ClimbX Owner Joe Garland Detained by Police at OR Tradeshow

posted by dpm on 08/03/2012

It's always the same on the floor of the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow in Salt Lake City, Utah. Everyone that is anyone in the industry; buyers, sellers, athletes, and media, all parade between the company booths scoping out new gear and buzzing about the latest happenings in the outdoor industry world. There's a lot of talk about what's new, what's old hat, and what the future holds for the industry. But this year the tone of banter changed abruptly at the sight of police officers at the ClimbX booth. Matt Stark, reporting from the show, states that ClimbX owner Joe Garland was detained and taken from the show by police.

Initial rumors were that Mr. Garland had failed to appear in federal court regarding the lawsuit between Mad Rock and ClimbX. Sources now state that Joe was arrested for his alleged failure to appear in federal court, but that it was regarding a different case entirely. 

This case involved a suit between former partners in ownership of Pagan Mountaineering, Joe Garland and Brian Jonas. With the tradeshow in full swing, calls to the parties involved were not immediately returned. Look for updates to this story as more information becomes available.

Joe Garland speaks to police at the OR tradeshow. 

This development is just the latest in the ongoing saga of Joe Garland, one of the most talked about people in the climbing industry over the past two years. It all started with the "amicable split" between Joe and Mad Rock in January 2010. A stream of somewhat confusing press releases hinted that all involved were unclear on what Mr. Garland's intentions were. He started up the company ClimbX and began to manufacture remarkably similar products under the new name, claiming that he was the rightful owner of the designs. Read the initial news story here for more details. Shortly after the initial story was posted, DPM interviewed Joe which was his opportunity to clear the air and address the rumors. Read that interview here.  

Of course, the disagreement turned into a lawsuit between Mad Rock and ClimbX/Joe Garland. By October 2010, the fate of both companies was in the hands of the courts. Read that news story here. It covers many of the murky details and allegations. A few months later, in late January 2011, the courts issued an injunction against ClimbX and Garland which basically stated, "No, you can't produce products that are so similar to the Mad Rock product line." Read the details on that here.

In late November 2011, a settlement was reached and that seemed to be the end of the saga. It's never simple, but essentially Mad Rock had won. Read all the details of the settlement here.

Check for updates to this story as more information becomes available.   

Joe Garland, owner of ClimbX.