It truly was a David and Goliath battle this week for a bike shop owner in Canada. Dan Richter owner of the Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio in Cochrane, Alberta found out what it’s like going toe to toe with an industry powerhouse.
Except the David in our story didn’t have the weapons to fight back.
Fortunately Mr. Richter went public, and that’s when things got interesting.
Over the course of the next three days the story of this small town bike shop being slapped around by the big bad corporation spread like a brush fire in West Texas. (Read BRAIN’s coverage here.)
And it worked! People stood up and together they said “I am Roubaix – er – SPARTACUS!”
Advanced Sport International – the company who owns the Fuji brand of bikes AND the original owner of the Roubaix trademark (it was a Fuji bike model LONG before they licensed the name to Specialized) – told BRAIN on Monday that “Specialized Bicycle overstepped its bounds when it registered the Roubaix trademark in Canada and then tried to prevent a Calgary retailer from using the name.”
Yes. It looks as if the little guy got the support he needed when the Bully came over to pick a fight. Cafe Roubaix posted this on their Facebook page last night:
We can announce that your voices have been heard. We are now back in discussions with the other party. We are aware of recent announcements by third parties within the industry.
We thank you for your continued support. Also note, we are working on getting a pre-order sorted out for our popular shop jersey. Made by Santini. On our online sales – YOU are amazing people. Needless to say, we will be sorting out orders for a while. Over the weekend, we have received over 3500 emails, hundreds of phone calls and messages, how many #s and @s? Tweets? Do numbers go that high? Our little studio is just barely 900 sqft and cycling fans, cyclists, Velomintus, industry leaders & big shots, pro riders, and icons have all made their voice heard.
I think AngryBuddhist finishes this whole tale well when he asks about the Specialized lawyer:
He is so fired right? I mean his actions just caused the internets to take an unholy crap all over you. But he was surely doing as demanded. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. They eat their young. Lawyers and sharks and Sin yards.