i woke up this morning and began going through the mail that was sitting on my desk. at this point, the extent of durtbagz mail consists of bills and letters from my attorneys. super fun. as i begin sifting through, i find a notice from my llc lawyer for an invoice of an overdue balance, which i paid in full before the services were even completed. i’ll tell you right now, the attorney we got for organizing the llc is an IDIOT. cartman from south park would have been a better choice. first of all, when we first organized it, everything went smoothly. then, i had to change the ownership to include my dad and that’s when things took a turn for the worse. it took him over two months to get me the forms i needed to get all parties to sign…after he had my money. i’ll admit, that’s a mistake i won’t do again. when i did finally get them, he wouldn’t give them to me until i had paid…which not only had i, but i had received a letter from his office stating exactly this. i scanned it and sent it back to him. finally i got the papers. then about a week later i get a notice for overdue payment. i throw it away. a month later, i get another with interest. i scan that and send it to him. he responds it’s taken care of. i just received another one this morning. IDIOT. don’t go to Keyt Law Firm in PHX AZ unless you want to feel like your dealing with freaking ringling bros. IDIOT.
next item and main item in the mail that i need to discuss is a letter from my trademark attorney. we have to register the name durtbagz so others don’t take it. this process has been going on for months now. i think since late last fall. anyway, the letter i get this morning notifies me that my application for registering this name for use has been rejected due to the name is already being used in conjunction with similar goods. what? wait a second, i’m about 30 days out from launching and if i think i’m reading this right, i have to change the name of my company. no, i must have read it wrong. i read it again. and again. and again. some dude in california has registered the name dirt bagz usa for sports equipment carrying bags. the name and the goods are identical in the eyes of the law. it looks like the next blog entry may be called ‘scumbagz’…
so i just got off the phone with my attorney. i thought things were looking up until i researched the dirt bagz usa. our conversation went something along the lines of, if this company is small, then the trademark will more than likely expire next year and durtbagz will have no problem. we can wait it out, we have about 9 months to respond to the rejection and deal with it then. so i felt okay, until i looked up who this nonsense dirt bagz usa was. unfortunately, i am not big into the world of dirt bikes or off-roading. if i was, i probably would have heard of dirt bagz. they are a rather large company that makes cargo bags for bikes and tool kits and accessories for this industry. and they have multiple distributors across the country. and they are written up in all kinds of industry publications. they sponsor events. it is not one man in a room like i was hoping it was. now i am unsure what i will do. my options are: continue on with durtbagz and hope that this other company doesn’t find out about me. if they do, they can sue me for trademark infringement. and i cannot plead ignorant because i know who they are, as i have admitted in this blog. what are the odds that a company in that industry discovers my durtbagz? i don’t know. what are the risks that i get sued by them? again, i don’t know. if i do risk this and i get sued, i’ll have to change my name. is it better to just change it now before things get started or in a year or five or ten if i get caught? I DON’T KNOW. but here’s the thing: it’s my call.
i was beginning to question my judgement and decision making on becoming an entrepreneur. in your head, it sounds great. in reality, it’s hard. hard, hard, hard. when you get something like this thrown at you, in the past, i’ve been able to look over my shoulder and go ‘what do you think we should do?’ now i look over my shoulder and everyone is gone. sure, there are people around me who’s opinions i value, but in the end, it’s entirely up to me. it’s fitting that today i read something that reminded me why i made this decision to be my own boss (and hopefully get to boss others). i’ll keep you posted on the situation.