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Rumor of happenings between Ontario and RAT Cutlery

Discussion in 'ESEE KNIVES' started by R.A.T., Mar 13, 2008.

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  1. R.A.T.

    R.A.T. Randall's Adventure & Training

    Feb 4, 2004
    I'm sort of reluctant to add this thread but I've received several phone calls from customers and also one from someone in NY saying the rumor is Ontario Knife Co. is planning on suing RAT Cutlery. The bottom line to all of this is we like Ontario. They're a good company. They have done well with the Ontario RAT line and we wish them continued success in what they do. Our contract with Ontario was over a long time ago. We are no under any contract with Ontario in any fashion. I do know that they filed paperwork with the Patent and Trademark Office on February 28, 2008 claiming ownership of the name "TAK 1" and "RTAK" As you all know the name RTAK goes back to the Newt Livesay Wicked Knife Co. days...long before Ontario. But that's really not an issue to us even though it is our intellectual property - in the same way we retained ownership of all our designs.

    Mike and I both have tried to call Ontario and email them asking them what's going on and what's up with the rumor but no one will speak to us or email us. With that said, we haven't been served any papers either so I'm thinking that this whole business of getting sued is simply rumor since I'm not sure what they could even sue us for. Anyway, just know that RAT Cutlery is forging ahead and plan to be in this game for a long time to come. I know one of the dealers who emailed me was sort of worried since he planned on doing some advertising on RAT Cutlery. We have too much invested to quit now

    One last thing, since Ontario refuses to communicate with us in any fashion, any Ontario RAT warranty work will have to go directly to them and not through us until things change and everyone gets happy again.

    Jeff
     
  2. texastonydobbs

    texastonydobbs

    May 25, 2007
    Thanks for the heads up , now I am scared to send in my Ontario RAT products for warranty when/if needed !
     
  3. R.A.T.

    R.A.T. Randall's Adventure & Training

    Feb 4, 2004
    Well, Nick Trbovich Jr., CEO of Ontario just called me right after I posted this. They do have letters headed our way from their attorneys. What Nick told me on the phone is he wanted us to quit using the name RAT Cutlery and basically design for them since they had "so much time" invested in us. I thought we were going to be able to reach an agreement on the phone without having lawyers get involved but when he said we had to quit using the name RAT Cutlery, I told him no way. We have been known as RAT since our beginnings in 1997. I asked him how he felt going after a small company like this and he told me that he had to worry about his stock holders and employees. I'm pissed right now. I friggin' can't believe that a huge company like Ontario is going to sue a little piss-ant company like RAT Cutlery just when it's getting started. There is no way RAT Cutlery has the funding to defend against a long, drawn-out court battle such as this may be. Nick knows that and knows he can crush us with such frivolous suits.
     
  4. texastonydobbs

    texastonydobbs

    May 25, 2007
    that is greed and shows how Ontario if they don't get there way ,they will crush the little guy to make a mark......Let me know if I can help...donate some money to help or something this is BS from a rich Bastard trying to destroy something he could not own !
     
  5. R.A.T.

    R.A.T. Randall's Adventure & Training

    Feb 4, 2004
    What I really need right now is someone who can offer me some legal advice. Being the southern redneck that I am, I just take people on the word and a handshake and never get attorneys involved. That's stupid on my part. The sad part is Ontario will continue to use our name, logo, likeness and the whole nine yards on the Ontario RAT line while they're suing us. If I wasn't so damn mad I would be laughing at this whole mess because I couldn't dream up stuff so twisted.
     
  6. texastonydobbs

    texastonydobbs

    May 25, 2007
    I am sure There are lawyer or attornies on this site or a friend of a friend ....I hope somebody would step-up and help RAT Cutlery
     
  7. okbohn

    okbohn

    May 26, 2006
    Sheesh....that is just WRONG.

    Redneck here too--and not an attorney--but it seems to me that if your contract is up, they would be out of luck on something like this. That only makes sense.

    YES they have lots of money involved, but they have made a ton on it!

    The sad thing is that they may be wrong, but if they are big enough to win anyway....

    Aggrivating.

    Hopefully someone will chime in with something more helpful.
     
  8. okbohn

    okbohn

    May 26, 2006
    BESIDES--YOU have a lot of money in building the RAT name as well! and it was your name first!

    Good grief.
     
  9. sketchbag

    sketchbag Banned by Moderators

    915
    Oct 1, 2007
    How about posting some contact info for Ontario so we can all express our disgust?
     
  10. R.A.T.

    R.A.T. Randall's Adventure & Training

    Feb 4, 2004
    Derrick, as bad as I hate to say this, money and power usually wins these things. Hard work and doing the right thing doesn't mean anything anymore. Nick knows he can weather the storm financially and publicly and that in the end his money will grind us down, he'll win and RAT Cutlery will be gone and the whole thing forgotten about in 6 months.

    The folks at Ontario and the product is still good stuff and I truly do wish them the best. Mike and I both worked our asses off building the Ontario RAT line and putting it on the map. The reason we started our own company is because Ontario would not upgrade the existing line as we asked them to. You mark my word, while we get sunk from legal battles, our hard work and time will be looted by Nick Trbovich.

    What the hell can you do. Life's too short to friggin' worry about it. I've lost everything before so I'm no stranger to getting back up on the horse.
     
  11. sketchbag

    sketchbag Banned by Moderators

    915
    Oct 1, 2007
    So who owns the rights to the term "RAT" and the knife designs ontario used? Seems to me that unless they pulled a legal fast one that it should still be your intellectual property
     
  12. bearthedog

    bearthedog

    May 17, 2006
    Sorry to hear about this Jeff/Mike. I think like sketchbag said expressing our disgust to Ontario and implying a boycot by email and phone calls might be one idea.
    Most people that like Ontario will frown upon their tactics as a big company going after RAT. You guys have a good chance at a judge seeing it your way since there is so much proof of the RAT name belonging to you since 1997. There are many magazines in circulation with the RAT jungle expiditions before your relationship with ontario. The Newt RTAK shows that it is your design made by them first then Ontario and all that can be proved. It just sucks that the answer to 99 out of 100 questions is MONEY.
    We are here for you Mike and Jeff if you need us to spred the word over the forums stating the disgust for Ontario.
    Reuben
     
  13. R.A.T.

    R.A.T. Randall's Adventure & Training

    Feb 4, 2004
    On the funny side of things, I just got a call from one our customers saying that he sold out of all the RC-4s that he got in today in less than an hour. It was right after this post hit BFs. So, as sad as this may sound, getting sued has helped our business cause folks are worried RAT Cutlery is going away. Trust me, we ain't going nowhere, so don't go in debt to buy our knives just yet ;) the one thing that we have is our desire to make sure every customer is 100 percent satisfied and that every knife is 100 percent quality. As long as we that mentality, we'll eventually beat those who have to steal intellectual property to survive.

    Anyone ever read Atlas Shrugged ;)
     
  14. texastonydobbs

    texastonydobbs

    May 25, 2007
    I posted on Jerzeedevil,but I am sending Ontario an email right F**K'n now !!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  15. Horn Dog

    Horn Dog

    Sep 9, 2005
    Well this really sucks. I have owned and used Ontario knives for years. Most have been very good for the money. I won't be buying any more of thier products now. Is Ontario a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch? Sounds like something they would do. I hope it works out for ya'll. Never trust a carpet bagger.
     
  16. R.A.T.

    R.A.T. Randall's Adventure & Training

    Feb 4, 2004
    I don't think anyone owns the name RAT since it can't be registered that way. According to our contract we still own the designs since under the clause heading "Ownership of Design, Work product and Tooling" the only thing that is stated in the paragraph is that Ontario owns the tooling. I'm no lawyer. But it was always implied that we owned our designs. I also have a phone recording that someone in management at Ontario stated the same thing.
     
  17. Tohatchi NM

    Tohatchi NM

    Mar 26, 2002
    Sorry to hear about the mess. You probably want to lawyer up now and not continue too much of this discussion online. I'm not an expert, but things you type off-the-cuff could be twisted around and come back to bite you.

    I was considering getting a TAK to play with, and I've recommended the Old Hickory knives in the past. Right now, I'm going to suspend my business with Ontario and see how this shakes out. I hate to abandon an American company, and it seems like they might have a leg to stand on (not to dispute anything you've said above, but contracts and intellectual property are complicated and I haven't seen any of the items in dispute). However, I don't appreciate a company putting stock holders above the product, and I really don't appreciate the big guy crushing the little guy with a frivolous lawsuit.

    Here's hoping R.A.T. surives the storm in some form or another.
     
  18. texastonydobbs

    texastonydobbs

    May 25, 2007
    Yeah ,I will not buy another Ontario product ..and I email Nick that as well....
     
  19. sketchbag

    sketchbag Banned by Moderators

    915
    Oct 1, 2007
    I just send a short but concise email to Nick telling him how despicable I think this is, and that if all that I've learned is accurate neither I, or my friends, family or anyone who asks for advice on what knife to buy will purchase an ontario knife again.

    It's not much, but seeing as it is all about the money the customers might have more pull than we might think.
     
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