The MPAA Forces Craft Brewer To Abandon Its 'Rated R' Beer Brand
from the this-beer-is-not-yet-rated dept
The MPAA. Usually that’s all I’d have to say and then we could all have good combo laugh/cry over exactly how cartoonishly dickish an organization could be. But now it’s entered the realm of alcohol, where trademark silliness is all too prevalent. But if any of those previous stories looked petty, the pure petty stones on these MPAA folks will astound you. Yes, it has come to this: a craft brewery has been forced to change the name of its celebrated “Rated R” beer brand. This, people, is as stupid as it gets.
A few weeks ago the MPAA sent a cease and desist letter to Minneapolis beer brewery 612 Brew, who’re known for their tasty beers including the popular “Rated R” brand. The movie industry group pointed out that the company was using the “Rated R” trademark without permission and urged the beer maker to drop the name to avoid confusion.
Of course! Who could possibly deny how the confusion over whether I was drinking an R-rated movie or a beer might creep into my brain? Who also could possibly deny that the MPAA’s “Rated R” trademark is something other than purely descriptive? I mean, it’s not like the mark is, you know, describing the exact state of rating of the movie or anything, right? And, finally, really how different are the movie and beer-making industries? Aren’t they essentially the same thing? Because if they aren’t, then this really doesn’t make any sense.
The brewery first responded to the demands by arguing that the Rated R name can be used as they clearly operate in a different industry. The MPAA wasn’t convinced though.
Imagine the look on the faces of the sweet folks making this wonderful alcohol when they were informed that the lawyers at the MPAA weren’t convinced that the MPAA and a brewery were in different industries. I imagine it took the grace of god himself to keep embolisms from popping inside of their brains as they tried to process a claim so stupid.
And, yet, because the brewery is small and the MPAA is big, the name of the beer will be changed. This is how stupidity plus money can equal the good guy getting screwed out of his brand. The beer will continue on, of course, though under a different name: “unrated.”
The brewery now has to hope that the “unrated” name won’t cause any headaches in the future. A quick search reveals that there’s an “unrated” trademark application in progress by a “yoga pants” outfit, so fingers crossed.
Fingers crossed. Jesus…