Tenet Components Comments on Their Logo's Similarity to Christopher Nolan's Upcoming Film

Dec 20, 2019
by Sarah Moore  

Tenet Components' Tyler Deschaine is worried that people unfamiliar with the Bellingham, Washington based brand will think he ripped his logo from Christopher Nolan's upcoming film Tenet when they see the similarity between the two. The 2020 science fiction spy action thriller film is written and directed by Christopher Nolan and produced by Nolan and Emma Thomas. When the two logos are placed side by side, the similarities are apparent.

bigquotesNo, despite the striking similarities, we are not making a movie with Christopher Nolan. Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe Nolan was inspired by our branding; regardless the apparent negligence is frustrating to say the least. Thank you to all the people that have reached out in support of Tenet (the bike brand).Tyler Deschaine

Tyler Deschaine was a Product Manager at Diamondback before he started Tenet Components. He said he really wanted the name of his new company to be a palindrome. Initially, he thought he made the word "Tenet" up when he scratched it down on a piece of paper during a brainstorming session in 2017. When he found the definition, "a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a philosophy," he knew it was perfect for his company. He then designed the logo himself and trademarked the name within the bicycle industry ahead of the brand's launch in June of 2018.

He became aware that the upcoming film was using a similar logo in the fall of this year.

bigquotesThe Tenet Instagram was tagged in a random post about his new film. At the time there wasn’t a logo associated with the post and I wrote it off thinking to myself “Well this is going to be annoying." Then shortly after someone had swiped my logo from Google images and pasted it on a YouTube video describing the “secret trailer”. As a joke, I posted an Instagram story with it and that’s when someone messaged me an article that pretty much described my logo. It wasn’t until the official movie website went live that made my jaw drop.Tyler Deschaine

People were making connections between his brand and the film early on. He says it's frightening to him that people's first reaction when they see his logo is that he's stealing other industries and can’t think for himself and be creative on his own.

bigquotesMy biggest concern is that people who haven’t discovered my brand might come across it after having seen the movie and think that I stole the logo or was trying to ride Nolans coat tails. I’ve poured my heart and soul into growing this brand even the slightest bit, and to potentially have it decimated by a big budget film studio over apparent negligence is terrifying. As far as we know it could be a simple coincidence, but for us potentially quite damaging.Tyler Deschaine

He reached out to five different law firms about what his options were. While lawyers said he has legitimate concerns, in the trademark world, it's difficult to challenge Warner Brothers since his trademark is in bicycle industry only. They also said, while it's within his rights to post an Instagram story, it's not worth him going after the trademark with a multimillion-dollar company.

bigquotesWe were granted the trademark for “Tenet" in the bicycle world on October 9th, 2018. In trademark law, that only protects us from word use within our industry. I don’t have any issue with them using the word Tenet, there are thousands of trademarks for that word across dozens of industries. My issue is with the stylization, but that is neither here nor there. I’ve spoken with layers and despite the validity of my concerns, I’ve been advised not to pursue it. Even sending a letter could potentially open myself up to a preemptive lawsuit from Warner Brothers. These sorts of things can get dragged on for years and the legal fees can go well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’re a tiny component company that is taking baby steps to carve out a place for ourselves in the industry. We in no way want to get raked through the coals of litigation. That would end poorly for us. Also, we’ve got more important things to focus on, like developing new product and creating rad content.

I want to make it clear that I never thought of this scenario as a get rich quick scheme. At the end of the day I just want to avoid potential damages to my brands reputation and I suppose this article will help clear the air. Thank you Pinkbike for reaching out and giving the little guy a bigger voice. Now go see Tenet and think of us while the logo is spinning in front of your face.
Tyler Deschaine

Views: 2,053    Faves: 4    Comments: 0

Tenet Components first posted a video using the logo on Pinkbike in 2018.

The trailer for the upcoming film.

We have reached out to Warner Brothers for comment but have not had a response at the time of publication.

Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,197 articles

  • 65 13
 fuckin bullshit that his design got ripped off but even a letter to Warner Brothers could end in a lawsuit AGAINST HIM. It's pretty obvious the logo for the film was ripped from his design. Drowning your opponent in legal fees as a strategy is just such a shitty thing to do. I think I gotta buy some bike parts from Tyler now.
  • 24 1
 Would a bunch of pinkbikers comment spamming on Warner Bros instagram help or harm you Tyler?
  • 1 1
 See below comment.
  • 29 0
 @kookseverywhere: Please don't go down that road. We can only speculate what happened here. I truely dont have any ill feelings toward WB, we really just want the facts to be known.
  • 25 2
 Kind of sucks but if I had to bet I'd say there is a much better chance this was just a coincidence than it was WB ripping off some little know bike brand. A company like WB has all types of professional design teams and artists. I doubt they were scouring the internet looking for some small company to rip off the logo. At the end of the day this likely wont hurt the company one bit. The only people who are going to buy Tenet components are pretty hardcore mountain bikers, and that customer base isn't going to give a shit about the logo or whether it resembles that of a movie.
  • 7 0
 Copyright and patent law works against the little guy and in favor of the big guns? Color me surprised.
  • 19 0

Yeah, it's hard to know. I will say that as an illustrator/graphic designer before I start I always google a few things related to my project so that I know what's out there, and what to avoid. In this instance, if this was my gig I would have googled "tenet logo" and presumably Tyler's logo would have come up. At that point I personally would go "oh snap, can't do a sans font with a backward "E" and an upside-down "T", gonna have to fire up the creative juices and come up with something else."

Apparently, WB's designers didn't feel that way. With the sort of budget they have, that's pretty pathetic. Either the designers didn't do the most basic research, which is lame and means they should get in trouble, or they did, and decided to rip Tyler off. Either way, this is stupid.
  • 8 1
 I wouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions. If the film is coming out in 2020 it likely began development prior to 2018 when the component company seems to have appeared, so it's entirely possible the movie logo came first.
  • 8 1
 I've never heard of them until now... this may have actually been a good thing for Tenet...

regardless it's getting their name recognized and they're responding to all this very well.

You'll definitely increase your fan base through all this. Smart business people capitalize on "opportunities" which some would call "problems".. Again, good job Tenet..

Me being an artist and designer, I can confidently say this is not even speculation.. I know for a FACT WB design team found his logo during their research when trying to come up with a design. I would feel so lame copying another designer's design. It's one thing to get inspiration to move in a particular direction with a design, it's another to steal a design with minor tweaks... what does that say to the designer(s)/ team-? ..
  • 11 2
 @diggerandrider @bemorestoked There are a few things here. I have no idea how this actually went down but you guys are making a few leaps and assumptions. First is like someone pointed out above, the bike company was only launched about 18 months ago which I was assume would be the first time the logo would have started to appear on the internet. And even then who knows if it would even pop up on an internet search at that point. A large budget film like this was likely in development for long before that. We have no idea at what point that process that WB designed that logo. Without anyone is the genernal public knowing about it, WB may have had that logo in their yet to be release promo materials for years.

Second, the logo (both of them) are really pretty benign. Its just a the word with a couple letters flipped. This wasn't some crazy idea. Its not all that crazy to think that two people designing a logo for the same word just decided to do it.
  • 1 0
 User name checks out.
  • 3 0
 @sino428: Agreed, I can see that too. Thanks for pointing that out.
  • 4 2
 @diggerandrider: Yea I can see it going down either way. Very easily could be a huge coincidence and I can also see some designer from WB coming up with that logo, checking it out and seeing a similar logo belonging to a little know bike part maker and just saying f*ck it, who cares. We just shouldn't assume either without really know what happened.
  • 7 1

  • 6 16
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 20, 2019 at 14:56) (Below Threshold)
 @diggerandrider: what a load of bullshit - when a designer and an artist (how the fk did it even go through your mouth) asked to design a logo draw up at least 10 concepts and it doesn’t really take Andy Warhol to design a thing looking like that when given a name “tenet” to work with. If Tenet components tried to even mail WB about it and got into a few year long, thousands of lawyer money worth trial, they’d deserve it for behaving like arrogants, and being rather stupid for acting on what a few morons in Insta comments or this comment section claim to be “the case”. That’s some Alex Jones worthy stuff
  • 4 0
 @diggerandrider: The logos are certainly close, but googling TENET logo reveals a few other companies also using similar logos (sans serif font with flipped E) before Tenet components launched in 2018; looks like a video game and a vocal artist group. Because the word is a palindrome, I am actually surprised more of the many other TENET brands didn't flip the second E in their logos when they created them.
  • 4 0
 after watching the trailer. I doubt you would want to take action on them.
  • 3 0
 I've never heard of this component company until now.
  • 2 1
 @bemorestoked: Agree a quick search is prudent prior to starting design work. But unless you already knew to search for Tenent "bicycle components" your not finding that logo very easy. Not the designers fault they came up with the same idea. Happens all the time.

The blame goes up the chain on this one. And probably it's not that they didn't discover the coincidence at some point. But probably that they decided it wasn't relevant.

It is cool that the component manufacturer got ahead of this. For sure don't want people thinking they were the ones with the coincidence. But otherwise they should just enjoy the free advertising.

I never heard of them till this, so hopefully they will get some new customers out of it!
  • 2 0
 @ridetenet: Bonus! free advertising mate????
  • 2 0
 Reminds me of the whyte bikes/rich energy farce. I think whyte won in the end.
  • 2 2
 @vesania yup, 'not the most original logo' is an understatement. Bunch of bollocks this article. Lots of Tenets around, all with the same logo idea. Eg. tenet.nyc store.steampowered.com/app/523960/TENET
  • 2 3
 @littleskull99: except Whyte / Rich case was a different case. This is Tenet text flipped around a bit, not a graphic representation of deers head that has little to do with names Whyte and Rich Energy
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: ok, I only meant it as another example of people arguing over logos/branding.
  • 1 3
 @littleskull99: yup. This is a bit more Pole reaction. “We have nothing to do with it and we don’t care if they have anything to do, coincidences like that do happen, we are happy people are interested in our brand but please take it easy folks, Happy Holidays” should be the case
  • 1 0
 @diggerandrider: My thoughts exactly on the first 3 points........hashtag the heck out of it......might turn out to be a good thing.........
  • 41 2
 I'd never even heard of Tenet Components before reading this article.
  • 10 7
 I have. I hadn't heard of the upcoming film before reading this article. That said, I don't care about the film. I only care about bike components.
  • 4 0
 @seraph Me neither. Hadn't heard of the movie either until last night at the theater. Definitely looking up the bike company now though.
  • 2 0
 They offer a lifetime crash replacement on bars and stems. That's pretty attractive.
  • 4 0
 @chriskneeland: Free shipping available right now too. I think I'll order a couple items to show some support.
  • 6 0
 They are about to get some free publicity that the company could never get if they pay someone to do it.
  • 12 0
 As someone who's been to federal court over who owns what when it comes to images, artwork and computer aided design I can say so long as Tenet Components can prove that their logo was copywritten long before this movie he can't lose. In saying that the financial smashing the company will take during the process may be something they can't recover from. I had to sell my TV and PlayStation to make rent, take out a 20,000 dollar loan to keep paying rent and all my other bills and bassicaly live off pancakes while any money I could earn during the process went straight to my two different lawyers I needed. In the end I won but Holy fuck it was some seriouse hard times for a year and a half. Best of luck to Tenet and Tyler during this whole process and I really hope something can be done and worked on to find resolution without the need for actual time in court.
  • 1 0
 I think they can easily lose. Appears they have a trademark in the bike industry. It doesn't apply in other industries.
  • 8 1
 It seems unlikely people are going to confuse the movie with the bike company. Given the apparent premise of the movie, it seems plausible that the logo similarities are a complete coincidence, presumably both playing on the palindromic nature of the word and the symmetry of flipping the final 'et'.

Seems like a bit of ado about not much at all. The movie looks interesting and the bike company (whom I'd not heard of until this article) looks like they've got some interesting products and are certainly located in a rad area.
  • 3 1
 Absolutely right. As soon as I saw it was a palindrome, it's pretty easy to figure out that with those letters you could easily make it either a mirror image or the same upside down (or both). Co-incidence.
  • 1 0
 Yeah honestly: The movie looks dope, and the company seems dope. Who cares? Logo is kinda lame but it’s only one component of the brand anyhow. Take the free publicity. I doubt WB cares about some start up bike brand.
  • 5 0
 "It seems unlikely people are going to confuse the movie with the bike company."

I agree, but think Tyler is more concerned about backlash towards him and his company when people erroneously think that he's made some lame attempt to ride the coattails of the movie; he stated so in the article.
It's fair enough - it would be so painful to be accused of that when you've made such an effort to build and grow something of your own.

Handling it in a straight-forward manner on PB is about the best move he could make to avoid that, so good on him.
  • 8 1
 An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. and even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.
  • 5 1
 Aren't you a little concerned by reaching out to Warner Bros that youre doing what Tenet (the bike brand) didn't want to do? Didn't want to draw attention to it? Didn't want to incite lawsuit?
  • 4 1
 Yeah what the hell Pinkbike?!?! "Even sending a letter could potentially open myself up to a preemptive lawsuit from Warner Brothers."
  • 13 4
 @friendlyfoe: We just sent them an email asking about the creative process behind their logo.
  • 4 0
 @sarahmoore: One thing I'd like to see as some sort of journalistic ethic, in that when a company has been contacted and haven't replied, that the journalist puts the date/time of the contact. And in the following, I'm not having a go at you, I'm just posing a thought experiment: There's a big difference between contacting WB a week prior to publication and contacting them an hour before publication - in either scenario "We reached out to XXX Company but have not had a response at the time of publication." In my professional life I've been contacted by journalists an hour before publication on a topic that would take more than an hour to reseaerch, draft, and approve the answer. Again, no finger pointing.
  • 4 5
 @sarahmoore: and what did you think would be the outcome? You have graphic designers too, throw them a word tenet, let’s see what they can make of it... BTW can you also contact Dan Brown and Enve?
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Don't you mean 'edge'?
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I think any reporter or news site that does not reach out to the other side of a news piece is being negligent. Leave that clearly one sided and biased type of news reporting to Facebook and Breitbart.

Now if Tenet, the main source, didn't want to talk to Pinkbike or asked them to please not report on this story then that would make producing this news piece a dilemma since Pinkbike, it would seem, supports most small to large bike companies and wouldn't want to cause them any unforeseen legal problems, but it looks like Tenet/Tyler did participate in this article so this all seems legit.
  • 6 0
 Isn’t this the logo any first year design student could come up with when the word is symmetric like Tenet?
  • 5 0
 Use this as an opportunity! You’re bike company so good that one of the world’s biggest film studios stole from you!
  • 4 0
 So lame on Warner Brothers part... also Tyler is the man and the TENET carbon bars are amazing.
  • 2 0
 I had only heard of the movie last night when it was one of the trailers at Stars Wars. I only heard of Tenet components in this article today, but I gotta get me that pentagram mud guard
  • 2 0
 Ty just wants to defend his creative process! But the best way to address this is to support a badass small company. I know that Tenet has some innovative ideas for 2020, keep an eye out and support small companies.
  • 1 0
 WB sued (or threatened) Senate (a rollerblading component company) back in the 90's because their (senate's) logo was a green backwards superman "S" with a dollar sign through it. They were force to change their logo to something way lamer.

Good luck everyone!
  • 1 0
 Just had a look. That was an obvious rip-off by Senate,
  • 1 0
 Christopher Nolan directs and writes some of the greatest movies (Dunkirk, Inception, The Prestige, etc.) I've ever seen so if Tenet makes components nearly as good as Nolan's work than they probably have some great product.

Seriously though, after reading this article I will check them out and I otherwise may have missed them. This will probably garnish good publicity for the brand especially from folks that bike and know the story. It may get trolling and bad press from the non bike community and the type of people that hear the original version of a Lou Reed or Bob Dylan song that was covered by some huge pop band and think that Dylan is the one that ripped the song off.
  • 1 0
 Don’t think it was ripped off if your going to do a stylised version of tenet then the way both companies have done it seems the obvious way as it now reads the same not only back to front but upside down.

Putting it in a black circle I would say is where things have started to get to similar and until this article I’ve never heard of the film or company so I suggest both need to kick their PR people in the arse.
  • 1 0
 To help a fellow bike we should go on google search tenet bike components because the first thing that comes up is the movie and if he gets in a fight with these people the clicks will matter
  • 1 1
 @ridetenet Maybe see if u can work with them on a vid. Ur already gonna get mass hits on YouTube because of this. Maybe they'd be cool with a collab, then you'd really, really get some views (riders and movie goers). Might as well try to make the best of it. Free publicity for now tho
  • 1 0
 I would say, taht they both choosed the same word, and for Palyndromes the easiest way of making them look cool is turning the last letters up side down. Most Palyndrome logos look like this. Nothing new here
  • 1 1
 Not long ago I got a postcard in the mail from a local lawn mowing/landscaping company that went by “DVO Landscaping.” Their logo was absolutely, without a doubt, a perfect copy of DVO Suspension’s logo. I emailed them about it to let them know but I’m not sure what the outcome was if anything. Nowhere near the scale of a Christopher Nolan movie but it just sucks to have an idea stolen/copied without permission.
  • 4 0
 This is all wrong.
  • 2 0
 Hope everything resolved it self we NEED brands like tenet around! #ridetenet
  • 1 0
 Lame that it happened, but I hadn't heard of the brand before and now I have. Hopefully the positives from the publicity outweigh the negatives
  • 3 0
 Tyler need to be calling dem boys at Specialized.
  • 1 0
 Warner Bros came after Loic Bruni for having superman logo on his "super Bruni" helmet. Now they seem to have the same logo as Tenet
  • 1 0
 The story is not believable. Most likely the movie company created it first but did not trademark it right away and now appears to be the copycat.
  • 2 0
 Tyler, this is a win. Not everybody on pinhole has found out about tenet components
  • 1 0
 I wonder how Yeti bikes feels about Yeti coolers? Seems even more infuriating than this, since Yeti coolers appeals to mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.
  • 1 0
 well, pinkbike said they contacted warner bros for comment, cats out of the bag now.
  • 2 1
 Woah, are you saying that the legal system only serves to protect the interests of wealthy/powerful??
  • 1 1
 I will never see the movie until it's five bucks at Walmart. Wish there were some pics of bike parts to look at. WB stole your logo. Roll with it. Free exposure .
  • 1 0
 I'm just happy someone is making movies that aren't shitty Marvel/Star Wars/Harry Potter shlock
  • 1 0
 ‘‘Twas a few days before Christmas and pink bike staff were struggling to find things to write about.....
  • 1 0
 logo makes sense for the movie. Stoked to have some more dope components to choose from.
  • 3 2
 It shows some similarities, maybe
  • 3 2
 I had never heard of Christopher Nolan before reading this...
  • 1 0
 I saw the preview for the movie last night and knew I saw the logo before.
  • 1 0
 no backcountry jokes yet? or am i just too lazy to read all the comments?
  • 1 0
 TENTETively ripped off by big cooperate business.
  • 1 0
 Whyte bikes vs. Rich Energy, granted Rich Energy was no Warner Bros
  • 1 0
 Yeti Bikes, Yeti Cups......both doing well, ride each other......
  • 1 0
 Looks like a good movie. Keep quiet and use it as good exposure?
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Who is Tenet Components?
  • 1 2
 Who is Christopher Nolan?
  • 5 2
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 @rideordont: I AM. BRAPMAN.

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