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