An attorney working for US amp maker Fortin has contacted Ukrainian pedal builder Analog Music Company to request it ceases using the phrase Evil Pumpkin on its products, claiming Fortin owns the US trademark for the name.
The email from Rick Finkelstein of the RC Trademark Company LLC, which represents Fortin, has been shared by Analog Music Company’s founder Konstantin. The latter disputes the claim.
The Ukrainian firm’s Evil Pumpkin Ghazala pedal is a synth/noise box that is based around a “heavily circuit bent” Boss DS-1 and is one of three core products offered by the home-based builder.
In the initial message Finkelstein states that Fortin owns the trademark for Evil Pumpkin in the US (it previously used the name for its 100-watt tube amp) and notes that it extends from amp software to amplifiers, speakers and “electronic effect pedals”.
Later, Finkelstein requests Analog Music Company refrain from using the name, saying, “I noticed that your Evil Pumpkin pedals have been sold in the USA. I am sure that you were unaware of this trademark registration so I would like to kindly ask you to stop using the name EVIL PUMPKIN for your pedals as it is infringing the above-referenced trademark.”
Analog Music Company, however, clearly intends to fight for its right to use the trademark. In his reply the firm’s founder Konstantin claims that his business was the first to use the name “publically [sic] and commercially before you filed for registration and we have proof of that.”
He also explains that, being based in Kyiv in the Ukraine, he is only selling in the US market via third parties, and his Analog Music Company holds the Ukrainian trademark for Evil Pumpkin.
Konstantin also goes on to note that technically the product is now known as the Evil Pumpkin Ghazala (an authorised reference to circuit-bending guru Reed Ghazala), so disputes the fact that it is even the same product name. He concludes: “So I don’t think we should be changing the name at this moment.”
In a statement shared with Guitar.com (opens in new tab), Konstantin says the notice came as, “quite a shock – because I am a one man operation, assembling pedals literally in my kitchen.”
“Sometimes my friend who is a mother of three is helping me with basic soldering, packing and shipping. She is also in Kyiv, working as a medical worker during the day, and takes an additional job with my pedals to feed her children. So how I or we making pedals literally during air raids are posing a threat to mighty Fortin – is beyond me.”
Konstantin has since posted the initial email and his reply on Instagram, alongside a note from Reed Ghazala endorsing the use of his name on the Evil Pumpkin pedal. And says that he believes “in the story of David and Goliath, and I won't give up easily.”
Fortin has been approached for comment.
Head to Analog Music Company (opens in new tab) for more information on its range.