Lubbock born business Big Wick’s being sued by Missouri company for trademark infringment

Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 5:40 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A jalapeno glaze company called Big Wick’s, started by a Texas Tech student, is now facing a costly lawsuit.

Wes Wicker started that company from the ground up as a means to put himself through college. You now can find that glaze on shelves across Texas. But now, a food production company based in Missouri is suing Big Wick’s for trademark infringement.

Wes says that lawsuit came as a shock.

“I guess four or five years ago I established a rapport with the COO of that company to avoid being sued,” Wicker said.

What we now know as Big Wick’s used to be named Wicker’s TX. A very similar title to the Missouri company called Wicker’s Food Products, which is what prompted Wes to reach out.

“I basically gave them a heads-up saying, hey I am calling mine Wicker’s TX to differentiate us from you and the CEO of that company literally said, okay no problem, we will not sue you,” Wicker said.

Kory Speaight messages to Wes Wicker
Kory Speaight messages to Wes Wicker(KCBD)

That statement came from Kory Speaight who was the Chief Operating Officer of Wicker’s Food Products at the time. Speaight told Wes that Wicker’s would not sue his company, but he suggested Wes change the name the next time he redesigned his labels, which is exactly what Wes did.

“We went ahead and filed a trademark for Big Wick’s, got the artwork changed and we rolled that out on our social media, and then a month after that we received the lawsuit,” Wicker said.

We took these concerns to Wicker’s Food Products’ current CEO, Jerffery Jones, to ask why that name change wasn’t enough.

“When you actually have a registered trademark, when you send someone something, you still have the option at that point if they make a name change to put input into that. When they sent Big Wick’s over to us, we still felt that it was too close because on a grocery store shelf where our product are we are in the same category,” Jones said.

Jones says even then, his company gave Wes multiple extensions to settle on a different name, expressing the concern that some of Wes’s bottles were still being sold under the name Wicker’s TX. That’s when Wicker’s Food Products say Wes and his legal team went silent.

“From August with the cease and desist to February he continued to sell the brand Wicker’s Texas where all Wes had to do was take his product if he was going to go with Big Wick’s and change the labels immediately and go take those to the stores, which he chose not to do,” Jones said.

Both companies tell us they wish this lawsuit could have been avoided. Mediation in this case with begin Monday in Austin.