Author Topic: West Sixth vs Magic Hat  (Read 4933 times)

Online mtnrockhopper

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2876
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: West Sixth vs Magic Hat
« Reply #45 on: May 23, 2013, 08:08:18 AM »
Is it possible to parody a beer? Because I think that would be funny, and might be a first.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1005
    • View Profile
    • Mike's Homebrewing Page
Re: West Sixth vs Magic Hat
« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2013, 08:10:43 AM »
Whatcha got in mind?

If I were West Sixth after all this shakes out I would put something like this on each label/can:
"not to be confused with a brewery in Vermont owned by a company in NY ran by a group out of Costa Rica"
 8)
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline garc_mall

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 795
  • [1892.9, 294.9deg] AR Lynnwood, WA
    • View Profile
Re: West Sixth vs Magic Hat
« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2013, 08:13:35 AM »
Reading through the letters back and forth between the legal teams, I was thinking: "If there was a distributor that refused to distribute my beer because it looked too close to MH#9, I would WANT to change my logo so people wouldn't confuse my beer with #9." If distributors are stating that it could be confusing in the market, they probably know what they are talking about.

I still don't understand the problem with 9lb porter though.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1005
    • View Profile
    • Mike's Homebrewing Page
Re: West Sixth vs Magic Hat
« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2013, 08:17:38 AM »
More FWIW - West Sixth posted on their site/FB in response to the distributor portion;
Quote
You said that “talks between the two breweries started in September of 2012 after marketplace concerns surfaced by a Kentucky wholesaler who refused to carry West Sixth Brewing because he felt it too closely resembled Magic Hat.” Unfortunately, that isn’t true at all. We have two distributors who distribute both us and Magic Hat without any sort of confusion. We’re sorry that this is what you were told. What actually happened between us and your distributor is this: After we had advanced negotiations to sign with your distributor they were told by another brand they carry that they should not distribute our beer.
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: West Sixth vs Magic Hat
« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2013, 08:30:43 AM »
Here's some background on trademark infringement:
http://www.bitlaw.com/trademark/infringe.html
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tm.htm#10

A jury trial could be tricky, although depending on how the jury instructions are worded it could easily swing in favor of either party. The burden of proof for these types of cases is a preponderance (a hair more than 50% likely). Magic Hat only has to show that confusion is slightly more reasonable than unreasonable to occur.

From the first link, these are the most important factors to consider in trademark infringement cases:
"1 the similarity in the overall impression created by the two marks (including the marks' look, phonetic similarities, and underlying meanings);
2 the similarities of the goods and services involved (including an examination of the marketing channels for the goods); "

From the second link, re: parodies "Finally, certain parodies of trademarks may be permissible if they are not too directly tied to commercial use."
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 08:32:37 AM by nateo »
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline AmandaK

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 930
  • Redbird Brewhouse
    • View Profile
Re: West Sixth vs Magic Hat
« Reply #50 on: May 28, 2013, 01:16:33 PM »
http://beerpulse.com/2013/05/west-sixth-says-amended-magic-hat-lawsuit-seeks-new-damages-brewers-enter-mediation-480/

Man, I wish West Sixth would just pipe down already. Of course they're going to sue you for defamation. You incited people to attack them and their brand. Really immature.
Amanda Kertz
Kansas City Bier Meister
BJCP National

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: West Sixth vs Magic Hat
« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2013, 01:20:25 PM »
Man, I wish West Sixth would just pipe down already. Of course they're going to sue you for defamation. You incited people to attack them and their brand. Really immature.

I wonder if West Sixth is completely unprofitable, and the owner is detonating the business to save face, so he can blame bankruptcy on someone else? I swear, it sounds like he has a death-wish for his company.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Online mtnrockhopper

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2876
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: West Sixth vs Magic Hat
« Reply #52 on: May 29, 2013, 05:24:09 AM »
"Look... me and the McDonald's people got this little misunderstanding. See, they're McDonald's... I'm McDowell's. They got the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, but their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds."
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1835
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: West Sixth vs Magic Hat
« Reply #53 on: May 29, 2013, 02:20:50 PM »
Man, I wish West Sixth would just pipe down already. Of course they're going to sue you for defamation. You incited people to attack them and their brand. Really immature.

I wonder if West Sixth is completely unprofitable, and the owner is detonating the business to save face, so he can blame bankruptcy on someone else? I swear, it sounds like he has a death-wish for his company.

Yes it is puzzling. New cans with plates is much less then lawsuit.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer