UK boutique effects pedal (opens in new tab) company Origin Effects (opens in new tab) has responded to what it says are "inaccurate reports" that emerged last week following news of a trademark dispute with Travis Harris, founder of Bay Area pedal and amp company Revival Electric.
The roots of the dispute seem to come from Origin’s attempt to trademark its RevivalDRIVE overdrive pedal (opens in new tab) – a trademark that was reportedly denied by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Harris posted the following to the Revival Electric Instagram account on 16 June, outlining his grievances with Origin:
“About 18 months ago, Origin Effects blindsided me with legal action after they found out their RevivalDRIVE pedal was denied for a trademark,” the post states.
“With a team of lawyers, they have filed false allegations to get the trademark office to strip me of this name [Revival Electric], even doubling down during the peak of the pandemic with more malicious and aggressive claims.
“In my opinion this is all an attempt to help shield them from potential lawsuits since they are illegally using Revival, which infringes on my registered [trademark].”
“This week they are forcing me to give a 7 hour deposition (aka interrogation by their attorneys) in their latest attempt to drum up any evidence. They are using the law to inflict as much undue burden as possible in order to exhaust me and escape any consequences for their illegal actions.”
Following a wave of reactions on social media, Simon Keats (opens in new tab), founder of Origin Effects has now given his company's side of the story.
"As the founder of Origin Effects, I have been saddened by the recent events that have led to inaccurate reports on social media about our trademark dispute," Keats stated on Origin Effects' Facebook and Instagram accounts.
"This situation is not as portrayed, a case of “big fish, little fish”. Origin Effects is a small, relatively new company of guitar enthusiasts. We employ eleven people in a small market town in the English midlands. We are not a huge corporation with a team of lawyers.
"Trademarks are part and parcel of running and protecting a growing business," Keats continued. "This brings a level of complexity that inevitably creates friction from time to time. In our industry, by and large, people are pragmatic, and conflict can be avoided. One such situation has been framed by Revival Electric to portray us in a poor light. I want to assure you that, as always, there are two sides to every story.
"When our trademark application in the USA was rejected, we followed standard protocol, with the aim of either rebranding or finding a co-existence agreement where both parties happily operate alongside each other. Our repeated efforts to make contact with Revival Electric yielded no response. Given that Revival Electric’s website appeared to be dormant, we felt it was reasonable to continue with efforts to register the name.
"Only by starting a formal process were we able to make contact with Revival Electric, at which point we attempted to negotiate a settlement, including an offer to rebrand our products. Unfortunately, things escalated beyond our control when Revival Electric demanded royalty fees on all sales of Revival products that we were unable to meet. We felt that Revival Electric were attempting to unscrupulously profit from their trademark. With the threat of legal action against us, we had no choice but to continue with the US trademark dispute system for a resolution. There is no lawsuit against Revival Electric.
"These facts have been omitted from Revival Electric’s portrayal of events.
"I want to say a huge thank you to all our fantastic customers and artists around the world; your continued support means a great deal during this difficult time."
MusicRadar will be following developments as they unfold.