You are here

Trek and Make Him Smile agree to settle Farley trademark suit

Published June 6, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (BRAIN) — Trek Bicycle Corporation and Make Him Smile, Inc. have agreed to settle their lawsuit over Trek's use of the name Farley for one of its fat bike models. 

Make Him Smile filed suit against Trek in a Los Angeles court last September, saying that it owned rights to the late actor Chris Farley's intellectual property and that Trek had capitalized on the trademark without permission. Make Him Smile's president is Kevin Farley, Chris Farley's brother. 

BRAIN emailed Trek's spokesman and Make Him Smile's law firm Wednesday afternoon but has not received a response. Bjorling told the Wisconsin State Journal that terms of the settlement were confidential and that Trek planned to continue marketing Farley-branded bikes. 

Chris Farley died in 1997. The lawsuit had noted that Trek Bicycle Corp. CEO John Burke lives in the same Wisconsin community — the Village of Maple Bluff, adjacent to Madison — where Farley was born. The suit claimed the Farley and Burke families socialized and attended the same country club.

The suit also alleged that a 2013 recall of Farley bikes damaged and devalued the Farley name.

At the time it was filed, a Trek spokesman called the suit "groundless," and said the company was surprised by the suit because the company was in discussions with the Farley family to resolves their concerns.

"Trek has never used Chris Farley’s likeness, image or endorsement in connection to its Farley line of bikes," Trek's Eric Bjorling said at the time.

Just last week, the case was moved from Los Angeles to the Western District of Wisconsin Court. Trek's attorney notified that Wisconsin court of a settlement agreement on Wednesday. The case transfer happened so recently that Make Him Smile's attorneys had not yet been admitted to the Wisconsin court. Trek's attorney asked the Wisconsin court to grant Make Him Smile's attorneys standing to sign to settlement agreement so the case can be dismissed.

Related articles:


Join the Conversation