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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh
Birgit Clark
Blog Administrator
Christian Tenkhoff
Fidel Porcuna
Gino Van Roeyen
Markku Tuominen
Niamh Hall
Nikos Prentoulis
Stefan Schröter
Tomasz Rychlicki
Yvonne Onomor
Solex: an e-conic French trademark

Warna Oosterbaan wrote a wonderful background story in NRC Handelsblad, November 28, 2008 - a story that I couldn't resist to mention here - on the launch as of yesterday in the Netherlands of the new Solex, bearing now the trade mark 'e-Solex'.

Solex, a legendary trade mark for a moped - or should one say a bicycle with a typical gasoline motor device (48 cc) mounted to the front wheel, characterised in that the driver could pedal along while using the motor - originates from the French company Vélosolex (Solex became its trade mark), which was produced in the Netherlands under licence for some twenty years (1948-1969). The ownership of the company - which is also known for its Solex carburetors by the way - changed over the years. Renault, Motobécane and Yamaha for example owned shares.

Although the Solex never really disappeared from the roads the Solex lost its attractiveness the last decades, but it revived again at the end of nineties. In the Netherlands for example some companies specialised in fun tours on Solex, who made good money with it. In the meantime the French businessman Jean Pierre Bansard - who owns a real estate company - reloaded the trade mark: while spotting an old Solex through the streets of Paris he had the clever idea of tracing the trade mark rights (apparently finding them somewhere in Italy - Piaggio?) and bought the rights. With the help of Pininfarina a new star Solex is born: the e-Solex, powered by an electric motor, friendly for the environment. Warna Oosterbaan drove it - speeding up from 25 to 40 km/h - in Amsterdam and is really enthousiastic although the e-Solex needed some pedals on steep bridges (a conserved feature therefore).

Oosterbaan reminds readers that the old Solex was popular among all grades and standings, varying from the famous Monsieur Hulot in the Jacques Tati movies to French farmers, professors in Leiden, housewives from Almelo and maids from Spakenburg. The e-Solex seems to aim at students and the new 'eco-chic' generation ('people who own some money and are conscious with regard to the environment'). The introduction of the e-Solex - as Oosterbaan noticed - fits in a general retro trend due to which we can drive the New Beetle, the New Mini and the New Fiat 500 for example. Makes her mention some other well known moped trade marks that might revival but haven't yet (for example Kreidler Florett and Mobylette, to which I add the famous Puch). Are they waiting for another monsieur Bansard?

Posted by: Gino Van Roeyen @ 11.28
Tags: moped trade marks, solex, well known trade mark,
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