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Judge dismisses Poison Spider Bicycles’ trademark suit

Published February 12, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (BRAIN) — A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a suit filed by Moab retailer Poison Spider Bicycles against a company that sells merchandise under the Poison Spyder Customs brand.

The bike shop had charged that Tap Manufacturing, the parent company of Poison Spyder Customs, was infringing on its trademarks.

Both trademarks are named after the Poison Spider Mesa Trail outside Moab, which is popular with mountain bikers and offroad vehicle enthusiasts. Tap, a manufacturer and distributor of off-road parts and accessories, sells Poison Spyder Customs merchandise online and through four retail locations. Under its previous ownership, Poison Spyder Customs had been selling branded merchandise since 2003.

Judge Clark Waddoups said the bike shop failed to show that the companies’ marks were so similar that they could cause confusion, or that Tap was selling its products with the intent to benefit from the bike shop’s reputation. He also noted that the businesses sell to distinct consumer groups with little overlap. He said Poison Spider’s fame was limited to a niche following in the cycling community, which is not enough to demonstrate “fame” for federal and state statutes regarding trademark dilution.

On Monday Waddoups issued an order granting Tap’s request for a summary judgment dismissing all counts. Store owner Scott Newton has previously declined to discuss the case with BRAIN. BRAIN has reached out to the store's attorney for comment.

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