People start up new businesses every day, Budgetbeuker bearings was started by Bastiaan van Zadelhoff. We interviewed Bastiaan a while back about starting a company, being a part of Pop Trading Co and his many nicknames. We kept in touch after the interview and a couple of days ago he told me that he had gotten a cease and desist letter from another company that felt like the Budgetbeuker logo was to similar to theirs. The whole thing kind of shocked me! I asked him, why would such a big company care about a small upstart with a logo that was inspired by their own? How did they even find out about his company? What where the consequences? And how can you avoid having to go through similar issues. Bastiaan quickly responded to these questions and answered them all in this interview.
How did things go after you launched the company?
Things went well for some time, that was the best time of my life though!
How did people receive the brand?
Way better than I expected! I have been visiting some shops that carry my product and I was surprised at how much of my product they where selling. I am so happy and grateful for all the love I have received!
After such a great start when did you find out you had a problem?
On the eighth of January I opened my inbox and in that inbox was an email: Notification of IPR Infringement by Envisional Enforcement. An Italian brand (that will remain nameless) had seen my logo and felt that it was to similar to theirs. The email also stated their demands, basically all the products and promo with my old logo had to be taken offline.
Are your logos really that similar?
Well both our logos are based on a compass, the are some other differences but the only real difference is that they copyrighted their logo. So I google them and the first thing I see is that some of their jackets cost more than my initial investment! (laughs) After that I thought it would be better to comply with their request and take my site down.
Do you think this whole episode could have been prevented?
People really took notice, Budgetbeuker went kind of viral. I started to get more followers on Instagram, one of those followers “happened” to be a shop manager for this Italian brand. He possibly started this whole thing, the guy used to skate, he was one of those people who big themselves up and tells crazy (untruthful) stories. Hugo (Snelooper) told me that his friends used to pick on the guy, one night his friends even threw the guy into a swimming pool because he was Dj’ing terribly (laughs). Truthfully I really don’t know what happened, this person denies snitching on me. It could have been somebody higher up, Who knows? The Internet is a crazy place!
Did have to take your product out of the shops?
No but we have to cover the original logo, so I had some stickers made so shops can cover the old logo with these stickers. Once that is done we can keep selling our bearings.
Okay. So what does this mean for the future of the brand?
Well the brand itself suffered because of these issues. We had to drop or change all our product designs that where based on the original logo. I’ve been spending a lot of time troubleshooting, instead of putting that time into growing the brand.
As far as creating a new logo I am not a 100% sure but I am working on it. No matter what design, we will be extra careful! So those Italians are not temped to start some trouble again.
Any last words?
To be honest I never saw myself winning the court case but it felt strangely cool that I got noticed by such a big brand!
Go to budgetbeuker.com to see more.
Photos by: Hugo Snelooper
Interview by: Roland Hoogwater