3 Floyds Brewing Goes After Abnormal Beer Co. All Because Of Its Trademarked Slogan 'It's Not Normal'
from the this-isn't-normal dept
It’s no secret that sometimes a company’s lawyers get way out ahead of how their client would want them to behave in protecting their intellectual property. We’ve seen many a story in which threat letters go out, only to have ownership on both sides of a dispute get together and settle things amicably. And if there’s any industry in which this should absolutely happen, it should be the craft brewing industry, where there has long been a tradition of fraternity and peaceful coexistence.
And that almost seemed like it’s what was going to happen when Abnormal Beer Co. got a letter from the lawyers for 3 Floyds Brewing.
We’d like to say a very big Thank You to Nick Floyd @3FloydsBrewing for personally handling a legal matter for us. . Last year we were notified that the trademark for our brand, Abnormal, was being protested by the attorneys at 3 Floyds Brewing on the grounds that our brand name, Abnormal, creates confusion with consumers with their brand. For those familiar with our two brands, you understand why we were left scratching our heads with that assertion… . After being at two beer festivals in two different countries with them, one of our owners had the pleasure to get to chat with Nick Floyd and fill him in on the details. He immediately reassured us he would make sure we were squared away and explained that their legal firm is only there to combat “Big Beer” that threatens their business not little guys like us. He even took a photo with us in traditional 3 Floyds fashion 🙂 . Thank you again Nick for keeping the spirit of craft beer alive. Money & time is much better spent on crafting great beer for everyone, not on attorney fees. We look forward to seeing you guys at the next beer festival! Cheers!
Happy ending, right? Unfortunately, that Instagram post was not the end of the story. In a separate post, Abnormal has informed the public that any assurances it had been given that the lawyers would be called off were apparently not sincere. The lawyers for 3 Floyds is insisting now that Abnormal not only pull its trademark application for the beer industry, but for its winery as well.
To be frank, the fact that there is any dispute here at all is silly. 3 Floyds’ opposition is flatly unnecessary, as nobody is going to somehow mix up or mistake association between Abnormal Beer Co. and a company with a slogan such as “It’s not normal.” The marks aren’t particularly similar and, when you consider the context of the rest of the trade dress, are unlikely to cause any confusion.
On top of that, the PR game Abnormal is playing with its Instagram posts is quite strong.
We want to be clear, we are not a threat and we do not want a legal battle over something as silly as this; the only people who win are the lawyers. We’ve been at multiple festivals in different countries together and we all know there is no confusion between the 3 Floyds and Abnormal brands.
As fans of 3 Floyds Brewery, we have saved a beer for you Nick, should you decide to change your mind and reach out to work this out with us. Let’s be friends, not enemies; that’s what the spirit of craft is about, a spirit you yourself helped cultivate. There shouldn’t be anything sharing a beer can’t fix.
It’s a smart appeal, which is something that fans of the craft beer industry will care about. Again, why 3 Floyds wants to continue this hit to its reputation is beyond me.