Joe Sexton recently started his own snowboard brand, Public, a catchy name he has trademarked and gone through all the motions to own. However, some eight years ago, Mammoth local Ryan Farnes started Publik snowboards, a fact that no one denies. Can snowboarding handle two Publix? Only time will tell, but for now, Ron caught up with Ryan to talk about the name confusion and his feelings on the matter. And to be fair, we also reached out to Sexton, who explained:
The facts are this: Before I started PUBLIC I researched potential conflicts in the USPTO data base, and found no conflicts whatsoever. I had never heard of the brand Publik, and there was no proof that the company even existed, because at the time there was no website, instagram, proof of sales.. nothing. I went through all the proper channels and due diligence trademarking my name and my business. After Ryan had left countless negative comments on our instagram I decided to take the high road and call Ryan and explain what is going on. We had a healthy talk and he even said “I realized there is no way you could have known about us.” It was a healthy conversation that ended on a positive note. My brand PUBLIC has an entirely different vibe and aesthetic than theirs and I think it is clear that we didnt “steal” anything. At the end of the day, this is snowboarding and it should be about fun. It is an unfortunate situation, but I feel like if they “had” the company for 8 years they should have taken the steps to trademark the name.