Drawing by Jon Wyatt!
Look, I know this situation with Café Roubaix and Specialized has been on everyone’s social network radars at some point over the weekend. While people have supplied their opinions, I tried to rationalize my take on the whole debacle. You see, I really hate reading about corporate bullies throwing their weight around. How can you even claim that you own the name of a commune in northern France?
I’m banging my head against the wall here. Mostly because I actually respect what some of Specialized does. While it’s not all for me, they’re an American company that has been around for decades, employing people who love to ride bikes and have put out some rather interesting design projects over the years. That said, their corporate assholish attitude really bums me out. Here’s a summary of what they’re doing to Café Roubaix:
“A Canadian veteran of the Afghanistan war who operates a tiny bicycle shop in Cochrane is being forced to change his store’s name after being threatened with a lawsuit by one of the giants of the U.S. bike industry.
Dan Richter, owner of Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio, located above the famous Mackay’s Ice Cream in Cochrane, says he received a letter from the lawyers of big bicycle maker Specialized several months ago, demanding he change the store’s name because the company owns the trademark on the word Roubaix, which they use to market a brand of road bike.”
To add insult to injury, this isn’t the first time they’ve done something like this.
So I want to know. What gives, Specialized? Are you like the small-minded bully who walks around beating up nerds? Look, they’re even wearing red.
Nice job John!