Forum Index > Gear Talk > Backcountry.com sues anyone using the word backcountry in their business
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kiliki
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 1:19 pm 
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It will be interesting to see if the backlash has any effect.

https://coloradosun.com/2019/11/05/backcountry-com-trademark-lawsuits-boycotts-backlash/
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 1:55 pm 
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Interesting. It’s like trying to patent the name “Olympics.”

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kiliki
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 2:08 pm 
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It's pretty puzzling that word that is in the dictionary as a common noun can be trademarked in this way. I mean, they are going after Backcountry Babes, which does avy awareness classes and  backcountry ski trips.
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thunderhead
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 2:44 pm 
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Guess im done shopping at backcountry.com.


Way to piss off your customers.
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H. Hound
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 5:08 pm 
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Yea, got to wonder what they were thinking. Will be scrapping a Back Country goat decal off of my 4x4. Certainly will shop else ware in the future.
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 5:44 pm 
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Exclusive: Backcountry CEO breaks silence over trademark blowup, drops lawsuit against Marquette Backcountry Skis 11/06/19

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kiliki
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 5:45 pm 
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In terms of what they were thinking, I guess when the company is absorbed into a mega conglomerate, everything besides profit can get lost. I like this quote.

“This is a bullsh## private equity move, masters of the universe, trying to control the world,” said Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.

Check out their holdings. Comet and PBR and yoga. Maybe they can try to trademark "sexy hair" instead.
http://www.tsgconsumer.com/portfolio
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 6:07 pm 
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The young man I just spoke with at the 1-800 number at backcountry.com - the one who led me to the article I cited just above - made it pretty clear that they're feeling the heat.
They've pissed off their customer base in a serious "shoot-yourself-in-the-foot" move and are just now realizing the potential long-term damage they may have done to their brand.
I would expect them to start doing some frenetic backpedaling to mitigate the damage.

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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 7:01 pm 
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It is common for clients who get trademarks to overreach. In reality the trademark is limited to a rather limited description of goods. In this case if they have a federal trademark they can realistically stop others from selling similar goods under the trademark backcountry.com. They cannot however, sue anyone who uses the term “Backcountry”. If they did the use would be improper as backcountry is a generic descriptive term. Usually it is the client making such claims without advice. I had a client who thought he had the sole right to a common word (withheld due to confidentiality) and threatened many who used it, he was successful in some cases but tarnished the reputation of his company.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 8:52 pm 
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The backlash will last until the next sale.  Oh look, 20% off a full priced item!
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SwitchbackFisher
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 9:07 pm 
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I've always liked moose jaw more anyway but it does help fortify my opinion.

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Bosterson
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 9:08 pm 
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Very disappointing.  frown.gif

Quote:
"Big companies that go after the small guys do that because they know they can bury them in legal costs and find loopholes and whatnot," Phillips said.

This is really the crux of it. It doesn't matter whether the trademark infringement claim is valid, the bigger company can steamroll the smaller one via the mere threat of tying this kind of thing up in the courts. The deeper pockets win. This is how patent trolls operated, until the EFF started helping lay the smack down on them. It seems likely that most of these Backcountry claims would be rejected, as the word itself is too generic to be completely restricted, and customers are unlikely to "mistake" an offroad map nonprofit for a huge online gear retailer. That said, the fact that the company is going after other product manufacturers rather than other retailers (Backcountrygear.com???) is telling in the direction they/their corporate overlords plan to further grow their business: no starting your own Backcountry Coffee company in case Backcountry.com decides they want to sell their own at some point...  down.gif

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Bosterson
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 9:10 pm 
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SwitchbackFisher wrote:
I've always liked moose jaw more anyway

Acquired by Walmart in 2017.

I've scored some good deals from Campsaver recently.

There's always REI.  rolleyes.gif

Do local independent gear shops even still exist? Sigh.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 10:15 pm 
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Bosterson wrote:
That said, the fact that the company is going after other product manufacturers rather than other retailers (Backcountrygear.com???) is telling in the direction they/their corporate overlords plan to further grow their business: no starting your own Backcountry Coffee company in case Backcountry.com decides they want to sell their own at some point...  down.gif

They have their own store brand, Stoic, so this really isn't that far fetched.
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Bosterson
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PostWed Nov 06, 2019 10:39 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
They have their own store brand, Stoic, so this really isn't that far fetched.

I assumed Stoic was kinda deprecated at this point. They used to make real stuff under that brand (I have a pair of Stoic alpine gloves and a hardshell), but then it turned into a lifestyle brand a couple years ago. Per the SNEWS article, the trademark lawsuit shenanigans ramped up after they rolled out the new Backcountry branded ski line last year. I'm guessing Stoic is headed for the dustbin (or will always just be lifestyle) and "Backcountry" clothes are going to try to compete with real outerwear brands.

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