26th dec, 2010

Spinning – a tale too bad to be true

A few days ago I read a story in a Danish newspaper which sounded incredible to me. All Danish gyms were prohibited from using the word “spinning” when describing the activity….well: spinning (riding a bike to techno music indoors). The article described how American company Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc. has the rights to use the name and has begun enforcing its trademark. I looked up the trademark and true enough in Denmark the wordmark “spinning” is registered to the mad dogs (VA 1992 07578). The mark was registered in 1992 when spinning was novel and not arrived in Denmark. So the trademark is valid. 

I have some concerns however about dilution. For many years spinning has been used for the concept as a whole and without Mad Dog enforcing it in any way, which could lead to dilution. But the fitness business is living on a slim economical edge which has led the gyms to accepting Mad Dogs claim instead of trying for dilution in court. So now spinning is “body bike” or “indoor cycling”. This was one seemingly incredible IP story that turned out credible 

UPDATE: In todays Politiken 3 trademark experts support my claim about dillution. One of them is quoted saying that having accepted not using “Spinning” as a name for…spinning, the gyms may have harmed their own cause in court.


Actually one small Czech gym Aerospinning (having just 6 indoor bikes) got recently under the fire of Mad Dogg Athletics and guess what – they are challenging them at the court in both Allicante and Prague… You can see that in OHIM the word trademark is marked as disputed…

I would give you their Facebook page of theirs but it was banned by Facebook on MDA request so only this: http://gofitness.cz – those are the teeny tiny heroes. I guess that they need much of the support when fighting those reckless US businessmen…

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