The Bench Craft Company, a marketing and advertising company based in Portland, Oregon, has been embroiled in a legal battle for several years. The company, which specializes in creating customized golf course guides and maps, has faced multiple lawsuits from various parties. In this article, we will delve into the details of the Bench Craft Company lawsuit and uncover the reasons behind the legal disputes.
Background of the Bench Craft Company
Founded in 1982, the Bench Craft Company has been providing advertising and marketing services to golf courses across the United States. The company’s main product is a customized golf course guide, which features advertisements from local businesses. These guides are distributed to golfers for free, with the aim of promoting both the golf course and the local businesses.
The first lawsuit against the Bench Craft Company was filed in 2014 by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA). The NGCOA claimed that the company’s business practices were deceptive and misleading, as they promised to provide free golf course guides to golfers but failed to disclose that the guides were funded by advertisements. The NGCOA also alleged that the company’s sales representatives used aggressive and deceptive tactics to secure contracts with golf courses.
In 2016, the Bench Craft Company faced another lawsuit, this time from the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA). The PGA claimed that the company’s use of the PGA logo on their golf course guides was unauthorized and constituted trademark infringement. The company argued that they had obtained permission from individual golf courses to use the logo, but the PGA maintained that the use of their logo was not authorized by the organization.
After years of legal battles, the Bench Craft Company reached a settlement with the NGCOA in 2018. As part of the settlement, the company agreed to change their business practices and provide full disclosure to golf courses and advertisers. They also agreed to pay a settlement fee to the NGCOA.
The lawsuit with the PGA, however, is still ongoing. In 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the PGA, stating that the use of the PGA logo on the golf course guides was unauthorized and constituted trademark infringement. The Bench Craft Company has since appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court.
The Bench Craft Company lawsuit has had a significant impact on the company’s reputation and business operations. The legal battles have brought negative attention to the company and have caused some golf courses to terminate their contracts with the company. The company has also faced financial losses due to the settlement fees and legal fees incurred during the lawsuits.
The Bench Craft Company lawsuit has shed light on the company’s business practices and has raised questions about the ethics of their advertising methods. While the legal battles have caused some setbacks for the company, they continue to operate and provide services to golf courses across the country. As the lawsuit with the PGA continues, it remains to be seen how it will affect the company’s future.