A Denver trailer rental company hopes there isn’t that much in a name after all.
Weeks after finding himself in a legal battle with California-based Airstream Inc., Bill Ward is changing the name of his Denver-based Airstream trailer rental company from Living Airstream to Living Mobile.
Ward said he’s not upset by the change.
“This is small in the grand scheme of things. It’s a simple name change,” Ward said. “The new name gets the point across, even if it doesn’t specify that we’re an Airstream rental company.”
The trademark dispute began in May 2014 when Airstream sent Ward a cease-and-desist letter. Airstream sent three more letters before filing a lawsuit against Ward in December 2015, demanding he change the name of his company by Feb. 15.
Ward will comply, and said he expects to do so by that deadline. That includes changing his name with the Colorado Secretary of State office, updating his website and redoing all of his promotional material.
He said Airstream has promised to drop the suit once the name change is complete. Airstream also asked the court to grant Airstream any profits Ward gained from using the Airstream name. Airstream’s attorney, James Pinto of Cincinnati-based firm Dinsmore & Stohl, did not return calls for comment by press time.
In addition to changing his company’s name and branding, Ward also is turning over ownership of domain names Livingairstream.com and Airstreamparty.com to Airstream.
The biggest challenge for Living Mobile, Ward said, will be bringing it to the top of Internet searches. Ward said he will have to rebuild his search engine optimization from the ground up by finding other websites that link to his own.
Living Mobile wasn’t Ward’s first choice. Ward offered to change his name to “Sharestream.” Airstream said that name was too close to its own.
Ward, who founded Living Airstream in 2011, is focused more on his company’s profitability than its name. He’s pushing his services to Houston through a licensee and plans to expand his fleet of Airstreams from 18 units into the mid-20s by this summer, Ward said.
He also has considered selling the company, which he said generates $700,000 per year.
“I had one offer already but I didn’t want to take it,” he said. “But I’d consider doing it under the right circumstances.”