Creating your own business is not an easy task. There are so many pieces that go into one, especially in the beginning. You have to figure out your business plan, a name, logo ideas, website URL, and so forth. For SKYYGUARD, this was a fairly easy task until it came time to trademark their name and logo.For this Colorado-based company, the name came to them fairly easily. It was while they were attempting to purchase the URL they found some difficulty. "SKYGUARD.com" with the single "Y" was proving to be a fairly expensive purchase. In an attempt to save money, they determined adding a second "Y" would be no problem.The owners, Chase and Sean, also saw adding a second Y created a house within the logo- a perfect representation for their roofing and construction company. The URL was also far less expensive. As a business decision, it was perfect!Soon after they had everything up and running, they determined they should attempt to trademark both the name "SKYYGUARD" as well as their logo. This is where they ran into issues. Immediately after they filed for the trademark license, SKYY Vodka's lawyers began contacting them.SKYY Vodka immediately began pursuing legal action against the Naval-veteran owned company, stating SKYY was not permissible to use and would violate their trademark. The two veterans did not allow this to deter them and they have fought back.In a conversation with Chase Baron, he stated Campari's lawyers have threatened to drag the lawsuit out until SKYYGUARD goes bankrupt. He sent us the on-record legal deposition as proof, shown here.
Baron went on to say through all of the legal proceedings, SKYY Vodka and their parent company, Campari America, refuse to allow them to trademark SKYYGUARD.
"The opposition they filed was under a “dilution” claim. We proceeded with the filing at which point it is their responsibility to prove “General Fame” in order for there to be dilution. When they were not able to prove General fame, they filed an extension in order to push the TTAB from making a decision for 6-12 months," Baron told us in an interview.Editor's Note: Baron's legal counsel states Campari did not "file an extension," as Baron stated to us, however, they filed a motion to amend the complaint, which could potentially draw out the process.
Baron went on to say that this has unfortunately cost his company lots of time and money. Since he and Sean do all of the work themselves, having to invest so much takes away from the business itself. While they could just "roll over" on the subject, it's a matter of pure principle.SKYYGUARD has been in business since January 2018 and it was not until early 2019 that they began this trademark battle, and unfortunately, it does not look to be over any time soon. Just when there looks to be a resolution, Campari makes a move that will draw the decision out another 6-12 months.And for what reason? Neither men sell any type of liquor, instead, they provide roofing services! All the two need is for the case to be presented to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. They believe once it can actually get in front of the Board, the ruling will be in their favor, just as the rest of the lawsuit has gone so far.We also did a Google search for "SKYY" ... SKYYGUARD came up on the 14th page of the search, shown below.
This is sadly not the first time a major company has attempted to impede on a small business either. We certainly hope Chase and Sean can win against Campari and SKYY Vodka. Good Luck fellas!