Backcountry.com fires its attorneys, partners with company it targeted in trademark lawsuit as CEO vows to make amends
Backcountry.com is not just dropping the remaining lawsuit targeting small business owner David Ollila for using the word “backcountry” in his ski company’s name.
The Utah e-tailing giant — under fire after a week of news outlining aggressive legal actions against dozens of business owners who trademarked the word “backcountry” in their name — is partnering with Ollila to help grow his Marquette Backcountry Ski brand. It’s donating money to two Michigan non-profits Ollila helped create that support innovators moving their products to market. It’s hiring Ollila as a consultant to help the company shape the week’s firestorm — which included more than 19,000 people pledging on a Facebook page to boycott Backcountry.com — into a way to help grow small businesses in the outdoor industry.
And Backcountry.com has fired the attorneys with IPLA, the country’s largest trademark-only law firm, who have spent the past two years targeting dozens of small businesses and nonprofits across the country with challenges to their registered trademarks and even federal lawsuits.
The moves reflect the company’s long-range plan to repair its business as a growing chorus of outdoor enthusiasts urge a boycott of the online retailer. But while suspending all legal actions, the company is not immediately dropping the 50-plus petitions filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seeking to cancel dozens of trademarks registered by small businesses using the word “backcountry.”
Backcountry.com CEO Jonathan Nielsen, in an interview with The Colorado Sun on Friday afternoon, said he hopes to reach deals with each of those entrepreneurs. He has benched all his in-house attorneys as begins his outreach.
Read more via The Colorado Sun.
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