Canadian Cyclist


December 7/13 18:08 pm - Alberta Bike Shop in Trade Mark Dispute with Specialized

Posted by Editor on 12/7/13

A bike shop in Cochrane, Alberta, has been served notice by Specialized that they must stop using the name Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio for their business because the U.S.-based bicycle manufacturer has registered 'Roubaix' in Canada for anything to do with bicycles, bicycle frames and components. We first reported on this story earlier today in a Twitter posting about a story in the Calgary Herald [see War veteran forced to change bike shop’s name after threat from U.S bike giant Specialized]

Now, the shop has sent out a press release:

Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio has been asked to change its name. A law firm representing Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc. has contacted small business owner Dan Richter to request Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio to immediately cease use of the term ROUBAIX and to transfer over the domain name to Specialized. The law firm representing Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc. indicates the term ROUBAIX was registered by Specialized in Canada for use in association with bicycles, bicycle frames and bicycle components.

"I had assumed I could not register ROUBAIX as a trade mark as it is a geographical location well known in cycling, not to mention the wide-spread use of the term ROUBAIX throughout the industry. I thought I could freely use ROUBAIX," Café Roubaix's Dan Richter explains his situation, "To be informed I cannot use the name is devastating. I invested my life savings, military severance pay, as well as all my Veteran's Affairs award for my illness into Café Roubaix."

Dan Richter was medically released in 2012 after developing PSTD during a deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan. He opened his small full service bicycle shop in Cochrane, Alberta on March 1st, 2013. Focusing on the operation of Café Roubaix has greatly aided Dan Richter in his ongoing recovery.

The name Café Roubaix was chosen in honour of one of the oldest cycling race, Paris-Roubaix, which first ran in 1896. Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio has sought legal assistance in determining whether ROUBAIX can be registered in Canada. All attempts will be made by Dan Richter to continue his presence in the local bicycling industry. He does not want to close his doors.

In the Calgary Herald story, Larry Koury, the Managing Director of Specialized Canada, pointed out "A simple trademark search would have prevented this ... We are required to defend or lose our trademark registration."

The story has spread widely, with over 4200 retweets and nearly 1300 Facebook Likes at this time.


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