Thursday, January 15, 2015

Inellectual Property is for Suckers!

Where is exactly is the line and is Trek the only one that can cross it? Seriously, I want to know. Here you have a large fucking ginormous corporation that can sue another company for the mere possibility of trademark infringement yet is somehow oblivious to is own hypocrisy. 

Yesterday, a reader sent me this: 

Now, many of you know exactly what this is. Much like I did. But before I jumped to conclusions, I did some homework...
Because social media compresses images, it was not immediately clear if this was a Campagnolo bottle opener but it damn sure looked like one. Now, I'm no rocket surgeon but I do know how to do a 3 minute Google search. Wouldn't ya know it... there was the same damn one.

It's not easy to see with the red paint, but smack in the center of the thing, is the 1970's Campagnolo logo. So it was clear that they were similar... 
except one says "TREK." 

...I immediately I became confused. Is it made by TREK? or Campy? 
You know, because (as TREK alleges) it is easy to confuse things for other things...

I still can't tell the difference between a Subaru and a Silque (what a stupid name for a bike by the way)

So okay, it's not like they covered up the Campagnolo logo with a TREK one (in which case this would be a VERY different discussion), but you have to admit that given the iconic status of the product, this could just as easily fall into the same "confusing" category. 

So who is this @joev3 ?
According to the always credible internet, it so happens that he is the
"Global Director of Product Development, Marketing and Creative Design for Trek Bicycle." 
Figures. It's a great marketing strategy when you think about it; take one of the most prominent names in all of cycling history, and put your name next to it. Put it on Twitter for the world to see, and BAM! People just assume that you are awesome by association. If I know one thing about marketing (and I do know at least one thing) it's that it is fine to plaster your logo all over shit for your own personal use, but if you are the damn "Global Director of Product Development and CREATIVE DESIGN," Then perhaps you should get "creative" and "Develop" your own products.
Why bother with the TREK sticker at all?

Because it's MINE! That's why.

If I had to summarize my feelings on the subject, I would do it thusly:
Putting a TREK sticker on a $200 cork screw invented by none other than Tulio the Great, is akin to drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa with a cat turd.

(You are going to have to use your imagination on that one)

Anyway, I am not in the least bit surprised about this.
Given TREK's track record with this sort of shit, it all starts to add up.
Let us not forget the year the bastards painted their plastic bikes Celeste for the Tour.

Sure looks "confusingly similar" to a Bianchi to me.

Why on Earth a company would paint their bike the same color as the oldest bike manufacturer in the world is beyond me. Oh, wait, no it's not. It's all about brand recognition. Can you patent a color? No. (well, unless you are Specialized. At least they think they can.) Still, If one can bring suit saying someone's product is "confusingly similar in design and style" over the name of a fucking CAR (not even in the same realm of consideration as far as any kind of market share is concerned), then this iconic Italian color should be considered "hands-off" and reserved for, oh, I don't know... Bianchi?!

 At the end of the day, it just goes to show you that the one's who feel as though they own the line, are the only ones allowed to cross it. As they acquire more and more of that line, I fear that one day there will be only TREK and I will be burned at the steak as a heretic. Quite honestly, I would rather it go down like that, as a world run by TREK, is not a world I prefer to be a part of.