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Trek Bikes' lawsuit vs. cyclist Greg Lemond

Trek Bikes' lawsuit vs. cyclist Greg Lemond

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Published by FindLaw
Bicycle maker Trek sued three time Tour de France winner and former World Champion cyclist Greg Lemond in an attempt to sever their business relationship, allegedly because of Lemond's outspoken comments against steroids and doping
Bicycle maker Trek sued three time Tour de France winner and former World Champion cyclist Greg Lemond in an attempt to sever their business relationship, allegedly because of Lemond's outspoken comments against steroids and doping

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Published by: FindLaw on Apr 09, 2008
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09/27/2012

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTWESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSINTREK BICYCLE CORPORATION,Plaintiff,v. Case No. 08-CV-198LEMOND CYCLING, INC.Defendant.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Trek Bicycle Corporation, by its attorneys Gass Weber Mullins LLC, byRalph A. Weber and Christopher P. Dombrowicki, alleges as follows for its Complaintagainst Defendant LeMond Cycling, Inc:
Parties
1. Plaintiff Trek Bicycle Corporation (“Trek”) is a Wisconsin corporation withits principal place of business located at 801 West Madison Street, Waterloo, Wisconsin,53594.2. Defendant LeMond Cycling, Inc. (“LeMond Cycling”) is a Minnesotacorporation with its principal place of business located in Wayzata, Minnesota.
Jurisdiction And Venue
3. This court has jurisdiction of this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 due todiversity of citizenship between Trek as plaintiff and LeMond Cycling as defendant, andbecause the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs.
 
 24. Venue is proper in this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391, as a substantialpart of the events or omissions giving rise to the claims occurred in this judicial district,LeMond Cycling is subject to personal jurisdiction in this judicial district and Wisconsinlaw applies to this dispute.
Factual Background
5. Trek has built a reputation for excellent bicycles. Trek’s trademarks havebecome synonymous with industry-leading quality and innovation, and the goodwillassociated with its trademarks has substantial value to Trek’s business. Based on thestrength of its trademarks, Trek markets its products to a diverse group of consumersincluding amateur and professional bicycle racers, cycling enthusiasts, health and fitnessenthusiasts, recreational cyclists and families.6. Greg LeMond, a former world class cyclist and three-time winner of theTour de France, formed LeMond Cycling for the purpose of developing and licensing thevarious trademarks associated with his name (“LeMond trademarks”).7. On June 29, 1995, Trek and LeMond Cycling entered a SublicenseAgreement whereby LeMond Cycling, as licensor, granted Trek an exclusive license to sellcycling products bearing the LeMond trademarks. A copy of the Sublicense Agreement isattached to this Complaint as Exhibit 1.8. Greg LeMond elected to sublicense his brand to Trek after his other effortsto build and sell bicycles met with limited success.9. Given the circumstances, Trek took on significant risk and expense inentering into the 1995 agreement. For example, since 1995 Trek has paid LeMond morethan $5 million, and has invested millions more to design, manufacture and market
 
 3LeMond-branded bicycles. Accordingly, it expected LeMond to cooperate fully with Trek and its dealers so as to promote, not damage, the LeMond brand.10. On August 10, 1999, Trek and LeMond Cycling entered a First Amendmentto the Sublicense Agreement which, among other things, increased the minimum royaltyTrek was required to pay LeMond Cycling for use of the trademarks to $350,000 percontract year, extended the term of the agreement to September 30, 2010, and granted Trek two five-year options to renew the agreement until 2020. A copy of the First Amendmentto the Sublicense Agreement is attached to this Complaint as Exhibit 2.11. Pursuant to paragraph 16.03 of the Sublicense Agreement, titled “CertainConditions,” LeMond Cycling is required to “cause [Greg LeMond] to render his serviceshereunder in a professional and conscientious manner.” Pursuant to paragraph 2.02, GregLeMond’s services include “promotion” of the LeMond bicycles and bicycle frames.12. Pursuant to paragraph 2.01 of the Sublicense Agreement, LeMond Cyclinggranted to Trek “the exclusive right and license (without the right to assign the same orgrant sublicense thereunder), to use the Mark in the Territory during the Contract Period inconnection with the manufacture, advertisement, promotion, sale and distribution of”LeMond bicycles and bicycle frames. The First Amendment to the Sublicense Agreementretained the language regarding Trek’s exclusive right to sell and distribute LeMondBicycles in the Territory in the Contract Period.13. Contrary to the contract promises and Trek’s reasonable expectations, GregLeMond has repeatedly damaged his brand, and Trek’s other business interests. Instead of helping to grow a valuable business, Greg LeMond has for years impaired, and nowdestroyed, 13 years’ efforts by Trek and its dealers.

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