'Tenet' The Film Updates Logo After Tenet Components' Voices Concerns

May 28, 2020
by Sarah Moore  
The Tenet Components logo, which Tyler Deschaine was granted the trademark for in the bicycle world on October 9th, 2018.


Last December, we wrote an article about Tenet Components' comments on Instagram about the similarities between their logo and the logo for the upcoming Christopher Nolan film 'Tenet'. Our article prompted Warner Brothers and Christopher Nolan to reach out directly to Tenet Components' Tyler Deschaine with this letter.

bigquotesDear Tyler,

Warners just showed me the logo for your company, so I wanted to reach out directly and reassure you that our logo was arrived at without reference to yours. I know this because I designed ours myself, evolving it over the last six years, driven by a fascination with the symmetries of a word which is central to my story and its themes. I thought I’d done something unique - but clearly you were driven by the same creative impulse. I guess lightning can strike twice, and obviously I understand that you would not want anyone thinking that you had been inspired by our movie’s title treatment - feel free to quote me in shooting such misunderstandings down. I love our logo so I hope you won’t feel this is necessary, but if you like, I can stop using it since it seems you went public with yours first.

Yours respectfully.
Chris Nolan

Deschaine responded to Nolan with a request that he use a different font or stylization to make the movie logo more distinct from the Bellingham bike brand's logo.


bigquotesDear Chris,

I apologize for my delay in responding. It came at a very busy time as you can imagine with the holidays and all. This time gave me a moment to reflect on everything that has transpired. First of all, thank you for sending that kind letter. It truly means a lot that you would take the time to address my concerns personally, and I hope that we can reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Since founding my company, I have invested significant time, financial resources, and creative energy in developing the Tenet brand to ensure my company’s growth and success. Due to the similarity of our logos, I am concerned that customers will mistakenly think that my products are related to the film or that I copied the logo even though I independently conceived it before the movie was announced. My biggest hurdle is that I cannot be present for every first impression with my brand, and I have already had experiences with people thinking that my brand is associated with the movie. It’s clear that you’re equally as passionate about your life’s work so I trust that you will understand my position.

I have a couple proposed solutions that would hopefully allow both of us to use the logo while mitigating the risk of confusion. First, in your email, you mentioned that you would be willing to stop using the logo since my use went public first. Rather than stop using your logo altogether, for future uses, would you be willing to simply use a different font or stylization that would make your logo more distinct from mine? Second, a short press release from you and Warner Bros. stating that the film and my brand are unrelated and that my use of the Tenet logo is independent from and preceded the announcement for the movie would help minimize customer confusion. The press release could be posted on our respective websites, and I would also send it to publications in the biking industry. I would be happy to put together a first draft for your review.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response. I am a longtime fan of your work and have a strong degree of respect for your creativity. I wish you the greatest success with this film, and hope our paths may cross one day.

All the best, 

Tyler


The logo that was launched with the first 'Tenet' trailer in December 2019 is on the top. The logo in the latest 'Tenet' trailer is below.


While Deschaine said that he can't discuss the specifics of what happened after that, you'll see that the logo in the latest trailer has been modified. The second 'E' is no longer flipped and the second 'T' is no longer upsidedown. Film websites such as Bleeding Cool, Slash Film, and Entertainment.ie shared the news of the logo being changed this week and if you peruse the new comments on Tenet Components' December Instagram post, not all fans were happy about the changes.


See new logo at end.

See initial Tenet logo at 1:50

Deschaine has a statement that now lives on his website because he wanted to place all the information out there for everyone to see. "It’s not every day you receive a letter from arguably the world's most popular filmmaker and sharing that was important to show the validity of our pre-existence to the film," he said. "At first, this lived on the site without our reply, and when the new trailer dropped last week sporting a new logo we got bombarded by Nolan fans voicing how upset they were with this change. So I felt it was important to post our reply to Nolan as well as a statement enforcing our reasoning. This way people would hopefully understand our side and see that we were reasonable in our ask."

Deschaine said that he never expected Christopher Nolan to reach out to him after he posted his initial story on Instagram. "I thought this would have started and ended with our Instagram post. When the company phone rang and it read Warner Brothers, I had a major fight or flight reaction. I almost didn’t answer fearing for the worst. But I suppose one should never underestimate the power of social media."

We asked him whether he's happy with the outcome.

bigquotesMore or less, yes. The change in their logo has brought on a whole mess of other issues that I could have probably predicted. But given the circumstances, it’s honestly the best outcome for our brand. We get a lot of people saying “Wow, missed cross-promotion opportunity” and things of that nature, but let's be honest, 99% of the people going to see Tenet are not in the market for high-end mountain bike components. I had to get in front of what could have been a decade of misconception. I know there are people out there that feel differently though.Tyler Deschaine

As you can see in our recent Pond Beaver coverage where we looked at Tenet Components' new Occult flat pedals, Dechaine's concerns that people will think he's ripped off the movie's name and logo are valid. He said it's very frustrating to constantly have people thinking that.

bigquotesI grew up riding BMX bikes and idolizing iconic brands like Terrible One and S&M. It is very important to me that our brand feels authentic and original. The last thing I want to do is constantly defend our brands design elements for the next who knows how many years. The first time we had a product drop since the film was announced, our fears were realized. People made comments that we had plagiarized the Tenet movie and there is no way in hell to know how far that can go. Sure, it's one thing to be able to see it out in the open and inform that person— but how many others out there form the same idea without the opportunity to correct it?Tyler Deschaine

That being said, Deschaine said he has no hard feelings towards Christopher Nolan and he is planning to watch Tenet when it comes out this July.

bigquotesI truly believe him when he said he arrived at his logo without reference to ours. It was an unfortunate coincidence, but he made an honest effort to make things right and I am very grateful for that. This could have gone a thousand different ways that may have ended poorly for us, but it didn’t and I thankful for that.Tyler Deschaine

When asked whether he believes the "any publicity is good publicity" proverb and if he thinks he did the right thing.

bigquotesBoy that’s a tough question. Everyone always says that right? Sure, this has definitely brought my brand attention and driven traffic to the site. But it’s also placed us dead center of the crosshairs for hatred from the die-hard Nolan fans, and wow are there a lot of them. This was a very “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation and I think I did what I had to do to protect my brand's integrity. I understand some people may think I caused more harm than good, but I honestly think that my peers in the bike community would side with me on this one. If you have ill feelings toward our brand, I would encourage you to try to put yourself in my shoes. Nobody wants to be hated by anyone, so hopefully, people can at least understand my side.Tyler Deschaine



79 Comments

  • 308 0
 Wow, so apparently big box office Hollywood has more integrity than Specialized.
  • 128 2
 yeah Backcountry.com and Specialized could learn a lesson or two from this...
  • 1 0
 Haha I knew this would be the top comment
  • 2 1
 What did Specialized do?
  • 2 1
 @rickybobby18: what did backcountry do? Had nothing but great experiences with them.
  • 2 1
 Geez, even Roger Stone has more integrity than the Big S ffs.
  • 12 0
 @DirtyRider13: Backcountry trademarked "Backcountry" and then subsequently started suing all sorts of mom and pop companies that had the word Backcountry in their name. Super crappy move, they have since apologized, but crappy.
  • 2 8
flag boogereater42069 (May 29, 2020 at 5:29) (Below Threshold)
 @winko: To be fair to specialized, a lot of that was the fault of one of their higher up employees who has since left...but it now the GM and Giant Bicycles US and still doing super shady evil stuff over there.
  • 3 0
 @lowkeyokeydokey: Not true.
  • 1 0
 Or Aloha Poke Co.
  • 1 0
 Comment of the week...
  • 1 0
 @winko: That’s Just one of the cases... there’s a whole forum for this Here and with a quick google search, I was able to find This
  • 129 0
 Nolan makes world-class movies and seems like a world-class guy. Fan for life.
  • 8 1
 Not familiar with Nolan and his work, but the issue seems to have been dealt with in a friendly and respectful manner. Happy about that.
  • 9 2
 @vinay: Whaaaa? You've never watched the Batman trilogy!!??
  • 2 17
flag makripper (May 29, 2020 at 6:09) (Below Threshold)
 I've never heard of this component company. Nolan was great for reaching out. Surprising really. Then this guy with the shit company asks warner make a statement? Come on.
  • 2 1
 @makripper: I've heard of Tenet components well before I've heard of Nolan, so I guess it is different for different people. Either way, I think his request was fair. If Tyler would have named his company Batman well after the comic character was first published, chances are he would have been kindly asked to make modifications to his brand logo too. Not sure whether they'd even be satisfied if he'd make the Batman logo just slightly less symmetric.

@landscapeben: I think I've seen snippets of Batman movies. It is with comic-style fight scenes, isn't it? And there is a freaky clown bad guy. But what I've seen is way too incoherent to say I've watched the trilogy Wink .
  • 2 3
 @vinay: you've been living under a rock. Its a non issue because of different industries. It wouldn't be a case
  • 2 0
 @makripper: If I've been, you should check it out too. You'll learn about bike stuff before you learn about Hollywood movies. Either way, if Tyler experiences it to be an issue then it is an issue. Luckily they got it sorted. All good.
  • 4 1
 @makripper: so is it a shit company because you never heard of it? Or because Nolans/warner bros is millions of dollars larger? As a user of Tyler's products I can assure you the company is far from shit.

This is how you make an agreement, ask for the moon and settle for less.

Maturely handled by both parties.
  • 2 6
flag makripper (May 29, 2020 at 7:54) (Below Threshold)
 @vinay: it's a non issue. Its not like someones going to just search tenet anyways. Its not a clever or new name by any means. What does this component company do anyway?
  • 1 9
flag makripper (May 29, 2020 at 7:55) (Below Threshold)
 @HaydukeLives: not sure how it was even an issue. Its a movie. Nothing to do with the crappy little bike industry.
  • 2 9
flag makripper (May 29, 2020 at 7:57) (Below Threshold)
 @HaydukeLives: it's a one out of 100's of companies that just buy from China or wherever and slap their name on it.
  • 4 0
 @makripper: Why are you on this forum? I love Nolan's movies but your comments are just plain troll bs.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: lol you should defo give it a proper watch through, really great stuff that took superhero content to a whole new level. Batman was always my favourite just cause at the end of the day he doesn't have any super powers, he's just a good guy who's worked hard and used all his resources to fight crime. The Trilogy really shows this in a raw real life kind of way that's actually believable in my opinion.
  • 2 3
 @zarban: it's an opinion. People can have different opinions. That's how the world works.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: Like many companies (including the much appreciated One Up) Tenet has their stuff made elsewhere. But it isn't catalog stuff.

Also, it indeed isn't like people would be searching for the bike company after watching the movie. But people come across the bike company, they may judge it for "stealing" a logo from a very popular blockbuster movie which clearly wasn't the case. So all he wants is that this is very clear to the audience. Hence he wants Nolan to pick a logo more different from his and he want this statement to be made clear by both parties. Different industries? See you have this company that makes both MX bikes and musical instruments. If the audience is confused, there is too much cross over. Tyler came across confused customers (as stated in the article) so it is good they did something about it.
  • 84 1
 Christopher Nolan: Bro you cool?
Tyler: I'm cool if you're cool with my being cool dawg.
Christopher Noland: Aight homie, I guess we cool.
Pinkbike: WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF SHIT TO WRITE ABOUT! SOMEBODY POST SOMETHING!
  • 13 0
 lmao. All we need is Rodney Mullen and it'd be the chillest group ever
  • 4 0
 @DaFreerider44: and a stoned Keanu.
  • 73 0
 I really want to watch Tenet and now I kinda want Tenet stuff. Props to both parties for being able to work stuff out.
  • 3 0
 win/win
  • 48 0
 Well, now I've heard of tenet components
  • 10 0
 Yup, and the guy at the helm sounds like a stand-up dude.
  • 2 0
 @kittenjuice: I bought some tires and various parts from him last year. He lived like 10 blocks away from my old house. Cool dude and cool company.
  • 3 19
flag makripper (May 29, 2020 at 6:11) (Below Threshold)
 @kittenjuice: how's he standup? He's bitching about a "logo" a 5 year old would have thought up. Movies and shitty bike component companies are in different worlds. I doubt Santa Cruz would care if a movie company called a movie santa Cruz and they used similar font.
  • 5 1
 @makripper: he could have taken the legal route and been made to look like a money grabber. He seemed within his rights to have them cease and desist usage. But that would’ve been expensive. Instead he proposed a compromise that addresses both parties’ concerns. That, to me, is a “stand up” move. I think he was too nice and didn’t consider the long term ramifications on native search, they might as well throw all their SEO work out the door, the movie will trump their company every time for years.
  • 2 3
 @pourquois-pas: honestly how does this matter? If you are looking for bike components just search tenet components just like Google searching five ten or Smith or santa Cruz....
  • 37 0
 Good for Tenet (the company) for standing up for their brand and business, and for Nolan and WB to not strongarm their way through this.
  • 22 2
 Thank god this existential crisis has been resolved. I was certain 2020 was going to suck.
  • 1 0
 You just made me choke on my dinner. Thanks for a well-needed laugh.
  • 18 0
 Meanwhile... Over at Specialized...
  • 15 3
 Wonderfully-written letters written for sure by their lawyers. Good example of lawyers quietly resolving a conflict and making it look like it was just two dudes having a beer.
  • 7 0
 Heh... exactly. But all's well that ends well!
  • 8 8
 For once, let’s hear it for lawyers! Yaaaaay
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Waki gets downvoted by a bunch of lawyers.
  • 5 12
flag WAKIdesigns (May 29, 2020 at 5:28) (Below Threshold)
 @SoddenDeath: ok so I may say it anyways: Every second 1st grade art student would come up with this logo. It's 10 times harder to make Shimano logo compared to this. Would never ever buy anything from tenet components for being this petty. Is the owner's name Karen? Super class from Nolan for disarming Karen in such way. It's a fkng pathetic case.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: you're just bitter that Nolan isn't making a movie called, "WAKI".
  • 2 3
 @LA-Law: indeed. Waki - the only troll on Nostromo
  • 10 0
 I'm glad this all worked out but... If you get confused about whether the movie and the bicycle component company are affiliated even with the logo similarities then you might be an idiot.
  • 12 0
 Don't underestimate the idiocracy of people
  • 4 0
 @the-one1: I believe the word you're looking for is idiocy.
  • 5 0
 @noapathy: you proved my point
  • 5 0
 Nolan does at least. Tyler, from what I can see here, you handled this in a very respectful way. Hopefully not too much of a lose-lose situation.
  • 5 0
 Two people came to an agreement in a friendly manner without any shitflinging. Fanboys got angry anyways, because this is the internet.
  • 3 1
 I see two matured men putting their heads together for the good of their own interest. Each men welcomed their own input to change and reached an agreement that will benefit both parties especially their own interest. Per above communication shows no greed and politics just pure mutual understanding. Amen. I want to thank PB for posting this piece.
  • 1 0
 good compromise there....i hope the off piste conversations were as measured as those shared, i am glad to remain a fan of Nolan cos if he had been a dick here it would have been hard for me to keep respecting him so i hope it really is a win for both sides.
  • 5 1
 Attention Specialized....This is how you adult.
  • 2 0
 People thinking about your tiny company when they see the logo for the most anticipated Hollywood movie of 2020.. can’t be a bad thing can it? Or am I missing something?
  • 4 0
 They thinking you rip off logos from the movie is bad. It makes you look like a cheap copy pasting bastard.
  • 3 0
 Really different outcome from the Whyte/F-1 fiasco. Surprisingly pleasant, let’s hear it for diplomacy.
  • 3 1
 They should invent more letters in the alphabet so this kind of stuff doesn’t have to happen.
Groundbreaking stuff though really.
Flipping T’s and E’s
  • 4 1
 I wish he'd make another dark knight movie Frown
  • 3 3
 Instead we get blonde mopey vampire batman.
  • 2 0
 @fruitsd79: from a good director so have hope instead of complaining it's the wrong actors doing the same as the a*sholes that complained we got "brokeback mountain" joker or "Beetlejuice Batman"
  • 1 0
 @spaced: we were supposed to like the reboot Ghostbusters. We didn't.
  • 1 2
 I appreciate the issue and understand the owners POV. But seems a bummer to make them change their logo. How much did that cost? I guess the movie was delayed from the virus. But that would have been a HUGE marketing issue across all the channels where the logo is being used.. OUCH!

I could see if Nolan would have been a jerk about it? But I still think it would have made better business sense to ride "any" notoriety that "might" have come out of this. I mean how big of an issue would it really have been? "if" the issue was discovered outside of the mountain bike industry at most there could have been a few legitimate articles, maybe a TMZ post? a few trolls making a twitter issue of it or something. But you had Nolan's statement that could easily be posted. Done! AND advertising you'd have never got otherwise...

AND... "if" he could have got a mention about the issue from Nolan in an interview or something that would have been HUGE!

I think it was a missed opportunity. Should have not forced them to change the logo.
  • 1 0
 This is definitely the best thing I’ve read in a few days. We can all use some good news.
  • 2 0
 Used to drink Tenents when I was younger strong old stuff!
  • 1 0
 This appears to have been handled way better then the whole whyte vs rich energy situation.
  • 1 0
 In 15 years they will both be sued by someone calming copyrights infringement.
  • 1 0
 ...
  • 1 0
 This is insane.
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