Gary Lambert Speaks About Trademark and Patent Law at the National Hunting Retailer Show in Nashville, Tennessee
My wife, Lori, and I recently returned from Nashville, Tennessee, where we got to listen to some great country music and take in the many wonderful sights and sounds of “Music City.” We specifically went to Nashville because I was invited by COLE Expos to speak about trademark and patent law at their National Hunting Retailer Show www.huntingretailershow.com.
Even though several exhibitors and attendees decided not to attend because of the coronavirus, COVID-19, many manufacturers and/or distributors of some of the best hunting gear in the business showed up to meet with hunting retailers from all over the country.
As an avid bow hunter, some of my favorite brands were there:
- Spot – Hogg Archery Products spot-hogg.com (I use their Keeton release and Hogg Father bow sight)
- RUGID Gear www.rugidgear.com (I’ve got their bow case which is heavy-duty, waterproof and protects my bow from all the hazards I subject it to)
- Hunter’s Blend Coffee www.huntersblendcoffee.com (not only does it have the best name and taste better than any other coffee, they are also one of our clients!)
- Alaska Guide Creations alaskaguidecreations.com ( I use their “Alaska Classic” to keep my Swarovski EL 10 x 42 binoculars from getting banged up in the field)
- and many other top-quality, well-known hunting/sporting brands.
I spoke to the hunting retailers on the first morning of the show and their response to my presentation was so positive that I was invited back the next day to speak to all the exhibitors. I primarily discussed trademark and trade dress law since trademarks and brands were the most important area of intellectual property for the audience. We went over the basics of both areas and I discussed some recent court cases related to the hunting and outdoor industries. We then switched over to patent law and I used the recent patent infringement case between Burris Company, Inc. v. Garmin International, Inc. involving Burris’ patent for an “Auto-Correcting Bow Sight” to discuss the various aspects of patent law. You can view my Power Point® presentation at the show on our website.
One of the more common subjects mentioned by the show’s exhibitor participants was their experience in receiving unsubstantiated and unfounded “cease and desist” letters from some of the very large brand names to curtail competition. These letters seem to have a common theme of asking these smaller companies to cease and desist from alleged trade dress infringement with no backup to their claims, i.e. no citation to trademark or trade dress registrations or patents. From my discussions with the show’s participants, it seems like these larger manufacturers were “bullying” the competition with these unsubstantiated letters knowing that most smaller companies would just stop selling a certain product rather than pay an attorney to fight it.
If any of you are experiencing the same “bullying” by any major brand that has more money than you do, please give me a call since we may be able to help you under very reasonable circumstances. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or any other member of the firm for any of your intellectual property needs. And one more thing – if you haven’t visited Nashville, Tennessee, you’ve got to go. It’s a fun city and whether you like country music or some other genre, you are sure to have a blast.