Tundra TT vs Surge Sports, Inc.

In January, EACC was contacted by Surge Sports, Inc. (in Georgia) regarding our use of the name “Tundra Time Trial” in our February time trial event. They too host a time trial by the same name, and coincidently on the same date. They demanded that EACC cease using the name as they believed it infringed on their event. While we have tried to work cooperatively with Surge Sports on this matter we are unsure what will become of our Tundra Time Trial. Below is our correspondence:

Date:January 27th, 2014


Dear Ms. Lakwete and Mr. Hogan,

It has come to our notice that your business has been making unauthorized use of the following name: Tundra Time Trial (the "Event Name") in association with the marketing or sale of your products & services. We believe it is possible that you are not unaware of this conflict, and we feel it is in our mutual interest to bring this matter to your attention.

The said Event Name has been used by our organization for 12 years in promotion of our cycling event in Georgia. This event occurs in a similar geographic region as yours. We have customers coming from all over the southeastern United States including your area. Your usage of the Event Name confuses the cycling community and diminishes the product and brand that we have built over the past 12 years.

As such, we believe you have willfully infringed our rights and could be liable for statutory damages.

To resolve this matter amicably, we demand that within the next 5 (five) business days of the date of this letter you voluntarily cease and desist from the use of the Event Name, and any combination of the same, in any and all products or services. If you fail to cease using the Event Name within such time, we will take appropriate steps to enforce our rights.

Very truly yours,

Jim Burt & Sid Carter

Surge Sports, Inc. 

Date: January 29th, 2014

To: Surge Sports, Inc.

Mr. Burt & Carter,

We received your email requesting a cease and desist in the use of the event name "Tundra Time Trial".  From the tone and content of your email we think you may have miss-interpreted the nature of our group and this event.  We would welcome an opportunity to talk with you about our group and event, answer any questions you may have, and resolve any concerns that remain.  If agreeable we'd like to invite you to lunch so that we may sit down together and talk about this.

But to provide you with background on the club and the event, its worth being aware that the East Alabama Cycling Club (EACC) is not a business or in any form a for-profit venture.  It is simply a local community of individuals encouraging the sport of cycling in the Auburn-Opelika, Alabama, area.  We are not for profit, nor are we marketing, or intending to market, a product or service to the mass public in this event.  The EACC's Tundra Time Trial is a member's only event, not open to the general public.  Our advertising is directed to our members or those who have chosen specifically to associate with the club.  As such we do not see it as an event in conflict with your organization, your mission, or in conflict to the at-large cycling community.  This year's event includes cashes prizes to members as a means of zeroing our club's bank account, returning club funds to it members and insuring our status as a non-profiting club.  Again, as a members only event, we do not see this as a conflict to public and/or licensed events.

When the EACC first began hosting the Tundra Time Trial 4 years ago we were not aware of your organization nor your particular event.  EACC chose this name as a tongue in cheek response to the weather and season.  We were aware that there are/were many other organizations and clubs using the same name across the US.  It was only later that we learned of an event in Georgia under the same name.  We believe your concern that EACC willfully used this name in a manner to confuse the cycling community is unfounded.  The name is logically derived as evidenced by the many other equally named events this time of year.  And as run by the club, is meant to target our members.

As mentioned we would welcome the opportunity to talk about our mission and objectives if you feel there is some real conflict here.

Mike Hogan, Angela Lakwete, Christopher Graff

Date: February 2nd, 2014


Mr. Christopher Graff, Mr. Mike Hogan & Dr. Angela Lakwete:

Thank-you for your email of January 29, 2014.  We have taken into account your claims that East Alabama Cycling Club is not a for profit organization; that your event is a members only event; that your event is not open to the general public; and that your advertising is only directed to your members and those who have chosen specifically to associate with your organization.  However, even if those claims were completely correct (and there is evidence that they are not), the name of your event is being confused in the mind of the public with our event, which has a superior right to use the name.  As a consequence, we demand that you cease referring to your event as the “Tundra Time Trial” or any substantially equivalent name in the future.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, because we understand that yours is a small organization which has probably already invested substantial resources into the promotion of this year’s event, we are willing to allow you to use the name Tundra Time Trial in connection with your February 15 event this year only; provided that you agree to the following conditions.

1. In all future years you will brand and promote your event with a different name and will not use the name Tundra Time Trial or any similar name, such as Tundra TT; and

2. In all of your promotional materials and communications distributed in the future regarding your event this year, you will include conspicuous language indicating that your event should not be confused with the Tundra Time Trial promoted by Surge Sports which is be held in Atlanta, Georgia on the same day (February 15, 2014).

Assuming that you find the foregoing conditions acceptable, we would also suggest that we coordinate the dates of our events in the future so that they do not overlap.  We suspect that there are riders in your area who would like to participate in our event and riders in our area who would like to participate in your event.  By coordinating, so that the dates of our events do not overlap, we will be making more competitors available for both of our events.

If you find the conditions above are acceptable, please indicate your acceptance by a reply email within 48 hours after the date and time of this email.  We believe that our proposal is reasonable and will beneficial for both of our organizations.  In addition, after we have reached agreement we would enjoy getting together to discuss our mutual interests in the great sport of cycling.  Should we not hear from you within 48 hours after the date and time of this email, we will be forced to take whatever steps we deem appropriate to protect our rights.


Jim Burt & Sid Carter

Date: February 4th, 2014

To: Surge Sports, Inc.

Hi Jim:

I’m responding for the executive committee who has not yet been able to meet to consider your stipulations. Chris Graff, our treasurer and time trial coordinator, had a baby last Tuesday after which his family has been and is being beset by viruses his three year-old brings home from day care. Mike, our president just got back from the Atlanta VA hospital this afternoon.  I’m in the middle of three concurrent job searches in my department at Auburn University.  To say we’ve been preoccupied is an understatement.

Nevertheless, we have read your email and we thank you for considering our perspective on this unfortunate overlap. Individually we have opinions but we need to find time to meet together to discuss the issue.

I do most of the emailing and I have already posted on Twitter and Facebook that our Auburn, Alabama time trial (which is insured by L.A.B. which requires that only club members or guests ride the event) should not be confused with your Calhoun, Georgia, USAC Sanctioned event.

Again, we appreciate your consideration and hope that you appreciate our need for more time to discuss the issue. Thank you again.

Angela Lakwete for Chris Graff and Mike Hogan

EACC Executive Committee


Date: February 12th, 2014


Dr. Lakwete,

Thank you for your response. We understand your busy schedules. Similar to you, we have full time employment and other responsibilities that we have to balance with our event promoting company.

My associate did observe that you had updated your Facebook page to indicate that your event was to not be confused with our event in Calhoun, GA. However, when I went to your Facebook page yesterday evening, I saw a reference to your event but did not observer a reference to our event to help insure that the public is not confused by the unauthorized usage of the Tundra Time Trial (sm) name.

Also, I review your website and it indicates that your event is open to all participants with no reference to our event.  /tundratt/

We understand your need for additional time. We believe we have provided ample additional time for you and your team to review our recommendation. We would like to be able to put this behind us as we go into the event this weekend. In order for all parties to be able to move forward, we require a response to our email dated 2/2/2014 by this Friday, 2/14/14.


Jim Burt and Sid Carter

Date: February 12th, 2014

To: Surge Sports, Inc.

This is what I sent to my list and posted on twitter and facebook. You’ll find it on Druid City Bike Club site and others.  Perhaps you could tell your racers that the Georgia race is in Georgia and not in Alabama.  Angela.

Tundra Time Trial 15 Feb 2014: 12 noon @ Wire Rd & Macon CR 54, Auburn AL



Entry Fee: $10; $400 Prize List.

Categories: All categories pay out to 3 places: 1st $50, 2nd $30, 3d $20

Men – 29 and under; 30 and over; Women – Ages combined.

Merckx – Men & Women – Ages Combined – Standard road bike: no aero wheels, bars, or helmets.

eacc reserves the right to combine categories.

Directions: Take Wire Road to Macon CR 54. Look for the eacc popup at the vacant store on the left.

 Ride goes rain or shine.

For more information: www.eastalabamacyclingclub.com/tundratt/

Or call Mike: 334 332 3440; mk1hgn@yahoo.com