JustPoloX, the new Australian polocrosse business, has started a minor international incident when it accused UK polocrosse player Danny Duhig of stealing its business idea. In a message posted to the organisation’s Facebook page in late February, JustPoloX said that a certain UK web designer had used their proposal to create their own website. The web designer in person is not named but it is understood that after the wall post appeared Danny emailed the site but received no response. Danny runs his own design business, Daniel Duhig Designs, and he also sits on the UKPA Executive committee as the Midland Region’s chairman, making a slur against his character potentially damaging and insulting to the UKPA Executive as a whole.
JustPoloX is a new business whose stated aim is to create a “one stop shop for all things polocrosse” by connecting suppliers to customers. It’s actual website is still under construction so it is still not entirely clear what exactly it will offer and how it will do it. However, it has been on Facebook since October 2011 and in that time has concentrated on engaging with polocrosse suppliers and customers, particularly within Australia. They have also been engaging with national polocrosse organisations as they intend to have diary listings of polocrosse events on around the world.
It is believed that the website they objected to was one called Horse Clobber, which is a UK based equestrian classified business that has just launched. The exact nature of the complaint is not known and at first glance the HorseClobber business model would seem to be far wider, dealing with all types of equestrian activities, and focused entirely on the UK market. There are a great deal of similar sites in both the UK market and worldwide which offer classified listings for both individuals and businesses in the equine world so the opinion of the Polocrosse Extreme legal team is that it would be very hard for either side to argue a breach of copyright (Editor’s note: though it is worth noting the Polocrosse Extreme legal team actually have no legal qualifications and only got the job as they were the only one who could spell “litigate” and had no criminal record).
After the post was made to the JustPoloX Facebook page by its owner Trudy Bates in February, Danny responded at length today, in what is thought to be a copy of an email he had previously sent to JustPoloX, to say that he refuted the accusations and that the HorseClobber business had actually been started in 2009 under the name Horse King. After this the original wall post and Danny’s response was removed (Editor’s note: but luckily we have got a screenshot!) and so far no further comment about the incident has been forthcoming on their Facebook page.
Both Danny and JustPoloX have been contacted to comment further but so far no responses have been received from either. Still, for both businesses it is probably a case of “all publicity is good publicity” as people will be driven towards their respective websites.