I have never written anything that could be construed as negative on Velospeak, but today is different. The reason for this short rant is a small bit of news out of Canada, from the Calgary Herald. I’ll let you head over and read the full article, but the short of it is a shop called Café Roubaix is being forced to change its name as a result of a legal threat from Specialized. The reason for the threat is copyright infringement. Apparently Specialized believes the name of the shop infringes on their Roubaix bicycle. There are many questions here, but number one on my list is how Specialized got away with filing a trademark on a name of a commune in the north of France. Hard to believe, but harder to swallow is the fact Specialized is going after this small independent shop. I have tried to like Specialized, but they don’t give me much to like. Personally, they have ignored every request I have made, including a simple meeting at Interbike two years running. I have tried to get media samples to review, but I rarely even receive a response. Alright, maybe it’s just that Velospeak doesn’t register in their minds. But, worse than just being ignored are the bullying tactics many shops experience from this huge company. Very few people I’ve spoken to in the industry like the attitude coming out of Specialized, and today’s story is just icing on the cake. I find it incredible that a company with huge market share would even bother to go after a small shop in Canada. The argument that they need to defend their trademark is completely baseless in my opinion. I can only hope this incident gets resolved amicably, and that Specialized takes their lumps for being the big bad bully. Maybe attitudes will change ever so slightly up in Morgan Hill.
Very well stated. I agree completely.
Imagine Nissan suing Murano, Italy over copyright infringement!