You Can't Turn Bicycles Into Wine: Trek Bicycle's Trademark Lawsuit Against Trek Winery Dismissed

from the drink-up dept

We keep seeing cases where companies think that a trademark gives them a total monopoly over the trademark. That, of course, is not true. Not only is a trademark only supposed to be limited to cases of confusion or (in more recent construction) dilution, it's also only supposed to be applied in areas of commerce that compete. In other words, it's perfectly fine to use the same mark in totally different business areas. But, of course, some companies simply refuse to believe that (Monster Cable is famous for ignoring this, for example). But, thankfully, judges are quite aware of this. Brian points out that a judge has dismissed a trademark lawsuit brought by Trek Bicycle Corp. (makers of, you guessed it, bicycles) against a small northern California winery called Trek Winery. In this case, the lawsuit was dismissed for jurisdictional problems, in that the case was brought in Wisconsin (where the bicycle company is based), despite the vast majority of the winery's business being in California. But, still, the judge questioned whether or not there could actually be any confusion at all in Wisconsin. Apparently, the bicycle company cited three orders to Wisconsin -- two of the orders went to relatives of the winery's owners and one order went to a spouse of an employee of the bike company (and that single order was just a test to confirm that the winery would deliver to Wisconsin). Those are hardly quantities that would threaten the bike company's business.

Of course, this does mean that a lawsuit could be filed again in Northern California, but again, you have to wonder who's confusing a bicycle with a bottle of wine? Separately, another article on the lawsuit notes that the producers of Star Trek were originally concerned about the wine, but eventually decided it wasn't worth pursuing.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: bicycles, jurisdiction, trademark, trek, wine
Companies: trek

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. identicon
    DS, 5 Mar 2010 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The black dog runs at night.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat

Warning: include(/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/ failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/ on line 8

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/pear:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/..') in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/ on line 8
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.