« on: November 15, 2012, 12:05:40 PM »
1. Suppose I open a homebrew shop called "Surly Brew Homebrew Supply" in Massachusetts. Although Surly Brewing's beer is pretty much only sold in Minnesota, and they are homebrewer-friendly as they come, do you believe that they would not defend their trademark? Particularly if I had a stated intent to start a brewery as well? Who would you sympathize with in this circumstance?
2. What if Strange Brewing were not a bunch of nice guy craft brewers, and were instead yet another craft beer shell company owned by Anheuser-Busch, would you still think the homebrew shop was being petty about their trademark?
And the last point I'd make is: folks are picking on the homebrew shop for lawyering up so fast instead of sending a polite email. But Strange Brewing was evidently aware of the homebrew shop and the trademark when they started their company; they could have sent the shop an email on day one inquiring if there'd be a conflict with the name, and apparently chose not to.
Surly was not in widespread use already when the MN group started using (and presumably) registered it. This Strange Brew situation is like Pat Riley registering "Threepeat" after it was already in widespread use - a purely unimaginative, dickhead move purely to gain commercially.
Same feeling if InBev did it, just that it would likely just buy out the SB Homebrew shop to get the name rights. That's called pimping a dickhead.
I'm not so sure that the CO guys were actually aware, but even so, the prior existing widespread use would lead a layman to believe he was not violating anyone's rights.
No one is debating the legal rights - Leos set that straight from the outset. It is the enforcement and motive behind registration that bothers me. Xerox has to be diligent to protect its photocopy trade name, otherwise every photocopying machine would be called a Xerox machine. Strange Brewhomebrew supplier is not adversely affected in my mind by the CO group's use of the name.
Nice debate, fellows - no harm intended to anyone commenting here.