WASHINGTON, June 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year defending their trademarks, and with good reason. Few people would argue that "Folex" watches, "Arm and Hatchet" baking soda or "Sunbucks" coffee should exist, but sometimes the notion of trademark defense can get out of control. Such was the case last year when Vice Media, valued at $2.5 billion, filed a copyright infringement against an unsigned Los Angeles indie band called ViceVersa who were struggling just to make the rent. The latest Billionaire Goliath vs. Small Business David has erupted between a private Amsterdam-based company called PRO-Mounts, represented by DeWitty and Associates, and the international camera company, GoPro, valued around $1.2 billion.
In business for more than three years, PRO-Mounts makes over 50 different product skews of action camera accessories such as helmet mounts, bike mounts, batteries and cases. One might think the legal action is due to some proprietary technology, but really it's all about the word "pro."
"They're trying to kill us with money and lawyers," says PRO-Mounts founder and president Mike Reed. "We don't make anything they sell, we don't make cameras, period. We're an aftermarket accessory company, just like hundreds of others. There's no way a consumer would confuse the two of us simply because of the word "pro."
If GoPro is actually intent on pushing their claim, the list of "pro" companies and products with pockets just as deep as theirs is fairly extensive. There's the international real estate development company, ProLogis, worth $29.5 billion. Which of course, is not to be confused with (or, if one believes GoPro, could be easily confused with) Dolby Laboratory's Pro Logic surround sound technology. Then there's also Logic Pro, the sound editing software produced by Apple Computer. And don't forget Pro-Tec, a private company which has been making skate and bike helmets since 1973.
When the media shined a spotlight on their absurdity, Vice Media quickly agreed to drop their action and let ViceVersa keep their name.
"We're hoping for a similar outcome," says intellectual property attorney Robert DeWitty, who was retained by PRO-Mounts to fight against the suit. "There's simply no merit to their case."
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SOURCE DeWitty and Associates