Slipnot Bicycle Traction Systems Comes to Resolution in Dispute over Trademark

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Co-existance agreement leads to friendly resolution.

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Slipnot Bicycle Traction System and Specialized are both in the biking industry, so our fear was that the two companies would be confused with each other.

Slipnot Bicycle Traction System (SBTS), makers of the fastest and most adjustable bicycle tire chain system, has come to a resolution in its dispute with Specialized Bicycle Components. SBTS, which manufactures snow chains for bicycle tires, is the holder of the United States Registered Trademark on the word “slipnot” for use with bicycle parts. Specialized, however, has been using and promoting the sole of its bicycle shoes under the ”Slip-Not” mark. Though SBTS has the legal right to enforce a cease and desist, a decision was made to coexist so that both brands can continue to promote their products.

SBTS has agreed to allow Specialized to use the trademarked terminology, but restricted to when referring to the company’s bicycle footwear. According to SBTS’s Managing Partner Justin Shaw, the agreement was deemed to be the most friendly and still business-savvy decision.

“Even though all our products are hand built by craftsmen in Colorado, Slipnot Bicycle Traction System and Specialized are both in the biking industry, our fear was that the two companies would be confused with each other,” says Shaw. “Slipnot Bicycle Traction System has worked hard to provide an innovative, high performance product and has just recently started to receive recognition for what we offer. We don’t want to take a chance that our customers would associate our product with another company.”

“Still, we realize that Specialized has been promoting their shoe soles under the name for long enough where we would potentially damage their branding efforts, and we felt there was a better way to work out our differences,” Shaw explained.

Seeking a friendly resolution, Slipnot Bicycle Traction System tapped Kevin Dwyer of ThinkLaw, PLLC to develop a legal co-existence agreement. Dwyer stated, “Slipnot Bicycle Traction System has invested significant resources in developing a design that is adaptable to every popular wheel size, with quick on and off capability. We want to ensure that consumers associate Slipnot with SBTC’s innovative USA-made product. But we also want to see others in the industry be as successful as possible. The bicycle industry community is small, and getting along allows companies to conserve important resources and goodwill in order to use it to promote the greatest activity in the world.”

SBTS will retain all rights to their trademark, and will continue to develop additional products under the brand name, expanding on bicycle tire chain products for 26ers, 27.5ers, 29ers, plus sizes and fat bikes. “We joke internally about the need to run a ‘Not to be confused with’ advertising campaign,” says Shaw. “But because everyone worked together we won’t have to go to those extremes.”

To learn more about Slipnot Bicycle Traction System and their line of tire snow chains for cyclists dedicated to the sport regardless of what Mother Nature brings, visit http://www.slipnottraction.com.

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Monique Moffit
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