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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: MDixon on March 10, 2015, 10:31:31 PM

Title: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 10, 2015, 10:31:31 PM
http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2015/03/10/small-wnc-brewery-big-trademark-dispute/24715493/

I was very excited when Bell's first came to North Carolina and hit the shelves. As far as I am concerned now they can go away. Bell's owes Innovation an apology.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 10, 2015, 10:52:18 PM
Pretty disappointing and lame on Bell's part. Not seeing a real basis here, other than a small brewery has to spend $ it doesn't have to defend itself. Probably the point.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Stevie on March 10, 2015, 10:58:28 PM
That sucks. I have said it before, I am willing to be this action is on the advice of the lawyers, not the brewery.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: flbrewer on March 10, 2015, 10:59:55 PM
Came here thinking "once I read this article there will be a legitimate reason Bell's is suing"...was sadly really wrong. Awful stuff for the industry.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 10, 2015, 11:05:40 PM
Bell's has been on the receiving end of trademark disputes, and they have since been vigilant about defending a trademark. This however makes me wonder what they are defending, and why? No trademark on the advertising, and I can't remember seeing that one in a while.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: dls5492 on March 10, 2015, 11:27:48 PM
I wonder if we got the whole story.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: BrewingRover on March 10, 2015, 11:37:07 PM
Bell's has been on the receiving end of trademark disputes, and they have since been vigilant about defending a trademark. This however makes me wonder what they are defending, and why? No trademark on the advertising, and I can't remember seeing that one in a while.
I've had a lot of Bell's beers and I don't ever remember seeing that. This seems a tough fight if it wasn't trademarked, I'm no lawyer.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: duboman on March 10, 2015, 11:38:54 PM
Disappointing, perhaps the court of public opinion can sway Bells to withdraw, its unfortunate to keep seeing these battles arise in the spirit of craft beer, can't we all just be friends....sit down over a beer and work things out.

In the end the only people winning are the lawyers...shame
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 10, 2015, 11:39:43 PM
The author is known for only writing the truth. I have never seen Tony Kiss allow anything to go to print which is untrue. That being said if someone has additional information, please share it. As it stands right now Bell's is starting to irritate most of the craft beer drinkers in NC and I'll be glad to go store to store and tell owners why I am no longer willing to order a Bell's beer.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: dls5492 on March 10, 2015, 11:46:11 PM
I am sure what Mr. Kiss wrote is true. I just wonder if we got all of it. Especially with everybody coming to the same conclusion. That is when I get suspicious. We may never know.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on March 10, 2015, 11:51:51 PM
When craft beer starts acting like a big beer. Time is now.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 11, 2015, 12:05:56 AM
As a local brewery who has experienced both Bell's and New Belgium moving into his market all I can say is, it doesn't surprise me any. They use some very competitive tactics.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 11, 2015, 12:35:54 AM
Bell's has been on the receiving end of trademark disputes, and they have since been vigilant about defending a trademark. This however makes me wonder what they are defending, and why? No trademark on the advertising, and I can't remember seeing that one in a while.
I've had a lot of Bell's beers and I don't ever remember seeing that. This seems a tough fight if it wasn't trademarked, I'm no lawyer.

Remember Solsun? They were forced to change their label to Oberon by the Mexican brewery that has the Sol label, but they got to keep the artwork.

The back of Two Hearted used to say it was good for Hemingwayesque trips to the UP of Michigan. It does not anymore, some have said the Hemingway estate sent a C&D.

Bell's did go after Northern Brewer for the "Three Hearted Ale kit".

Yes, you will see more and more trademark disputes in the future.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 11, 2015, 01:04:09 AM
Bell's on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BellsBreweryInc/posts/865382180167157)
Quote
We hear and appreciate everyone’s comments about a trademark issue with Innovation Brewing.
We are doing our best to continue working through this as amicably as possible and are hopeful we can find a mutual resolution.
Out of respect for the legal part of this process that we are now in, we will decline commenting further
.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 11, 2015, 01:32:50 AM
One lesson to be learned from this: support your LOCAL brewery!
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 11, 2015, 01:52:16 AM
This bumper sticker is the rub.

https://bellsbeer.com/store/products/%22Bottling-Innovation%22-Bumper-Sticker.html
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 11, 2015, 02:00:12 AM
This bumper sticker is the rub.

https://bellsbeer.com/store/products/%22Bottling-Innovation%22-Bumper-Sticker.html

Yep, it rubs a lot of people the wrong way. This is a stupid lawsuit. Shame on Bells.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 11, 2015, 02:10:10 AM
This bumper sticker is the rub.

https://bellsbeer.com/store/products/%22Bottling-Innovation%22-Bumper-Sticker.html

Yep, it rubs a lot of people the wrong way. This is a stupid lawsuit. Shame on Bells.

Or at least the Lawyers they have retained, and listened to.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 11, 2015, 02:20:56 AM
I have no idea how big of a market NC is for Bell's, but I suspect their next shipment not already in the works will be small and the next one even smaller. There will be a segment of the population who will still purchase their beers without knowing about this incident, but this has not and will not help them sell beer into NC. Had I not handed in my Southern Brew News article this afternoon before I saw the article I would have used it as the lead story. That rag sits in the racks at the entrance of every brewery in the South.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Stevie on March 11, 2015, 02:28:46 AM

This bumper sticker is the rub.

https://bellsbeer.com/store/products/%22Bottling-Innovation%22-Bumper-Sticker.html
What a crappy looking sticker. I've never understood their artwork. A drunk monkey can finger paint better looking art.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: theDarkSide on March 11, 2015, 12:05:40 PM
Bell's founder Larry Bell would not discuss the issue. "This is a federal case and we will let it play out in federal court," he said. "We are not going to play it out in social media or a newspaper."

Of course he won't because he would be crucified! 

From Club Night in Grand Rapids:
(http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn176/stevo155/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-06/4B6F0383-96F5-4DBD-9EDC-E8B88B0604D8_zpsxvomoykn.jpg)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: 69franx on March 11, 2015, 01:50:06 PM
That's a great pic
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Pinski on March 11, 2015, 02:46:33 PM
One lesson to be learned from this: support your LOCAL brewery!

Well said, Keith.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 11, 2015, 03:37:14 PM
This is the future for every other state that saw its local craft industry grow faster than larger craft brewers could invade the market. The large craft brewers have a business interest in carving out space for their brand and battles over intellectual property rights is how that is done. The larger brewers will want to win these suits but even where they lose there are litigation costs on both sides to be absorbed. The larger brewers are heavy hitters in one of the fastest growing industries in the country who can afford to pay for litigation. Smaller brewers may not be willing to or able to absorb the costs of litigation in federal court which moves quickly (relatively quickly) in an area of law that requires a special kind of expertise that comes at a premium.

The best thing all smaller craft breweries can do is spend a little money now to properly protect their intellectual property rather than take the risk that they may not have to spend the money defending against intellectual property suits in the future.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 11, 2015, 03:44:33 PM
One lesson to be learned from this: support your LOCAL brewery!

Well said, Keith.

Yep
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 11, 2015, 03:47:14 PM
This is the future for every other state that saw its local craft industry grow faster than larger craft brewers could invade the market. The large craft brewers have a business interest in carving out space for their brand and battles over intellectual property rights is how that is done. The larger brewers will want to win these suits but even where they lose there are litigation costs on both sides to be absorbed. The larger brewers are heavy hitters in one of the fastest growing industries in the country who can afford to pay for litigation. Smaller brewers may not be willing to or able to absorb the costs of litigation in federal court which moves quickly (relatively quickly) in an area of law that requires a special kind of expertise that comes at a premium.

The best thing all smaller craft breweries can do is spend a little money now to properly protect their intellectual property rather than take the risk that they may not have to spend the money defending against intellectual property suits in the future.

Well said. The small breweries also need to do the searches to make sure their new IP will not be in conflict.
How you find some obscure IP is beyond me - i.e. the bumper sticker.

Bell's learned about IP the hard way years back when they had to change Solsun to Oberon. The conflict was brought up by the Mexican brewery that has the Sol brand of beer. Bell's kept the artwork and a brewery employee said the name change was easy as there were 6 letters in each name.

The back label of Two Hearted used to say some thing like "for Hemingwayesque trips to the UP". Some said that there was letter from the estate asking for a change, and that is no longer on the bottles.

I don't think they forgot those lessons.

EDIT

If Innovation gets their trademark, will they have problems with this place? Will they be bullies?
http://www.ibrewworks.com/



Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Jimmy K on March 11, 2015, 06:00:07 PM
Truth is if Bells did not challenge it and Innovation got their trademark. InBev could start selling Innovation IPA down the road and point to the three breweries using the word as evidence that it isn't a unique trademark. That would be an even worse situation.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 11, 2015, 08:10:43 PM
Perhaps Bell's move was to make sure the IB trademark did not come back to bite them later. Either way it was a dick move, they could have made a phone call and signed an agreement. Simple.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 11, 2015, 09:10:39 PM
How do you know they didn't make a phone call and get told to go F themselves?

I just can't get worked up about this stuff.  Plus, Bell's is practically my local brewery and was one of the very few in the area when I was young.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 11, 2015, 09:19:49 PM
At this point, I don't know, it is pure conjecture. The indisputable facts are:
A: Bell's filled a lawsuit
B: That is a dick move
C: I stopped buying their products as a result and so did thousands of others

 ;)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 11, 2015, 10:27:49 PM
At this point, I don't know, it is pure conjecture. The indisputable facts are:
A: Bell's filled a lawsuit
B: That is a dick move
C: I stopped buying their products as a result and so did thousands of others

 ;)
I thought it was a challenge to a trademark application? Not a law suit, but it is before the Feds for a decision, so both sides need to lawyer up.


JD s can correct me.







 
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hophead636 on March 12, 2015, 01:23:56 AM
What I don't understand is its only on there bumper sticker why the hell do they care not like it's one of their beers or label art or anything it's a bumper sticker tht prolly only people on Michigan know about.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 12, 2015, 03:31:05 AM
I hope I'm rich enough to sue people someday.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 12, 2015, 01:29:04 PM
I hope I'm rich enough to sue people someday.

Get a lawyer who works on contingency.  You don't need to be rich to sue, you just need to sue someone rich.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 12, 2015, 01:42:11 PM
I hope I'm rich enough to sue people someday.

Get a lawyer who works on contingency.  You don't need to be rich to sue, you just need to sue someone rich.

By far best advice ever given on this forum.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Jimmy K on March 12, 2015, 01:59:56 PM
At this point, I don't know, it is pure conjecture. The indisputable facts are:
A: Bell's filled a lawsuit
B: That is a dick move
C: I stopped buying their products as a result and so did thousands of others

 ;)
I thought it was a challenge to a trademark application? Not a law suit, but it is before the Feds for a decision, so both sides need to lawyer up.

JD s can correct me.
That's true. Bell's filed an opposition to Innovation's trademark on 'Innovation Brewing'. If that trademark were granted, it would pretty much ban any other US brewery from using the word 'Innovation' in marketing. I doubt Bell's is saying they own the word Innovation, just that the word is too commonly used in the craft beer to be granted trademark protection.
 
http://www.trademarkia.com/innovation-brewing-85929587.html (http://www.trademarkia.com/innovation-brewing-85929587.html)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Jimmy K on March 12, 2015, 02:16:14 PM
Just posted by Bells.
 
Quote
We want to clear up a few things regarding our federal trademark dispute with Innovation Brewing.
1. We have not, and are not asking them to change their name or their logo. There is no lawsuit. We are not suing them. We have not asked them for money. We have not asked them to stop selling their beer. We are asking them to withdraw their federal trademark application. ...  2. Our concern is with their United States trademark application and potential impact on our brand, which we have spent 30 years building.
3. I personally reached out to Innovation Brewing to try to settle this matter in February, 2014 and attempted to talk about this brewer to brewer instead of involving lawyers. Our efforts were rebuffed and Innovation Brewing choose to pursue this in the legal system.
4. Over the last year, we have offered co-existence agreements and have offered to pay for their legal fees. We tried to find solutions that would work for both of us. Their response was to ask for an exorbitant amount of money and we did not feel that was a collaborative solution.
5. All offers that we proposed were rejected and after more than a year of discussion regrettably, this matter has moved to the federal trademark office.

Offered co-existence and to pay Innovation's legal fees? That's way more than Innovation would be offered in any other industry.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 12, 2015, 02:22:36 PM
At this point, I don't know, it is pure conjecture. The indisputable facts are:
A: Bell's filled a lawsuit
B: That is a dick move
C: I stopped buying their products as a result and so did thousands of others

 ;)

Let me fix that for you:
A: Bell's called brewer to brewer and tried to work it out
B: Innovation told them to go F themselves
C: People jumped to conclusions without knowing the facts

Even these "facts" are not indisputable.  The truth is unknowable, since none of us are at Bell's or at Innovation.  Everyone wants to side with the little guy, but little guys can be dicks, too.  I like Bell's beer.  Not all of it, but a lot of it.  I will continue to buy it and drink it if it is available.  I've never had Innovation's beer, but if it's ever available to me and I like it, I will buy it and drink it.  The world is full of dicks.  If you want to avoid them all, you'll have to move somewhere very very remote.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 12, 2015, 02:54:38 PM
Everyone that is not an IP attorney should read this so that we are prepared for the next trademark kerfuffle.

http://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/trademark-faqs
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: wingnut on March 12, 2015, 02:59:14 PM
I am kind of on the fence on the whole thing....

I don't see the argument for Bells in this case....HOWEVER!

The way trademark laws are written, there really is no "protection".  No one is independantly or proactively studying each trademark or potential trademark. No entity is going to protect your brand for you.   So it is up to each company/person to defend its own trademark and brands. 

The way the laws are written, if you fail to defend a "potential" infringment as soon as you are aware... you are essentially letting your trade mark lapse and all future arguments that someone is "stealing" your tradmark become null and void because you did not defend it previously...So allowing the precidence of someone to use it without your express permission, opens everything in the future up.

All in all the preset system was created by lawyers and big business to benefit lawyers and those with deep enough pockets to have them... Creating a competitive edge for bigger companies by creating a need for lawyers to argue this nonsense, when most people could create an agreement over a beer and a hand shake.

I think it is a crappy move on Bell's part when looking at this singular item...but because of the whole big litigation world surrounding trademarks... I think it is something they may need to do when you look at the big picture.   (Part of the @$#% part of the business)

What really needs to happen is a better set of laws surrounding trade marks, and a change to the system that enforces it.  The present system was created by big companies (mostly outside of the beer business) so to have the laws work, you have to use them like big business. 

It sucks.

Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 12, 2015, 03:10:02 PM
I thought it was a challenge to a trademark application? Not a law suit, but it is before the Feds for a decision, so both sides need to lawyer up.


JD s can correct me.

Right. Innovation Brewing applied for a federal trademark and Bell's filed an opposition asserting that they have a preexisting right.

I've uploaded Bell's opposition here: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/173579889/Bell%27s%20Brewery%20Trademark%20Opposition (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/173579889/Bell%27s%20Brewery%20Trademark%20Opposition)

It's worth pointing out that this opposition was filed nearly a year ago. It's been in the trademark office's administrative review process since. It's sort of like a trial procedure but nobody wins money, just a federal trademark (or the mark is denied). It seems Innovation ran to the media this month to complain about it. What's interesting about the timing of the sudden media exposure is that it came on the same day Bell's asked for a discovery extension because they allege Innovation has failed to adequately respond to discovery and they need time to work out the dispute over the discovery responses. Innovation, it seems, ran to the media to try to pressure Bell's to back off. That suggests Innovation is intentionally trying to avoid disclosing its position and evidence in discovery as procedural rules require. So I wouldn't say Innovation is behaving the most professionally over the whole issue.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: dkfick on March 12, 2015, 03:30:56 PM
I have to agree... The more that comes to light casts a larger shadow on Innovation Brewing than Bell's.  At least in my opinion...  But if I'm being honest I couldn't care less either way.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 12, 2015, 03:47:16 PM
What I don't understand is its only on there bumper sticker why the hell do they care not like it's one of their beers or label art or anything it's a bumper sticker tht prolly only people on Michigan know about.

According to their opposition to the trademark application, Bell's has not only been using the bumper sticker for thirty years but they have been using "Bottling Innovation" as an advertising slogan since 2009. If true, that precedes the existence of Innovation Brewing's use of the name in commerce. We don't get Bell's here in Texas so I'm not sure how much they really use that slogan but they say they use it and I imagine it would be easy to prove where and when it is printed on their advertising materials and packaging.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: S. cerevisiae on March 12, 2015, 04:05:52 PM
No one should be able to trademark the word "innovation."   That's way beyond slippery with respect to IP infringement. Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks are forever unless they are abandoned by the trademark holder.

Let me tell you about a trademark that seems trivial on the surface, but has caused enormous friction in a market.  There's a company called DiMarzio that manufacturers electric guitar pickups. DiMarzio was the first manufacturer of aftermarket guitar pickups to specialize in producing "hot" guitar pickups for hard rock guitarists with the Super Distortion and Dual Sound (which was a center-tapped Super Distortion pickup). These pickups originally shipped with double-cream bobbins, which DiMarzio trademarked.  This trademark has prevented other guitar pickup manufacturers from manufacturing double-cream bobbin pickups for four decades. 

While the trademark may seem trivial, there are a lot of guitarists who want double-cream pickups, but not the models that DiMarzio manufactures.  There has been a rise in boutique pickup manufacturers over the last twenty or so years much like the rise in the craft beer.  Many small pickup winders have discovered that DiMarzio is not shy about sending cease and desist letters.  This trademark is ripe for a legal challenge because DiMarzio has all, but abandoned double-cream bobbins in its literature and advertising.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 12, 2015, 07:58:49 PM
Quote
To Our Wonderful Craft Beer Community:
We felt it was important to get our story out to the media because this is an important matter for the craft beer industry. We did not intend (nor do we want to) have a social media battle with Bell's, but because of allegations posted on Bell’s Brewery’s Facebook page we now have to defend ourselves. Settlement discussions are protected communications that are not to be disclosed publicly, so out of respect to Bell’s Brewery’s rights we would never have disclosed them. Furthermore, Mr. Bell pointedly stated that he would not “play this out on social media” – and so we again respected his wishes by keeping the details to ourselves. Now, it appears they changed their mind.
We are planning to deliver a full statement of the facts and events that have brought us to this point. Until then, we feel it necessary to respond to Ms. Bell’s enumerated allegations. Thank you for continuing to support and believe in us. You keep us going through this difficult time.
1. Yes, this is a TM proceeding and not a lawsuit, although it is like a lawsuit, requiring legal representation, being personally deposed, and including a trial. They are asking us to withdraw our federal trademark application for our brand name.
2. We do not believe that any human on earth would confuse Innovation Brewing with Bell’s Brewery, despite their slogans.
3. Laura Bell did contact me at 7:00 pm the night before their opposition filing was due. They had already hired attorneys to represent them and file for their extension to file the opposition. We had not hired an attorney. After she advised us that she would “let us” keep using the name in NC only, and never expand beyond it, she said that we had until the next day at 5:00 PM to respond. That is 22 hours to find an attorney and decide on the future of our business. That was the one and only attempt Ms. Bell made to contact me. From there their attorneys took over.
4. Not a single co-existence agreement has ever been presented to us by Bell's. In fact it was we who submitted a written co-existence agreement – subsequently declined by Bell’s. The only monetary compensation they have ever offered us was $2,500 which was to cover the inconvenience of being forced to abandon our trademark and go register a different one. The “legal fees”, as Ms. Bell puts it, brought on by their legal action against us, may exceed $50,000. We did not feel like being bought off.
5. This matter was before the TM office one day after she began talking to us. No offer has ever been presented to us other than the offer to limit our business to NC or take $2,500 to start over and build a new brand. We believe in our business, so those are not really offers at all.
6. In regards to Laura Bell stating "we hope to resolve this as swiftly as the system will allow" we suggested the accelerated trademark opposition process that would have brought this to a legal end much sooner and with far less expense, but Bell's denied it.
You great people don’t deserve to be peppered with sides of the story. So we will give you a full account of the facts so you can decide for yourself. We are good people and we know we have your support. Stay tuned.
-Chip and Nicole

Still not buying Bell's... ;)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: macbrews on March 12, 2015, 09:05:29 PM
I hope I'm rich enough to sue people someday.

Get a lawyer who works on contingency.  You don't need to be rich to sue, you just need to sue someone rich.

Or sue someone with no resources and bully them into submission
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: a10t2 on March 12, 2015, 09:46:48 PM
Quote
because of allegations posted on Bell’s Brewery’s Facebook page we now have to defend ourselves.

Sigh... No. No, you don't. Anyone involved here could be the one to step up and act like an adult.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 12, 2015, 09:49:17 PM
Or sue someone with no resources and bully them into submission

^^^^ The point all along IMO.  Bell's isn't the first, won't be the last. Dickish nonetheless.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 12, 2015, 10:19:54 PM
Technically, no lawsuit has been filed, and no C&D. A trademark challenge was made, which triggers a review hearing. Best to have a lawyer, but not required.

If Innovation NC gets their trademark, what are they going to do about the CA Innovation? They will have to protect their trade mark. A CA carve out, or a C&D?
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 12, 2015, 10:46:59 PM
Quote
To Our Wonderful Craft Beer Community:
We felt it was important to get our story out to the media because this is an important matter for the craft beer industry. .....
....You great people don’t deserve to be peppered with sides of the story. So we will give you a full account of the facts so you can decide for yourself. We are good people and we know we have your support. Stay tuned.
-Chip and Nicole

Still not buying Bell's... ;)

I think Good People Brewing (http://www.goodpeoplebrewing.com/) should immediately sue Bell's. ;)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 13, 2015, 01:30:19 AM
I don't quite see how Innovation Brewing would ever be confused as Innovation Brew Works.

I also don't see how Innovation Brewing as a TM should worry Bell's and "Bottling Innovation since 1985."

I still scratch my head to figure out how Innovation Brewing and Inspired Brewing are similar other than the Brewing part.

The only similarity I can determine is they both start with the letter I and both contain at least one N and another I.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 13, 2015, 01:38:28 AM
I don't quite see how Innovation Brewing would ever be confused as Innovation Brew Works.

Can guys with a JD comment on that?
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 13, 2015, 01:57:07 AM
I don't quite see how Innovation Brewing would ever be confused as Innovation Brew Works.

I also don't see how Innovation Brewing as a TM should worry Bell's and "Bottling Innovation since 1985."

I still scratch my head to figure out how Innovation Brewing and Inspired Brewing are similar other than the Brewing part.

The only similarity I can determine is they both start with the letter I and both contain at least one N and another I.

The best part of this for me is you couldn't see the "9" and "6" logo similarities..... that actually eats at me a bit.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: klickitat jim on March 13, 2015, 03:53:18 AM
How long till someone sues because the other guys used "brewery" or "beer"? I'm thinking it's a rite of passage. You haven't made it till you've sued someone.

This could all be setting with a round of bare fisted manno de manno
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 13, 2015, 10:28:30 AM
The best part of this for me is you couldn't see the "9" and "6" logo similarities..... that actually eats at me a bit.

Drunk, standing on my head, and without my glasses maybe...otherwise no. ;)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 13, 2015, 10:49:08 AM
The best part of this for me is you couldn't see the "9" and "6" logo similarities..... that actually eats at me a bit.

Drunk, standing on my head, and without my glasses maybe...otherwise no. ;)

This makes me want to bap you on the head a hundred times with a whiffle ball bat....
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 13, 2015, 02:19:31 PM
I don't quite see how Innovation Brewing would ever be confused as Innovation Brew Works.

Can guys with a JD comment on that?

I'm trying to stay away from this thread, but...

I don't think it requires a law degree to come up with arguments around this.  You need the lawyers to cite case law and precedent, but anyone can argue.

If you wanted to argue it, from either side, it's as easy as pointing out that to a customer unfamiliar with the specifics of either one of those companies, a google search could wind up on the other and be confusing.  Thus, lost business due to the other company using your trademarked name.  Intentional or not, they are confusing your customers and poaching your business (or simply causing you to lose business, in the event the two companies produce different products).  Protecting your trademark eliminates the confusion and protects your customer base.

If you google a 6, you're not likely to get a 9.  But if you're drinking and enjoying #9 your judgement is questionable to begin with, IMO.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: a10t2 on March 13, 2015, 02:40:52 PM
it's as easy as pointing out that to a customer unfamiliar with the specifics of either one of those companies, a google search could wind up on the other and be confusing.  Thus, lost business due to the other company using your trademarked name.

In this case, it would be lost business due to another company being allowed to trademark a word already in common use in the marketplace, but yeah.

The real lesson here is to pick a creative name for your brand.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: dkfick on March 13, 2015, 02:43:45 PM
heh, according to Larry Bell I guess Innovation was willing to give up the trademark for a 6 figure payout...

EDIT:  The link might help... http://mibiz.com/item/22297-editor%E2%80%99s-notebook-larry-bell-unsettled-by-anger-toward-bell%E2%80%99s-brewery
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Jimmy K on March 13, 2015, 02:53:59 PM
it's as easy as pointing out that to a customer unfamiliar with the specifics of either one of those companies, a google search could wind up on the other and be confusing.  Thus, lost business due to the other company using your trademarked name.

In this case, it would be lost business due to another company being allowed to trademark a word already in common use in the marketplace, but yeah.

The real lesson here is to pick a creative name for your brand.
I noticed on the trademark application that there is a disclaimer that the company does not claim 'Brewing' as a mark separate from 'Innovation' (which is appropriate). But there is no such limit for 'Innovation' which could cause real problems.
 
Really, I don't see where Innovation sees this going. If they are awarded the trademark, they must defend that mark against EVERY OTHER BREWERY using that word. If they don't, they loose it anyway. I'd pick a more innovative name, pun intended.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 13, 2015, 03:02:37 PM
it's as easy as pointing out that to a customer unfamiliar with the specifics of either one of those companies, a google search could wind up on the other and be confusing.  Thus, lost business due to the other company using your trademarked name.

In this case, it would be lost business due to another company being allowed to trademark a word already in common use in the marketplace, but yeah.

The real lesson here is to pick a creative name for your brand.
I noticed on the trademark application that there is a disclaimer that the company does not claim 'Brewing' as a mark separate from 'Innovation' (which is appropriate). But there is no such limit for 'Innovation' which could cause real problems.
 
Really, I don't see where Innovation sees this going. If they are awarded the trademark, they must defend that mark against EVERY OTHER BREWERY using that word. If they don't, they loose it anyway. I'd pick a more innovative name, pun intended.

I'll admit when I'm wrong and it looks like I was, assuming the article dkfick posted is accurate. With the long history of BMC bullying small craft breweries (and some big ones), it's easy to jump on the bigger brewery as the bad guy, often deservedly so. But not every time. I agree Innovation needs to be more 'innovative' and pick a less generic, more unique and creative name.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 13, 2015, 03:06:53 PM
Really, I don't see where Innovation sees this going. If they are awarded the trademark, they must defend that mark against EVERY OTHER BREWERY using that word.

And then, when they defend their trademark, who is being dickish?
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 13, 2015, 03:12:47 PM
I don't quite see how Innovation Brewing would ever be confused as Innovation Brew Works.

Can guys with a JD comment on that?

It's a question of whether customers could be confused by the similarity. The standard is a generic customer rather than a beer snob. Would a generic customer, walking into a bar, really identify a difference between Brewing and Brew Works? I'm not sure they would, especially when we tend to discuss breweries by leaving off the brewing/brewery/etc. So it would be very easy for somebody to read about or overhear a discussion about one Innovation and mistakenly believe it could be the other. That might not be bad if both breweries are good but if one isn't then the brewery with the superior beers is at risk for losing business over the confusion.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 13, 2015, 05:11:47 PM
How many of the Pros here have attorneys?

As a friend who has a brewpub says - "Your first hire should be your attorney. The second should be your accountant."
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: denny on March 13, 2015, 06:00:36 PM
How many of the Pros here have attorneys?

As a friend who has a brewpub says - "Your first hire should be your attorney. The second should be your accountant."

Based on my interaction with breweries around here, the well though out ones with good funding all do.  But that's probably 25% of the breweries around here.  Most of them are underfunded one or two man startups that can't even afford to pay themselves, let alone an attorney.  Penny wise, pound foolish IMO.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: AmandaK on March 13, 2015, 07:57:15 PM
How many of the Pros here have attorneys?

As a friend who has a brewpub says - "Your first hire should be your attorney. The second should be your accountant."

Based on my interaction with breweries around here, the well though out ones with good funding all do.  But that's probably 25% of the breweries around here.  Most of them are underfunded one or two man startups that can't even afford to pay themselves, let alone an attorney.  Penny wise, pound foolish IMO.

Indeed.

We have plenty of new startups in KC. Only three I know of started with a lawyer, accountant, and trained/experienced brewer - outside of themselves. Those are (not so) oddly the ones I frequent. They just have better beer, which seems to stem from better planning.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 13, 2015, 08:22:07 PM
How many of the Pros here have attorneys?

As a friend who has a brewpub says - "Your first hire should be your attorney. The second should be your accountant."

Of the smaller breweries I have interacted with, scant few have ever worked with an attorney. There are a number of brewery owners who think of attorneys as not just a luxury but a waste of money. That attitude isn't specific to brewing; it's common across small businesses and people generally.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 13, 2015, 08:26:07 PM
How many of the Pros here have attorneys?

As a friend who has a brewpub says - "Your first hire should be your attorney. The second should be your accountant."

We do.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 13, 2015, 10:50:34 PM
http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2015/03/13/bells-brewery-name-dispute-bullying/70298722/
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 14, 2015, 03:31:23 AM
"Posted with a picture of a keg of Bell's beer in a trash can, The Bywater tweeted Wednesday, "As of today, the Bywater will no longer serve Bell's Brewing."

That sure looks like a "tin tacker", not a keg.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: a10t2 on March 14, 2015, 04:56:40 AM
How many of the Pros here have attorneys?

Yo. I'm not sure how you could responsibly run a brewery without an attorney on retainer, and Colorado is an extraordinarily beer-friendly state.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: duboman on March 14, 2015, 02:27:05 PM
And so it continues....
http://www.wlos.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/local-bars-drop-bells-beer-light-lawsuit-20059.shtml#.VQRE-hn0DqB
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Jimmy K on March 14, 2015, 03:57:36 PM
Problem is all this bad publicity for Bells will likely weaken Innovation's case in court.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 14, 2015, 05:10:58 PM
There have been quite a few disputes of late.

Will New Belgium get any flack in their adopted state of NC once that brewery opens for going after the little brewery in TX? Have any NB tap handles been lost in Asheville just on principle?

Next time I go to Asheville I will leave my Bell's logo vest at home in the closet.  :o
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 15, 2015, 03:40:16 PM
There have been quite a few disputes of late.

Will New Belgium get any flack in their adopted state of NC once that brewery opens for going after the little brewery in TX? Have any NB tap handles been lost in Asheville just on principle?

Next time I go to Asheville I will leave my Bell's logo vest at home in the closet.  :o

There are a very small number of places in Texas that claimed to have dropped NB but most of the outrage about the situation dropped over after a week or two. I expect the same to occur here.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 16, 2015, 01:11:44 AM
There was a boycott in NC of brands (both wine and beer) from a particular distributor when we were trying to change the ABV laws in NC in 2005 and they stood in our way. They quickly changed their tune and got with the program. Despite their best efforts, to this day they still have difficultly in some areas getting taps and finding shelf space.

This is a very different situation, but even with Bell's best spin from their PR firm I doubt they will take hold again in the Western, NC market unless something happens. Bell's had a honey hole in NC when the laws changed and they came in. Today the market is decidedly different. If they lose a tap, it may take awhile to earn that slot back. People tend to remember the bad much more than they remember the good.

If I were Bell's I'd get an agreement in place with Innovation. They can TM their name, we can TM our slogan, both can distribute beer everywhere and all would be just fine in the world.

Inspired does not equal Innovation (Inspired Brewing - Innovation Brewing) and "Bottling innovation.." does not equal "Innovation Brewing".

And major a 9 does not look like a 6 unless you are drunk and standing on your head. ;)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: graymoment on March 17, 2015, 12:16:02 AM
I thought it was a challenge to a trademark application? Not a law suit, but it is before the Feds for a decision, so both sides need to lawyer up.


JD s can correct me.

Right. Innovation Brewing applied for a federal trademark and Bell's filed an opposition asserting that they have a preexisting right.

I've uploaded Bell's opposition here: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/173579889/Bell%27s%20Brewery%20Trademark%20Opposition (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/173579889/Bell%27s%20Brewery%20Trademark%20Opposition)

It's worth pointing out that this opposition was filed nearly a year ago. It's been in the trademark office's administrative review process since. It's sort of like a trial procedure but nobody wins money, just a federal trademark (or the mark is denied). It seems Innovation ran to the media this month to complain about it. What's interesting about the timing of the sudden media exposure is that it came on the same day Bell's asked for a discovery extension because they allege Innovation has failed to adequately respond to discovery and they need time to work out the dispute over the discovery responses. Innovation, it seems, ran to the media to try to pressure Bell's to back off. That suggests Innovation is intentionally trying to avoid disclosing its position and evidence in discovery as procedural rules require. So I wouldn't say Innovation is behaving the most professionally over the whole issue.
Yes, if more people would research this situation rather than jumping to conclusions, they would see that Bells is not trying to trademark anything. They are simply trying to stop Innovation Brewing from being able to trademark the term so that they don't have to stop using a slogan that they have been using for decades. I really don't see how any sensible person would fault Bells for that.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 17, 2015, 11:33:38 AM
Take a good hard look at the Bell's filings and timings, not just a single document. They have drug this out and the media involvement happened after yet another filing. It will be interesting to see the full account of it all Innovation promised once all is said and done. However Trusscott Rossman can probably find a way to spin it for Bell's.;)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: theDarkSide on March 17, 2015, 12:08:38 PM
Look out Allagash...you're next:
(https://beertrackmind.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/img_8926.jpg)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 17, 2015, 02:21:24 PM
Take a good hard look at the Bell's filings and timings, not just a single document. They have drug this out and the media involvement happened after yet another filing. It will be interesting to see the full account of it all Innovation promised once all is said and done. However Trusscott Rossman can probably find a way to spin it for Bell's.;)

I'm not sure I agree with your interpretation of the filings. Bell's most recent filing asks for an extension for discovery because Innovation--allegedly--failed to adequately respond to discovery. When one party gets cagey about responding to discovery and fails to provide responses as required by procedural rules then the only thing you can really do is more discovery. The party improperly resisting discovery has no room to complain about the extension as it is their conduct motivating the extension.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: dkfick on March 17, 2015, 08:10:38 PM
Look out Allagash...you're next:
(https://beertrackmind.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/img_8926.jpg)
Only if Innovation gets the trademark. ;-)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: klickitat jim on March 17, 2015, 10:02:29 PM
What would solve this is a law requiring everyone to use the same exact package, label, and advertising. How would that work? Well, funny you should ask. I don't know. But together we could make it work! As long as we all work together, doing the same thing, there will be no need for innovation. Or motivation for that matter.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 17, 2015, 10:11:01 PM
I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 18, 2015, 02:26:49 PM
Trademark law. How about this one. Old Ox Brewery and Red Bull energy drinks.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/going-out-guide/wp/2015/02/09/red-bull-wants-to-rename-an-ashburn-brewery-because-an-ox-looks-like-a-bull/
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 19, 2015, 01:07:42 PM
From Innovation March 14 (https://www.facebook.com/innovationbrewing/posts/457725307718840):
Quote
Yesterday, we offered Bell's another co-existence agreement to resolve this dispute, since Bell's management has indicated an interest in resolution via their many facebook and newspaper statements. We are going to sit back and wait a few days in hopes that cooler heads can prevail and an agreement can actually be reached. Fingers crossed.
To Clear Up Any Confusion:
Should this opposition have been filed? That is the question we encourage everyone to ponder. Public sentiment has forced Bell's into a defensive position advised by their consulting team: an outside PR firm, a New York City IP law firm and a Michigan law firm. And the result of their campaign insinuates that we are liars and that craft brew fans cannot muster the comprehension to stay focused on the merits of the action. We know better. This is the most intelligent group of consumers out there. So we want to take a moment to discuss the case itself.
A “run-of-the-mill” trademark dispute, to use Larry Bell’s own words, is one where a brand owner has a registered mark that clearly matches an infringer’s mark. Bell’s Brewery has 20 registered trademarks and 3 more in the same process as our mark. If someone files for an application for something like “Inspired Beer Co” we expect a run-of-the-mill dispute to be raised and resolved in a matter of days. But when an applicant files a mark that does not look like, sound like or mean anything close to “Inspired” then it’s not “run-of-the-mill” at all, in fact it is not even a dispute. As for an unregistered word used in a marketing slogan (see “bottling innovation since 1985”), the protection is almost non-existent. Think of how many words are used in a brewery’s lifetime in a marketing statement. There are probably thousands, over 30 years. If a brewery feels that it is part of its brand, it would have protected it. This is especially true when the brewery is adept at filing for trademarks, such as Bell's. That was not the case here. Like Bell's would do, we searched far and wide before selecting a brand name. And we are asking for the same protection that they have been afforded 20+ times.
In the early days of this dispute, when we were asked what our brand was worth, we told them a lot. We did not expect that to be used against us as proposing a settlement figure. Our brand was not for sale, and it's not for sale now. We fully believe we can come to an agreement with Bell's, and we will never ask them for compensation. An agreement would let both breweries use our existing brands going forward, because consumers are not likely to be confused.
Bell’s, we just don't think you should have filed it. We believe that it lacks merit, and the impact has been an unfortunate, costly, and lengthy heartache for all. Let’s settle it. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on our most recent coexistence agreement and truly look forward to a resolution.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 19, 2015, 02:34:14 PM
In my professional experience I find that fanning the flames of the disagreement rarely serves to bring the parties to a settlement, especially while fanning the flames the party takes swipes at the other side's business practices and misstates the law. That's all Innovation is doing here. If they have a legitimate interest in reaching an agreement then there's no need to run to social media (or the media) to make it into a PR fight. Now Bell's has an incentive not to accept the agreement because it will appear as an admission that they did something wrong by asserting their own rights in a trademark dispute and that they have dysfunctional business practices. No business is coming to the bargaining table in that position unless they have to. Bell's doesn't have to.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: a10t2 on March 20, 2015, 01:32:45 AM
Quote
Bell’s, we just don't think you should have filed it. We believe that it lacks merit, and the impact has been an unfortunate, costly, and lengthy heartache for all.

I really hope this has all been a publicity stunt and that they don't really think they'll be getting a trademark on the word "innovation" in the brewing industry.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: klickitat jim on March 20, 2015, 02:03:21 AM
I don't know that it pertains, but recently there was a music law suit in the news where it was alleged that the new song infringed by having the same vibe as a Marvin Gaye song. Not same lyrics, not same melody, not same title... it just felt the same. It was upheld, so could this apply at some level in beer? Could a label or other marketing be liable for having the same vibe? Hmmm, fat tire vs chain breaker? Don't they both have a bicycle feel?
Title: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Stevie on March 20, 2015, 02:27:24 AM
The song was blurred lines and I still don't fully understand what's going on ;)

But seriously, it has something to do with the original composition of the song that wasn't released, as he improvised on the recording, but he played it that way in concert. I read at least a half dozen articles trying to figure it out and still don't see it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziz9HW2ZmmY
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 20, 2015, 04:32:40 AM
The Blurred Lines case wouldn't apply to a brewery name or advertising slogan because the song is not a trademark--it is not a symbol or label that identifies a business.

We will never know exactly why the jury did what it did but the two songs are closely related in a number of parts. They are written in different keys and arranged differently but the vocal styling is similar, the rhythm and percussive instrumentation is similar but I think what really got Robin Thicke and Pharrell was the extremely similar bassline. The combination of those pieces make up the driving feel of a particular song and those pieces are pretty much identical from one song to the other. Both also use similar background sounds of people talking or milling about. That doesn't hurt the Gaye family position. The jury heard pieces of each song broken out and played electronically through MIDI so they could compare just the bassline or just the percussive lines. That makes it a little easier to hear the individual similarities. 

What also probably hurt Robin Thicke and Pharrell was that there was some comments made shortly after the song came out that they had basically ripped off this song. The story changed every time they were confronted about the similarity. That kind of dishonesty doesn't help build credibility, especially when you are defending against a claim that you stole somebody's work.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 20, 2015, 12:17:57 PM
The latest rumor was Pharrell was to be sued for Happy.
http://radio.com/2015/03/19/marvin-gaye-children-pharrell-open-letter-blurred-lines/

I could hear the Marvin Gaye similarities in Blurred Lines.


Somehow I see this one becoming an issue at some point in the future if anyone takes the time to listen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJBzDY93aDw
Sounds like to me it takes from Natasha Bedingfield as well as Youngblood Brass Band (@2:31) with a bit of Fugees thrown in for good measure.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 20, 2015, 12:24:54 PM
Good article on the original topic

It's time for craft brewers to stop acting like children.
 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-time-for-craft-beer-brewers-to-stop-acting-like-children-2015-03-19)
Quote
By trying this matter in the court of public opinion instead of, you know, the federal trademark office, both breweries succeeded only in airing some procedural dirty laundry that in no way helps beer drinkers or buyers. By opening those screeds with pap like “To Our Wonderful Craft Beer Community” and “To Bell’s customers and the passionate craft beer community,” each tried to play to what they clearly believe is craft beer fans’ inflated sense of justice and moral clarity. Never mind that the customers of each brewery are members of that same community, or that this whole thing could have been resolved behind closed doors if Bell’s just kept its mouth shut and Innovation had the good sense to, you know, bring a lawyer to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to defend its trademark application.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 21, 2015, 01:02:14 AM
Here is one that has a Brewery have a challenge from a rapid transit system. Boycott those bullies!
http://sf.eater.com/2015/3/19/8260113/bart-fiftyfifty-brewing-lawsuit-beer-barrel-aged
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on March 21, 2015, 01:04:30 PM
BART actually thinks that a beer named B.A.R.T. may hurt their brand? I guess they forgot Fruitvale Station already kinda put a black cloud over it.
Title: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on March 22, 2015, 01:11:27 AM
Trademark is per business type. This is why we can have Delta Airlines, Delta faucet, delta Dental...

Transport and beer are not in the same category/business type.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on March 22, 2015, 02:58:21 AM
Trademark is per business type. This is why we can have Delta Airlines, Delta faucet, delta Dental...

Transport and beer are not in the same category/business type.

yep
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: JT on March 23, 2015, 11:11:21 PM
When good guys quarrel.
http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2015/03/black_white_flame_3_floyds.html (http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2015/03/black_white_flame_3_floyds.html)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 23, 2015, 11:14:41 PM
When good guys quarrel.
http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2015/03/black_white_flame_3_floyds.html (http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2015/03/black_white_flame_3_floyds.html)


Now THAT is how this crap should be settled.  I love 3Floyds anyway, now even more.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on April 06, 2016, 04:16:49 PM
My guess is most people forgot about this long ago.

In case you are wondering where this is now, earlier this year it was moving forward with a timeline to be concluded by July of this year. Then in early February Bell's lawyers dropped 1,313 pages of documents in the lap of the Innovation Brewing lawyer 322 days after the CLOSE of discovery. Either the Bell's lawyer is inept or it was a dick move to cost Innovation additional time and money.

http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91215896&pty=OPP&eno=31
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: 69franx on April 06, 2016, 05:00:59 PM
Mike, cant read the whole thing here at work, but I will assume it is nasty legal tactics at work. Thanks for posting
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: blair.streit on April 06, 2016, 06:10:34 PM
I don't like it either, but let's not gloss over the fact that US patent and trademark law is setting up a difficult structure for these guys.

In spite of that, when marketing and lawsuits start taking up significant portions of your time and money that has to come at the expense of other things. I don't think this will do anything to improve the quality of their beer or the morale of the people that choose to get up and come to work there every day. No winners here....
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Steve Ruch on April 10, 2016, 04:28:56 PM
I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Steve Ruch on April 10, 2016, 04:33:57 PM
Trademark is per business type. This is why we can have Delta Airlines, Delta faucet, delta Dental...

Transport and beer are not in the same category/business type.

Wouldn't Bart be smart to advertise "After going B.A.R.T. go BART?" Win-Win.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Steve Ruch on April 10, 2016, 04:40:38 PM
I don't know that it pertains, but recently there was a music law suit in the news where it was alleged that the new song infringed by having the same vibe as a Marvin Gaye song. Not same lyrics, not same melody, not same title... it just felt the same. It was upheld, so could this apply at some level in beer? Could a label or other marketing be liable for having the same vibe? Hmmm, fat tire vs chain breaker? Don't they both have a bicycle feel?

Some years ago the record label that owned the rights to the Credence Clearwater Revival catalogue sued Tom Fogarty for plagiarizing himself on a new release.
The judge ruled that Tom Fogarty had a unique sound and he wasn't plagiarizing himself.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: RPIScotty on April 10, 2016, 05:00:21 PM
I don't know that it pertains, but recently there was a music law suit in the news where it was alleged that the new song infringed by having the same vibe as a Marvin Gaye song. Not same lyrics, not same melody, not same title... it just felt the same. It was upheld, so could this apply at some level in beer? Could a label or other marketing be liable for having the same vibe? Hmmm, fat tire vs chain breaker? Don't they both have a bicycle feel?

Some years ago the record label that owned the rights to the Credence Clearwater Revival catalogue sued Tom Fogarty for plagiarizing himself on a new release.
The judge ruled that Tom Fogarty had a unique sound and he wasn't plagiarizing himself.

John Fogarty.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on April 11, 2016, 12:11:54 PM
John Fogerty ;)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: Steve Ruch on April 11, 2016, 10:33:38 PM
I don't know that it pertains, but recently there was a music law suit in the news where it was alleged that the new song infringed by having the same vibe as a Marvin Gaye song. Not same lyrics, not same melody, not same title... it just felt the same. It was upheld, so could this apply at some level in beer? Could a label or other marketing be liable for having the same vibe? Hmmm, fat tire vs chain breaker? Don't they both have a bicycle feel?

Some years ago the record label that owned the rights to the Credence Clearwater Revival catalogue sued Tom Fogarty for plagiarizing himself on a new release.
The judge ruled that Tom Fogarty had a unique sound and he wasn't plagiarizing himself.

John Fogarty.

Brain fart. John is right.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on December 30, 2017, 02:50:27 AM
The decision was made on 12/20 there can be no likelyhood of confusion. So suck it Bell's!

http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91215896&pty=OPP&eno=51

Too bad Bell's decided to waste the time and money of a small brewery to prove nothing. You would think Larry and the gang would think before they act...
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on December 30, 2017, 04:21:33 AM
How many of the Pros here have attorneys?

As a friend who has a brewpub says - "Your first hire should be your attorney. The second should be your accountant."

Looking through this old thread ... we no longer have an attorney on retainer. We have one on staff. ;)
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: majorvices on December 30, 2017, 04:30:02 AM
The decision was made on 12/20 there can be no likelyhood of confusion. So suck it Bell's!

http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91215896&pty=OPP&eno=51

Too bad Bell's decided to waste the time and money of a small brewery to prove nothing. You would think Larry and the gang would think before they act...

Glad Bell's got their ass handed to them. I'll still drink their beer form time to time though.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: MDixon on December 30, 2017, 06:50:59 PM
It appears there may be an appeals period. Let's see if Bell's decides to abide by the decision or drag this out even longer.
Title: Re: Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
Post by: santoch on December 31, 2017, 11:22:43 PM
They still have a go fund me page up.  It only got them about $5 grand toward the legal bills, all this time later.  I hope others will consider kicking in to help them out (I just did).  You know Bell's is going to not let this go without appeal.
Steve