Specialized is again being hammered on social media. The company’s Facebook page is full of claims that the company is guilty of "bullying". In December 2013, Mike Sinyard, the company president and founder, had to apologise after a Canadian shop was "hounded" to change its name from Cafe Roubaix. Roubaix is one of the brand names used by Specialized (and is a town in northern France). Now Specialized is being taken to task for sending a cease and desist letter to Neilpryde for using the name Alize for one of their bikes. Specialized has a bike called Allez.
A statement from Neilpryde didn’t mention Specialized but said "Effective immediately we are retiring our ALIZE bike name and replacing it with NAZARÉ. This is just a name change – your beloved bike will remain exactly the same. This change comes at the behest of a well known bike company. According to their lawyers the ALIZE name was too close to one of their trademarked bike names and, as such, we need to stop using it."
The company added: "We didn’t really see it the same way. Both the spelling and meaning are completely different. All our names come from winds (or other water sports references) which is in our heritage. ALIZE is a north-easterly wind found in central Africa and the Caribbean. Any similarity with the name in question, however questionable, was purely coincidental.
"In the end, after months of arguing with lawyers, we were forced to change the name to avoid a protracted and potentially costly legal battle. We prefer to focus on designing great bikes than communicating with lawyers."