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 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.


Patenting Pockets by Specialized

Storage. Water. Air. Tools. SWAT. Specialized’s SWAT technology is providing convenience, ease, and comfort to riders. Consider their Mountain Bib Liner with SWAT. For various reasons, many mountain bikers shy away from the Lycra – even pro XC racers like Marco Fontana  and Manuel Fumic. However, avoiding the Lycra also avoids the benefits of wearing a kit like a roadie – the pockets, which are most often found on the lower back of the classic cycling jersey.

More often in mountain biking that road, Camelbak Hydration Packs are used to carry tools, calories, and hydration.

Specialized proposes the Mountain Bib Liner with 5 SWAT Integrated Pockets as an alternative to riding with a backpack while providing the convenience similar to the conventional cycling kit but in the form of baggies. VitalMTB has a great review of Specialized’s SWAT apparel and produced the below film about its development:

Specialized’s Mountain Bib Liner with SWAT:

Screen shot 2015-02-10 at 7.15.08 PMScreen shot 2015-02-10 at 7.15.25 PM

And, Specialized is pursuing patent protection for those pockets.

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US Patent Application 13/802,245, filed March 13, 2013, is currently pending but has not yet been acted upon by the USPTO.

[T]he pocket 200 comprises a secured portion 205 and a hanging portion 210. … the secured portion 205 is located above the natural position for a waistband 310 of a pair of loose fitting shorts 300. … FIGS. 2A-2B illustrate a pair of loose fitting shorts 300 worn with the waistband 310 at a natural position on a user. The hanging portion 210 of the pocket 200 allows some of the pocket 200 to overhang the waistband 310 of the loose fitting shorts 300 since there is no connection between the hanging portion 210 of the pocket 200 and the athletic garment 100. As illustrated in FIGS. 2A-2B, the waist band 310 of the loose fitting shorts 300 at its natural location occupies the space between the athletic garment 100 and the hanging portion 210 of the pocket 200. The hanging portion 210 allows the loose fitting shorts 300 and the pocket 200 to occupy the same area near the user’s lower back, allowing the loose fitting shorts 300 to sit at their natural position and not be forced downwards by a loaded pocket 200 while the pocket 200 is located in an ideal location for the user to access the contents of the pocket 200.

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FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 5 (below) show the hanging portion 210 of the pocket 200 hanging over the waistband 310 of the loose fitting shorts 300. In other words, pockets on your lower back (like a traditional cycling jersey) that hang over the waistband of your baggies.

Screen shot 2015-02-10 at 7.16.02 PM

Application: US 13/802,245
Application Status: Pending, No Action on the Merits, IDS filed on December 12, 2014
Assignee: Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.
Related Patents/Applications: N/A

Specialized Patents the “Love Handle”

In honor of the Cyclocross World Championship (congrats to MvdP – great race!), here’s a patent that issued to Specialized in May 2014. The Specialized Crux is beautiful ride and demonstrates Specialized’s dedication to cyclocross.

Referred to as the “Love Handle,” Specialized provided a grip (“concave section”) on the bottom side of down tube of the Crux frame so that the down tube is easier to grab when shouldering the bike. The “Love Handle” has been well-received.

From the patent:

[T]he down tube 55 includes a concave section 80 that is disposed on an underside (i.e., facing generally downward toward the ground) of the down tube 55 to accommodate a hand of a bicycle rider. Alternatively, or in addition, the top tube 50 can include a concave section (not shown) that is similar to the concave section 80.

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Note that the disclosure provides for another grip on the top tube, although it’s not shown in the drawings.

And, we appreciate Specialized’s playfulness in marketing this feature as the “Love Handle” – it’s great to see a large company show some personality.

Application: US 13/242,619
Application Status: Patented – US 8,720,929
Assignee: Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.
Related Patents/Applications: N/A