Wisconsin-based bicycle giant Trek has settled a lawsuit today with the estate of Chris Farley, who sued the bike company last year over a line of performance fat bikes that shared a name with the iconic comedian. A fat bike is essentially a mountain bike with even bigger tires, which make it easy to get gnarly on any sort of terrain. Here, check out this dude shredding it on a Farley.
According to the complaint, Trek knowingly used Farley branding without the consent of the Farley estate as a deliberate attempt to have people associate their bikes with Chris Farley, which likely helped them sell the world’s number-one fat bike. Apparently, Trek never contacted them about using Farley’s name and never got their approval, despite later saying publicly that Chris Farley had inspired the name. Farley’s estate claimed that Trek CEO John Burke is friendly with the Farley family, and even belongs to the same country club as several Farleys.
The crux of their case is that Trek chose Farley’s name because he was a tremendously famous “fat guy” and they wanted people to associate their bikes with Farley’s success and willingness to go into “comic territories others would not seek to traverse.” The estate claims that a 2013 recall of Farley bikes damaged the value of the Chris Farley IP, and is therefore a violation of California state law.
The Farley estate initially asked for $10 million, and while terms of the settlement were not disclosed, a Trek spokesperson confirmed that they will continue making Farley bikes. You can find the complaint below.