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  1. #1
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    Stumptown vs. Stumpjumper

    I'm not sure if this has been posted up yet, and for those that are not aware of this action, Specialized has decided to bully Mountain Cycle over a name that is “confusingly similar” to one that they are known for. Mountain Cycle released the Stumptown cyclocross frame in 2003, and last season had a demo program at some of the Portland Cross Crusade events. Portland cross is one of the largest (if not the largest) draw of racers in the nation. Stumptown is one of many nicknames for Portland, OR. Mountain Cycle is based in Portland... what do you, the people, have to say?

    From www.bikeportland.org:
    North Portland based Mountain Cycle and global bike giant Specialized Bicycle Components of Morgan Hill, California are locked in a disagreement that neither side is backing down from. At issue is Mountain Cycle’s use of, “Stumptown” which has been the model name for their cyclocross bike since 2003.

    According to Specialized’s legal department, Stumptown is “confusingly similar” to Stumpjumper, a model name Specialized has used since 1981. Specialized is demanding that Mountain Cycle “cease and desist” from using the name immediately and that they remove all current stock and references to the model from their marketing materials.

    So far no lawsuit has been filed, but at this point there seems to be no budging from either side.

    According to this wikipedia entry the term Stumptown was coined way back in 1847. I also wonder if Specialized is being a bit extra-sensitive because this year is the 25th anniversary of the Stumpjumper.

    Do you think Specialized is being a bully…or do you think they have a real beef here?

    From Wikipedia:
    "Stumptown" is a nickname for Portland, Oregon, coined in a period of phenomenal growth in the city after 1847. Portland was growing so rapidly that the stumps of trees cut down to make way for roads were left until manpower could be spared to remove them. In some areas, the stumps remained for so long that locals painted them white to make them more visible, and used them to cross the street without sinking into the mud.

    Other nicknames for Portland include "Bridgetown" and "Rose City".

    Perhaps they should also send out a "cease and decist" to Stumptown Coffee Roasters or any of the other half dozen or so businesses in Portland with Stumptown in their name.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Oh and if anyone want's the e-mail address to Specialized legal...

    Kim.Arca@specialized.com

  3. #3
    vegan wrench
    Reputation: bloodthirstylust's Avatar
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    someone should write up a standard letter that people can copy and paste and email to specialized. i feel if we could make it easy for people, specialized would receive a lot of emails about this.

  4. #4
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    OK...

    Dear Ms. Arca,

    As I am sure by now, you have recieved hundreds of e-mails regarding this issue at hand. While I do not doubt that you have done your research, let me share with you some of mine:

    Wikipedia defines Stumptown as:
    "Stumptown" is a nickname for Portland, Oregon, coined in a period of phenomenal growth in the city after 1847. Portland was growing so rapidly that the stumps of trees cut down to make way for roads were left until manpower could be spared to remove them. In some areas, the stumps remained for so long that locals painted them white to make them more visible, and used them to cross the street without sinking into the mud.

    Other nicknames for Portland include "Bridgetown" and "Rose City".

    There are roughly 8 or so unique businesses in Portland that use the name Stumptown as their registered business name. Most notibly is Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Mountain Cycle has been in Portland for many years, and employs many local people in their facility. Portland Cross Crusade is one of the largest cyclocross series in the US, and has hosted several US National Cyclocross Championship races over the year (including back to back races in 2003/2004). We've had well over 600 riders for one day of racing multiple times.

    My point to this is that Mountain Cycle, being a locally made bike, using the name Stumptown on thier only cyclocross bike in production is an extreme honor to the people of this community here. The risk of losing local jobs has economic implications that have made many feel that they would NOT purchase any Specialized bike (Stump Jumper or other) in order to stand by their local company. The word is getting out that Specialized is bullying the small guys. Not only is this putting Mountain Cycle in a position where jobs could be lost, or even worse, doors close completely, but you risk jeapordizing sales at the local shops that currently sell your bikes. Who wants to buy a bike from the shop that supports the company that put the small local guy out of business?

    Portland stands by our Stumptown name. We will stand by Mountain Cycle and encourage them to keep the Stumptown name on their cyclocross bike. We will enlighten the masses on what is happening with this situation.

    This is a big year for the Stump Jumper. I believe this is the 25th anniversary of this bike. The Pacific North West is a large playground for mountain biking, and it is a very tight community. I would think that it would be in Specialized's best interest to embrace the competition and support Mountain Cycle to keep the Stumptown name. Honestly, how much has it impacted sales by having the "confusingly similar" (Specialized's words, not mine) frame out in the market? More importantly, how much will it impact sales in the 25th anniversary edition when you alienate an entire region of the country, well known for mountain biking?

    Thank you for your time,

  5. #5
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    Didn't Kinesis USA stop its operations in Portland recently & because of that MC shut down? I thought i heard something like that the other day.

  6. #6
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    Last I heard they were talking about closing the doors. This was about a week ago. I haven't seen or heard anything one way or the other just yet.

  7. #7
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    I'm all for supporting the little guy but still have the following opinion, since you asked.

    I think comparing a coffee roaster using the stumptown name to a bike company using the stumptown name for a bike model is really not a meaningful comparison in this context. Specialized is not in the business of selling Stump* coffee but the Stumpjumper name is a key part of their brand.

    IMHO there are two parts to this issue: the legal one and the ethical one. I'm no lawyer so I'll leave the legal details to the lawyers. On the ethical one I think "the right thing to do" would have been for specialized to contact mountain cycles when they first heard about this bike and ask that they stop using the name. If mountain cycles refused then I think it becomes a legal issues and, like I said, I have no idea what the true legal issues are.

    I'd imagine there might be some impact on the legal aspects since Stumptown has been a nickname of sorts for Portland for a long, long time. I would hope that Specialized had done their homework to see if they had a legal case before they started threatening legal action.

    Disclaimer: though specialized is a big company, they are a "local" company in my area. I know a number of people that work at specialized and i'm proud of their success and the products they sell. So this is a bit of a bias but also a reason for me to hope they did and will handle this situation in a reasonable way. I'm sure many of you think they've already failed to do this but from what I know, that is not yet clear.

  8. #8
    More Cowbell!
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonaMan
    Last I heard they were talking about closing the doors. This was about a week ago. I haven't seen or heard anything one way or the other just yet.
    http://bikeportland.org/2006/03/20/l...nt-progresses/

    Doors are closed. Kinesis gave them one day to clear out. Mountain Cycles is on hiatus at least ...
    Pro rep, yo!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gripped
    http://bikeportland.org/2006/03/20/l...nt-progresses/

    Doors are closed. Kinesis gave them one day to clear out. Mountain Cycles is on hiatus at least ...
    The comments on the site make for an interesting read.......
    Zero

  10. #10
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    fawking hell... figures. I'm too late...

    I rode one in the first cross series last fall (Hillsboro), and the bike was awesome (I was not). There's a few of these frames left for sale locally (locals know where), get them while you can. Me personally, I won't buy anything Specialized again. Whether or not they were responsible for the closing of these doors is not my beef with them, it's the way they went about this.

    If I had a Specialized bike, I'd strip the parts off and build up a MC frame with them... HA!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonaMan
    Whether or not they were responsible for the closing of these doors is not my beef with them, it's the way they went about this.
    how do you think they should have gone about it? i'm honestly quite curious because, after this thread and my initial gut-reaction post, i've researched the details of this issue and the some of the legal aspects and it really seems to me like a lose-lose situation.

  12. #12
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    Dear Portland

    We ask that you refrain from using the nickname 'Stumptown' as it confuses people with our product line. Remove all forms of this phrase from any existing material.Or you may use it as long as we are mentioned. Stumptown, brought to you by Specialized.

    Thank You
    Specialized Legal Team

    Bullying. Maybe we'll stop calling my short legged friend "Stumpy" for fear of action.

    this is a rerun of Cannondale's claim on Freeride
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    We ask that you refrain from using the nickname 'Stumptown' as it confuses people with our product line. Remove all forms of this phrase from any existing material.Or you may use it as long as we are mentioned. Stumptown, brought to you by Specialized.

    Thank You
    Specialized Legal Team

    Bullying. Maybe we'll stop calling my short legged friend "Stumpy" for fear of action.

    this is a rerun of Cannondale's claim on Freeride
    listen, it's easy to look at a situation like this and say "look at #$%*ing lame big company, picking on the little guy". part of me felt this way after hearing about this situation.

    i poked around looking for more information on the legal aspect of this and found that the term "confusingly similar" is part of copyright law in this country (and to some extent internationally). there are also laws in place allowing one to own the exclusive rights to a name/image (a "mark"). part of these laws prevents one from using anything "confusingly similar" to a registered trademark for the category of commerce the trademark is registered.

    so these comments about coffee makers and the one above joke about legal action against portland don't seem to be meaningful in any legal sense.

    to make matters more complicated, the owner of a registered trademark can in some sense lose their trademark if they don't defend it - and confusingly similar names can apparently fall into this category.

    my real point is that this situation is not as cut and dry as you all seem to be making it. both of these companies are businesses, and they operate in a legal framework. to me, copyright law is one of the most whacked out parts of our society but it too is not a simple issue.

    if you have issues with the existing laws that in some sense force a company like specialized to take this action, complain about the laws. it's just not clear to me that specialized is in fact bullying anyone.
    Last edited by jnichols959; 03-28-2006 at 04:38 PM. Reason: replaced the use of "a female dog" with "complain" in last paragraph since the forum didn't allow it

  14. #14
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    My 2 cents worth.

    Mountain Cycle Was a small little bike company whose annual sales never even reached the sales of the Stumpjumper from Specialized. Mountain Cycle was owned buy Kinesis, who recently also was located in Portland before moving there operations overseas to Taiwan. Kinesis bread and butter is building frames for other companies under contracts (Specialized included) Mountain Cycle was a product line of Kinesis, a small product line. To make a long story short, Specialized used a little corporate muscle and didn't like the name "Stumptown" Kinesis was in danger of losing the Specialized contract, and afraid of pissing off other bike companies they build frames for and dropped Mountain Cycle like a bad habit. It's just Business, Mountain Cycle wasn't making Kinesis any money, certainly not worth losing a big contract (or potential contracts)
    People should be a little more ticked at Kinesis, who gave there Mountain Cycle employess a days notice before the pink slips were handed out.
    Kinesis has to take care of there biggest customers, if they have to drop a small product line to do so, they do. Living in Portland I sold my Specialized and am going to buy one of the last remaining "Stumptowns"

  15. #15
    180 lb weight weenie
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    ummm why was the name Stumptown so important to MC? why not call the bike The Rose City or Bridgetown?

    Honestly though, seems to me MC/Kinesis got into a pissing fight with a larger company. If Kinesis really wanted to keep the MC line just rename the stupid bike----who really cares what a bike is called anyway?

    Yes I do own a Specialized Tricross (and their older cx bike frame)-----but if Specialized got sued by Shimano cause Shimano thought they owned the rights to a name similiar to Tricross and therefore Specialized renamed the Tricross to "the crudbucket" I still would have bought it cause i think it looks cool. I dont care what its called.

    It seems that kinesis could have also played the victim card AND changed the name. They could have had a sweepstakes to "name the new CX bike model" and it could have been a huge publicity affair for MC. and the winner who was chosen to have the best new name could have been given that frame with the new name.

    maybe im wrong, if so i deeply apologize to anyone ive offended---i dont need another pissing fight of my own.

    jeremy
    PlusOneLap.com: Online Cyclocross Magazine

  16. #16
    Cross Bike Collector.....
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    jeremy

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyb
    ummm why was the name Stumptown so important to MC? why not call the bike The Rose City or Bridgetown?

    Honestly though, seems to me MC/Kinesis got into a pissing fight with a larger company. If Kinesis really wanted to keep the MC line just rename the stupid bike----who really cares what a bike is called anyway?

    Yes I do own a Specialized Tricross (and their older cx bike frame)-----but if Specialized got sued by Shimano cause Shimano thought they owned the rights to a name similiar to Tricross and therefore Specialized renamed the Tricross to "the crudbucket" I still would have bought it cause i think it looks cool. I dont care what its called.

    It seems that kinesis could have also played the victim card AND changed the name. They could have had a sweepstakes to "name the new CX bike model" and it could have been a huge publicity affair for MC. and the winner who was chosen to have the best new name could have been given that frame with the new name.

    maybe im wrong, if so i deeply apologize to anyone ive offended---i dont need another pissing fight of my own.

    jeremy
    the name Stumptown also applies to the "Stumptown" Cyclocross series here in Portland, http://www.velonews.com/race/cyc/articles/9011.0.html
    First in the usgp of cyclocross series. The name "stumptown" applies to the cyclocross bike and the series. Cross is pretty big here, the CrossCrusade is the largest participatory series in the world. I've seen lots of "stumptowns" at the crosscrusade, also Vanilla's. Like I said, it was all about the almighty dollar, Kinesis and Specialized are both guilty parties. Mountian Cycle was just the casualty.

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