Author Topic: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark  (Read 4575 times)

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1871
    • View Profile
I hope Moonlight Brewing loses and I hope it costs them lots of money in the process.

https://mashbang.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/moonlight-brewing-and-the-craft-beer-attorney/
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline theDarkSide

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2983
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2016, 01:00:23 PM »
Unfortunately it's going to cost Michael a lot of money to defend this.  He is selling Utopias on his website at a discount to raise funds just for the retainer. 

I've been following this pretty closely since they only 4 miles from my house.

I hope Moonlight Meadery defends this trademark without too much financial ruin.

FIGHT-4-MOONLIGHT
Seacoast Homebrew Club - Portsmouth, NH
AHA Member
Stephen Mayo
------------------------------------------------

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9607
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2016, 01:02:35 PM »
We recently got a cease and desist notice from a winery in New Jersey for one of our flag ship beers "Lost Highway". In spite of Hank William's legacy in Alabama, we chose not to fight this and change the name. It sucked to change the name but under legal advice we did. There really isn't precedence in disputes between wineries and breweries. Perhaps this will change things one way or another.

Trust me, I didn't need another reason to hate New jersey. ;)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 01:07:27 PM by majorvices »

Offline narvin

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2255
  • Baltimore
    • View Profile
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2016, 01:25:36 PM »
Did you change the name to "Mystery Man"?

Please do not reply if your[sic] an evil alien!
Thanks

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1871
    • View Profile
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2016, 01:29:14 PM »
I think what happened is Moonlight Brewing filed for their name 22 years after starting and came across opposition from a BBQ restaurant and figured they better check the database to see who else might cause them issues in the future and when they found Moonlight Meadery they drew a line in the sand. Perhaps they reached out to Michael in some form before filing, but I doubt it. While I can see the similarities with Moonlight, to me the rest of the name makes them unique. If I were Michael I would ask Brewing to withdraw their petition and agree to not distribute Moonlight Meadery BEER in California. The chances of him adding beer and taking is nationwide are pretty slim. The chances of Moonlight Brewing ever creeping outside of CA are pretty slim.

At any rate, it is a BS move on the part of Moonlight Brewing and Candace Moon. Had Moonlight Brewing and Candace checked before their initial application in 2014 they would have easily found Moonlight Meadery. Instead they filed this petition which Michael will now have to defend into at least 2017.
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2016, 01:41:52 PM »
The markets are too similar. I've met Brian Hunt a few times and he seems like a stand up guy maybe this can be worked out without too much issue.

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2016, 01:42:50 PM »
We recently got a cease and desist notice from a winery in New Jersey for one of our flag ship beers "Lost Highway". In spite of Hank William's legacy in Alabama, we chose not to fight this and change the name. It sucked to change the name but under legal advice we did. There really isn't precedence in disputes between wineries and breweries. Perhaps this will change things one way or another.

Trust me, I didn't need another reason to hate New jersey. ;)
Damn New Jersey wines. Up yours Bon Jovi

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1871
    • View Profile
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2016, 03:10:44 PM »
The markets are too similar. I've met Brian Hunt a few times and he seems like a stand up guy maybe this can be worked out without too much issue.

It wouldn't be bad if they had opposed the mark in 2011 or even when they filed for their own in 2014, but to come up two years later and oppose it stinks. Perhaps Brian is an awesome guy, but if I were him I would have to question the attorney and why she didn't figure this out back in 2014. Isn't that part of what he was paying her to file in the first place?
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2016, 03:22:54 PM »
I agree. Moonlight mead wasn't as readily available in CA back then, maybe that is part of his issue. One could argue that Michael could have looked harder back in the early days as well.

Who knows the full story? All we know is two paragraphs from some random Wordpress blog. I can't find anything else regarding this, though I haven't tried to lookup the case. This could be a case of Brian trying to CYA himself incase Michael tries to sue him later.

How do you know what the chances of Moonlight Beers distributing out of CA are? His beers are great.

Meanwhile I'm going to start my Anheiser Busch Meadery to see how long it takes to have thousands of dollars torn from my backside.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 03:25:34 PM by Stevie »

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3135
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2016, 03:58:14 PM »
I am not an IP attorney but just from looking at the filings I think Candace Moon has put her client in an untenable position by arguing market confusion with Moonlight Meadery while simultaneously arguing that the term "moonlight" is so diluted in the market that the BBQ restaurant (which uses Moonlite) cannot reasonably claim market confusion. The BBQ restaurant has a registration for various Moonlite marks that include selling beer and wine which is probably where the issue arose with the brewery in California.

The risk to the meadery is that after defending against the brewery the BBQ restaurant may follow suit with attempting to cancel the meadery's registration as well. I'm not sure how likely this is. The BBQ place probably doesn't sell mead and has no interest in fighting over a product that has no real overlap with its business.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1871
    • View Profile
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2016, 05:36:19 PM »
Stevie - click the links in the blog to get to the USPTO filings. You can then decide for yourself what is going on.

As far as the blog, the guy does a pretty good job of checking and linking documents. If all someone is doing is reading two paragraphs they probably should not read his blog. ;)
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2016, 05:40:24 PM »
That's just the filing. No evidence or statements from either party. I'm not saying either is right or wrong, just coming at it from the other side.

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1871
    • View Profile
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2016, 06:02:57 PM »
And the last time I had Moonlight's beers they were not great, in fact the opposite. Now that has been several years ago, at least 5. The first time I had them they were very well done, but that was an exceedingly long time ago, probably 2001. I checked BeerAdvocate and their tick reviews would say his beers are good to very good.

The facts in this case are Meadery got their mark in 2011 and started in 2010.
Brewing applied for a mark in 2014 and started in 1992.
Brewing petitioned to cancel Meadery in 2016. The Brewing mark application was challenged by Moonlite BBQ in 2015.

I suspect neither is going to say much in public. I don't see how any publicity by Brian would be in his favor with anyone but fans since he did not file the opposition with or soon after the application. Michael did post some items for sale in an attempt to raise funds for the defense, but other than that has taken the high road in social media. That is where I first took notice.
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2016, 06:08:13 PM »
I agree he's late to the party in trying to cancel it. Hopefully they can coexist.

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3135
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Moonlight Brewing files to cancel the Moonlight Meadery trademark
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2016, 06:48:22 PM »
That's just the filing. No evidence or statements from either party. I'm not saying either is right or wrong, just coming at it from the other side.

No evidence but there are a number of filed documents by the BBQ joint and the brewery making allegations and raising defenses around these issues.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing