Results 1 to 82 of 82
  1. #1
    A plethora of pinatas
    Reputation: mcoplea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,260

    Specialized Bullying Small Bike Shop Owner

    Disheartening...

    Calagary Herald Article #1 - War vet forced to change bike shop?s name after threat from Specialized | Calgary Herald

    A Canadian veteran of the Afghanistan war who operates a tiny bicycle shop in Cochrane is being forced to change his store’s name after being threatened with a lawsuit by one of the giants of the U.S. bike industry.

    Dan Richter, owner of Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio, located above the famous Mackay’s Ice Cream in Cochrane, says he received a letter from the lawyers of big bicycle maker Specialized several months ago, demanding he change the store’s name because the company owns the trademark on the word Roubaix, which they use to market a brand of road bike.

    Read more from the Calgary Herald Pedal Blog

    Richter, however, says he didn’t name his store after the company’s bike, rather after a region in France that hosts one of the most famous bike races in the world, the gruelling 117-year-old Paris-Roubaix. Because the name is an icon of bike culture, and graces hundreds of other products from bike tires to a brand of cycling tights sold by MEC (and even other road bikes), Richter says he has a good case to keep the store name, but is capitulating because he can’t afford a legal fight in court.

    “It’s been frustrating,” Richter told me. “The response throughout this process (from Specialized) has been arrogant and almost unbelievably dismissive.

    “We didn’t want to go public . . . but they’ve made it clear on no uncertain terms, they are going to sue.”

    Larry Koury, managing director of Specialized Canada Inc., said the company is simply defending its legally owned trademark.

    “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.”

    Dan Richter, pictured at his store in Cochrane Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio.
    Dan Richter, pictured at his store in Cochrane Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio.

    Richter, who says the running the bike shop has helped him deal with the post-traumatic stress disorder that ended his military career, says he did some research and felt comfortable that naming his store after a location like Roubaix wouldn’t contradict Canada’s intellectual property protection laws. He doesn’t think the name confuses anybody shopping for bikes. His store sells high-end bikes and his handmade wheels in an Italian-cycling inspired environment. He does not sell Specialized products.

    Your ideas on staying warm without the sweat while winter cycling

    “I understand the need for the protection of intellectual property, but this is named after a city known worldwide for this race,” Richter said. “For our customer base, there’s an appeal (with the name Roubaix). Our market understands that race, and it reflects what we want to provide for them.”

    Richter says his lawyer thinks they have a good case to make, but the fight could cost upwards of $150,000 in legal fees, a price too steep for his small company.

    Changing his company’s name isn’t as simple as erecting a new sign, Richter says. He has been selling custom wheels under that name for about a year and has operated the store since March, all of which has helped him build an formidable brand, reputation and online presence. Being forced to adopt a new moniker means he will have to start anew, an expensive and time-consuming prospect.

    “I’ve gone through some very intense (post-traumatic stress disorder) therapy in the last year. Forcing myself to get out there into the public and the business world has taken a huge effort,” he says. “I’m just at the point were we think this might fly, so this was a huge hit for me personally.”


    Other Articles:

    Bicycle Retailer Article - Social media explosion over Specialized's Roubaix lawsuit | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News


    Calgary Herald Article - Roubaix bike shop owner ?humbled? by support in fight with Specialized | Calgary Herald


    Blog Article - The Explainer: Because I @#$%ing hate bullies : Red Kite Prayer

    Thread on the MTBR Specialized Form - Shame on Specialized
    Marty

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: quelocotony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    341
    I have been a fan of Specialized and have owned several bikes over the years.

    As a small business owner, I find Specialized's bullying appalling and will think twice before buying any more products from them.

  3. #3
    Got a suspension fork
    Reputation: randyharris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,440
    Just one more reason for me to not like the big S.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  4. #4
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2,282
    yeah, this is concerning but sure seems like its no different than what Walmart does. They basically bully their whole supply base by squeezing them hard. Seems like the consumer benefits, but in reality it drives the competition out of business.

    I'm not currently a S bike owner, but came near to pulling the trigger simply because of the deal I was going to get and the warranty. Less interested now.
    ┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Casual Observer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,206
    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    yeah, this is concerning but sure seems like its no different than what Walmart does. They basically bully their whole supply base by squeezing them hard. Seems like the consumer benefits, but in reality it drives the competition out of business.

    I'm not currently a S bike owner, but came near to pulling the trigger simply because of the deal I was going to get and the warranty. Less interested now.
    I've never owned a Specialized bike (and never will), and I'm pretty sure I have little if any Specialized "gear." But correct me if I'm wrong, Specialized bikes are pretty expensive compared to other brands.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tysonnemb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,090
    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    I've never owned a Specialized bike (and never will), and I'm pretty sure I have little if any Specialized "gear." But correct me if I'm wrong, Specialized bikes are pretty expensive compared to other brands.
    I agree with you, also considering how big they are. You would think that economies of scale would play a factor, and the prices would be better. I own one, bought from the shop I worked at, and really wouldn't want another. Great bikes, but they seem way too proud of them. And the shop I worked at was bullied and S wanted them to be exclusively an S dealer. Thankfully the shop didn't change.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    486
    You don't get to the top by being a pu$$y. If S is considered a bully it's only because they are protecting what they built. I've owned 3 Spesh bikes. That said, I wouldn't buy a fourth. Companies like Pivot and Ibis have helped me see the light.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    3,683
    I think the issue comes down to trademark protection. Specialized has to do it to defend their trademark. If the shop has been open a 18 months to a year... Then Specialized had the trademark before this and really the shop is the problem. If the shop had the name for 20 years then he maybe in a stronger point.

    I feel bad for the small business guy, but this sort of thing happens and being in the bike business should have known. Now it was a risk. Now if Cafe Roubaix were just a french bistro with nothing bike related it would be different.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    431
    Looks like specialized specializes in suing people.

    Litigation

    In 2006 Specialized sued Mountain Cycle over its use of the model name "Stumptown" (nickname for Portland), alledging it resembled the Specialized model name Stumpjumper.[17] Mountain Cycle closed doors shortly thereafter.

    In 2011 Portland wheel builder Epic Wheel Works was forced to change its name due to potential trademark conflict with Specialized.[18]

    In 2012 the company sued two former employees after they started the bicycle brand Volagi. Specialized lost on all accounts except one and was awarded one dollar in damages after spending 2.5 million dollars on the lawsuit.[19][20]

    In 2013 Specialized sued a small bike shop owner in Canada, owned by a veteran soldier, over its use of the French city name Roubaix in its shop name.

    Specialized Bicycle Components - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  10. #10
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
    Reputation: longhairmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,586
    what next, Massengil suing Vassago ?

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Casual Observer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,206
    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I think the issue comes down to trademark protection. Specialized has to do it to defend their trademark. If the shop has been open a 18 months to a year... Then Specialized had the trademark before this and really the shop is the problem. If the shop had the name for 20 years then he maybe in a stronger point.

    I feel bad for the small business guy, but this sort of thing happens and being in the bike business should have known. Now it was a risk. Now if Cafe Roubaix were just a french bistro with nothing bike related it would be different.
    And I'm sure going after a small LBS is going to do wonders for their image. No, they don't have to do this. Yes, they CAN. They don't have to.

    And as others have pointed out in other venues, how come they are not going after Fuji (
    http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/roubaix-11)?

    I really hope the backlash stings a bit!
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chongoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,935
    Seems silly for S to have pursued it... I bet the shop owner will receive a bump in business from all the attention this has gathered though.

    I think he should leverage the situation and start a business naming contest. Names that make fun of big S get extra points.

  13. #13
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
    Reputation: longhairmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,586
    the white house is filing a defamation suit against the Orbea Alma bike claiming the seatpost is always sticking itself up people's asses
    _R E AL
    O B A MA

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: boomvader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    382
    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    And I'm sure going after a small LBS is going to do wonders for their image. No, they don't have to do this. Yes, they CAN. They don't have to.

    And as others have pointed out in other venues, how come they are not going after Fuji (
    http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/roubaix-11)?

    I really hope the backlash stings a bit!
    Jeff, I am with Joe on this one. I am fairly certain that you HAVE to defend your trademark or risk losing it. Also, as a business owner, I can tell you that it is very important to research the name you are going to use BEFORE you go into business with that name. My question to the owner is did he do his research and, if so, why did he proceed with naming his company with a trademarked word or phrase? He seems like a good guy and his shop looks cool.

    As someone who was close to opening up a Specialized shop in the NW valley, I can tell you that I was very much put off by the rep's intimidation tactics during our conversations. It was one of the reasons I decided against the idea.

    As someone who is looking for a great deal, I have purchased 2 end of year model Specialized bikes from my LBS and saved HUGE. I like both bikes very much and also really like their helmets & shoes. Plus, their warranty is top notch.
    -boom

  15. #15
    How much further ???
    Reputation: Douger-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,371
    Specialized
    Last edited by Douger-1; 12-09-2013 at 01:53 PM.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Eazy_E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,564
    So, I guess you don't have DrunkCyclist on your Facebook feed? Literally, every day for the last week, it's been 20 posts a day, all of them with a central theme of "Fcuk Specialized."

    Was it a dick move? Yeah, but damn people, there's actual issues to rage over.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stevland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    618
    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I think the issue comes down to trademark protection. Specialized has to do it to defend their trademark. If the shop has been open a 18 months to a year... Then Specialized had the trademark before this and really the shop is the problem. If the shop had the name for 20 years then he maybe in a stronger point.

    I feel bad for the small business guy, but this sort of thing happens and being in the bike business should have known. Now it was a risk. Now if Cafe Roubaix were just a french bistro with nothing bike related it would be different.
    horseshit. they've probably lost more in legal fees and keeping a team of lawyers on retainer than they've lost to this guy for "trademark infringement." he's been open over a year as a LBS and wheel builder; undoubtedly the two most lucrative areas of the bicycle industry.

    and S trying to justify the action with "defend the trademark or lose it"? they could have easily turned a blind eye to a one man LBS operation.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Eazy_E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,564
    Conversely, there's the way Jack Daniels decided to handle it:

    Jack Daniel's Sends the Most Polite Cease-and-Desist Letter Ever

  19. #19
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,142
    read The Explainer article cited by the OP, it will paint a more informed picture of the law and how S is using the cost of a legal battle they can not win to deter the LBS.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RajunCajun44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,783
    hmmmm , I don't like Specialized's tactics, but it seems to me they pick "relatively" obscure names to trademark, like stumpjumper, allez, roubaix etc... I don't they can ( or would even attempt) to trademark stuff like bike, tire, mountain, etc...

    It sucks for this guy, but a smart business owner would likely check out trademark names before naming the shop... sorry for the buzz kill... but that is a fact of doing busines...

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RajunCajun44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,783
    I didn't realize this but Specialized trademarked the work "Epic"
    Specialized's disastrous trademark case is unnecessary to defend the brand - VeloNews.com

    I guess the Epic Rides races must have an agreement with Specialized...

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Britishnate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    416
    I guess I am confused how are allowed to trademark the name of a place that existed a long time before the Specialized bike. I can totally understand this shop owners frustration. Regardless of his situation being a vet etc. It is still a crappy situation to be in. I hope it all works out.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Casual Observer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,206
    Quote Originally Posted by boomvader View Post
    Jeff, I am with Joe on this one. I am fairly certain that you HAVE to defend your trademark or risk losing it. Also, as a business owner, I can tell you that it is very important to research the name you are going to use BEFORE you go into business with that name. My question to the owner is did he do his research and, if so, why did he proceed with naming his company with a trademarked word or phrase? He seems like a good guy and his shop looks cool.

    As someone who was close to opening up a Specialized shop in the NW valley, I can tell you that I was very much put off by the rep's intimidation tactics during our conversations. It was one of the reasons I decided against the idea.

    As someone who is looking for a great deal, I have purchased 2 end of year model Specialized bikes from my LBS and saved HUGE. I like both bikes very much and also really like their helmets & shoes. Plus, their warranty is top notch.
    Like I said, I hope the backlash stings. I, in no way, support what Specialized is doing.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  24. #24
    AZ
    AZ is offline
    banned
    Reputation: AZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    19,201
    Name:  specialized-Logo.gif
Views: 640
Size:  14.6 KB

  25. #25
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,142
    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    hmmmm , I don't like Specialized's tactics, but it seems to me they pick "relatively" obscure names to trademark, like stumpjumper, allez, roubaix etc... I don't they can ( or would even attempt) to trademark stuff like bike, tire, mountain, etc...

    It sucks for this guy, but a smart business owner would likely check out trademark names before naming the shop... sorry for the buzz kill... but that is a fact of doing busines...
    I don't thnk you know anything about road biking, cause what you've said above is quite ignorant. Trademarking Roubaix is like trademarking 'road bike' or 'race'. Trademarking allez is akin to trademarking 'go team!' Using the threat of your bottomless legal funds on a case you will eventually lose anyway is a play from Big Tobacco.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Eazy_E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,564
    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    hmmmm , I don't like Specialized's tactics, but it seems to me they pick "relatively" obscure names to trademark, like stumpjumper, allez, roubaix etc... I don't they can ( or would even attempt) to trademark stuff like bike, tire, mountain, etc...

    It sucks for this guy, but a smart business owner would likely check out trademark names before naming the shop... sorry for the buzz kill... but that is a fact of doing busines...
    So, Specialized is using the Apple "dominate through tort" growth philosophy too?

    Square shaped handheld object that can make calls? Samsung infringed out patent.

  27. #27
    A plethora of pinatas
    Reputation: mcoplea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,260
    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    hmmmm , I don't like Specialized's tactics, but it seems to me they pick "relatively" obscure names to trademark, like stumpjumper, allez, roubaix etc... I don't they can ( or would even attempt) to trademark stuff like bike, tire, mountain, etc...

    It sucks for this guy, but a smart business owner would likely check out trademark names before naming the shop... sorry for the buzz kill... but that is a fact of doing busines...
    Spec is flat out wrong to do this to a small bike shop owner that has absolutely zero effect on thier business. No matter how they try to spin it, they do not HAVE to sue this guy to protect their trademark.

    Spec trademark is a very weak and would likely not hold up in court in this situation. If it went to court, the shop owner has a strong chance of winning. Spec is trying to flat out bully this guy into giving in like they have done many times before to other small business owners. How many shop owner's could afford $150,000 in legal fees?

    Excerpts from The Explainer: Because I @#$%ing hate bullies : Red Kite Prayer :
    -----------------
    "Richter has been correctly advised by his attorney that his is a battle he can win. Unfortunately, he is now poised to surrender to the corporate bully because, while they can afford a protracted legal battle, he can’t spring for the estimated $150,000 that it would cost him to fight the good fight."

    Specialized is using the old “defend it or lose it” argument, saying that it must assert its “rights” to “their” trademark of Roubaix or risk losing it.
    It’s a weak argument and one that I, quite uncomfortably, had to try and make myself many years ago (more on that later). It’s basically an argument that can be summed up as — and forgive me for using another technical legal term here — ”bullshit.”

    Trademark owners are not required to object to each and every use of a name. What they are required to do is to work to avoid confusion. In other words, Specialized might appropriately object to a bicycle carrying the moniker “Roubaix,” since they have trademarked the name of their model, but that authority doesn’t extend to virtually every use of the name … even when it’s related to cycling. Frankly, even that might be a stretch Specialized sure as heck isn’t the only bike manufacturer which tried to convey a message about ruggedness by embracing the Roubaix name for its product.

    In bike racing circles, “Roubaix” is about as close to being a generic term for “brutally tough,” as you can get.
    -----------------


    Their trademark does not prevent a shop owner for using the name Roubaix within his shop name.

    APPLICATION NUMBER:
    1331172
    REGISTRATION NUMBER:
    TMA702027
    STATUS:
    REGISTERED
    FILED:
    2007-01-12
    FORMALIZED:
    2007-01-16
    ADVERTISED:
    2007-08-08
    REGISTERED:
    2007-11-29

    REGISTRANT:
    Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.
    15130 Concord Circle
    Morgan Hill, California, 95037
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    REPRESENTATIVE FOR SERVICE:
    SMART & BIGGAR
    SUITE 900, 55 METCALFE STREET
    P.O. BOX 2999, STATION D
    OTTAWA
    ONTARIO K1P 5Y6

    TRADE-MARK (Word):
    ROUBAIX


    INDEX HEADINGS:
    ROUBAIX


    WARES:
    (1) Bicycles, bicycle frames, and bicycle components, namely bicycle handlebars, bicycle front fork, and bicycle tires.


    CLAIMS:
    Used in CANADA since at least as early as April 06, 2003.
    Marty

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RajunCajun44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,783
    OK, looks like Ill be staying out of this one.. have fun guys...

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: quelocotony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    341
    My brother had a very similar issue with Gallo Vineyards when he opened his restaurant Gallo Blanco here in Phoenix.

    Even after going thru the due-diligence of researching and registering the trademark, the vineyard threatened a very expensive lawsuit that would have crippled the start-up restaurant.

    In the end, he was allowed to keep the name but had to drop the logo. Fortunately, the settlement did not include any language on tattoos.

    Specialized Bullying Small Bike Shop Owner-dougrobsontattooedit.jpg
    Gallo Blanco's Doug Robson Won't Ditch the Rooster

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,613
    Quote Originally Posted by Britishnate View Post
    I guess I am confused how are allowed to trademark the name of a place that existed a long time before the Specialized bike.
    They can do it because they are not taking ownership of the name, they are just associating the name with their products that excludes other similar businesses from doing the same.

    For example, if I Trademarked the name Big Turkey Bikes for my new bike company, it does not stop anyone from using the term "big turkey" in unrelated context, or from a turkey salesman advertising that he sells big turkeys. But if someone else came along and started selling "Big Turkey" brand pedals, that would probably infringe on my trademark.

    The question would be:
    "Does the use of the term Big Turkey pedals confuse the consumer into thinking that the product came from the Big Turkey bicycle company?"
    Probably so.

    With Roubaix, there are clearly plenty of uses that do not interfere with Specialized's business and do not help to sell products that could be confused as Specialized products.

    For Cafe Roubaix, I think there is a good case that the term is used in a general bicycling sense without any connotation of Specialized products. Apparently the lawyers agree, but he has no money to fight the fight.

  31. #31
    Got a suspension fork
    Reputation: randyharris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,440
    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I think the issue comes down to trademark protection. Specialized has to do it to defend their trademark. If the shop has been open a 18 months to a year... Then Specialized had the trademark before this and really the shop is the problem. If the shop had the name for 20 years then he maybe in a stronger point.

    I feel bad for the small business guy, but this sort of thing happens and being in the bike business should have known. Now it was a risk. Now if Cafe Roubaix were just a french bistro with nothing bike related it would be different.
    Certainly I'm no legal expert, but how S is able to trademark and sue other companies for the name of a French City and classics race is beyond my smell test of reasonableness.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  32. #32
    Got a suspension fork
    Reputation: randyharris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,440
    Fuji Bikes has a road bike model called the Roubaix. I wonder if they have to pay Specialized for the rights to that.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Casual Observer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,206
    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Fuji Bikes has a road bike model called the Roubaix. I wonder if they have to pay Specialized for the rights to that.
    I think I read some place that Specialized TM Roubaix in Canada, which is why they are suing the shop owner. But in the U.S., they are actually paying Fuji(?) rights, since Fuji owns the TM here in the states. (I may have that wrong, or backwards, or something). But that said, boy are the TM laws ****ed up!!!!!!

    Now if you excuse me, I need to go trademark Casual Observer, Skinny-Tire, Blowhard, *******, and ShitForBrains.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation: clarkrw3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    543
    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Fuji Bikes has a road bike model called the Roubaix. I wonder if they have to pay Specialized for the rights to that.
    Interestingly they don't hold the patent in the US, Fuji does, and yes they pay Fuji's parent company to use the name in the US. They do hold the patent in Canada however. Interesting that they own Epic too along with a bunch of other names you wouldn't think of... Seems like all the bike companies do that but most do not try and enforce them. Velonews has an interesting article on patent bullying like specialized is famous for.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    3,683
    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Fuji Bikes has a road bike model called the Roubaix. I wonder if they have to pay Specialized for the rights to that.
    Actually Fuji has the trademark in the USA for the name and they license it to Specialized! That is not the case in Canada.

    Clark beat me to it.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  36. #36
    Got a suspension fork
    Reputation: randyharris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,440
    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Actually Fuji has the trademark in the USA for the name and they license it to Specialized! That is not the case in Canada.

    Clark beat me to it.
    Well I think Roubaix, France should sue the both of them for sullying their good name.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    431
    They probably need that name for their marketing hype, just another mass produced bike made in PRC no different then Trek or any other.Just plenty of marketing to suck people into thinking they're getting something REAL special.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    486
    Doesn't specialize sponsor a bunch of biking events here in Arizona? Just saying.

  39. #39
    SCRUBDUNKER
    Reputation: razardica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    301
    Quote Originally Posted by aevanlloyd View Post
    Doesn't specialize sponsor a bunch of biking events here in Arizona? Just saying.
    What does that have to do with anything?

  40. #40
    SCRUBDUNKER
    Reputation: razardica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    301
    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    hmmmm , I don't like Specialized's tactics, but it seems to me they pick "relatively" obscure names to trademark, like stumpjumper, allez, roubaix etc... I don't they can ( or would even attempt) to trademark stuff like bike, tire, mountain, etc...

    It sucks for this guy, but a smart business owner would likely check out trademark names before naming the shop... sorry for the buzz kill... but that is a fact of doing busines...
    How is 'allez' relatively obscure? It means 'go' in French.

  41. #41
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    27,194
    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    I've never owned a Specialized bike (and never will)
    What if Specialized was giving away free bikes in Sedona?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    486
    Quote Originally Posted by razardica View Post
    What does that have to do with anything?
    It's easy to bag on S for protecting their intellectual property. Big companies are easy targets. However, S does a lot of good in our industry. They innovate, create new trends, develop new markets, and donate tons of money to sponsor events and productions. If they want to protect what's theirs, god bless em. It's no different then an electronics store calling themselves ipad electronics. Apple has a right to ensure that doesn't happen. Imagine the chaos without such laws.

  43. #43
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    9,084

    Re: Specialized Bullying Small Bike Shop Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Actually Fuji has the trademark in the USA for the name and they license it to Specialized! That is not the case in Canada.

    Clark beat me to it.
    So one only MUST defend their patent (or risk losing it) .....UNLESS they are paid for it. Eff speshy....never owned one..never will. Too many good bike companies to choose from. Why anyone would pass them over in favor of a shit company like S is beyond me.

  44. #44
    SCRUBDUNKER
    Reputation: razardica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    301
    Quote Originally Posted by aevanlloyd View Post
    It's easy to bag on S for protecting their intellectual property. Big companies are easy targets. However, S does a lot of good in our industry. They innovate, create new trends, develop new markets, and donate tons of money to sponsor events and productions. If they want to protect what's theirs, god bless em. It's no different then an electronics store calling themselves ipad electronics. Apple has a right to ensure that doesn't happen. Imagine the chaos without such laws.
    The trademark ISN'T theirs. Additionally, Canada recognizes prior art/first use trademarks. Specialized was aware of Fuji/ASI's trade dress via their licensing agreement here in America. Therefore, registering a trademark in Canada wasn't exactly kosher.

    Regarding 'doing a lot of good' - I'm sure that's what socialists in Germany in the 30s were saying.

    The iPad analogue means nothing - iPad is a unique, trademarked word and they own the trade dress. Roubaix is not a unique word, nor have they trademarked it. Even the Canadian trademark is for bicycle and things that look like bicycles, which is the heart of Cafe Roubaix's defense. For instance, I could not make a Pepsi screwdriver. Pepsi owns the trademark to that brand name. ASI doesn't even have the ability to get mad about that here.

    It's not like Specialized is objecting to somebody making a Roubaix bicycle, which could lead to a reasonable assumption that the two could be mistaken for each other; the precise reason you trademark trade dress...this is a business. Even if somebody wanted to make a Roubaix bicycle, they would have no redress; it's not their trademark here in America either. It's unlikely their licensing agreement gives them any proviso for defending the strength of that brand.

  45. #45
    A plethora of pinatas
    Reputation: mcoplea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,260
    This whole thing may really end up blowing up in Spec face. It appears that they broke their agreement with ASI and did not have the rights to register the name in Canada after all.

    ASI says Calgary bike shop can use Roubaix name | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
    Marty

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation: quelocotony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    341
    Quote Originally Posted by aevanlloyd View Post
    It's no different then an electronics store calling themselves ipad electronics. Apple has a right to ensure that doesn't happen. Imagine the chaos without such laws.
    It actually is different. Apple created the use of the lower case "i" associated with their devices for branding purposes.

    On the other hand, Specialized "borrowed" the name of a city that is associated with one of the most well know cycling races in Europe. One could even argue that Specialized used the equity associated from the city's cycling history to build their brand and profit from it without paying royalties to the true owner of the name.

    Had Specialized created, not borrowed, the name then I think that your argument would have more merit.

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation: quelocotony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    341
    Quote Originally Posted by mcoplea View Post
    This whole thing may really end up blowing up in Spec face. It appears that they broke their agreement with ASI and did not have the rights to register the name in Canada after all.

    ASI says Calgary bike shop can use Roubaix name | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
    Now here's an example of an enterprise that understands the value small business vs. corporate greed.

    Would be poetic if ASI denied Specialized future use of the Roubiax trademark -- just for being greedy a-holes.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,781
    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Just one more reason for me to not like the big S.
    I stopped buying Specialized after I purchased my first bike from them and learned that I just paid $700 for a very basic mountain bike that was made in China.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,613
    Quote Originally Posted by mcoplea View Post
    This whole thing may really end up blowing up in Spec face. It appears that they broke their agreement with ASI and did not have the rights to register the name in Canada after all.

    ASI says Calgary bike shop can use Roubaix name | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

    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.

    ASI says it owns the worldwide rights to the Roubaix trademark — it’s had a Fuji Roubaix road bike model in its lineup since 1992 — and has licensed it to Specialized since 2003. ASI’s Pat Cunnane said the company has no problem with retailer Dan Richter using the name on his store, Cafe Roubaix.

    “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,” Cunnane said.
    I wouldn't be surprised if Specialized fights ASI over this. It will be interesting to see if it they take this as a graceful way to back off, or show their true dickishness and continue to fight. Although now they are dealing with another company with deep pockets, it probably won't be as much fun for them.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    3,683
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    What if Specialized was giving away free bikes in Sedona?
    I would be in the car heading to Sedona!
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    3,683
    Quote Originally Posted by mcoplea View Post
    This whole thing may really end up blowing up in Spec face. It appears that they broke their agreement with ASI and did not have the rights to register the name in Canada after all.

    ASI says Calgary bike shop can use Roubaix name | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
    I have to admit that is funny. What do they say about people glass houses?
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  52. #52
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2,282
    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have to admit that is funny. What do they say about people glass houses?
    They shouldn't walk around naked in their house.
    ┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    486
    What the story didn't tell us was that underneath the name Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio, was the text "Providing Specialized Bicycle Repair Services"

    Okay I made that up, but how funny would it be?


  54. #54
    mtbr member
    Reputation: metalaficionado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1,994
    Bad timing on this controversy as Specialized is introducing its new bicycle models.

    Specialized Press Release

    We proudly announced a new addition to our bicycle line up. In 2015 we introduce Specialized Intimidator, a full suspension mountain bicycle featuring our new proprietary 32 size wheels to crush the competition.

    The new model will also feature an updated fox shock with dual brain. We are very excited to introduce this new technology. Our wildly successful brains were reduced in size and now will attach as a pair at the base of the rear shock. Together it will form an unit we call Pressure Equalizing Neutral Inductor Shock or P.E.N.I.S.

    The P.E.N.I.S will be featured on all our higher end mountain bikes as well as on the other upcoming models including:
    2015 Specialized Litigator
    2015 Specialized Bully
    2015 Specialized Pouncer

    All of the upcoming models will be available in large, x-large and XXL.

  55. #55
    Got a suspension fork
    Reputation: randyharris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,440
    So I *just* received an email from Specialized showing off the new Boys Hotrocks 24" MTB, I click the link (like looking at a car accident while driving along the freeway) and am flabbergasted to see that their boys MTB costs damned near as much as I've got into my personal MTB.

    You guys that think Specialzied doesn't = value, tsk tsk tsk.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  56. #56
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    9,084

    Re: Specialized Bullying Small Bike Shop Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    .

    You guys that think Specialzied doesn't = value, tsk tsk tsk.
    What are you talking about? That baby has the latest and greatest 24 inch wheels on the market, and 63 millimeters of pure Suntour goodness! All for less than $2000.

  57. #57
    A plethora of pinatas
    Reputation: mcoplea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,260
    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    Bad timing on this controversy as Specialized is introducing its new bicycle models.
    Thanks for the laugh! Nomination for best post of the year submitted.
    Marty

  58. #58
    Got a suspension fork
    Reputation: randyharris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,440
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jetman46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    90
    Specialized still sucks!! Thanks to Advanced Sports International for stepping in and settling this.

  60. #60
    Always a good day to ride
    Reputation: bik_ryder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    120
    Mike Sinyard flew up to Canada to personally apologize to the "little guy". Good step in the right direction. But, I wonder if Sinyard considered all the ramifications of his actions in this case. This has given a BIG black eye for all the Specialized Dealers and customers out there. It is going to negatively impact dealer sales during the holidays and beyond. Plus, several S bike owners are embarrassed to be riding and using their products (including myself).

    https://www.facebook.com/CafeRoubaix

  61. #61
    mtbr member
    Reputation: metalaficionado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1,994
    Quote Originally Posted by mcoplea View Post
    Thanks for the laugh! Nomination for best post of the year submitted.
    Thanks.

  62. #62
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SSdirt29's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    586
    It seems like they're in the news every few years for some strong-arm dick move or another. I don't quite remember what it was the last time but I know their was a last time.
    Probably squeezing their own dealers or something like that.

    I feel bad for the dealers of their products who are pretty restricted in what other brands they can carry. Ma and Pa bike store owner will bear the brunt of this latest Walmart wannabe action.

  63. #63
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    292
    It would be nice if bikes were made in the USA again......or most other products for that matter.

  64. #64
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    292
    Nothing to see here.

  65. #65
    Who took my gears?
    Reputation: dirtbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,544
    Quote Originally Posted by ARIZycle View Post
    It would be nice if bikes were made in the USA again......or most other products for that matter.
    Mine is made in USA (and built in my garage). Check out Vassago cycles. Check out the Black Label frames. My Optimus Ti was built here in Phoenix, with USA sourced Ti. vassagocycles - Home also, many components can be purchased from USA companies (Thompson, Diety, Stans, Chris King, etc)

  66. #66
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Casual Observer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,206
    Quote Originally Posted by ARIZycle View Post
    It would be nice if bikes were made in the USA again......or most other products for that matter.
    There are plenty of bikes made in the U.S. It would be nice if 'Mericans were willing to pay a bit more for a hobby, or work for a bit less to bring the costs to make American goods cheaper.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  67. #67
    How much further ???
    Reputation: Douger-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,371
    Yeah Ill take less pay and pay more for things. Sign me up.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  68. #68
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    431
    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    There are plenty of bikes made in the U.S. It would be nice if 'Mericans were willing to pay a bit more for a hobby, or work for a bit less to bring the costs to make American goods cheaper.

    You're right CO, there are quite a few choices for made in the USA bikes and the issue isn't even pricing , more likely it is the monsters such as Specialized,Trek etc. with their huge advertising budgets convincing the sheep that they need their latest and greatest made in Asia Wonderbike.

  69. #69
    mtbr member
    Reputation: metalaficionado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1,994
    https://www.lynskeyperformance.com/store/

    Lynskey has a up to 35% off sale - all made in USA

    I just bought a Titanium MT 29 frame and Titanium seatpost for the wife for 1400.

  70. #70
    bland
    Reputation: m77ranger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,289
    You just did #10!

    YourBikeHatesYou


    Quote Originally Posted by ARIZycle View Post
    It would be nice if bikes were made in the USA again......or most other products for that matter.

  71. #71
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Casual Observer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,206
    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    Yeah Ill take less pay or pay more for things. Sign me up.
    Fixed it for you.

    We can't have it both ways. The reason things are cheap, is because they are made by cheap labor. If we were willing to pay factory workers a livable wage, then we should expect to pay more for goods. Or, if we're so damn concerned about prices, we should be willing to take less pay to pay for cheap goods. The fact of the matter is, most Americans make way too much money in comparison to other countries.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  72. #72
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    431
    If Americans make too much money, then why is it that the price never drops when they shift production to Asia.

    I've come up with two reasons......

    1. They don't want the headaches of manufacturing their own products.
    2. Most importantly, mo money $$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    But I forgot people want to buy cheap so they can buy one of everything even if they don't need it.

  73. #73
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    431
    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    https://www.lynskeyperformance.com/store/

    Lynskey has a up to 35% off sale - all made in USA

    I just bought a Titanium MT 29 frame and Titanium seatpost for the wife for 1400.


    Thanks for supporting the American worker.

    I'm sure the Lynskey employees thank you.

  74. #74
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Eazy_E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,564
    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    There are plenty of bikes made in the U.S. It would be nice if 'Mericans were willing to pay a bit more for a hobby, or work for a bit less to bring the costs to make American goods cheaper.
    Thank the government. There are currently over one trillion dollars of hidden tax in the form of regulatory compliance that hang over American's heads. The USA is hostile enemy territory if you want to own a business. Honestly, I don't blame anybody for shifting production out of the country.

  75. #75
    mtbr member
    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,613
    Increasing manufacturing in America is a really difficult and complex problem. I don't want to get into it other than to say that I am certain that lowering wages for American workers is an absolutely wrong way to deal with with the problem.

  76. #76
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Casual Observer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,206
    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Increasing manufacturing in America is a really difficult and complex problem. I don't want to get into it other than to say that I am certain that lowering wages for American workers is an absolutely wrong way to deal with with the problem.
    ^^For the record, I completely agree. I was just throwing that out there.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  77. #77
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    41
    Quote Originally Posted by Azpilot View Post
    You're right CO, there are quite a few choices for made in the USA bikes and the issue isn't even pricing , more likely it is the monsters such as Specialized,Trek etc. with their huge advertising budgets convincing the sheep that they need their latest and greatest made in Asia Wonderbike.
    Interesting that you lump Trek in with your argument being that they are the last "large manufacturer" that still actually makes some bikes and components in the US.

  78. #78
    How much further ???
    Reputation: Douger-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,371
    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    Thank the government. There are currently over one trillion dollars of hidden tax in the form of regulatory compliance that hang over American's heads. The USA is hostile enemy territory if you want to own a business. Honestly, I don't blame anybody for shifting production out of the country.
    I hear you but have you seen some of the reports of the truly unbelievable levels of smog in China?

    Shanghai smog: Air pollution covers city - Asia - World - The Independent

    All that regulation isn't necessarily a bad thing. If we allowed deplorable work conditions, and polluted the crap out of our country I bet we could reduce manufacturing costs too. No free lunches.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  79. #79
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Eazy_E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,564
    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    I hear you but have you seen some of the reports of the truly unbelievable levels of smog in China?

    Shanghai smog: Air pollution covers city - Asia - World - The Independent

    All that regulation isn't necessarily a bad thing. If we allowed deplorable work conditions, and polluted the crap out of our country I bet we could reduce manufacturing costs too. No free lunches.
    Regulation isn't inherently bad, but the EPA has become filled with a bunch of America hating bureaucrats who rule by fiat and decree with the sole purpose of reducing America to a third world country.

    For example, there's technology that traps 95% of a pollutant. One day, the EPA decides that isn't good enough, we want 98%. That extra 3% of pollution might actually cost 300% more to trap. Who pays for that? Ultimately the customer. 95% was fine for years and years, but one day, somebody decides 95% is no longer good enough and that's the way it's gonna be.

    We need some government, but we also need a lot less government than we currently have.

  80. #80
    How much further ???
    Reputation: Douger-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,371
    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post

    We need some government, but we also need a lot less government than we currently have.
    Couldn't agree more.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  81. #81
    Meatbomb
    Reputation: Phillbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    5,820
    It's all about publicity and it's working.

  82. #82
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Eazy_E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,564
    Ask Miley, no publicity is bad publicity.

Similar Threads

  1. Questions for a shop owner
    By Map204 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-03-2013, 05:40 PM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-06-2011, 05:27 AM
  3. Small town, no bike shop...I just want to ride!
    By Playswithjeeps in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 04-27-2011, 01:01 PM
  4. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-27-2011, 08:42 AM
  5. D-Bag Shop Owner
    By Prostreet513 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-21-2011, 03:14 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •