As John Summit goes unusually quiet over Off The Grid dispute, Ears To The House takes a closer look to see what’s REALLY going on in this trademark case…

One word that anyone would certainly struggle to associate with tech-house DJ John Summit is silence – and yet that’s what his fans were treated to yesterday. The normally vocal producer, who isn’t usually afraid to say what he thinks, retreated from social media.

Yesterday morning, Ears To The House reported that a dispute had arisen regarding True Entertainment and Summit – real name John Schuster. True Entertainment have been running Off The Grid campouts since 2015, and aren’t happy with Schuster using Off The Grid as the name for his record label.

Schuster claimed this company was essentially trying to extort money out of him – claims denied by Mikey Made Cromie, who posted a very different version of events. Amidst the confusion, Ears To The House decided to take a closer look at what was really going on here.

Contrary to popular belief, no legal action is ongoing here. From what we understand, True Entertainment tried to trademark Off The Grid last April – indeed, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has this on public record.

According to those files, the trademark application was first submitted on 18th April 2022. As of the time of writing, this application is ongoing – it was originally rejected on 28th March, but permission to extend the application was granted on June 6th. The application is made in the name of Michael Cromie, with legal representation by Joshua M Gerben.

However, it turns out Schuster has also sent off a trademark application. According to public records, this was first submitted on 6th May 2022 and is also ongoing – but this one is at a slightly different stage. On 1st March this year, a notice was sent to Schuster and his attorney Meredith Pikser saying they needed more information – with an application extension granted on 31st May.

In other words, neither trademark officially exists as of yet. Since both Off The Grids will operate in the same space – namely music – only one will realistically be granted a trademark, if either does at all. So what was Schuster talking about when he mentioned “demands” for “life-changing money”?

From what we’ve been able to establish, Schuster’s attorney initially requested that both companies be allowed to co-exist. Cromie declined, apparently on the grounds that Schuster had refused to engage until after a cease and desist had been sent to him. We then understand Schuster’s side made a sizeable offer to purchase the company – believed to be in the lower six figures.

This offer was firmly rebutted – it’s unclear what will happen now, although Schuster has already publicly indicated that he might have to rebrand his company. True Entertainment might have the law on their side simply due to being first – Off The Grid campouts have been running since 2015, whereas Schuster’s Off The Grid only began in 2022.

Quite how this unseemly episode is going to be resolved remains to be seen. Right now, however, the only certainty is that Schuster has clearly been told by his own solicitors to keep quiet…

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