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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: morticaixavier on June 23, 2014, 05:09:03 PM

Title: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: morticaixavier on June 23, 2014, 05:09:03 PM
if I opened a brewery and called it Fullers of Davis?

How about is I specialized in British style ales?

What if my flagship beers were 'Davis Pride' and Fullers ESB? (is that last one just pushing it too far?)

I theoretically have every right to the name Fullers as it IS my last name.

Not that I'm actually considering it but it's thought that has wandered across my mind from time to time.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Stevie on June 23, 2014, 05:17:44 PM
Look into the drama that schflay (sp?) is having. Your name don't mean squat sometimes.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: 69franx on June 23, 2014, 05:48:35 PM
Look into the drama that schflay (sp?) is having. Your name don't mean squat sometimes.
Steve, I googled that story and it is a nightmare of a dispute. Phyllis and the doctor sound ridiculous and A-B/Inbev is now is dispute with them as well. Not going to get any easier anytime soon!
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Jimmy K on June 23, 2014, 06:09:12 PM
I'm sure you would. If you used "Fuller's of Davis" religiously, maybe you could win saying that it's distinct from "Fuller's"... after going bankrupt from legal fees of course because they'd still sue and you'd have to fight it. I doubt it matters what kind of beer you make. The name 'Fullers ESB' is also trademarked.  It believe there are no special rights to use your own name in business.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Stevie on June 23, 2014, 06:39:59 PM
Look into the drama that schflay (sp?) is having. Your name don't mean squat sometimes.
Steve, I googled that story and it is a nightmare of a dispute. Phyllis and the doctor sound ridiculous and A-B/Inbev is now is dispute with them as well. Not going to get any easier anytime soon!


That Natty Light lawsuit is interesting. I learned about the Natty Light nickname in college and had no idea that it was trademarked way back in the 70's. I guess it goes to prove that we younger folks aren't as clever as we think.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 23, 2014, 07:12:23 PM
The actual nam of the brewery is Fuller's, Smith, and Turner, but I am sure they have Fuller's trademarked.

The only ESB in the UK is Fuller's ESB, as ESB is trademarked in the UK. You can use ESB in the US.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: guido on June 23, 2014, 08:31:40 PM
if I opened a brewery and called it Fullers of Davis?

How about is I specialized in British style ales?

What if my flagship beers were 'Davis Pride' and Fullers ESB? (is that last one just pushing it too far?)

I theoretically have every right to the name Fullers as it IS my last name.

Not that I'm actually considering it but it's thought that has wandered across my mind from time to time.

Since they're both beers, you'd probably be SOL.  At one of this year's NHC seminars, a lawyer said, for example, there's no problem with Delta faucets and Delta airlines because they're a different product, so no confusion.  Even though it's your name, it doesn't matter--same is if someone else bought the .com domain rights to your name.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: euge on June 23, 2014, 10:25:57 PM
Perhaps "J. Fuller's Extra Special Bitter" and "Jonathan Pride" would work. ;)
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: klickitat jim on June 23, 2014, 10:36:00 PM
Would you be competing against them in their marketing area? If not I doubt it would be that big of a deal. Could you imagine Sierra Nevada suing a girl named Sierra Nevada in Pakistan for naming her beer after herself?
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: morticaixavier on June 23, 2014, 10:57:50 PM
Would you be competing against them in their marketing area? If not I doubt it would be that big of a deal. Could you imagine Sierra Nevada suing a girl named Sierra Nevada in Pakistan for naming her beer after herself?

except I can go out right now and buy a bottle of Fullers ESB. not at it's best to be sure but...
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 23, 2014, 11:07:50 PM
You could try  'JFullers EBS'  -  Extra Bold Saison. Or not. Carry on.    ;)
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Kinetic on June 23, 2014, 11:16:11 PM
If they heard of you, then you would receive a cease and desist letter.  If you told them to go pound sand, then you might get sued. 
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: klickitat jim on June 23, 2014, 11:30:13 PM
If they heard of you.... thats the key. I'm pretty sure if you were in davis only, and didn't mimick their logo, probably yur fine.

If you wers big eniugh for Fullers to target you? Not a bad problem to have. Your martyrdom would make you even more famous.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: AmandaK on June 24, 2014, 12:43:34 AM
If they heard of you.... thats the key. I'm pretty sure if you were in davis only, and didn't mimick their logo, probably yur fine.

If you wers big eniugh for Fullers to target you? Not a bad problem to have. Your martyrdom would make you even more famous.
Look up Exit 6 Brewery on the Google.

 One of his customers made a blend of beers (espresso stout and cream ale) that the customer called 'Frappacino' and checked it into Untappd. Starbucks (yes, Starbucks) sent him a cease and desist letter. The brewery owner made out like a bandit in good PR.
Title: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on June 24, 2014, 01:57:35 AM
Go to USPTO and do trademark search.
http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4806:8o343h.1.1

There 101 Fullers live trademarks check them out and see.

Usually it is bad idea to go to business and anticipate to have trademarks problems. There are more important things to do. Like brew beer and make sales.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 24, 2014, 02:12:28 AM
Go to USPTO and do trademark search.
http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4806:8o343h.1.1

There 101 Fullers live trademarks check them out and see.

Usually it is bad idea to go to business and anticipate to have trademarks problems. There are more important things to do. Like brew beer and make sales.

+1 Leos.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: majorvices on June 24, 2014, 08:14:20 AM
Would you be competing against them in their marketing area? If not I doubt it would be that big of a deal. Could you imagine Sierra Nevada suing a girl named Sierra Nevada in Pakistan for naming her beer after herself?

except I can go out right now and buy a bottle of Fullers ESB. not at it's best to be sure but...

This is exactly why you will get sued. No question about it.  It's going to confuse people anyway. "Fuller's has a brewery here, now?" Which is exactly why the real Fuller's has copyright/trademark rights. To keep out imposters from profiting off their name.

I can't understand why you wouldn't want an original beer name. And unless you like working for free, don't open a brewery. ;)
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: morticaixavier on June 24, 2014, 02:21:20 PM
Would you be competing against them in their marketing area? If not I doubt it would be that big of a deal. Could you imagine Sierra Nevada suing a girl named Sierra Nevada in Pakistan for naming her beer after herself?

except I can go out right now and buy a bottle of Fullers ESB. not at it's best to be sure but...

This is exactly why you will get sued. No question about it.  It's going to confuse people anyway. "Fuller's has a brewery here, now?" Which is exactly why the real Fuller's has copyright/trademark rights. To keep out imposters from profiting off their name.

I can't understand why you wouldn't want an original beer name. And unless you like working for free, don't open a brewery. ;)

I have zero intention of opening a brewery named Fuller's worry not my fair friends. more an abstract conversation.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: klickitat jim on June 24, 2014, 02:28:24 PM
How does that work? Would Jonathan have to go to England to face justice? What if he just ignored them, wouldn't they need the President's permission to extradite? If im wrong,  if they can just grab you and fly you to their country,  then I might have to start calling my beer Innis and Gunn
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on June 24, 2014, 02:29:03 PM
Still the USPTO search is your VERY important resource.


Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: morticaixavier on June 24, 2014, 02:29:53 PM
Still the USPTO search is your VERY important resource.




thanks! I know you had a little trouble with that yourself.
Title: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on June 24, 2014, 02:32:23 PM
How does that work? Would Jonathan have to go to England to face justice? What if he just ignored them, wouldn't they need the President's permission to extradite? If im wrong,  if they can just grab you and fly you to their country,  then I might have to start calling my beer Innis and Gunn
Not lawyer but I think complain have to Be filed in state where infringement happened.

Well first you would get a warning letter to stop infringing.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Jimmy K on June 24, 2014, 02:36:13 PM
How does that work? Would Jonathan have to go to England to face justice? What if he just ignored them, wouldn't they need the President's permission to extradite? If im wrong,  if they can just grab you and fly you to their country,  then I might have to start calling my beer Innis and Gunn
They have a US trademark. They'd sue in a US court. Their trademark attorney in Alexandria, VA would take care of it.
 
http://www.trademarkia.com/fullers-73598175.html (http://www.trademarkia.com/fullers-73598175.html)
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: speed on June 24, 2014, 02:39:45 PM
Would you be competing against them in their marketing area? If not I doubt it would be that big of a deal. Could you imagine Sierra Nevada suing a girl named Sierra Nevada in Pakistan for naming her beer after herself?

except I can go out right now and buy a bottle of Fullers ESB. not at it's best to be sure but...

This is exactly why you will get sued. No question about it.  It's going to confuse people anyway. "Fuller's has a brewery here, now?" Which is exactly why the real Fuller's has copyright/trademark rights. To keep out imposters from profiting off their name.

I can't understand why you wouldn't want an original beer name. And unless you like working for free, don't open a brewery. ;)

I am opening a brewery later this year and now you are telling me I am not going to make any money, thanks for the let down :'( ;)
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Jimmy K on June 24, 2014, 02:46:36 PM
Look up Exit 6 Brewery on the Google.

 One of his customers made a blend of beers (espresso stout and cream ale) that the customer called 'Frappacino' and checked it into Untappd. Starbucks (yes, Starbucks) sent him a cease and desist letter. The brewery owner made out like a bandit in good PR.
How original the name is part of what determines the scope of your trademark protection. So a common word like Delta, Delaware, or any other place name or dictionary word will have protection that's more limited to the exact nature of your business. Frappacino, being made up, gets broader protection because it's a more unique name. That said - they're both beverages.
 
These days trademark infringement seems like a sound way to get some short-term PR. Not sure if that translates into long term sales though.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: corkybstewart on June 24, 2014, 04:46:46 PM
Our company fought a copyright infringement lawsuit a few years ago.  It was frivolous from the start but it still cost us 1 million dollars and change to win, plus it consumed 2 whole years and lead to my boss's death from the stress.  Hearing the judge ream the opponent for all the BS he put us through was gratifying, but we still were out a million dollars. 
Don't even think of infringing on somebody's trademark.  This thread would come in as evidence and you''d get hammered because you were aware of the situation and did it anyway.  I don't know what happened to the Thirsty Monk, but I'm sure it was unpleasant and costly.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: boulderbrewer on June 24, 2014, 06:21:22 PM
I think Thirsty Monk had to send all those t-shirts and hats that were made to Africa just to get rid of them. ;)
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: reverseapachemaster on June 24, 2014, 10:38:07 PM
Trademark infringement is bad stuff. If you are infringing on another party's mark then at best you have to give up all the work you put into building that brand. At worst you get sued and the court orders you to give up the infringing content plus you pay their attorney fees and your own.

A search of the USPTO trademark database should be your starting point but it's not the only search you should do. You should also search your state's mark database if your state provides trademark registration (as I think all do) as well as a basic internet search. Trademarks do not have to be registered with federal or state offices. They can be protected under common law rights. Your search should be for both images and names.
Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on June 24, 2014, 11:08:43 PM

Our company fought a copyright infringement lawsuit a few years ago.  It was frivolous from the start but it still cost us 1 million dollars and change to win, plus it consumed 2 whole years and lead to my boss's death from the stress.  Hearing the judge ream the opponent for all the BS he put us through was gratifying, but we still were out a million dollars. 
Don't even think of infringing on somebody's trademark.  This thread would come in as evidence and you''d get hammered because you were aware of the situation and did it anyway.  I don't know what happened to the Thirsty Monk, but I'm sure it was unpleasant and costly.

It was valuable lesson learned early on. No too much harm when looking back.


Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on June 24, 2014, 11:09:45 PM

I think Thirsty Monk had to send all those t-shirts and hats that were made to Africa just to get rid of them. ;)
Not too far from truth.
There was tornado in central IL. They went there.


Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on June 24, 2014, 11:14:56 PM

Trademark infringement is bad stuff. If you are infringing on another party's mark then at best you have to give up all the work you put into building that brand. At worst you get sued and the court orders you to give up the infringing content plus you pay their attorney fees and your own.

A search of the USPTO trademark database should be your starting point but it's not the only search you should do. You should also search your state's mark database if your state provides trademark registration (as I think all do) as well as a basic internet search. Trademarks do not have to be registered with federal or state offices. They can be protected under common law rights. Your search should be for both images and names.
USPTO will supersede any state trademarks. You need to have federal trademark.

I'm my state you can register the mark for informational info only. So why bother.

I could disagree that you do not have to register trademark. If you do not do it, you do not have trademark. You could try Prior Use but you might not be that lucky.

As I said. I am not a lawyer.


Title: Re: Do you suppose I'd get sued...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on July 04, 2014, 03:17:32 PM
And here is another story. They new about that brand had existed but they ignored it.

http://www.e-malt.com/IndexNews.asp?ID=26554