The site for the new motel is at 405 Highway 23N, approximately 1.3 km north of Highway 1. (City of Revelstoke)

‘Base Camp’ business name at centre of trademark issue in Revelstoke, B.C.

The letter said the owners can no longer use the name “Base Camp” for their business

Two business owners in Revelstoke recently received an unexpected letter demanding them to change the name of their local enterprise, despite the fact they’ve been in operation for nealy a decade.

Christiane Duclos and Lorne Alcock, who own Base Camp Guest House in Revelstoke, said that they knew a hotel was opening in the area with a similar name, Basecamp Resorts Ltd, but weren’t concerned.

“We thought the new hotel would expand our referral network and we didn’t think much of it. There’s enough business to go around,” Duclos said.

However, the couple last week received a FedEx overnighted letter from Basecamp Resorts out of Calgary, telling them to “cease and desist” from using the name “Base Camp Guest House” as it “causes confusion, depreciates the value” of the name.

Based out of Canmore, Alta., Basecamp Resorts had their development permit approved by city council in February for a 30-unit motel off Highway 23N. The company has three hotels in Canmore with another under construction.

Duclos and Alcock have a new sign for their guest house, but they might not be able to use it. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Duclos and Alcock said they’re shocked.

“We don’t know who they are as they never said who their name is. They never talked to us before to try and work it out. Instead, they used a heavy handed approach.”

The couple said they would have been more than willing to come to a compromise, but now they don’t know what to do.

“In the beginning a phone call would have been fine, but it’s more than that now.”

Trademark agent Kursty Bansley, who is acting on the couples’ behalf, said this type of situation isn’t unique. Typically when businesses register for a trademark, the application goes though an examination and vetting process with the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. Not all businesses trademark their name.

“But that doesn’t mean they don’t have rights,” said Bansley. Legislation in Canada recognizes common law rights. There are a lot of factors and law involved with trademark disputes, such as how similar are the names, date first used and nature of the trade/goods.

“You can send a cease and desist to somebody, but that doesn’t mean they need to stop using that name.”

Duclos and Alcock said it would cost thousands to re-brand as there’s the website and logo. Not to mention guest reviews and a 4.4/5 star rating on Google.

“If we change our name, we lose it all. It’s not just changing the sign out front,” said Alcock.

Duclos posted to Facebook about the letter and received a flood of positive responses and was later interviewed by CBC Radio.

The McLeans own two hotels, one in Canmore and another in Golden. They had a development permit approved by Revelstoke city council in Feb for a 30-unit motel. Each unit will be self-contained with kitchens. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)


Sky and Tim McLean are the owners of Basecamp Resorts and came to Revelstoke this week in part to talk with Duclos and Alcock.

In retrospect, the McLeans agree with the couple. The letter shouldn’t have been sent and they should have called first.

“But we didn’t know. We’re learning as we go,” said Sky.

They are a young couple and have only for three years and chose the name Basecamp “as it’s the place where expeditions begin”.

The McLeans said they decided to trademark Basecamp because they wanted to create a national/international recognized brand. They hired a lawyer and did what they were told was right.

“We’re in shock. To be thrown under the bus like this.”

Duclos and Alcock didn’t call them either said the McLeans.

“This is heartbreaking. We’re not a big company. We aren’t coming here with guns blazing.”

There is another business in Revelstoke with a similar name – Basecamp Cabin. While the McLeans said they haven’t reached out yet, they’ll definitely call first. Maybe even bring cupcakes.

The McLeans, Duclos, and Alcock are planning to meet in-person and find a solution.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Alcock and Duclos have operated Base Camp Guest House in Revelstoke for almost a decade . (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Just Posted

Federal minister to speak in Vernon

Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes middle class prosperity minister to talk money

Vernon PAC takes stand against dating violence

KSS to host presentation to equip parents with tools to spot unhealthy, violent relationships

VIDEO: Vernon man says stranger breaks in while family slept

Resident shares doorbell cam footage in hopes to ID suspect who raided his home and fridge

Two-car collision in busy Vernon intersection

Firefighters, RCMP and ambulance are on scene

VIDEO: Protesters set up beside Vernon highway

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP responds to countrywide blockades

UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Signs at protest site say in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

B.C. Coroners Service reports on fatal falls in May and July 2019

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless posts to Facebook cause real harm and stress

At the risk of resembling a broken record, it needs to be… Continue reading

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Most Read