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

Posts:1156

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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:235

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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:171

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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:114

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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:114

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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:694

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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:33

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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:44

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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:317

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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:694

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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:1124

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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:44

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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:44

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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:243

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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:203

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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
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