I tell every business person I meet that their good name is worth more than any other asset they have and that they need to protect their brand by registering and enforcing their trademarks. Sometimes, they listen to me. Other times, I get that “ugh, another lawyer trying to tell me to spend money” reaction.
A recent dust-up over at Nobody’s Business should serve as a cautionary tale to those who hold the latter perspective. An eBoost Media customer (Rogier van Bakel) had a negative experience with that company. It turned into such a bad situation that they wound up leaving messages on the customer’s voicemail calling him a “faggot.” The story turned into a real shitstorm when it hit BoingBoing.
Then eBoost Consulting was wondering “why are we getting all this negative attention?”
I can see why.
eBoost Media and eBoost Consulting are both search engine optimization companies that operate out of California. Same field, same business, very similar names, even similar addresses. Now that one company is at the center of a viral internet story about the worst customer service ever, the other company is distraught and doing damage control here and here.
Despite all the negative attention, “eBoost Consulting is guilty of nothing more than being careless about defending its trademark.” (source)
No matter how small your company may be, if it is worth anything, it needs brand protection. Don’t become the next eBoost Consulting… wait… or was that eBoost Marketing?