Most of you have heard us talk about "Bushcraft Essentials", and have seen it on our site. Since we started in 2010 (2011 officially) we've been using "Bushcraft Essentials" as shorthand for the combination of a strong foundation of bush skills & proper gear for venturing out into the backcountry. We've used the phrase as a tagline under our name on the website because it explains what we focus on. That's the history lesson as to why we've used it for so long. Now the change...
Well, it turns out there is another company actually named Bushcraft Essentials, makers of what appear to be excellent lightweight stoves (and other bush gear) perfectly suited for use in the bush. We also sell stoves, but we carry Emberlit and Vargo. You can see the issue right? Our website uses the tagline "Bushcraft Essentials" but carry Emberlit and Vargo stoves - which are competitors to the stoves made by the company named Bushcraft Essentials. See the issue? Well, the CEO of Bushcraft Essentials saw it too, and reached out to us in a gentlemanly manner to alert us to the issue. They must protect their name and brand, so this is completely understandable. Before I talk about what we discussed and the resolution, let me dive down a legal rathole for a second to show what could have happened, but what we both chose to avoid.
Legalities and avoiding conflict: We started using the tagline in 2010 informally and in 2011 officially. Before we used it, we did an IP search for copyright and trademark protections on it - and found no restrictions in the U.S.A. That means we were clear to use it, and we did. Roughly a year after this, the company Bushcraft Essentials registered the phrase as their international trademark, giving them the rights to use and protect it. See where this is going? We could legally fight the trademark in the U.S.A. (based on preexisting use), and they have a right and obligation to defend it. Had we come to conflict over this, someone would win the right to use, but nobody would really win in the end. This wasn't the right way to proceed, and neither party did.
So, what did we do? Easy, we're removing the tagline from our site, we have no reason to fight it. The phrase quickly explains what our focus is, and it's a tagline for us but that is all. For the company Bushcraft Essentials however, it is their name and the trademark they're building their brand around. It is very important to them, and they're heavily invested in it. Bushcraft isn't about legal issues and posturing, it is a community of like minded people and companies, friendships, nature, exploration... Communities work together, and support one another so we are removing the tagline from our site, an easy decision.
The outcome: The obvious outcome is our removal of the tagline, but the outcome you can't see is that I'm happy to call the CEO of Bushcraft Essentials our new friend. We'd like to introduce you our friends at Bushcraft Essentials, check out their line of stoves and products at: Bushcraft Essentials.