Trek Bikes Slaps Wheelchair Vets
Posted in the Lance Armstrong Forum
#1 Mar 8, 2008
Well I need to tell everyone about my friend Chris Stanford.
Chris designed a innovative treadmill for wheel chair users, then started a company to refine the design and start manufacturing. He named the company TREKEASE which first sounds like "trekkies" ala Captian Kirk and his bunch and also means: Translational & Rotational Equivalent Kinetic Energy Aerobic Stationary Exercise. Ok with me so far. oh and by the way Chris himself is a wheelchair user and a past Officer of the PVA -- Paralysed Veterans Association.
Chris filed a trademark application for the name TREKEASE to be used in association with exercise equipment for the disabled, or differently-abled or what ever one is to say these days.
Then it got interesting, Trek Bicycle Corporation, objected to his use of the name TREKEASE as being too close to Trek their trademark.
It seems that Trek lost a very big and public trademark battle with another exercise equipment manufacture Orbitrek and since then it has adopted a policy of harassment and opposition to every trademark application that has any thing close to trek in its name.
So even after clearly losing a court case where it was determined "Although, the mark TREK might be famous among bicycle enthusiasts, Trek did not establish fame in the niche market for stationary exercise machines, the market in which Thane operates. Similarly, Trek did not establish the level of fame among the general public necessary to support a claim for dilution." Trek continues to file objection after objections. According to Chris some of their oppositions include:
FastTrek, Trexa, TrekTile, CyberTreks, Electrec, Strekoza, Neotrekk, Treq, EasyTrec, Tech Bike, Ripp Traxx, SuperTrax, I-Trek!, Velotrekk, TC Trecker, T-REX, OrbiTrek, Treknology, Jazztreks, Trek PhoneCard, Trek Desk, SkyTrek, History Trek, Treksys, LifeTrek, ProTrek, WordTrek, Trekkers, Treksta, Trekker, VersaTrek,Trek-N-Treat, UltraTrek, CamTrek, GreenTreks, Treks, TimeTreks, IdeaTrek, TurboTrek, Trekkers, Rainforest Trek, EcoTrek, AltoTrek
Well Chris wasn't really wanting to give up his trademark, even though Trek Bicycles offered him $5000 for the trademark. So they are planning on going forward with thier objections, and since Chris can't afford an attorney to argue at the trademark office he feels that it is unlikely he will win even though precedent and truth and justice is on his side.
To publicize his plight he made up a flyer that me mailed to a few folks, which quickly resulted in a threatening letter form the Trek Bicycle People.
Unfortunately Chris's Document is in pdf form so I'm trying to figure out how to post it to this site. In the mean time check out his site at www.trekease.com
#2 Mar 25, 2008
I guess big sponsors have big egos. I doubt that Lance has any knowledge of this, but even if he did he is probably under contract not to say anything publicly but I am sure he could make a phone call to Trek and end this. I wouldn't want my sponsor to be using me to put down small businesses. Trademark litigation can be very expensive and lengthy. It is an area that many patent patent attorneys are unfamiliar with. There are lots of bullys in the world. Corporations with good legal counsel can use the laws to their unfair advantage quite easily. Chris needs some corporate big brother, what about Paramount, maybe some real Trekkies will come to his rescue. I doubt that Lance or any Trek sponsored cycling buddies have that the cajones!
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