The Empire Strikes Back, War Vet Threatened by Specialized Over Name
Cafe Roubaix Bicycles is a small bike shop located in historic downtown Cochrane, Alberta. Like many shops, it got it’s start in a garage. Where owner Dan Richter started by building high end custom wheels for friends and local racers.
A twenty year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, opening Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio was the culmination of a life long passion, and a great way to force himself to meet new people. His military career, after stints in Afghanistan, was brought to an end due to post traumatic stress disorder.
His shop, which opened in March, caters to road cyclists. It’s named after the famous 117 year old Paris-Roubaix race, because Dan wants every client to “roll away experiencing the same level of service and attention that every European professional demands from team mechanics, coaches, and equipment providers.”
The problem is….
Specialized Bicycles is requesting Cafe Roubaix Bicycles change it’s name or else they’ll huff and they’ll puff and they’ll sue due to trademark infringement. While Dan’s lawyer claims he has a case, since the name is an icon of bike culture, and there are dozens of products with the name e.g. the Fuji Roubaix Road Bike and Challenge Roubaix Tires. But to pursue this case would cost an estimated $150,000, so the small shop must capitulate.
According to Specialized Canada, the company is defending it’s legally owned trademark because it is legally required to defend or lose it.
For Dan, changing his stores name is a lot more than just a sign. It’s about rebuilding a reputation he has carefully cultivated building custom wheels and providing exceptional customer service. You can find directions to Dan’s shop, pick up a jersey, or just learn more about his shop here.
Via Calgary Herald