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To Save His Company, This Founder Turned to Congress (and Won!) No matter how big the fight, don't underestimate the power of making your voice heard.

By Jayme Smaldone

This story appears in the January 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Mighty Mug, inc.

In 2009, I knocked over a mug of coffee and destroyed my computer. In 2011, I launched a product to prevent that from ever happening again: the Mighty Mug, a travel mug that clings tight to any surface and is nearly impossible to knock over but seamlessly lifts up when you're ready for a sip. I knew it would be a hit.

And it was. We closed deals with Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Office Depot. When I started noticing knockoffs on the web a couple of years later, I wasn't scared. But when Bed Bath & Beyond canceled a $5 million annual program -- one they replaced with a knockoff -- I went to my lawyers. They said I had two options: Fight it in court (at a likely cost of $2 million), or send a complaint to the International Trade Commission (at a far more reasonable price). I chose option B.

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