Colby Taylor, chairman of Innovative Sports in Eugene, Oregon has a lot to say about Columbia Sportswear, also based in Oregon. The two companies engaged in litigation over apparel heating technology but, according to Taylor, the court proceedings didn’t tell the full story. So he launched www.columbiasportswear.sucks to fill in the blanks.
“During the legal battle, the court barred us from commenting publicly,” Taylor said. “When it was over and the gag order was removed it was clear the Internet was the best way for me to tell the story more broadly.”
When the case was settled, Taylor had this to say: “Information vital to the case was missing and wasn’t being voluntarily offered by Columbia.” Unable to postpone a decision, meant, according to Taylor, that Innovative Sports didn’t have “the necessary time to ascertain that information which made us severely limited in our capacity.”
That led him to dotSucks. “It is a platform that adds emphasis, reach and great SEO results.”
He was surprised that the domain name was even available. “Since I launched the site earlier this year I have had many people tell me they can’t believe Columbia hadn’t registered the name themselves.” Taylor counts himself grateful they didn’t.
The book he wrote last year about the entire ordeal, entitled “Calumny,” is showcased on the site, as are in-depth analyses of the elements of the case. The web, in general, and the dotSucks platform, in particular “are a solid way for me to tell the full and real story,” Taylor said. So far, he says, there has been no response from Columbia.
Founded in Eugene, Oregon in 2003, Innovative Sports made its first splash with a sleeve to keep baseball pitchers’ arms warm between innings. Now a staple of major league bullpens, it was this warming technology, now offered in garments for sports, hunting and other outdoor activities that was as the heart of the legal action.
Proving again that it is the strength of the argument, not the size of the company that carries weight on the web, Taylor describes his site as a counter-balance to the way “Columbia was able to control the flow of information” during the trial.
Until his book is published (a goal made closer by the website), Taylor will continue to expand and deepen the story on his website.
At the same time, Innovative Sports is re-focused on expanding and deepening its market. Taylor reports that the U.S. Patent Office has recently notified him that his pending patent will soon be issued. “We were founded in Oregon, we manufacture in Oregon and we continue to grow in Oregon,” he said.
He is clearly proud of his company’s success and committed to telling the complete tale of the battle with Columbia.