Hopes are high that the latest film from Christopher Nolan, 'Tenet', will make its scheduled release date of July 17th.
But before that it had to clear up matters with a bicycle components company based out of Washington named Tenet components.
The logo for the upcoming action-thriller inverts the last two letters in the title. This references the "time inversion" that is central to the plot.
However, as a result, the logo looks almost exactly like a bike brand with the same name.
They shared the following Instagram post back in December 2019 when the first trailer for 'Tenet' dropped.
Its caption reads: "Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe Nolan was inspired by our branding; regardless the apparent negligence is frustrating to say the least.
"When we became aware of this, our biggest fear was that many of our peers who haven’t heard of Tenet (the bike brand, shit this is going to get old quick) might think WE stole the logo from Nolan, when in reality, we launched long before this movie was announced. If you would like to share this post to help spread the word, it would be greatly appreciated. I’m sure one day we’ll all look back on this and shake our heads in disbelief."
The biking website Pinkbike reached out to Tenet Components on the matter. Owner Tyler Deschaine said:
"We 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 lawyers 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 brand’s 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."
The same day this statement went public, Warner Bros. reached out to Deschaine for his e-mail. He then received this from director Christopher Nolan himself:
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.
No ill feeling, but it would seem that Deschaine preferred that the studio not use the inverted lettering.
When the most recent trailer dropped, this was the title card: