Updated June 7: Trek says the family of the late Saturday Night Live star Chris Farley has settled a lawsuit against the Wisconsin-based bike maker for naming its fat bikes Farley. Trek’s Eric Bjorling told The Associated Press the settlement was reached Wednesday. Terms are confidential, but Bjorling added that Trek will be allowed to continue making Farley bikes. You can read more about the original lawsuit below.
Original Post: The battle between Trek and the family of late comedian Chris Farley is heating up — and it is definitely not a laughing matter.
According to an Associate Press report, the family has filed a federal lawsuit against the Wisconsin-based bike maker, claiming its fat bike named the Farley “misappropriated Farley’s name and traded on his ‘fat guy’ brand of comedy.”
The former Saturday Night Live star and movie actor grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, just a half hour from Trek’s world headquarters in Waterloo.
The lawsuit was originally filed in California in 2017, but a judge recently ordered that the case to instead be heard in a federal court in Madison because it’s closer to all involved parties.
The AP report also revealed that the Make Him Smile company, which was founded and is run by Farley’s family to protect his publicity and property rights, claims damages may exceed $10 million.
Farley weighed about 400 pounds, the lawsuit states, having “spent his entire career building, then capitalizing on, his unique brand of ‘fat guy’ humor and acting style.” And he “carefully guarded and policed his brand, rejecting overtures from companies he felt did not warrant it, and even feared that losing weight would jeopardize his brand as a comedian.”
The lawsuit further alleges that Trek chose the name Farley “to immediately associate defendant Trek’s fat bikes with one of their favorite ‘fat’ and ‘loud’ comedians,” and the company’s executives knew what they were doing when they made the decision.
Of course, Mtbr can’t speak to any of this. But we have ridden the bike and were highly impressed. You can read the full review here.