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Messages - MDixon

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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.;)

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. ;)

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: March 14, 2015, 06:54:36 AM »
I've seen the Town Branch bottles in various stores, but haven't picked one up. The reviews have been mixed is why I've passed it up.

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. ;)

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.

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... ;)

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


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Session Saison?
« on: March 11, 2015, 02:10:41 PM »
This one would need to be watered down a little to meet 3.5%, but I have made it at around 4% several times. Boil less, cut back on the malt, or add more water. ;)

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.

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.

Bell's on Facebook
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

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.

The Pub / Bell's files lawsuit against Innovation - AKA suck it Bell's
« on: March 10, 2015, 03:31:31 PM »

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.

Beer Travel / Re: Asheville AHA Rally at Wicked Weed Funkatorium
« on: February 27, 2015, 02:43:37 PM »
I'll stick it here, list of Asheville breweries and area breweries is at the end.

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