Author Topic: These guys need to clean up their act  (Read 12068 times)

Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2012, 07:07:44 AM »
It is that simple. Homebrew shop is protecting their trademark and brewery has no wiggle room.

I agree that they must defend their trademark or loose it, but they do have wiggle room. They could choose to license the name to the brewery. I heard a local brewery in DE did just that this year when another brewery used their trademarked beer name. They licensed the name for a case of beer.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2012, 11:32:42 AM »
If anyone would know, it would be you, Leos.  The change from Thirsty to Lazy was the result of a similar issue, right?  Still, I think this HBS is going to regret the enforcement action.  They are effectively black balling themselves from those who are aware of their actions.  Being legally right can still mean that a backlash for enforcing the legal right will cause you to lose ground overall.

Good or bad. If you are aware of that someone is infringing on your TM you have to defend it. I am still bitter what happened to me but at least it happened before our beer was out. At the end of the day I think Lazy is better then Thirsty.

Moral of the story is: If you are going to open a brewery, do a USPO trademark search. Then trademark your brand name. This is only way to protect yourself.
Leos has a seasoned view of this and has the response that one with experience would know.

Bell's Brewing was involved in a dispute with the brewery in Mexico that brews Sol, over Bell's Solsun. How you could confuse that is not so clear, but Bells renamed the beer as Oberon. They got to keep the art work and just change the name, and the brewery rep said that both names have 6 letters so it was an easy change.

Bells has learned the lesson, they now defend their trademarks. There was the situation with Northern Brewer over the 3 Hearted Ale kit.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2012, 12:21:33 PM »
Can't we all just get along?  Not when one party to a dispute doesn't want to...Bells was being a dickhead in that instance, even though they had the legal rights.  It probably hasn't cost it much in terms of customer loyalty, but I now avoid their products intentionally.  Why pay forward bad karma?
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Online udubdawg

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2012, 03:19:28 PM »
Sometimes I hate living here.
Like this, or when I read about the a-hole former baseball player who gets to cut down his neighbors trees to improve his view...

Whatever the brewery ends up being named, I'll be visiting them.  The store?  Not so much.

Offline nateo

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2012, 04:10:04 PM »
Seriously, how is the brewery who stole the name the "good guy" in this situation?
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2012, 08:31:30 PM »
I really don't think you can say that the brewery acted in bad faith by naming the brewery Strange Brew. It's terribly unoriginal, but that's precisely why there could not possibly be bad faith. But seriously, naming your brewery/beer/homebrew store any variation of "strange brew" is like throwing "dog" in your beer/brewery name.  Either party here would benefit from coming up with something more original.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2012, 01:42:57 AM »
Are these US-only trademarks? Because I'm pretty lazy when it comes to naming my beers... Perhaps I should file for the trademark here in Europe... "Phil's Two-Hearted Evil Cousin 'Old Rasputin' aka Raging b**** Boston Lager"
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2012, 05:48:08 AM »
Seriously, how is the brewery who stole the name the "good guy" in this situation?

Unintentional violation of a widespread, unimaginative, yet registered trade name that has little realistic possibility of causing confusion in the marketplace = at worst "good guy" when registrant doesn't attempt to resolve this by licensing or sharing the name in the collegial spirit of beer making.
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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2012, 06:45:08 AM »
Are these US-only trademarks? Because I'm pretty lazy when it comes to naming my beers... Perhaps I should file for the trademark here in Europe... "Phil's Two-Hearted Evil Cousin 'Old Rasputin' aka Raging b**** Boston Lager"

Now that I like.  :)
 
This is a tiny brewery. I'm sure that if they had known, they would never think they were in the same territory with a homebrew shop 2000 miles away. The shop may have trademark law on their side, but I don't think the brewery acted in bad faith.
 
The lesson, though, is research and trademark your name early on to avoid this situation.
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Offline euge

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #54 on: November 13, 2012, 08:43:36 AM »
Are these US-only trademarks? Because I'm pretty lazy when it comes to naming my beers... Perhaps I should file for the trademark here in Europe... "Phil's Two-Hearted Evil Cousin 'Old Rasputin' aka Raging b**** Boston Lager"

Now that I like.  :)
 
This is a tiny brewery. I'm sure that if they had known, they would never think they were in the same territory with a homebrew shop 2000 miles away. The shop may have trademark law on their side, but I don't think the brewery acted in bad faith.
 
The lesson, though, is research and trademark your name early on to avoid this situation.

Or to punish others that don't.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline bunderbunder

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #55 on: November 13, 2012, 09:00:05 AM »
Agreed.  Even so, the value of the Trademark should bear some weight in the argument - here they took a name that was already widely used by others for a use relating to beer and want to close the door behind them for future use by others where little to no confusion in the marketplace is occurring.  Sometimes the law has to catch up to the facts in order to properly apply.

However, if their business were to grow then confusion would become a much bigger issue.  And they've got an online store, so no doubt they do intent to grow.  It's better to handle any potential problems earlier rather than later.  I'm coming around to thinking that the HBS is right to ask the brewery to change their name.

I've still got a bad taste in my mouth over the way they've apparently charged into the situation guns a-blazing.  They were right to seek legal advice before starting the conversation, but I think it would have been more classy to start by personally contacting the brewery's owners with a message that had been vetted by their lawyer rather than sent by him.  When you choose to have the conversation start with an attorney's letterhead, you inevitably come across looking like a bully.  Perhaps it worked out that way because of the lawyer's advice, though.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 09:02:06 AM by bunderbunder »

Offline gmac

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #56 on: November 13, 2012, 10:16:39 AM »
Are these US-only trademarks? Because I'm pretty lazy when it comes to naming my beers... Perhaps I should file for the trademark here in Europe... "Phil's Two-Hearted Evil Cousin 'Old Rasputin' aka Raging b**** Boston Lager"

Just send me 3 bottles and a mortgage payment for all those "g"s and we're good. 
As for General Motors...they're lucky I havent' gone after them!

I had the same thought about US versus rest of the world.  Not gonna hire a lawyer to find out but I'm curious.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2012, 12:01:09 PM »
Are these US-only trademarks? Because I'm pretty lazy when it comes to naming my beers... Perhaps I should file for the trademark here in Europe... "Phil's Two-Hearted Evil Cousin 'Old Rasputin' aka Raging b**** Boston Lager"

Just send me 3 bottles and a mortgage payment for all those "g"s and we're good. 
As for General Motors...they're lucky I havent' gone after them!

I had the same thought about US versus rest of the world.  Not gonna hire a lawyer to find out but I'm curious.


Too late - I just registered "Strange Brew", "Strange Brewing" and any derivative thereof in English, French and Spanish in both Canada and Mexico.   Now let's see ... I need to write two cease and desist letters to make sure no sales occur in either of those countries!!  I see how this works.  Much better than creating a real business.
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Offline thetooth

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #58 on: November 13, 2012, 12:58:34 PM »
Are these US-only trademarks? Because I'm pretty lazy when it comes to naming my beers... Perhaps I should file for the trademark here in Europe... "Phil's Two-Hearted Evil Cousin 'Old Rasputin' aka Raging b**** Boston Lager"

Just send me 3 bottles and a mortgage payment for all those "g"s and we're good. 
As for General Motors...they're lucky I havent' gone after them!

I had the same thought about US versus rest of the world.  Not gonna hire a lawyer to find out but I'm curious.


Too late - I just registered "Strange Brew", "Strange Brewing" and any derivative thereof in English, French and Spanish in both Canada and Mexico.   Now let's see ... I need to write two cease and desist letters to make sure no sales occur in either of those countries!!  I see how this works.  Much better than creating a real business.

Sorry, I don't think you understand it yet.  What you want to do is wait for someone to actually make sales in those countries, then you sue them for a portion of those royalties for violating your trademark.  LOL

Offline gsandel

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Re: These guys need to clean up their act
« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2012, 01:05:04 PM »
While the Denver Brewery could have should have and might have known better.....and could therefore easily lose any fight, they are the good guys as they asked for and offered possible solutions as an alternatitive to litigation.  The response from the homebrew shop was "you offend me".

That is winning the battle but losing the war.  A response like that gives no alternative to the Denver brewery than to go public with the issue in advance of explaining why they ended up changing their name.

In the long run (I agree it was unimaginative...they were home brewers, cut them some slack) it will be a better name than the first one they chose.  The brewery will not lose business but the homebrew shop might very well.

In fact, I might just head down to the brewery next weekend to express my continued support...I hope to see you there...
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