Xylitol Company Defends Itself from Copycats

Small Business Spotlight: Xlear, @Xylitol_Experts

Who: Blaine Yates

What: A manufacturing company that produces xylitol products, including a nasal spray and dental defense system

When: 2000

Where: American Fork, Utah

How: CEO Blaine Yates says Xlear’s founder Nathan Jones came up with the product idea thanks to his father, a doctor, who was working with natural sweetener xylitol. Yates says Jones’ father developed a xylitol nasal spray, and the company was founded to market the product.

Today, Xlear sells the Xlear Nasal Spray as well as dental products.

“Ultimately the naturopath community and health food stores developed into our real marketplace and we found a home for our messaging,” says Yates, who says the medical community didn’t initially accept the product. Xlear is sold in more than 6,000 stores nationally.

Biggest challenge: “We constantly must defend our brand and patents from people attempting to illegally copy them or those wishing to make a quick buck at our expense with fraudulent lawsuits,” says Yates.

One moment in time: Yates is proudest of the fact that Xlear has been bootstrapped to success without angel and VC funding.

Best business advice: Yates says the best advice is the classic golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. “It works in business, at home, and socially equally well,” he says.