A war of the ‘Scotts’ looms
Scott USA sues ScotteVest for trademark
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
Scott USA, the Ketchum-based sporting
goods manufacturer, filed a federal lawsuit last week that alleges a local
clothing producer has violated and diluted the company trademark by using a
brand name that includes the word "Scott."
The ScotteVest company logo has
prompted a federal lawsuit by Scott USA, which alleges the use and style of the
word "Scott" could cause confusion in the marketplace.
Attorneys for Scott USA on June 15 filed a
complaint in U.S. District Court in Boise against ScotteVest, a Ketchum-based
company that specializes in producing outdoor clothing that stores electronic
equipment, such as digital music players and cellular phones.
The lawsuit alleges that by operating
under the ScotteVest name, company founder and CEO Scott Jordan violated federal
trademark infringement laws and engaged in "unfair competition."
Jordan established ScotteVest in 2001 in
Chicago and moved the business to Ketchum in September 2003. ScotteVest sells
its fleece jackets, shell jackets, sports jackets and other clothing items
primarily through the Internet.
Scott USA was founded in Ketchum in 1958.
The company is known best for its ski goggles and ski poles, but also sells
outdoor-sports apparel and bicycles.
In addition to listing six categories of
violations committed by ScotteVest, the lawsuit demands a permanent injunction
against any use of the word "Scott" to promote or sell ScotteVest products. It
also seeks an injunction against the use of Sun Valley as a location reference
to promote the ScotteVest business.
Furthermore, the suit seeks "monetary
damages in the amount of restitution of all revenues, profits and advantages
received by the defendants as a result of their wrongful acts, and any lost
profits (Scott USA) has sustained."
Scott USA alleges that the violations
committed by ScotteVest are related largely in part to ScotteVest’s use of the
word "Scott" to promote and sell ski-related products from the Ketchum area.
"He’s using a logo very close to the
‘Scott’ logo," said Dave Stevens, Scott USA chief financial officer. "It creates
confusion in the mind of the consumer."
Stevens said the word "Scott," as it is
written in the ScotteVest logo, notably resembles several of Scott USA’s
trademarked uses of the same word.
Jordan, who operates ScotteVest with his
wife, Laura Jordan, the company president, vehemently denied violating the Scott
USA trademark or gaining any benefit from the Scott USA name.
Jordan said his company holds a registered
trademark on the ScotteVest name.
"We’re just trying to make a living," he
said. "No one has ever confused us with Scott USA."
Jordan added: "If I thought there was any
confusion between ScotteVest and Scott USA, I would change the name."
The lawsuit states that Scott USA issued a
letter to Jordan in June 2002 to request he cease use of the word "Scott" in his
Indeed, Scott USA attorneys did send a
letter to Jordan that noted Scott USA had no objections to the use of the term "eVest,"
or the name Scott Jordan in conjunction with "eVest."
Attorneys for ScotteVest wrote back to
Scott USA in July 2002, stating that numerous federal trademark registrations
for use of the word "Scott" were in force but were not all held by Scott USA.
Jordan said he did not receive additional
correspondence from Scott USA and eventually determined that the issue had been
He said he believes the Scott USA suit was
issued partially in response to his decision to relocate ScotteVest to Ketchum.
"My plans are to defend this forcefully,"
Jordan said. "I’m not moving from Sun Valley. I’m not going to be intimidated."
Stevens said Scott USA intends to do what
it deems necessary to protect the Scott brand, which the company has worked to
build for more than 40 years.
"He’s become a lot more aggressive in his
marketing, so we decided we needed to take legal action," Stevens said.