Backcountry.com has issued a letter to customers and members of the outdoor community. Will it be enough to satisfy their demands? TGR photo.
After massive public outcry within the outdoor community over news that Backcountry.com was suing small businesses over a trademark violation (using the word backcountry in their names), the company has issued an official response to the matter. CEO Jonathan Nielsen admits that he did not see the public backlash coming, especially given the fact that any other large corporation would likely do the same to protect their trademark. Nevertheless, the company is apologizing for its actions and is withdrawing an active lawsuit against Marquette Backcountry, a small Michigan-based equipment manufacturer.
Read the letter in full:
Dear Backcountry Community,
We have heard your feedback and concerns, and understand we fumbled in how we pursued trademark claims recently. We made a mistake.
In an attempt to protect the brand we have been building for nearly 25 years, we took certain actions that we now recognize were not consistent with our values, and we truly apologize.
It’s important to note that we tried to resolve these trademark situations amicably and respectfully, and we only took legal action as a last resort. That said, we know we mishandled this, and we are withdrawing the Marquette Backcountry action. We will also reexamine our broader approach to trademarks to ensure we are treating others in a way that is consistent with the culture and values envisioned by our founders and embraced by our community.
We only want what’s best for the whole community and we want every person and business in it to thrive. Backcountry has never been interested in owning the word “backcountry” or completely preventing anyone else from using it. But we clearly misjudged the impact of our actions.
We understand that this step we’ve taken may not be enough for some of you. The hope is that we can ultimately win back your trust, even if it takes time. We are grateful to be a part of your lives, providing you with great gear for your outdoor adventures, and all we want is to go back to doing what we do best. We intend to learn from this and become a better company.
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