The Hoser story begins in 2009 when the below pictured hat was purchased at the Salvation Army store in Yorkton, SK. The hat was purchased because it brought a smile to my face and reminded me of how funny some of those SCTV skits with Bob and Doug McKenzie were. Then my entrepreneurial spirit kicked in.
I wondered if anyone had actually trademarked the word 'Hoser'. I googled 'trademark lawyer' and discovered a firm that dealt with trademark law. A few phone calls and $2500 later, an application was sent in to the trademark office. This idea is gold.
With the confidence of sole ownership to this iconic Canadian brand I auditioned for Dragon's Den in Regina. I had no sales but a few prototype shirts. The audition went so well that I was invited to take my pitch to Toronto to convince the Dragons that this is Canada's next big brand. I worked with my producer as we finalized what and how the pitch would be done. A month before I was scheduled to be in Toronto I get informed by my trademark lawyer that he did not perform an proper search on the word 'Hoser' and that someone else actually owned the word. Devastated would be an appropriate word to describe my emotion followed a close second by anger at the incompetence of my lawyer. I regretfully had to inform my producer that I will not be making it to Toronto to perform my pitch.
It took about a year for me to cool off enough to start working on this project again. There was an individual in Ottawa that owned 6 trademarked words that conflicted with the word 'Hoser' - that being '2Hoser8', 'Hoserized', 'Les Hosers'...to name a few. The actual word 'Hoser' was not actually registered because you cannot register a word that is derogatory in any way. The meaning of the word when it was coined could be construed as derogatory. Fast forward 30 years and you would be hard pressed to have anyone actually give a definition of the word and even more difficult to find someone who didn't smile when you mention the word. After many conversations over the course of the next year I finally purchased all 6 words from the individual and armed with the ownership of all conflicting words, I reapplied to trademark the word 'Hoser'. I found a different trademark lawyer to do it this time:)
Energized once again with my idea I auditioned once again in the spring of 2012 for Dragon's Den in Regina. Again, I had no sales but this idea is so good it didn't matter. The producers performing the audition were equally impressed and enthused this time around and I got an invitation to go to Toronto. My pitch was entertaining but lacked some key points the Dragons could not see past. One of the main factors was not owning the domain name 'hoser.com'. Guess who owns hoser.com now.
Click here to watch Jason face the fire in the Den...
Absent of the help of people who would help me take this brand nation wide I am doing it on my own. The products are made in Canada by Canadians for Canadians.
When traveling abroad you can put a maple leaf on your luggage to let everyone know where you're from, or you can buy the brand that sets you apart from anyone else in the world.
This IS a good idea.
Share it, like it, live it.
- Jason Farrell