Stone Brewing, Sycamore Brewing Reach Settlement

from the the-juice-is-loose dept

You will recall that we have been discussing a trademark suit between Sycamore Brewing and Stone Brewing recently. As you can see in images in the post we did about the lawsuit, and then the follow up post on the battle over an injunction requiring Stone Brewing to sticker over the offending branding, it’s pretty clear that this constituted trademark infringement. Part of what made this story noteworthy is that Stone Brewing has, for years, represented itself as a craft brewer ready to take on the big breweries on matters of intellectual property, as though it were some paragon of the industry. Instead, Stone Brewery appears to have turned to both trademark trolling and trademark infringer of smaller breweries.

Well, the Sycamore Brewing suit has now been settled, reportedly with no actual money changing hands.

The settlement came last week, shortly after Stone Brewing filed a countersuit against Sycamore calling its legal action a “sham.” The Escondido craft beer maker claimed that Sycamore didn’t disclose to the court — nor apparently to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office —that a different brewery with distribution in 14 states has been using the phrase “Keep It Juicy” on its IPA beer cans since 2017.

That’s three years before Sycamore registered to trademark the tagline, which was granted in August 2021, according to Stone. The brewery contends this prior use of “Keep It Juicy” raises serious doubts over the trademark’s validity.

Now, serious doubts do not equal “sham”, of course, but I suppose such accusations are now moot. The case has settled. The post I linked to references that the preliminary injunction has been lifted, but doesn’t seem to detail out whether the agreement includes Stone’s promise to no longer use the trademarked slogan and dress of Sycamore Brewing. It is my understanding that the settlement does include that however, making this a win for Sycamore.

Stone Brewing, annoyingly, is back to playing the victim here.

“While we are relieved this case is over, we feel it’s necessary to set the record straight,” said Stone Brewing Chief Executive Maria Stipp. “Sycamore forced Stone to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expense to defend ourselves and sent our team scrambling to sticker 21,000 boxes of beer in warehouses across the country taking more than 600 hours of valuable time. As we now know, all of this was because of Sycamore’s baseless trademark claims and opportunism.”

… said the company that successfully sued Molson Coors for making the “stone” part of “Keystone” beer’s label really big. Seriously, go review that case; it’s pretty much all there was.

This case was much more striking in terms of the use of another’s registered trademark. I frankly don’t remember David being so petulant after slaying Goliath.

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Companies: stone brewing, sycamore brewing

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Comments on “Stone Brewing, Sycamore Brewing Reach Settlement”

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Huh, not really a sham when the trademark was issued to them.
If you wanted to challenge the validity of it, there are much better ways than infringing upon their trademark which still is valid despite any whining you might want to do.

Stone, even a moron in a hurry could see you ripped off the trademark to enrich yourselves.
The trademark claims aren’t baseless, its still validly issued to the other company.
I had doubts about you being a buncha assholes, but doubts aren’t legal findings of fact.
Perhaps if you had done things the right way instead of behaving like you claim Coors did to you, people might not think you’re a buncha assholes.

David says:

You need to read the Bible more

I frankly don’t remember David being so petulant after slaying Goliath.

Frankly, reading the Old Testament should make painfully clear that petulancy was not considered a fault. For what it’s worth, after killing Goliath, David proceeded to cut off his head and brought it back home as a trophy. He actually still carried the head around when being summoned to the military commander.

Essentially the main storyline of the Old Testament is an underdog nation triumphing over their enemies by virtue of a mighty god having their back. It’s sort of a cesspool of petulancy by modern standards, pervading the storylines and the actors, particularly those on the “good” side.

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