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Conte’s Settles Lawsuit Out of Court

Published August 6, 2009

NORFOLK, VA (BRAIN)—A trademark infringement lawsuit between Conte’s Bike Shop and P&K Ventures, Inc., the operator of eight Conte’s franchises, has settled out of court.

The case was dismissed on July 28, the same day a bench trial was scheduled to resolve the matter. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but Scott McAhren, owner of two Conte’s franchises in Arlington, Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland said the franchise program would continue.

David Conte, who owns Conte’s Bike Shop with his brother Charles Jr., said he could not comment on the case due to a strict confidentiality agreement. P&K Ventures did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The case revolved around two trademarks—“Conte’s USA” and “Conte’s Bicycle and Fitness Equipment.”

The Contes alleged that Penny Jo Pagona, president of P&K, registered the trademarks without proper authorization, and was using the Conte name “to falsely suggest that it is the same business as Conte’s Bike Shop” and to benefit from the goodwill generated by the Contes, whose family has been in the industry since 1957.

In documents filed in district court, Pagona argued that the use of the trademarks was at all times with the full knowledge and approval of the Contes, and for the mutual financial benefit of the both parties.

The Contes were asking for a judgment that would, in part, require Pagona’s franchisees to stop using all ads, labels, signs and any other material that use the “Conte’s Bicycles and Fitness Equipment” or the “Conte’s USA” mark.

For more details on the lawsuit, be sure to read the September issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

—Nicole Formosa

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