Warner Bros changes “Tenet” logo to avoid confusion with a Bicycle components company

When the first trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s new film Tenet came along, it arrived with a simple, slick title logo that inverted the last two letters in the title, referencing the “time inversion” that’s at the center of the movie’s plot.

Below is an Instagram post made by Tenet Components on Dec 19, 2019 when the first trailer dropped:

View this post on Instagram

𝟱/𝟮𝟱/𝟮𝟬 𝗨𝗣𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗘: 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗜 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗹𝘆 𝟲 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵𝘀 𝗼𝗹𝗱. 𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗠𝗿. 𝗡𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗪𝗕 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘂𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻. 𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗠𝗿. 𝗡𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗻’𝘀 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝘀 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗹𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘆 𝘄𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘄𝗲𝗯𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲. • ORIGINAL POST FROM 2019 -> No, 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). 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. #supportriderowned #damntheman

A post shared by TENET COMPONENTS ™️ (@ride_tenet) on

The day after the first trailer was released, the biking website Pinkbike (Via The Playlist) reached out to Tenet Components so they could clear the air and make sure everyone understood that their logo was not stolen from the film. The owner of the bicycle components company 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 stabilization, 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.”

After the statement was made public, Warner Bros reached out to Tyler Deschaine for his email followed after which he received a kind response from the director Christopher Nolan himself which was later posted on the bicycle company’s business website for everyone to see. The response from Nolan read:

Dear 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

It’s good to see that both Nolan and Deschaine rationally came to a mutual agreement about this fiasco. However, it would seem that Deschaine preferred that the studio not use the inverted lettering in the logo for Tenet since the latest trailer premiered with a more than plain title card instead.

It’s a shame that the studio couldn’t figure out a better design for the logo as the inverted letters were central to the theme of the movie. The inverted letters were probably what Deschaine was afraid of, but at least now, there won’t be further confusion between the 2 “Tenets”.

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