Fort Knox for Paper, Inside Story

Docusafe is a good name for the Princeton-based archival storage company owned by Bohren’s, profiled in U.S. 1 Newspaper. It’s such a good name in fact that two companies are using it, revealing an interesting story that didn’t make it into the September 30 edition (on the newstand through today and then available on the web).

Intellectual property mavens take note: Just about the time the Froehlich family opened Docusafe, an entrepreneur in Madison, Wisconsin, opened the same kind of company under that name and also opened one in Phoenix, Arizona. (INCORRECT STATEMENT: ICANN, which assigns web pages, was confused and assigned the same URL, http://www.docusafe.com/, to all three locations. It turns out, thanks to somebody who read this and commented, that ICANN did not do that. The Wisconsin/Arizona folks always had www.docusafe.net. See comments below.)

You’d think there would have been a court battle, but in this case reason, courtesy – and practicality – prevailed.

After the ensuing confusion, the two firms worked it out. The Froehlichs had legal rights to the name.

Each markets their own company, and when a customer from the wrong location lands at their door, why of course, they provide the referral.

It helps that document storage is a business that doesn’t travel well.

Postscript: Dan O’Neill of Iron Mountain (Docusafe’s giant competitor, boxes pictured above) wrote me note: “Nice profile of DocuSafe, and thanks for working so hard to tell a complete story. They sound like a great company. One error…we have more than 60 million computer back-up tapes, not 16 million as stated below. ” So corrected.
And Docusafe would point out that, unlike its competitors, it uses boxes that are stapled, not pasted. In the unlikely event of water damage, stapled boxes don’t fall apart.

3 thoughts on “Fort Knox for Paper, Inside Story

  1. Mark, that seemed odd to me as well, so I asked Marvin Parker that question, and the answer was "They thought it was the same company." And they did go into business about the same time. But I'll ask again and post what I find out.

  2. "ICANN, which assigns web pages, was confused and assigned the same URL,"Does anyone care to flesh this idea out a bit? I consider myself to be fairly internet savvy and I have never heard of such a thing. Mind you the internet is a pretty big place and one can't know everything all the time, can they? Someone had to buy the domain name first. I suppose it's possible that if they did it at the same time there might be a problem but again, I've never heard of that actually happening. As for the rest of the story (?), cute, thank you 🙂

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