Poll: Is It Fair to Trademark the Term “Backcountry”?

We’ve covered the topic of “who owns the backcountry”, in a variety of different mediums,  but never did we think we’d have to question who owns the very term—until now. Just over a year ago, the online dealer of all things outdoor, Backcountry.com, started to sell their own branded gear, and at the same time, they applied for trademark protection of the term “Backcountry”.

Some unbranded backcountry. Photo: NPS

Ah, the world we live in today. Since then, they have sued a number of brands with the name “Backcountry” in them including a Colorado women-focused avalanche safety program called Backcountry Babes, a denim maker called Backcountry Denim, and many more. Not only have they sued brands for using the term backcountry, but also for using the goat associated with the brand.

While Backcountry.com is certainly not the first brand to attempt to trademark their name, it is certainly going to be a controversial one, as the term backcountry represents the backbone of the outdoor community, and certainly has more meaning than just a brand name. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on everything going on as the situation develops. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts in our poll below.—ML

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