We all thought that the 'biggest' Specialized bike launch of the year was the Tarmac SL7, however last week the brand's own sponsored athletes hinted that there might be more to come. The promised new bike is yet to be revealed and legal documents hint that it may have been part of trademark battle over the name.
Last week, pro rider Danial Oss was pictured with a 'new bike' - sparking rumours that something else was on the way.
The only Specialized bike registered listed by the UCI that we don't already recognise is the 'Aethos', therefore, we can only speculate that this is the name of the potential new model.
A report on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website suggests that - if this is the new bike's name - it could be a sticking point.
It looks like the USPTO application was submitted in February 2020. However, the most recent status on the application notes: "A final Office action refusing registration has been sent (issued) because the applicant neither satisfied nor overcame all requ[irements]."
A linked report states concerns over possible confusion with the trademark 'Athos' - a US tyre manufacturer. This correspondence is listed as 'Notice of Final Refusal' and was registered on August 20.
The report states: "The applied-for mark is AETHOS for “Bicycle frames; Bicycles” in International Class 12. The registered mark is ATHOS for “Rims for vehicle wheels; tyres for vehicle wheels” in International Class 12."
Specialized's representatives have argued that the 'Ae' combination is not "uncommon in the English language", drawing on the likes of "aerospace, aerosol, aerobic, aesthetic." It also argues that the word is to be pronounced 'ethos.'
However, the report concluded: "For the forgoing reasons, the marks are confusingly similar." No further documents have been published. The documents say Specialized has the ability to appeal within a six-month response deadline.
Discussing the bike, Oss posted: "Man, the TDF is good, but, I can’t wait to break the rules a bit and #JustRide on my new machine after all the racing is done. I love that Specialized is all about the ride!", Sagan shared the story also.
The post implied that this might not be a race bike - though its geometry certainly looked to be that of an aggressive machine.
Cycling Weekly contacted Specialized for a comment, a representative said: "Specialized has an enormous pipeline of innovation. We are constantly optimising, testing and innovating with new and existing product to better meet the needs of our riders, and when it’s ready, we bring it to market in the most compelling way we can."
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Cycling Weekly's Digital Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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