Don’t pick on me

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I got a phone call from (213) 282-1231 on Friday night, just as I had settled down to mud wrestle with Ulysses for an hour or so. I didn’t recognize the number, so I ignored it.

Imagine my surprise when I listened to my voicemail and heard this cease-and-desist message:

Cecilia Sasso claims to be the co-owner of Brandt-Sorenson cycling apparel company, the firm whose name was previously sullied by co-owner Nick’s two-year doping suspension. Nick’s last name, Brandt-Sorenson, prominently appears in this docket sheet for the criminal introduction of a misbranded drug into interstate commerce, a violation of 21 U.S. Code § 331(a). The docket sheet reflects his prosecution for the illegal sale of EPO, actovegin, and other goodies without a prescription; i.e. he was a “very bad boy.” Scroll through the linked packet to read Nicky’s guilty plea.

Sasso followed her message to me with this email:

cease_and_desist_email

This didn’t exactly qualify as the most intimidating cease-and-desist letter I’ve ever received, and I wondered what in the world she was trying to say. Then I realized that Sasso may have actually gotten something accidentally right when she wrote “your resent blog post.” It’s true, I was feeling a bit resentful at the time I wrote it.

It was hard, though, to stop giggling at the buffoonery of someone who thinks that trademark protection means that no one is allowed to say anything about the mark without her permission. What a great way to silence the press, and it took a cycling underwear designer to figure it out: Just trademark the item and then no one can say anything bad about it. Of course if that’s how things worked, Trump would have trademarked his whatever a long time ago.

Next, I checked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s online database to determine whether “Thorfinn,” “Sassquatch,” “Thorfinn-Sassquatch,” “Brandt-Sorenson,” or “Brandt-Sorenson Cycling Apparel” have been registered as federal trademarks. They haven’t and I’m thinking about how much fun it would be for someone to file federal trademarks for these names so that they can be used in conjunction with products and services related to anti-doping, profamateur masters doping, Strava doping, and the especially insidious problem of apparel doping.

I emailed Sassypants right away to get some more information before I hurried out to not delete, edit, or amend my blog:

Hi, Cecilia

Thanks for the email. Can you explain how I have infringed on your trademark?

Thanks,

Seth

Law Office of Seth Davidson
Pacific Tower, Suite 500
21250 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503

To which she gave me this edifying response:

Hi Seth, I’d just prefer not to have my trademark “sassquatch” “thorfinn-sassquatch” used on your blog, as the context could dilute the mark and/or confuse my customers! Thanks for understanding, Cecilia Sasso

Of course there are lots of things I’d just prefer not to have, too, but that’s rarely enough to give my desires force of law. And I will say that it was pretty presumptuous for her to think I understood how calling out Nick Brandt-Sorenson for being a doper and for confessing to breaking federal drug laws would “dilute the mark” and/or “confuse my customers.” To the contrary, the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it became.

Nick, who goes by the Strava handle “Thorfinn-Sassquatch,” has been diluting the brand for years by appending his drug-soaked monikers to the entire clothing line. And how could their customers be confused? He was suspended for two years for doping, stripped of his national bike racing title, and the news was broadcast globally.

Far from seeing the error of his ways, he has now completely clarified what the brand stands for by entering a guilty plea to federal charges for selling misbranded drugs as part of a scheme to sell doping products to other drug cheats. Instead of saying his customers are confused, I’d argue they are stupid beyond repair if they don’t understand that Nick Brandt-Sorenson’s name and nickname could potentially be viewed as reflective of a lowlife doper, a hypocrite, a drug dealer, a convicted criminal, a fraudster, and a first-class shitball who is now trying to make money with his clothing line from the very class of people he cheated when he raced.

All of this raises the next question, which is …

Wait a minute. I forgot to mention that Sasso’s panties had also been tied into a monkey fist with an eye splice by cycling icon, anti-doper, and world renowned blogger Steve Tilford, who had also — according to Sasso– infringed on her mark when he laid into “Dick Doper” Nick Brandt-Sorenson for his misdemeanor conviction, a dope peddler peddling to pedalers.

According to Tilford’s blog, Sassy-Dick sent him this gem of a cease-and-desist letter:

Good Morning, I wanted to inform you that your internet blog Stevetilford.com contains damaging and false information about our trademark “brandt-sorenson”

Specifically:

“He served a 2 year ban for testing positive at Master’s Nationals a few years ago.  But that obviously didn’t slow him down.  He decided to profit from it by becoming a drug dealer.”

The accurate information is available publicly through the Federal Court filing system. The incorrect statement is damaging and negligent. Please remove any reference to our trademark “BRANDT-SORENSON” from your blog and comments section.

Sincerely,

Nicholas Brandt
Cecilia Sasso

co-owners BRANDT-SORENSON Cycling Apparel

Now, here is some free advice for Sassy-Dick: You might not want to fuck with a guy like Steve, whose “fucks to give” account must have run out years ago when it came to dealing with people like you. This is the same Steve Tilford who spoke truth to power about Lance and doping in the pro peloton, and who now appears not very afraid of also speaking truth to the small-time crook who still hasn’t gotten the memo that dopers suck. If anything, the Thorfinn-Sassquatch Dick Doper Brandt-Sorenson Line of Faux Rapha Cycling Underwear should be sending Tilford a handsome thank-you check for what he didn’t say.

Why?

Because the real crime isn’t that doping is killing the sport of cycling, it’s that doping has killed actual cyclists. While Dick Doper prances around in the underwear that he and Sassypants whack out in their rag factory, illegally purchased and administered performance-enhancing drugs have taken lives and ruined many more. Fucktards like Dick Doper have descended from ruining their own pathetic lives into endangering the lives of others by facilitating the doping lifestyle of:

  1. Click
  2. Buy
  3. Inject
  4. Race a masters event or grand fondue or Strava segment
  5. Get a trinket
  6. Preen at the coffee shop while pretending you didn’t cheat.

Let’s point the finger up the asshole where it belongs. Dick Doper diluted, sullied, and shat all over the Thorfinn-Sassquatch-Brandt-Sorenson-Cycling-Apparel name with his own drug use by cheating his way to win a master’s bike racing title. Then he damaged the brand again by illegally selling EPO through a fraudulent website using a fake name, as well as by selling “enhancing” substances to suckers that are not even approved for human use. And Sassypants Sasso thinks that I’ve “diluted” her rag-factory-cycling-apparel operation by (humorously) suggesting in my blog that “Thorfinn-Sassquatch” is a stupid Strava moniker?

That’s like having your husband break both your legs in a drunken rage and then suing the little old lady in the hospital waiting room who accidentally stepped on one of your toes.

Funnier still is that Sassy-Dick appear to have finally understood that having a convicted criminal and busted doper associated with the Brandt-Sorenson Cycling Jockstraps and Twatthongs apparel line is probably going to ruin whatever bogus trademark lawsuit they may be contemplating. Or, they’ve finally concluded that having a cheater-cum-doping-crook prominently associated with the firm may not be the smartest marketing move on the block.

So Sassy-Dick went back to their website and tried to delete all references to Dick Doper, but though they furiously tried to delete him from the web site, Sassy-Dick must have flunked web editing 101 because even though their “new” about page has deleted all references to Droopy Dick Doper, the HTML is still screeching his presence loud and clear. D’oh! Where’s a 12-year-old when you need one? Check this nifty screen shot:

view-source_brandt-sorenson_Page_5.jpg

What’s particularly awesome about his CV (aside from the fact that he graduated from a college that apparently doesn’t have a name and that the USAC website doesn’t show him with a single California state crit title) is that Dick claims to have “stopped racing after competing against some of the world’s top professional cyclists.” I’m not sure how much of a Pro Tour hotbed the USAC masters scene is, but you’d think that in the name of full disclosure he’d have added “at about the time I got caught doping in a national championship race and stripped of my title.” Integrity, however, does not appear to be one of the core corporate values over at the Anemia Patients Group doping website or the Thorfinn-Sassquatch rag factory.

In technical legal terms, I think at this point it’s fair to ask “Do these two have a brain?”

And if they do, could they please stop sharing it and get a separate one for each cranium? There would probably still be space left over for a sofa, table, and wide-screen TV.

Nick Brandt-Sorenson, doper who doped, dope-selling doper, and dope-selling co-owner of Brandt-Sorenson Cycling, and dope-selling user of the Thorfinn-Sassquatch nickname for Strava, admitted to the following criminal acts reproduced verbatim below from federal court records as part of his plea agreement. Read them carefully because they are heinous, except for the part that describes Dick as a “professional masters cyclist,” which is hilarious. After all the jokes I’ve made about the SoCal profamateur masters racer, we finally have a real one and he appears (where else?) in a federal criminal case for (what else?) intentionally selling dope to a doper so he can dope.

In or about 2011, defendant was a professional masters cyclist, living in the Los Angeles, California, area. Defendant had also created the online blog “Anemia Patient Group” under the guise of providing “theoretical” information about various performance enhancing drugs and substances “for research purposes.” In fact, defendant used the Anemia Patient Group blog to obtain customers to whom he would sell performance enhancing drugs and substances. For example, the blog advertised various prescription drugs and substances for sale “for research purposes,” including erythropoietin (“EPO”), human chorionic gonadotropin (“HCG”), Actovegin, IGF-1, and pentoxifylline. Defendant also created and used the fake name “Eric Horowitz” that he used to do business in connection with the Anemia Patient Group blog.

Defendant obtained the prescription drugs from a source in China and European online pharmacies, and then had them delivered to his home address in Los Angeles, California. He then mailed the drugs to multiple professional and amateur athletes. In or about March 2011, defendant sold a vial of EPO to an athlete in Colorado for $631.

Defendant had previously sold that athlete performance enhancing drugs, including EPO and human growth hormone {“HGH”), through the Anemia Patient Group blog . On March 12, 2011, defendant sent the EPO from Los Angeles, California, to the athlete in Boulder, Colorado, using the United States Postal Service. At all relevant times, defendant believed that the athlete would be using the EPO himself and that the athlete did not have a prescription for the EPO.

EPO is a prescription drug that is used to treat kidney disease, anemia, and other serious medical conditions. In addition, some athletes illicitly inject themselves with EPO in order boost the production of red blood cells, which in turn increases the oxygen carrying capacity of their blood, causing them to perform at a higher level. Due to its performance enhancing qualities, as well as the serious health risks associated with non-medical use of the drug {potentially including blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks}, EPO is listed as a prohibited substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) Prohibited List.

In addition to the criminal proceedings against him, various drug cheats have been sanctioned by USADA in connection with the ongoing investigation of Dick Doper’s Anemia Patients Group web site. It’s not hard to imagine that, like Joe Papp, Dick’s ripple of filth and crime will continue to besmirch others, not limited to Sassypants and the Thorfinn-Sassquatch-apparently-not-federally-trademarked Brandt-Sorenson brand of cycling underwear and hyphens. As Jack from Illinois put it (not his real name), “Doping isn’t killing the sport of cycling, overpriced clothing is.”

That a scuzzball like Dick Doper nee Brandt-Sorenson could invent a fake web site purporting to help sick people, use it as a front to illegally import and sell potentially deadly drugs to profamateur wankers, get busted, confess to his misdeeds, and then piously object to his trademark being “damaged” sets a new level of ballsiness, one that exceeds his incredible KOM’s, some of which are approachable only by UCI Pro Tour racers in the prime of their careers.

But wait, I know how he manages that KOM stuff. Pan y agua, baby.

END

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