Author Topic: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra  (Read 1477 times)

Offline Stevie

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Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« on: January 13, 2015, 09:52:08 PM »
http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2015/01/13/lagunitas-brewing-sues-sierra-nevada-over-ipa-label/


Normally, I am a fan of Tony MaGee, but I don't know about this one.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2015, 09:56:18 PM by Steve in TX »

Offline pete b

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2015, 10:01:48 PM »
http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2015/01/13/lagunitas-brewing-sues-sierra-nevada-over-ipa-label/


Normally, I am a fan of Tony MaGee, but I don't know about this one.
While it doesn't look that similar to me, you never know with trademark stuff. I'm wondering if Lagunitis is doing this as a branding strategy: this will be picked up by national media and craft beer drinkers will learn what I just learned being an East coast native: that Lagunitis has been making IPA's far longer than many others.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 10:40:14 PM »
Pretty disappointing. I don't see it. The 'I' is somewhat similar, the other two letters not at all. Is Sierra supposed to use lower case ? Cursive ? Hebrew ?  Pig Latin?  I think Lagunitas feels threatened by this year round fresh hop beer that's ready to launch - no coincidence on the timing.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2015, 10:56:57 PM »
I'm the first to admit that I am not a IP lawyer but I don't see any similarities there expect the font may be the same (sort of close) size.  What I see is 2 labels:

one white
one green
2 different fonts
completely different layouts except for the fact IPA is in caps and centered top to bottom, left to right.

If anyone should be complaining it should be the old generic "BEER" manufacturer from the 80's.  White label, all caps, black letters.  Definitely infringement on generic labels.   ;D

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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2015, 10:57:53 PM »
I could see it if the Sierra Nevada was just the letters IPA, but they get lost under all the other artwork. But like pete said, you never know with trademark stuff.
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2015, 10:59:11 PM »
"Big Business Monkeys" said Daniel Johnston
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2015, 11:22:53 PM »
I will say I never did see the Magic Hat BS with #9 and the 6, but I see the similarities in the two IPA's. Now would I mistake them...no.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2015, 01:28:20 AM »
So they trademarked serif fonts?  There are no other similarities.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2015, 02:45:23 AM »
Here is a quick analysis of an intellectual property attorney (me):

Per the article citing the Complaint there are 4 elements that in combination make up the Lagunitas IPA mark:

The unique “IPA” lettering used in the Lagunitas “IPA” Family of Trademarks has a distinctive serif font, distinctive kerning (or letter spacing), between the “P” and the “A”, slightly aged or weathered look, with uneven areas on each of the letters, and the elimination of any periods between the letters. These elements together are unique to the iconic design of the Lagunitas IPA.

Without looking at the Complaint itself, it appears then that each of these elements are needed or perhaps just most of them for there to be trademark infringement.

What elements are in common?
-distinctive serif font but quite different because Lagunitas has spaces between the lines
-distinctive similar kerning (or letter spacing) between the P and A
-slightly aged or weathered look, with uneven areas on each of the letters, this is the most distinctive part of the label but it is entirely missing
- elimination of any periods between the letters, but this is the least important element.

I frankly don't see a "substantial similarity," which is the test for trademark infringement, because the least important element, the missing periods, is there, two of the other elements are only partly there, and the most important one, the "weathered look" is completely missing.  In addition, Lagunitas labels are very simple while Sierra Nevada labels are very complicated.

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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2015, 02:53:59 AM »
I call it BS.
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Offline mbalbritton

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2015, 03:05:35 AM »

I call it BS.
This. ^^^ That would mean that Coca-Cola could sue anyone who uses a script style font.

There are literally 100's of thousands of fonts... THAT USE SERIFS.


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Offline JT

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2015, 03:16:51 AM »

Offline pete b

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2015, 03:30:11 AM »
I agree. And the fact that this is so obviously not a winning legal strategy leads me to believe its a cynical marketing strategy: the public will only remember that Lagunitis IPA was around first.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Uh-oh... Lagunitas is going after Sierra
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2015, 12:52:44 PM »
And the fact that this is so obviously not a winning legal strategy leads me to believe its a cynical marketing strategy


Yeah, that was my point.  I think Hop Hunter has the potential to cut into their sales and they know it. Celebration is only out once a year, Torpedo is mediocre (to me). This one sounds legit.
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