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Ski company trademarks words “snowboard”, “snowboarding”, “snowboarder” (April Fools!)

Apr 1, 2014

Author: Scott Birke

In a landmark decision affecting the entire snowboard™ world, Ski International Inc. now owns the rights to the words, “snowboard™”, “snowboarding™”, and “snowboarder™.” Effective immediately, the verdict grants the company a license fee every time the word is used. The company was granted the rights to “planche à neige” in 2001.

The words “Ski”, “skier” and “skiing” are older than 100 years and deemed public domain. 

Jacques Lemerde, Ski International Inc.’s CEO, couldn’t be happier with the verdict.

“Not only will these trademarks be excellent for our shareholders, but it shows that with enough money you can own anything,” Lemerde said from his La Hague, France, office. “And those in violation will now be swiftly contacted by our team of lawyers.” 

This isn't the first time that snowboarding has been co-opted by skiers. The Fédération International du Ski (F.I.S.), won the right to be the governing body of snowboarding prior to its first appearance at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Their bid beat out that of the rider-run International Snowboard Federation, which caused an uproar in the worldwide riding community. As a result, the number one pipe contender, Norway’s Terje Haakonsen, boycotted the Games.

Ken Achenbach, snowboard legend and owner of both Camp of Champions and the Snoboard Shop (the first exclusive snowboard™ shop in the world), wasn’t pleased with the news.

“This is the thanks we get for saving their sport?,” he said from his home in Whistler, B.C. “We should charge them for sidecut and rocker,” he added, referring the many technological advances made by snowboarders™, which are now widely employed by the ski industry, with little or no attribution.

Jake Burton was not available for comment, but the word is starting to get out to the rest of the snowboard™ world.

For media, such as Snowboard™ Canada Magazine, and Snowboard™Canada.com this may mean changing the names of its media properties to SKIBOARD CANADA MAGAZINE and SKIBOARDCANADA to avoid paying the license fees.

Happy April Fools, kids...


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