Before we get into the nitty gritty of what makes Battlefoam douchey let me start off by saying that Romeo the owner of Battlefoam is really a cool guy. I got the pleasure of hanging out with him for a bit at Wargames Con and he was really nice and down to party. I did though notice something that I had always suspected since seeing the first videos of him promoting his products…
Romeo the person is different from Romeo the salesman.
This douchebaggery is about Romeo the businessman not Romeo the gamer.
Where do we start…
Well in March Battlefoam started with…Oh yeah suing!
Basically, Battlefoam has a patent/in the process of getting a patent on a laser foam cutting technique, which Outrider Hobbies I guess is infringing on.
Tabletop Gaming News has a pretty in-depth comment thread about this when the news first broke.
A month later Outrider Hobbies responds with its own legal filing
Common sense would assume that two Arizona companies would fight legal battles in the states they are based right? Battlefoam instead sent a New Hampshire attorney to do the dirty worka. Either way if Outrider is copying Battlefoam product then I can see how Battlefoam has a claim, only problem is the cynic might say Battlefoam is trying to take out its only local competitor through legal means.
Fast forward to June and we get the quick dismissal to the suit.
If you read the dismissal I wonder if the Judge really wanted to use words frivolous or maybe even childish… Worse even Battlefoam had to pay Outrider for their legal fees. So maybe Battlefoam had a moment of bad judgment in the ULTRA competitive miniature transport industry.
The court of public opinion really shouldn’t consider this a big deal…right?
Well Battlefoam just cannot get enough of legal letters!
Yeah, this is a smart plan going after Sabol Designs with a cute little cease and desist…I mean friend reminder, about a patent that is still pending. A patent that might not even affect the way the Sabol does foam cutting. Sabol had this little bitch slap response to Battlefoam.
Take a look at over 100 patents that have been in my family for over 50 years. Google ” Jack J. Gilbert”, my father. He invented and patented some of the world’s most innovative products that include, Mr. Coffee, the Electric Knife, Slicing Machines, Hand Held Steam Cleaner, The Switch to turn on and off traffic lights, Blood Serum Analyzer, Microfiche Reader, Mail Sorting Equipment and the list goes on an on. I take personal offense for such a ludicrous letter that was sent to my company.
My guess is that Battlefoam had no idea that Sabol is a small part of a larger beast that I wouldn’t want to mess with. For juicy comments and the full response check out this…
Like any drama this legal notice just didn’t come out of thin air. It seems like Battlefoam got their pantaloons in a bunch at GenCon this year– the Warstore had a booth which was selling Outrider foam in Sabol cases. Oh, the humanity! Since we don’t have a Battlefoam response to this whole fiasco all we can go on is the Warstore’s response.
Hello everyone my name is Don and I work at TheWarStore.com. I have several FACTS and OPINIONS regarding this situation I’d like to share…
Let’s start with the facts:
• TheWarStore.com did indeed bring Outrider Hobbies products, flyers and promotional banners. The intent was to promote Outrider Hobbies and gauge interest in there product line. So that astute attendee was correct… We did have the same amount on Sunday that we started with on Friday. =)
• None of the aforementioned product or samples was sold at GenCon and to the best of our knowledge none of the customers TheWarStore.com staff dealt with were mislead or confused by the Outrider Hobbies products (although I guess the second half of this statement would be opinion).
• We did sell quite a bit of Sabol product at GenCon.
• Battlefoam stated that they “send a staff member over to TheWarStore booth to find out how our products had gotten inside of Sabol bags”. No TWS employee working at the event remembers speaking to any Battlefoam employees to clarify any misunderstanding.
Now I will go to opinion:
• I heard a podcast featuring an interview with Bryan Wade and was impressed. It was after this that I decided (on my own) to reach out to Bryan and offer to promote Outrider Hobbies at GenCon.
• Considering we reached out to him with less then 2 weeks till GenCon it was a miracle that he was able to get the demo products and promotional material to us in time.
• TWS has many competitors. We have yet to send any companies a C&D… Or more
• Truthfully we never even thought we could. We thought commerce was a free market where business competed for your almighty dollar through price and service. Considering Neal lays claim to creating the Internet and Trans-dimensional beings I guess its time to send Al Gore and George Lucas a C&D =).
• In closing there was no malice or secret backroom meeting between TWS, SABOL, and Outrider Hobbies. Just an open marketplace in which companies compete to earn your (the customers) hard earned dollar.
Battlefoam’s response to all of this is a “clarification”
So I am curious on how many enemies does Battlefoam want to make at once? Maybe next week file a lawsuit against GW for their cases? This sort of behavior is accepted between corporate giants, but really is it necessary in Wargaming? Battlefoam sells great products let them do the selling not Battlefoam’s legal team. Gamers are a sensitive bunch when we feel like a company is treating us badly we take our dollar elsewhere (GW is exempt). Black eyes like only harm Battlefoam’s brand and is a total waste of time and energy.
I think Blood of Kittens might have to send its own cease and desist douche order if this continues…