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Specialized agrees to pay $700k for Roubaix trademark in the US; ASE bid deadline pushed back

Published January 11, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. (BRAIN) — Specialized Bicycle has agreed to pay bankrupt Advanced Sports Enterprises $700,000 for rights to the Roubaix bicycle trademark in the U.S.

ASE, which has been licensing the trademark to Specialized since 2003, has agreed to remove the trademark from the portfolio of assets that are set to be auctioned this month. ASE also agreed to withdraw a motion it had made with the bankruptcy court to cancel the licensing contract. Canceling the license and then auctioning the trademark would have jeopardized Specialized‘s use of the trademark on one of its best-selling bike lines.

A bankruptcy judge this week agreed to schedule a hearing for Jan. 22 where he will consider whether the asset purchase agreement between ASE and Specialized should be accepted. A sales hearing is already scheduled for that day regarding other assets that are being sold this month.

Under the tentative agreement, the trademark will not be subject to competing bids. The official committee of ASE's unsecured creditors supports the sale; Wells Fargo, an ASE creditor that holds the Roubaix trademark as collateral, also supports it.

While detail paperwork is still being drawn up, Specialized has agreed to assume the trademark and any related rights and obligations. That includes the assumption of an agreement that ASE's Advanced Sports Inc. (ASI) division made with Daniel Richter, the owner of Café Roubaix in Calgary, Alberta. In 2013 Specialized had threatened to sue Richter for use of the Roubaix mark for his business. Specialized, ASI and Richter later announced they had agreed to settle the issue. 

ASI has had a Fuji Roubaix road bike model in its lineup since 1992. Although Specialized has registered the trademark in many countries, in the U.S. it has licensed it from ASI.

On Friday, the court also agreed to reschedule the deadline for bids for other ASE assets. The bid deadline, originally Friday, is now Monday, Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. If competing bids arise, an auction will be held Jan. 16 at 10 a.m., a day later than originally scheduled.

A sales hearing to consider asset purchase agreements remains scheduled for Jan. 22.

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