over? Was it over when the germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!?!"

posted today on Slowtwitch. Specialized still at the same ol', same ol'

Wow, after hearing this case, I cannot believe what appears in my mail today. A cease and desist from Specialized lawyers, claiming my small custom apparel brand EPIX is too similar to their EPIC mtb frames. "..is likely to cause confusion, mistake and deception as to whether products are associated with or sponsored, licensed or otherwise approved by Specialized." Because EPIX = EPIC and bike frames = apparel in their minds. I respect that trademarks are important and should be protected, but this is nonsense. They didn't mention anything about wanting to talk/negotiate or options for a peaceful co-existence. I abandon my brand/logo and pending trademark application, or they sue. Now I have to hire a lawyer to try and fight this. And if I lose, I risk losing my livelihood. Obviously no lessons have been learned by Specialized.

http://www.epixgear.com
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:592

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12/12/2013 10:39 AM
It's like whack a mole. The Specialized Serpent has so many heads.
A truly *epic* combination of clueless and evil.
Keep your jet's engines warm, Mr. Sinyard. You'll be making another flight to apologize shortly.

winterale

Posts:43

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12/12/2013 12:35 PM
Please tell me this is an internet hoax.
jrt1045

Posts:357

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12/12/2013 12:47 PM
I read the article, Sinyard sounds like -7 as he attempts to control the narrative. When in doubt, blame the legal team - just wish they could have arrived in time to save that dude's face. "I had just got back from a ride when I heard the terrible news".... What a crock, they knew exactly what they were doing

Kind of a hollow "Sorry" if you ask me. At least he burned some of those pesky sky miles in the process FWIW
stronz

Posts:297

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12/12/2013 12:54 PM
since when is having a SIMILAR brand name a good enough reason to sue? Doesnt it have to be THE SAME? A tademark gives you the rights to your name. Not names that are similar. Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola are similar because they both have Cola in their name and people might confuse those words, no? "Lets see I want a soda to drink. What was the name? Oh yeah it ended in Cola. I'll have a Coca Pepsi." So why doesnt Coke sue Pepsi? Cause its NOT the same. How about Hyndai vs. Honda? There are other examples in other fields. Big S should concentrate on counterfeits. Not every player whose brand has a few letters that are similar to one of its haloed products.
79pmooney

Posts:1023

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12/12/2013 06:30 PM
jrt, I actually do believe that Sinyard was probably clueless about this incident until the internet blew up. Does that exonerate him? No, because it was his legal department doing what he and his honchos have tasked (and paid) them to do; send C & D letters to all on the planet, checking with the upper echelons not required.

We know this has happened multiple times before (with less web coverage but local web coverage at least a couple of times). I have yet to hear of one of these Sinyard "make-up" trips before this incident. That the local web coverage never made his desk before is pretty hard to believe.

Ben
jrt1045

Posts:357

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12/13/2013 08:51 AM
You may be right, Ben. Not the specific instance but certainly the concept. They've always done it and I'm sure that comes from the top
Entheo

Posts:316

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01/03/2014 07:17 AM
looks like starbucks is on the receiving end from one of their jihads...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/31/best-response-starbucks-cease-and-desist_n_4524621.html?ir=Parents


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