Todd Begg Files Suit Against Todd Begg Knives Trademark Holder

On Friday, Custom maker Todd Begg sued Pride In Making Products (PIMP) LLC., the company currently behind the Todd Begg Knives brand, as well as company co-owners Mattia Borrani and Mark Skaggs, Todd’s brother. Among other remedies, the suit aims to regain the use of the name “Todd Begg Knives” for Begg’s custom work, prevent his existing designs from being produced without his permission, and cause the dissolution of the company.

Begg and his partners founded PIMP LLC. in 2012. It’s the company behind the Steelcraft series, as well as a custom shop for Todd Begg designs made by other trained craftsmen. According to the complaint, Begg signed on as a 1/3 owner of the company, but his role has been “limited to the manufacturing of knives, training and overseeing knife-making employees, as well as the Company’s utilization of the goodwill associated with his name and reputation.”

The suit alleges that in January 2017, the Company stopped making payments to Todd Begg which prompted Begg’s move to [Dallas] Texas. A month later when Begg attempted to recover $200,000 of knife making equipment from the company’s California headquarters, “Defendants refused access … threatened to call law enforcement, and thereafter changed the locks to the doors of the Company’s premises.”

Begg says that the company won’t provide him access to the company’s books and records which “he is entitled to inspect.”

A trademark registration for the name “Todd Begg Knives” was filed by PIMP and granted in 2015. However, the complaint says that Begg consented to the trademark only in certain circumstances. “While Plaintiff [Begg] participated in the Company, Plaintiff allowed the Defendants to operate under the fictitious business name ‘Todd Begg Knives’ solely so that Plaintiff could maintain control over the use of his name and the quality of the products sold by the Company.”

It goes on to allege that the trademark filing had consequences for Begg that his partners deliberately hid. “Acquiring Plaintiff’s consent to the trademark would secure the right to prevent Plaintiff from using his name in conjunction with the sale of knives. … Defendants fraudulently procured Plaintiff’s consent to the registration of the trademark.” It maintains that this lead to “confusion in the marketplace by producing products bearing Plaintiff’s name and identity that are not produced by, endorsed by, or affiliated with Plaintiff. … The Company’s trademark registration of TODD BEGG KNIVES is invalid and should be cancelled.”

> > Keep your folders awesome. Grab a Pack of 5 Microfiber Blade Sleeves for $8.99 < <

The suit also seeks to prevent PIMP’s commercial use of Begg’s designs since his withdrawal of their permission to do so on June 4th (the final day of Blade Show 2017). According to the complaint, after June 4th and “without Plaintiffs consent or knowledge, the Plaintiff is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that Defendants entered into agreements with third parties, under which these third parties will produce knives based on Plaintiffs knife designs and design elements.”

The lawsuit also reveals that in August the parties attended a mediation in Sonoma County, California with Begg picking up the expenses. “Although defendants Skaggs and Borrani purportedly told the Company attorney that they would agree to the “basic terms” of Plaintiffs mediation agreement, Defendants refused to sign the mediation agreement.”

Knife featured in image: Todd Begg Knives Steelcraft Series Mini Bodega

Join knife companies and subscribe to the KnifeNews email.
They wouldn't subscribe
if it wasn't awesome.
(No spam, only great content)