26 July 2014

Follow up...another update

Second Edit and Update;

I despise having to edit things, I do believe in speech being free and unfettered and I hate having to remove comments however I was left with no choice and removed several very unsavory comments. This discussion or whatever you want to call it is supposed to about the TM of Bushcraft, what transpired either before or after, what actions are or are not being taken. It shouldn't be what some have turned it into.

No personal attacks, no threats, do not post personal information anymore, I've removed the ability to post anon comments. Register or claim your identity, don't hide behind anonymity, this community is fairly aware of most so whom you go by is generally recognized. No more anon attacks.

I believe the discussion is worth having and so I will not close it, say your piece and your belief and move on. Just stop with the personal attacks.

Edit; The prior post to which this one speaks has some rather rough language and content not appropriate for kids in the comments section, I will not edit speech however and thus you are warned about reading the comments. I would ask for civil discourse, I understand things get heated and that's fine but don't take it too far.

At this point I've read all the comments from the previous post and will not edit or delete anything that has been said. People can speak their piece as they see fit.

As far as the trademark business, apparently Bushcraft has been trademarked in the past in the UK for example. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tmcase/Results/4/EU004712675

I am not clear on UK trademark law so who knows, oddness there but I can't figure it.

If there was outrage of this I didn't see it, check the link for yourself, if you find outrage over it source it.

What I do know is that BCUSA filed for the TM in 2012 and nothing happened after that that I can find until this stuff blew up this week.

There were accusations of cease and desist letters being issued but I've seen no proof of that, only accusations, if there were cease and desist letters out there why have they not surfaced?

As far as it being defined as a 'despicable' act, I've seen actual 'despicable' acts, this doesn't constitute. 

Whether liked or not we are in fact a nation of laws, there's nothing unlawful in going through the TM process, there's nothing unlawful about protecting interests and properties, there are some angry people out there but is the anger truly warranted? No one has offered up anything substantive, only hearsay, nothing that would meet evidential muster of intent.

As for the actions taken after, well if you poke a bear stuff happens.

I said in the original post that folks should make up their own mind. I'm not much on pomp and circumstance, I'm not going to get all loud with a bunch of faux outrage to carry anyone's agenda. 

Make up your own minds people, the simplest answer is almost always the right answer, Occam's Razor applies. If there was nefarious intent where is the proof of that intention manifest?

Last piece, if you have two competing groups, one established and one new, the new is the result of a disagreement with the old. This disagreement is nasty with some significant bad blood, enough so that the new group overtly implies and insinuates threat. Old group sees this and erects a defense, but does not engage offensively. That was the nature of this as of two weeks ago, so what changed? What set this off and why is it explosively divisive now? From whence did the angst come?

The real travesty here, in the end, is the people who care not for more than the concept of Bushcraft, being in the woods, being outside, seeking the wilderness both internal and external, people who have commonality and yet there is a set of odds now, of animosity and over what? Were all to know the true source of this, what really happened in the beginning to set it off I have a feeling there would be several who might see things in a different light.

It didn't need to happen the way it did in the beginning, but it did, and as a result BCUSA put measures in place to protect themselves, rightfully so, and justly under the law.


  1. Sir Ross in 3..2..1 to spew more emotionally charged dribble.

  2. I agree with your summation of the real tragedy here. It's not that Guy trademarked "bushcraft", but that someone - ANYONE - trademarked that term and therefore legally "owns" "bushcraft"; a concept and a craft that predates not only their commercial use but their own existence. That's just a sad commentary on the field and on the people in it. Compounding that ownership, though, is the enforcement of it. Selective enforcement is even worse. To think that Mors Kochanski would have to beg permission and pay a fee to have his seminal work reprinted - and whether that be to Guy Wood or anyone else - is a shame, and that if such were not enforced but others were (perhaps due to personal grudges) is a damned shame.

    Egos that go to the extreme of believing that they are the end all and be all of a worldwide concept cause far more harm than good. It would appear, unfortunately, that there are more than a few involved in this issue.

    I don't have a dog in this fight; don't know any of the parties involved, and at this point I don't care to. What I do know is that a concept and a community formerly known as bushcraft and bushcrafters has been diminished by the greed of a few (I would put Guy in that category but obviously he is not alone as it appears someone else attempted the trademark of the same term). I just hope that perhaps those involved will realize that this is and ought to be larger than they are and than their personal agendas.

  3. I think you are absolutely right. We have turned into a nation of lawyers instead of men. Fast food places get sued because the coffee is too hot, car rental companies get sued because they didn't inform customers that the "cruise" button on the car din't allow the car to drive itself, etc. This type of stuff has become common place in our society to the point where we accept it a normal. It is sad that the bushcraft community is not exempt from this phenomenon. I suppose money has a far reaching effect.

    As far as actual evidence of nefarious intent, you already had Chuck Winchester post here about Guy Wood's speech at the last Georgia meet, where he made his intentions clear. His statement was confirmed by at least one more person here. Those posts were deleted. Guy Wood admitted in the now locked and only member accessible thread that he had contacted another forum to "talk to them about their use of the word bushcraft from their name". Another forum was directly contacted and threatened with litigation if they do not remove the name, and if they post anything about the communication. I will not reveal either name because it has been requested by the owners of those forums who are indeed in fear of being sued, but all who have been following along, know which ones they are.

    I suppose there isn't much more to say. The fact is that Bushcraft USA LLC has trademarked the word bushcraft admittedly in order to protect their own self interests. If one doesn't find that upsetting, there is nothing that can be said or revealed that would change that. For those of us who do find that upsetting, no amount of legal maneuvering can change that. I grew up in Easter Europe. I've seen what "benevolent" dictators can do. Acquisition of power with the promise that the power will only be used for good, is something I am very skeptical about.

    Corporate ownership of words related to traditional wilderness skills; did anyone ever imagine that? Maybe I'm naive, but I certainly didn't. :)

    1. Ross, you stated you were an attorney, welcome to the nation of laws you're complaining about while making a living at it.

      Further, as an attorney you should know what evidence actually us. So and so said abc, you know exactly what that's worth right? Especially when here is prior history...

      What someone says is of less import than what they do.

      You flat said there were cease and desist orders, they are not required to remain private, I do know a little something about them.

      If you get one there is not legal requirement to be quiet about it.

      Since you said several why hasn't the public seen a single one of them? You want us to believe you fine, show me and us the C&D order, that is all you really have to do so why haven't you and the others put that out there yet?

      Say whatever you want, actions and facts all speak louder Ross, you know that.

    2. Well, Guy admitted to it in his own post. What more do you need? Or do you need it to actually say "cease and desist" on it for you to consider this a problem? How about him contacting another forum to tell them to stop the use of the word bushcraft in their name or he will sue them (something he has admitted to doing to at least one forum so far)? Is that okay in your book because it didn't say cease and desist on top of it?

      And furthermore, let's assume for the sake of argument that absolutely nothing was sent to anyone. It is still an indisputable fact that Bushcraft USA LLC actually trademarked the word "bushcraft". There is no dispute about that. What you are trying to convince people of is that it doesn't matter that they trademarked the word bushcraft because they are nice guys and will not actually use that against anyone. Really?! Again, perhaps it's because I have a different background, but i do not trust people who say "give me the power, and I'll use it nicely". I am even less inclined to believe it when the power acquisition is done in secrecy. Of course, all this is assuming that Bushcraft USA LLC has not taken any action against anyone, something that Guy himself admitted has has in fact done.

      Where is the outrage? Well it was on a huge amount of posts on their Facebook page, which were then deleted and comments shut down; it was on their own forum, before one of the threads was deleted and the people who posted on it banned, and it was then on another thread after my post, which was then locked and moved to a private section with about a dozen people banned in the process. Benevolent dictatorship at its finest. The outrage was also on several forums the day before my post until they were contacted by Bushcraft USA LLC and threatened with litigation if they do not remove the threads, the same way I was threatened with litigation by Guy Wood when I posted about it. Do you not find it strange that all of these other forums that are allegedly trying to take down Bushcraft USA don't have a single word about any of this (positive or negative)? Not a single word! Did you wonder why?

      You are right, I am a lawyer. Without giving anyone legal advise, from a legal standpoint this trademark is a joke and will not stand up to any litigation. And, since you are interested in legally admissible evidence, you should know that the statements of other people on this matter do not actually constitute hearsay, but are in fact admissible in court as utterances against party interest. That however is not why I am upset. I is the ridiculous grab for power that bothers me, not their lack of legal backing. What is legal and what is right are not always the same thing. We can argue forever whether or not their trademark is legal, but in terms of it being right...

      Look, I respect you as a man, and I enjoy your writings. We both understand that there is no way around the fact that Bushcraft USA LLC has trademarked the word bushcraft. If you want to believe that this is not a problem because Guy Wood and his friends are really nice people and will never use that in their own interest to the detriment of the community then I respect your right to think that.

    3. Ross I don't dispute they registered the trademark never did, that's plain black letter.

      What I have a problem with is your statement that people you personally know have received Cease and Desist letters, not one, but many of them. Yet why haven't they or you posted these letters? That's the smoking gun so where is it?

      People buy protection, they buy guns for example, to defend themselves, the purchasing of a means to defend does not on the other end mean they intend shoot people, it simply means they have a means to defend themselves.

      I won't deal in third had or even second hand statements about 'allegedly trying to take down' could careless because the road of rumors never ends well, as an attorney you deal in facts, you should know that.

      You stated for the world to see that there are C&D orders, well put up or shut up. Are they not surfacing because they don't exists? Is it because a fraudulently created C&D will get someone absolutely hammered in a court room?

      Owning a gun doesn't mean intent to kill, all sane people know this. Owning a service mark, particularly of a secondary nature, does not spell out intent to sue.

      When and if you ever have proof then put it out in the public eye. Otherwise we're all talking in circles and you know it.

      What Guy says is Guy's business not mine. We all have said things in the heat of it, when we're seeing red and angry as hell, I've done it you've done it we've all done it.

      Your original post said C&Ds had been received. Don't dance around it, did you lie or do they exist? If they exist why are they not out in the public eye yet?

      Just answer that Ross, they either exist or they don't, you said they did so just prove it.

    4. Sorry, I published my reply as a general post below. See that big thing that I put up at 3:46PM.

  4. I must say I find your position rather perplexing. In big part that is because you seem to not have read any of my writings in the last four days, and are now asking me to support positions that I do not hold. I said several days ago that I believe Guy when he said that he never sent out any legal letters, but instead contacted (according to him) one blog owner personally to "discuss their use of the word buschraft" in their forum name. That's not just something Guy said in the heat of the moment, that is an admission of the thing you are questioning.

    And as I said, I believe him. I am not sure where you are getting all those things that I have allegedly said. You clearly haven't read anything I have written in the last four days, or for that matter, even the original post. The original post is the only place where I mentioned a c&d letter, and even there what I said was "How did I find out about it? Well apparently their lawyer has been sending cease and desist letters to other forums that use the term, or so I was told." This was then followed immediately by Guy's correction that it was one forum and that he contacted them himself. I posted guys correction immediately as soon as he made the statement.

    So, I'm not sure why you are so obsessed with these c&d letters, something which I said I don't believe he sent several days ago. It is as if though until you see one you can keep denying that anything wrong has occurred here, despite the fact that a corporation now owns the trademark to "bushcraft", and that Guy admitted to using it against one forum (according to him). T

    What I said I do have personal knowledge of is that he has made threats to sue people who talk about this. I have already published his written threats against me. I will not ask others to do the same. You've seen for yourself how far he has gone to drag me through the mud for speaking up.

    But all of that aside, what I find most perplexing is that you understand that a corporate entity has trademarked one of the most popular words in our community, and you have no problem with it. Let's say you are right, and in some imaginary world, Guy is the best person ever, and he has never and will never hurt anyone. What happens when Guy retires? It is a corporate entity. The trademark doesn't die. What happens if the guy who takes over the company is someone who is not that nice? Then what? Then you will write blog posts when the time to file for a cancellation request has expired?

    And as far as the whole "we were just protecting ourselves line" I have not seen a single piece of evidence to support the allegation that there were some evil forces conspiring against BCUSA which forced them to do it. For that matter, I am yet to hear an explanation for why they didn't register BushcraftUSA, BCUSA, Bushcraft Outfitters, Bushclass, or anything of the sort. Instead, they registered the word bushcraft. Have you even heard a coherent story on the issue? I haven't. Forget about evidence, I just want a story that doesn't insult my intelligence and doesn't change every six hours.

    If you believe that a corporate entity (Bushcraft USA LLC) owning the word "bushcraft" is not a problem, then so be it. I consider it a huge problem. That is independent of who has threatened whom over what. If you also believe that it's not a problem that Guy contacted a forum to "discuss" their use of the word bushcraft in their name, then so be it. I consider it a huge problem. If you also don't consider it a problem that Guy has threatened people with litigation if they reveal this information (you've seen his written threats against me, and his subsequent actions), then so be it. I consider it a huge problem. We seem to be at an impasse that no amount of dialog can resolve. I'm sorry to see that happen.

    1. I believe in the law Ross, and will continue to. TM for words is legal and isn't new, been around for a very very long time.

      I believe this is stretched beyond reality, largely because there are personal personality conflicts involved.

      The word Bushcraft is still usable, the law in this case would apply only on the secondary as the word is common, that part isn't being talked about.

      Apple isn't suing the produce company cause they use the word Apple.

      What they have is protection regarding their specifics.

      Because of the cost of litigation this is essentially without any teeth unless someone attempts to come after BCUSA, since they planted the flag first they'd be protected.

      In the end this amounts to whether or not a person is butthurt over the trade mark on the word Bushcraft, I'm not.

      Guy's actions are his own, what he's said or hasn't said, threats whatever, none of that matters in the legal world until litigation happens and it hasn't. There are no legal actions afoot and there never were.

      You painted a picture with words that was essential 'it's the end for you if you use the word bushcraft' and that wasn't true.

      Your initial post concluded that people were being sued or about to be sued, they weren't.

      You laid out a world that was your perception of reality, only it wasn't THE reality.

      I have not read anything but your comments since your first sensationalist post and I won't. You make amends for jumping the gun, for misleading people, and the cloth has a chance at being mended.

      Otherwise it is an impasse, the community 'blew up' not because of a TM two years old but because of a 'spin' that was placed on the action, because you believe the word shouldn't be trade marked, you're entitled to that by the way, but I'm not getting sand in my nether regions because of something that is essentially meaningless except in a defensive capacity.

      It is toothless Ross, unless someone attempted to issue BCUSA a C&D, in which case they have legal protection to continue to use the word. If you are indeed a lawyer you know aggressive action in this matter would be very expensive and ultimately fail.

      It's meaningless and life is too damn short to get twisted up over this. What I find most amusing is you painting yourself as the 'Champion Defender' of the word Bushcraft and the Bushcraft community when any regular reader of your writings will find umpteen examples of negative passive aggressive statements made by you about 'bushcraft' and bushcrafters and their illogical assumptions, actions, gear choices etc etc etc. You've been at that a while now and you are absolutely entitled to those opinions and perceptions. It's in your words plain as day in many of your posts, but suddenly you're all up in arms over 'bushcraft'.

      Sorry, but it smells disingenuous.

    2. Whether or not you like what BCUSA did is one thing, but Ross it looks like you took a page from Rules for Radicals. Your first version of your blog sure looks like you were not truthful in an effort to gin up outrage. You have since made many edits in an effort to rewrite history but it does not matter. What is done is done right wrong or indifferent.

    3. You do not believe that it is outrageous. It is your right to do so. I do believe it is outrageous. You calling me disingenuous because I am outraged about something that you do not see as a big deal, is not exactly up to par. Also, stating that people are upset because of what I wrote rather than what was done, means you have been spending too much time in an area of extremely high censorship. The rest of us are genuinely upset about what was done. You can make your points without disregarding that.

      Bushcraft USA LLC trademarked the word "bushcraft". I find that act to be outrageous. You do not. You would find it outrageous if Buschraft USA LLC actually sues someone over it. That's fine. I don't want to wait for them to sue before I can express anger regarding their actions. I have been threatened enough times by Buschraft USA and crew to to know better. If you want to disregard those threats as being none of your business, that's your choice.

      As far as you writing on your blog about my writings without actually reading them, I don't even know what to say. Earlier you wrote that "buschraft" was trademarked in the UK. Someone just pointed out it's not. Should I start thumping my chest now and repeatedly asking you to prove that the word is trademarked in the UK? Should I then call you disingenuous when you say that someone corrected the statement. You also earlier wrote that Bushcraft USA had displayed the (TM) for "bushcraft" years ago. Turned out they had not. They had in fact displayed it for Bushcraft USA, a trademark they did not acquire until after I wrote my post. Should I call you disingenuous about that?

      We don't have to agree on the issues. However, disregarding evidence by calling it "not your business" is not a move that allows for much conversation. Disregarding statements by Guy because you don't like what they contain, but then wanting every word I say to be attested to in blood, is not a move I expected from you.

      You look at the facts and you don't see a problem. I on the other hand look at the same facts, and see a huge problem. That's fine. However, calling me disingenuous, or not even reading what I write before making comments about it? I though that despite our disagreements we had more respect for each other than that. I see I was wrong.

      I still respect you as a man, and will not bother you on your blog any further. I know it can be annoying.

    4. There is no evidence you narsistic egomaniac. Your history with BCUSA is enough to disqualify you from any valid opinion. What is easy to see is that you and you ilk decided to try the very thing that BCUSA did, for exactly the reason BCUSA did it in the first place. Your outrage is ridiculous. There has been no cases where Guy or any of the other owners have sought legal actions towards another forum. I say forum, because that is explicitly what the trademark patent is for. You are to blame for the anger. You are the one stirring the pot for your own ego. No other reason.

    5. Ross, like almost everything else, our experience differs yet again.

      I've been a member on those forums since 2010 and lurked for nearly a year before that. I've see some folks with egos the size of Texas who's interest was self promotion shown the door. I've seen people who cannot figure out how to discuss things in a level headed fashion have their hat handed to them and shown the door.

      I've also seen it grow to over 40,000 members and the free sharing of ideas, I've seen incredible acts of generosity and I've seen people pick up and leave because of a perception no one else could see. Hint, if people are not buying a product it could be because either the product sucks or the ability to generate interest by the vendor sucks.

      When I said disingenuous I was specific Ross. For four years of reading your writings I've seen you repeatedly, usually in a passive aggressive way, paint bushcraft, bushcrafters, and the general idea of it in a negative way. Any discerning reader will notice it as it is frequent, that's what I am talking about when I say disingenuous, suddenly you're all up in arms while having a history of negativity about the subject.

      You started spouting 'facts' and have since edited that out. Those are your actions and no one else, you led a charge based on either your perception or believing what someone else said without validating for accuracy.

      You stood on the hill and cried wolf when there is no wolf, hint, wolf = litigation. You jumped the shark Ross, painted people out to be boogie men when they are not.

      I didn't edit what I wrote, I brought up the UK trademark and openly stated up front that I wasn't clear on UK law or that TM, it's still there. The trademark is for a logo with the word bushcraft in it. I accepted the comment from the gentleman that brought the information and thanked him for it.

      The difference is I never stated people were receiving C&D orders, you did, in your now edited post. You did that, not me or anyone else, you jumped the gun and started a sensationalistic spin filled post on the matter when you should have posted the questions, the facts as you knew them, not people are receiving legal notices when that was factually incorrect.

      I'll say it once more though if you are an attorney you should know, the service mark is defensive, not offensive, they'd never successful sue someone to force them to stop using the word, the word is common, it is defensible in nature, meaning they cannot be told to cease use of the word. This fact you've danced around since the beginning.

      It is what it is at this point. As you say, impasse.

    6. http://beforeitsnews.com/outdoors/2014/07/bushcraft-usa-trademarks-the-word-bushcraft-2459796.html

      Ross is this not your "news article"? Not much for following any journalistic standards going on there. You have every right to be outraged and to speak openly and loudly about it. But your argument should stand on its own merits and not have to be embellished to increase its sensationalism.

  5. The UK trade mark is BCB (BROWNS COUGH BOTTLES) LOGO only as they make a range of bushcraft items - the word itself is not trademarked in Britain.

    1. Appreciate the clarification, I wasn't sure if it was the word or the logo with the word buscraft in it. So it is the logo with the word Bushcraft that is TM, good to know, thanks.

  6. Thanks for holding the line Grouch. Thanks for standing up to this silliness and blow out drama.

  7. it is interesting to read this discourse between grouch and ross. i admit i thought grouch would take a different stand, maybe not as radical as ross, but still upset about the trademark of a word with such a rich and established history. im not one to really put myself out there making blogs or forums or whatever, so it has no effect on me personally. but i must admit i am disturbed it happened at all.

    1. BV, I understand the point of view, but I also understand the law itself and know it is virtually meaningless. As a result I'm not going to get twisted up over something that has no teeth or meaning, it's just a big waste of time.

      It's a word, nothing more, nothing less, it's just a word. The trade mark has protection merit but no offensive capability.

      I've already spent more time on this than the subject even merits but I've done that because the community is important to me. The sooner the community realizes there was an over reaction, that it's essentially a meaningless non-event the sooner people can get on with 'BUSHCRAFT' or woodsmanship, or woodcraft, or field craft or any number of other words that describe what we enjoy.

      Bloomers are in a bunch needlessly.

  8. I am late to the discussion but I am with Ross on this one.

    BushcraftUSA trademarking the word "bushcraft" is no different then Milwaukee Tools trademarking the work Milwaukee and then trying to keep anyone that is already using the word in their business from using it.

    A trademark is designed to be unique and identify or distinguish a company or product, not to take a standard English word and make it so that no one can use it.

    This is no different then trademarking the words, knife, axe, survival, chair, car, truck, computer, American, or Grouch.

    If you want to trademark a combination of words such as American Grouch, then I see no problem with it. However trademarking a common use word such as bushcraft or any of the above words is obviously dubious and should not even be allowed. This is where the problem lies in my opinion. The corruption of a system, and that is exactly what this is.


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