Tour de Trademarks – Fin

Congratulations to Chris Froome for winning the Maillot Jaune and the polka-dot jersey, Peter Sagan for winning the green jersey, and Nairo Quintana for winning the white jersey! Thank you all for a great Tour!

Last trademark tidbit for this year’s Tour – we hear it throughout the race – the Maillot Jaune! The Yellow Jersey. The leader of the general classification, the overall leader of the race, wears the Yellow Jersey. En Français – le Maillot Jaune.

But, has anybody registered Maillot Jaune as a trademark with the USPTO? Or applied for it?

In 2012, the Societe du Tour de France filed an intent to use trademark application for Maillot Jaune for:

Pedals for bicycles, pannier bags for bicycles; bicycle saddles and covers; horns for bicycles; baby seats for bicycles; rearview mirrors for bicycles; chains for bicycles; pedals for bicycles; fenders for bicycles; handlebar grips and handle bar ends for bicycles; bells for bicycles; kickstands for bicycles; baskets for bicycles; training wheels for bicycles; pumps for bicycles; trailers for bicycles; fitted bike covers; kits for making a bicycle; bicycle wheels; tricycles; push scooters

But, that application was abandoned in May 2014 because no statement of use or extension to file a statement of use was filed.

Back in 2000, Trek filed and registered Maillot Jaune, Registration 2,514,791, for:

Bicycles, bicycle frames and bicycle structural parts

And, in 2007, Trek assigned that registration to the Societe du Tour de France. But, in July 2012, the Societe let the registration be canceled because no Section 8 declaration was filed.

That’s it. No other registrations or applications. However, somebody may have enforceable common law rights. From the USPTO Trademark FAQ:

What are “common law” rights? Federal registration is not required to establish rights in a trademark. Common law rights arise from actual use of a mark and may allow the common law user to successfully challenge a registration or application.

If you have questions about registrations, applications, or common law rights, let me know!

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Tour de Trademarks – Part Deux

We’re 14 stages through the 2015 Tour de France! It has been a great race so far. No worries – I have no intention of providing spoilers for those of you who haven’t been able to watch all the stages yet. But, can we predict the GC winner based on the teams’ US trademark portfolios? Not likely, but let’s look anyway.

ASTANA PRO TEAM – Vincenzo Nibali
It doesn’t look good for Nibali. Astana currently has no trademark registrations or applications. Astana is at a bit of a disadvantage being named after the capital of Kazakhstan and sponsored by Samruk-Kazyna, a state-owned company from Kazakhstan.

TEAM SKY – Chris Froome
Being sponsored by a media and telecommunications company, BskyB, helps Froome a bit. I found 5 live registrations and 1 live application for BskyB. For example:

skynews

TINKOFF-SAXO – Alberto Contador
Contador is helped out by the support of Saxo Bank, a Danish investment bank. However, Tinkoff Bank doesn’t contribute at all. Saxo Bank has 9 live registrations, including: SAXO for

“Financial analysis and information, banking, and stocks and bonds brokerage services; financial services, namely, financial consultation, financial investment services in the field of securities, annuities, bonds, certificates of deposite, defined portfolios, futures, commodities, insurance, mutual funds, hedgefunds, stocks, options, and other securities and derivatives, and financial brokerage services in the nature of mutual fund, security and stock brokerage services, issuance of credit cards, credit card services.”

BMC RACING TEAM – Tejay Van Garderen
Tejay makes a bold move being supported by BMC Switzerland AG, a bicycle and cycling products company, which has 14 live registrations that I found. For “Bicycles and their parts; bicycle frames; bicycle saddles; handle bars for bicycles; bicycle rims; wheels for bicycles”, BMC uses:

bmc2

MOVISTAR TEAM – Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas
The 2013 TdF challenger Quintana, if trademark portfolios were the determining factor, would ride away with this year’s tour. Supported by Movistar, a Spanish telecommunications company owned by Telefonica, S.A., which owns 46 live registrations and 3 live applications! For example, included in the portfolio is the recognizable M from the Movistar kits:

movistar2

2015 Tour de France Trademark-Predicted Final GC Standings
1. Nairo Quintana
2. Tejay Van Garderen
3. Alberto Contador
4. Chris Froome
5. Vincenzo Nibali

Tour de Trademarks

In honor of the start of the 2015 Tour de France, I thought I’d look for some fun, Tour-related trademark applications and registrations. The Societe du Tour de France owns applications and registrations for marks related to the Tour. For example, registrations include TOUR DE FRANCE for “Entertainment Services-Namely, Organizing and Conducting Races and Sporting Events” and TOUR DE FRANCE for “Books, namely, official books in the fields of tourism, history and bicycling, photograph books, souvenir books in the fields of tourism, history and bicycling and pop-up books in the fields of tourism, history and bicycling”.

The Societe owns an intent-to-use application in which a 4th extension of time to file a statement of use has been filed for:

Tour

for use with various types of clothing.

And, wine! The Societe owns LE TOUR DE FRANCE for use with “Alcoholic beverages except beers, namely, wines, champagnes, liquors and distilled spirits; alcoholic extract of essence”.

Raise a glass of LE TOUR DE FRANCE wine in celebration of the start of one of the greatest sporting events!

(And! Happy Independence Day!)

New Details about SRAM’s ETAP Wireless Rear Derailleur

Although unannounced, everybody knows by now that SRAM is coming out with a wireless, electronic drivetrain. In the press, the system has become to be known as “eTap”. Judging from SRAM’s Valentine’s Day 2014 trademark application, which describes SRAM’s intent to use ETAP with “Bicycle parts, namely, gear shifting mechanisms, brakes, cranks and derailleurs,” the groupset will likely be branded as eTap.

Last week, SRAM’s patent application US 14/061138 published as US 2015/0111675, which provides details about SRAM’s new wireless rear derailleur. As BikeRadar has reported, the rear derailleur includes a lithium-ion battery 178:

SRAM Battery 1SRAM Battery 2

And, as seen in the below photos by RoadBikeReview, the battery will be interchangeable between front and rear derailleurs:

rd 1 roadbikereview fd 1 roadbikereview

An interesting innovation disclosed in the application is how the SRAM rear derailleur accounts for impacts without damaging the internal gearing – simply, the connection between the internal gears and the parallelogram includes a dutch spring mechanism that can absorb any impacts without transferring the impact to the internal gears.  In FIGs. 15a, 15b, and 15c below, the views are looking up from below the derailleur such that the rear wheel and in-board direction are to the right.  As shown below, the leg 52a of the spring 52 deflects to absorb an impact from the left.

SRAM 15a

SRAM 15b

SRAM 15c

In the event of a crash or other side impact (a force directed from left to right in FIGS. 15a, b and c), if the force of the impact overcomes the preload in the torsion-type dutch spring 52, the links of the linkage 32 rotate clockwise about their pivot pins 28, deflecting the leg 52a of the spring as shown in FIG. 15b. Thus, the linkage 32 is able to move without imparting any movement to the gears 106 in the gearbox 44. When the impact force is removed from the derailleur 20, the spring leg 52a will push against the drive arm 48 and cause the derailleur to go back to its normal state shown in FIG. 15a.

And, as expected in a wireless system, the derailleur includes a radio chip 194, but not much more than that is disclosed about the radio chip 194 in this application.

New Product Lines coming from Specialized?

It is important to remember that “intellectual property” includes more than just utility and design patents. A healthy IP portfolio will include patents but will also include consideration for your brand – specifically, trademarks. The most (in)famous player in the cycling industry regarding trademarks is probably Specialized. The Cafe Roubaix-Specialized incident has been widely covered.

Regardless of community perception, Specialized has an organized trademark strategy that many other businesses can learn from. Further, because US trademark filings are public, we can learn some about Specialized’s strategy/future products.

Specialized has recently filed the following trademark applications:

LIFT– for Bicycle frames; Bicycles – filed: March 16, 2015

RUZE – for Bicycle frames; Bicycles – filed: March 13, 2015

HELLGA – for Bicycle frames; Bicycles – filed: December 16, 2014

RYHME – for Bicycle frames; Bicycles – filed: November 20, 2014

Neither searching Specialized.com nor the internet turn up any Specialized bikes featuring any of those names. The closest I found was speculation that HELLGA was to be a women specific fat bike.

These applications use similar descriptions of the goods that the trademarks are used on to those registered trademarks of CARVE, CRUX, CAMBER, and VENGE. If Specialized stays true to their previous filings, it looks like we could see new LIFT, RUZE, HELLGA, and RYHME bikes form Specialized.

Note – these are all word marks meaning that there are no fun pictures associated with these yet. Only text. From a trademark perspective, that means that these marks can be used in any style, font, color, etc.