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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Trek Patents IsoSpeed Tech

As I was riding my rigid ss 29er on some of my favorite trails this past weekend, I was reminded of the value of suspension for increased traction and decreased fatigue.  Trek’s IsoSpeed Technology has been slowly, and expectedly, working its way from their Domane endurance road line, through their Boone cyclocross line, and finally to their hardtail mountain line. In April, Velonews spotted IsoSpeed Tech on Trek hardtails at USA Cycling US Cup races (available here: USA Cycling), and BikeRumor reports spy shots of Trek’s new rides from the Nové Město World Cup races (full races: womenmen) last weekend.

On October 14, 2014, the USPTO issued US 8,857,841 to Trek for their passive seat tube pivot joint, which is marketed as IsoSpeed Technology.

[T]he non-bonded rigid yet pivotable connection of seat tube 22 with upper frame member 100 allows deflection of seat tube 22 in a vertical plane and in a direction along the longitudinal length of the seat tube 22 so as to allow the frame assembly 12 to provide a limited degree of suspension performance or vertical compliance without altering the orientation of the connection points of any of the frame members relative to one another

Trek FIG. 6

The pivotable connection between the seat tube 22 and the upper frame member 100 (i.e., top tube) is shown in an exploded view in FIG. 5:

Trek FIG. 5

Trek states that the deflection should be nearly unperceivable during most riding conditions, but even absorption of small bumps by the frame in a mostly unnoticeable manner can greatly improve fatigue resistance and comfort when you’re spending hours in the saddle.

Trek’s Externally-Geared, Belt-Driven Mountain Bike

Conventional wisdom in the belt drive arena tells us that belt drive is only for single speed setups, and an internally geared hub or a gearbox is needed to change gear ratios.

Not so according to Trek. Trek is pursing a US patent application that shows a hardtail mountain bike with both belt drive and a rear derailleur. In March of 2012, Trek was issued a US design patent drawn to the chainring for this implementation.

Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 1.36.59 PM

One or both of the crankset and wheel hub cogs can include more than one cog having different circumferential sizes so as to alter the mechanical advantage provided between the pedals and the driven hub. … It is envisioned that, when provided in a multiple geared format, bicycle 30 be equipped with a front and/or a rear derailleur assembly to facilitate the manual lateral manipulation of the flexible drive member 80 in effectuating shifting of the gearing arrangement of bicycle 30 such that flexible drive member 80 cooperate with one of cogs 120200, or 300 as desired.”

In other words, Trek envisions belt-driven bikes to have both front and rear derailleurs.

Here’s a portion of Trek’s belt drive cassette:

Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 1.39.39 PM

In the cross-section of the cassette, you can see that the belt 80 is engaged in the largest cog and moveable to the right as indicated by arrow 434.

And, here’s a better look at the design of the cogs:

Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 1.43.50 PM

Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 1.43.22 PM

Looks like belt drive may be finding more applications soon.

Application: US 12/985,166
Application Status: Final Rejection – Early Response Due February 12, 2015
Assignee: Trek Bicycle Corp. (original assignee)
Related Patents/Applications: D655,225 (issued March 6, 2012)