Just as the Backcountry backlash has faded from the news cycle, another big company has filed a trademark for a word frequently used in the outdoorist lexicon: basecamp.

Volkswagen unveiled its Atlas Basecamp concept—a rugged touring machine for all types of adventure—at the 2019 New York International Auto Show, demonstrating how it can be a "mountain biker's dream" car.

Now the German car brand is moving forward with its plans. It filed a trademark on Nov. 26, 2019 for "basecamp." The trademark raises similar questions as the Backcountry debateHow is it possible to trademark such a common word? 

A few businesses currently using "basecamp" in their name and products include: 

But the reason this filing will likely avoid backlash is because Volkswagen specified that the mark is for "automobile packages of premium features including structural and non-structural parts." Not all kinds of outdoor gear. Not outdoor retail. 

In contrast, Backcountry secured dozens of trademarks for goods and services, from snow skis and bindings, to truck accessories and bike racks, to climbing crash pads and chalk bags. Then, it filed cancellations and lawsuits against smaller businesses—Marquette Backcountry Skis, Backcountry Babes, Backcountry Nitro, and others—also using the word.

We reached out to Volkswagen to find out if they're aware of the recent Backcountry kerfuffle, but we have not heard back.

Tags
terms:
Backcountry.com

Related

Jenny Verrochi gives Alyssa Evans a piggy back ride as she opens a can of Wild Barn Coffee in the snow

'Just the beginning': Companies partner with Backcountry following trademark dilemma

Not only is Backcountry apologizing to smaller brands impacted by its trademark litigation, the online retailer has formed partnerships with at least three so far as part of making reparations with consumers and the outdoor community. On Monday night, Wild Barn Coffee—formerly ...read more

Backcountry logo on a climbing chalk bag

Backcountry CEO fires law firm, starts personal outreach to make amends

Circulating a letter of apology was the first step. Now, Backcountry CEO Jonathan Nielsen says he is making personal calls and visits to repair relationships with companies hurt in the online retailer's trademark litigation over use of the word "backcountry." Nielsen confirmed ...read more

BCRe_190321_05003

Exclusive: Backcountry CEO breaks silence over trademark blowup, drops lawsuit against ski maker

As controversy swirls and customer outrage mounts around how Backcountry is defending its trademark, the Utah-based online retailer has potentially lost thousands of customers in its fight for the use of a single word that the outdoor industry loves to use: “backcountry.” The ...read more

Backcountry goat in metal on wall in office

The Backcountry trademark fiasco, one year later

Additional reporting and writing by SNEWS contributing editor Kiran Herbert On October 31, 2019, The Colorado Sun broke a huge story that became one of the year’s biggest scandals in the outdoor industry. According to the Sun, the large online retailer Backcountry.com had engaged ...read more

Jonathan Nielsen headshot, Backcountry CEO

Backcountry's CEO on becoming gear makers, not just sellers

In front of a room of journalists in March, Jonathan Nielsen described himself as really good snowboarder, a frequent mountain biker, and an adequate climber. The audience chuckled and the Backcountry CEO took a pause before spilling his excitement over the company's biggest ...read more

Backcountry goat in metal on wall in office

Backcountry CEO receives online threat amid trademark backlash

Backcountry CEO Jonathan Nielsen said he received an online threat from someone last week after he released a public letter of apology regarding the company's trademark-enforcement strategy. The Park Record reported that the online retailer's general counsel reported the threat ...read more

Jaegermeister

Trademark infringement is not kühl

Jägermeister has caused a bit of confusion with a new campaign urging customers to "find a kühl spot" to drink. The word is German for "cool," as you might assume, but it's also trademarked by the Salt Lake City-based clothing company of the same name. KÜHL has filed a lawsuit ...read more

White woman with short blonde hair, arms crossed and white blouse

New leadership at Backcountry

Backcountry announced leadership changes today. Melanie Cox will serve as CEO, replacing Jonathan Nielsen, and Sarah Crockett will serve in the newly created role of chief marketing officer. Cox comes to Backcountry from fast fashion brand rue21 where she was interim CEO. Cox ...read more

Backcountry's women's clothes

Backcountry.com’s new collections serve women well

One of Diana Seung’s favorite pieces in the new Backcountry.com line is a pair of knickers, light enough to fit under a ski bib but designed to keep women warm all day in the mountains. It was such a hit, men wanted them too, she said. Seung, the executive vice president of ...read more