Specialized Threatens Another Small Business: Epix Gear

UPDATE:  See the denouement in the following post, here.

 

I know I said I wouldn’t write about Specialized more, but now this…

This is from Epix Gear’s Facebook page.  Let’s put it into the unconfirmed category for now until there’s more detail, but the company is asserting that Specialized is going after them for the design of their logo looking too much like Specialized’s Epic logo.  See update below.

Here’s Epix’s logo (used for apparel sales):

I looked on Specialized’s website for pictures of the Epic logo, but couldn’t find any there. In fact, here’s one of their Epic models.  They don’t have Epic on the side of them anywhere.  (Is it on the top of the top tube?)

Here’s an older model, showing the Epic logo on the side.

That doesn’t really look like the Epix logo, does it?

This will be an interesting story to follow.  My recommended step 2 for Specialized was to get their legal system in check.  I don’t think they’ve done that.  Get the word out folks.  My only concern here is that while the internet is very powerful, it is also very lazy.  People grow tired of online advocacy very quickly.  We will have to see if this builds as much momentum as Cafe Roubaix did.  I still stand by my original thoughts from day one, day two and day three.

UPDATE:

Here’s the letter.

It’s dated 12/4, so perhaps this is just bad timing on Specialized’s part–having been sent before Cafe Roubaix broke.  Epix, for its part, is saying that Specialized isn’t playing ball with them…and it appears clear from the letter that Specialized isn’t just concerned about the logo or font…they believe that the word “Epix” is too close to “Epic” in any format.

This will be an interesting one to follow.

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11 thoughts on “Specialized Threatens Another Small Business: Epix Gear

  1. Were you not aware that Specialized did the same thing to Eric Parsons’ one-man frame bag shop several years ago? He was Epic Designs, but is not Revelate Designs due to threats from Specialized.

    At the time I was considering the purchase of two Specialized bikes. I wrote them a polite letter explaining that their legal behavior had cost them those purchases, and that I would never buy from them again. They wrote back with a boiler plate explaining how important their so-called intellectual property is to them. I was tempted to respond that I had always had difficulty telling the difference between a nylon bag and a Specialized bicycle, but I didn’t…

  2. As far as TMs go though, it’s not just about what the logo looks like, or how a word is spelt — marks that sound alike may infringe too.

  3. I quit buying specialized products some time ago and glad I did. Seen nothing good come out of that corporation in years. I may still have my Stumpjumper M2 from 1996/97 but thats nostalgia. I am happy a friend of mine got out of a shop that mainly sells Specialized and branched out when he opened his own bike shop. Is specialized really that worried about competition from the smaller companies that they have to continue to threaten lawsuits. maybe if they hadnt let their bike lines go to crap they wouldnt have to worry about competition. Too big for their own good if you ask me.

  4. It’s not a good sign, when a company gets more media coverage for such kind of news, than for other kind of things. There’s another company in the bike business, that is now struggling, after some years, during which they got more money from suing third parties than from their own core business.

  5. I wonder if Specialized is going to begin suing Airports for use of the word “Tarmac” next……never been so embarrassed to ride a Stumpjumper. Think I’ll ask Santa for a new frame for Christmas!

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