Specialized founder Sinyard visits Cafe Roubaix, apologizes for trademark controversy

Mike Sinyard and Daniel Richter meet to discuss a controversial trademark run-in

Specialized Bicycle Components founder Mike Sinyard visited Cochrane, Alberta, bike shop owner Daniel Richter on Wednesday to discuss the controversial trademark case that saw the bike brand widely criticized this week.

“He came up here, had some breakfast, talked over the issue, and we came to, for all parties, a great conclusion of all this last couple days of excitement,” Richter said in a video posted to Café Roubaix’s Facebook page.

Richter stirred up a storm of online anger when he told the Calgary Herald last week that Specialized had served him a cease and desist notice over his use of the term “Roubaix” in his shop and custom wheel line. Pat Cunnane, CEO of Advanced Sports International, which owns the Roubaix trademark in the U.S. and licenses it to Specialized, told Bicycle Retailer this week that Specialized had overstepped in its maneuver. Specialized owns the trademark in Canada.

The Morgan Hill-based bike brand remained quiet over the row until Tuesday when it issued a brief statement. Sinyard apologized to Richter on Wednesday and informed him that Specialized would stand down in the dispute.

“I just want to say a big apology for this whole thing,” Sinyard said in the Café Roubaix video. “It got out of line and I completely take full responsibility for it. And most importantly, withdraw any claim and you can proceed as you like.”

Sinyard cited the counterfeit market and an aggressive outside legal team as contributing to his company’s actions, but said that he was fully responsible.