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Trademark board clears the way for ABC to register the Cook Bros. Racing trademark

Published June 25, 2021

ANAHEIM, Calif. (BRAIN) — A Patent and Trademark Office board has cleared the way for American BMX Company to register the dead trademark for "Cook Bros. Racing," the pioneering BMX and mountain bike brand. The trademark's previous owner had objected to ABC's move to take ownership of the Old School brand.

 J.B. Witmer Company, Inc. last registered the mark in 1991; in 1998 the USPTO declared the trademark dead.

ABC, which also owns the Race Inc. BMX brand, announced last December that it had received preliminary approval to register the trademark and said it planned to revive the brand with a line of components (which it has since done). 

Three weeks after ABC's announcement and the BRAIN article, Jack Witmer contacted BRAIN, asking us to remove our article about Race Inc.'s announcement. 

"Not only has this fellow attempted to take my trademark from me (I am currently taking legal action against him in the USPTO) but has also used intellectual property owned by me in his press release to promote himself on your site, and in your publication," Witmer emailed BRAIN, with his lawyer cc'd. 

Neither Witmer nor his lawyer responded to BRAIN's email reply with more questions about the situation and BRAIN did not remove the article. BRAIN reached out to Witmer on Thursday and has received no response.

On Jan. 22, J.B. Witmer Company, Inc. registered an opposition to ABC's registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trial and Appeal Board. The opposition filing said Gary Cook, one of the founding brothers, had assigned the trademark to Jack Witmer in 1984 and that Witmer had continuously used the trademark on products since then. 

On Jan. 29 Witmer's lawyer informed the board that he was leaving the case; in February the board granted Witmer a 30-day extension to file needed information including the identity of a new attorney. When it did not receive that information, the board dismissed the opposition case on June 11, opening the door for ABC to register the mark.

ABC's owner, Marc Cote, said, "We are happy this is behind us so we can move on with our plans to develop and sell a full line of Cook Bros. Racing products. We are really excited about the products we’ve already developed and what is to come.” 

ABC is already selling Cook Bros. Racing headsets, top caps and chainring bolts. Hubs, handlebars and stems are in development. 

Michael Gamstetter, Race Inc.'s brand manager, said, “ABC has a deep respect for the people who made the parts and created the BMX brands of the past, including Cook Bros. Racing. We have reached out to the surviving members of the Cook family and have their support and blessings."

Gamstetter is a former editor of BRAIN.

Gary Cook died in 2013. According to Gamstetter, Craig Cook, the other founding brother, turned his attentions to his golf product company and is now semi-retired. 

"He spends his days building an experimental airplane, a project he has been working on for more than two decades, and riding his bike," Gamstetter said.

ABC's revised Cook Bros product lineup.

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