A Black Bike, Inc., a small bike dealer in New York City, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Southern New York this week against a clothing company, Club Monaco, and a Dutch bicycle company, Koninklijke Gazelle. The suit is centered around an advertising campaign run by Club Monaco in the Spring of 2009, which featured what A Black Bike alleges is one of itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bicycles, without their permission.
Club Monaco, an affiliate of Ralph Lauren, partnered with Koninklijke Gazelle during the Spring to sell Gazelle bicycles in Club Monaco stores, joining the ranks of several fashion companies who joined forces with bike companies to promote the bikes in their advertising last year. However, in some Club MonacoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s promotional material for their Spring campaign, A Black Bike alleges that their bike was used instead of a Gazelle, confusing consumers.
A Black Bike and Koninklijke Gazelle are both retailers of the popular Dutch city bikes, and the only difference between the bikes appears to be the decal and logo placements.
Above are pictures of the two bicycles taken from each companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s respective website. A Black Bike’s design is on the left, and a Gazelle city bike, which was a partner in the advertising campaign, is on the right.
We were able to dig up one of the ads that ran in Club MonacoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign. Click more to see one of the ads in question.
The key discrepancy seems to be the logo on the head tube. The first imageÃ‚Â is via A Black BikeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s website. Note the distinctive A Black Bike headtube logo. The second image is a Club Monaco ad that features a bike which appears to have the A Black Bike headtube logo, but advertises the bike as a Royal Gazelle. The bike also appears to be lacking the decal detail on the Gazelle chainguard seen above. What do you think? Same bike?