[In case you haven’t been following the Specialized and Mountain Cycle saga, read this post first.]
Yesterday I sent an email to Specialized’s legal person, Kim Arca. I wanted to give them the chance to make a statement because I felt like by saying nothing they were only making things worse for themselves. Here is the text of my email:
Jonathan Maus here. I just want to let you know that I have nothing against Specialized and that I would like to offer you space on my site to come in and make a statement about this situation. I’m willing to publish a statement from you, unedited, and without any commentary from me.
I think an honest statement would really help Specialized at this point. Hope to hear from you soon.
And in return I just got the email below from Kevin Franks, head of media relations and corporate communications for Specialized:
First, thanks for taking a moment to get to the bottom of the conversation we’ve been having with Mountain Cycle. More than anything, we want everyone to know that the tiff over the Stumptown name isn’t an “us vs. them” situation. Bottom line is the Stumpjumper brand is remarkably important to us, our dealers and our customers. It’s a brand that we’ve celebrated for 25 years now; the funny thing is that many riders are more familiar with it than they are with the Specialized name! We take so much pride in the Stumpjumper and what it represents that we’ve just released a hardcover book celebrating the 25-year heritage of mountain biking and the Stumpjumper’s place in it. So, yeah, the fact is that, as will all of our intellectual property, we were forced to ask Mountain Cycle (or any other company in a similar situation) to stop using the Stumptown name or risk losing the right to it ourselves. We simply have to protect what we’ve worked so hard to develop in order to justify the time and investment we put into making better bikes and equipment for everyone.
So there you have it. Sounds like they’re standing firm. I also called Kevin to ask him a few questions and he told me a bit more. He spoke about how this isn’t about just Stumptown, but that they’re looking at the long-term ramifications of not protecting their most prized trademark. For example, if they are not strict about enforcing the trademark now it may “erode” their “position for owning the Stumpjumper mark in the future.”
Stay tuned for more developments on this story.