Breweries Fight Over Trademark Of Hikers That Don't Look Alike

from the take-a-hike dept

The ongoing saga of strange trademark battles between purveyors of sweet, delicious alcohol continues this week. This latest case revolves around two beer breweries. Long Trail Brewing Co. of Vermont makes a suite of brews that feature its trademarked logo, which includes the image of a generic hiker with a backpack. The company is suing Bent Paddle Brewing Co. of Minnesota over the labels used on its "Trail Series" of beer, which include two hiker images, the most similar of which is a stick figure that is about the size of the legal type section in a typical ToS agreement. Seriously, here are the two labels.

If you're confused as to whether or not those two labels represent that same brand of beer, you need immediate medical help. I'm forced to assume the dispute is over that tiny stick-figure guy at the top of the label, because cross-country skier guy on the other side of the can isn't even close in terms of being an infringing logo. Not that the one at the top is any better. Other than the reverse of two common colors in the illustration scheme, there isn't a whole lot of confusion to be had there. Not that this fact stopped Long Trail Brewing from hilariously claiming otherwise.

“Bent Paddle’s use of a hiker logo in connection with its ale products is likely to cause confusion and mistake and deceive consumers” as well as creating “the false and misleading impression that Bent Paddle’s products are manufactured by Long Trail, or are affiliated, connected or associated with Long Trail, or have the sponsorship, endorsement or approval of Long Trail, or are part of ‘The Long Trail Family of Fine Ales.’”
Ah, yes, there is sure to be this confusion over a dissimilar generic hiker logo featured at the top of a beer label that features the rival brewery's name on it something like four times larger than the offending hiker. How clever of Bent Paddle to try to associate itself with a rival brewery by cleverly making sure everyone knows who actually made the beer in question. Keep in mind that Long Trail is asking for a ban of the logo, a recall of all beer sold with the logo, and triple damages and legal fees.

All for a stick figure. Way to go, guys.

Filed Under: breweries, hikers, logos, trademark
Companies: bent paddle brewing, long tail brewing


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  • identicon
    Digger, 11 Sep 2014 @ 10:12pm

    Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

    Beer tastes like shit, can't stand the smell, and the taste is worse.

    The world would be a much better place if beer had never been invented.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      G Thompson (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 12:56am

      Re: Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

      You sir are completely entitled to your wrong opinion.

      *Sings the beer song over and over*

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Editor-In-Chief, 12 Sep 2014 @ 4:02am

        Re: Re: Only Beer Worth Drinking.......

        And you sir are completely entitled to your wrong beer opinion.

        The only beer worth drinking is Ginger Beer. Or if you are the right frame of mind, White Lightning (though it is a far second to the afore mentioned).

        David Oliver Graeme Samuel Offenbach

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          art guerrilla (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 5:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Only Beer Worth Drinking.......

          this will not stand ! ! !
          beer is actually the cradle of civilization...
          (seriously)

          now, if you are saying *most* major brands of beer in amerika are useless flagons of piss-water, i can't disagree with that...

          further, if you are saying that so-called 'light' beers are not actually beer, but beer-flavored water, then i agree again...

          (unless you want me to insult you AND yo mama, don't offer me a so-called 'light' beer and say it is a 'beer'; it is not...)

          but if you are saying that the felicitous combination of hops, barley, yeast and water is not one of the best inventions of mankind, then you are sadly mistaken and i feel sorry for you...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Editor-In-Chief, 12 Sep 2014 @ 6:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Only Beer Worth Drinking.......

            Since the
            combination of hops, barley, yeast and water
            gives rise to that "a bomb a nation" called Vegemite, it is definitely
            not one of the best inventions of mankind
            If we replace the hops and barley with (sugar/honey) and that outstanding item called ginger, then you have one of the best inventions of mankind.


            David Oliver Graeme Samuel Offenbach

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              G Thompson (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 11:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Only Beer Worth Drinking.......

              Oy BLASPHEMER!!!! What you got against Vegemite?

              I suppose you hate Jam (conserve to you weird Americans who like flavoured gelatin and call it jelly) and Scones (A light fluffy baked dough not the crap you serve with LARD!!!!) and cream (whipped and served by the BIG spoonful)

              Vegemite is the food of the Gods and BEER be its liquid accompaniment!

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                nasch (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 11:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Only Beer Worth Drinking.......

                I suppose you hate Jam (conserve to you weird Americans who like flavoured gelatin and call it jelly)

                As an American, I've never heard of a food called conserve. There seems to be widespread (ha ha) confusion here about what fruit spread is what and whether there's a difference, but supposedly preserves is made with whole fruit, jam with pieces of fruit, and jelly with fruit juice. Personally I like jam (preferably raspberry).

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  John Fenderson (profile), 15 Sep 2014 @ 12:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Only Beer Worth Drinking.......

                  Although I had heard of conserve, I did chuckle at the notion that it would mean anything to most Americans. Most Americans would call a conserve "jam" (not incorrectly, as a conserve is a kind of jam -- the difference being that a conserve contains the whole fruits rather than pieces).

                  Even in the US, only the cheap bad jellies contain gelatin. That's not actually representative of American cuisine.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Editor-In-Chief, 12 Sep 2014 @ 3:53pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Only Beer Worth Drinking.......

                Wonderful, another poor sod who has no taste buds any more.

                What you got against Vegemite?
                Stuff stinks, looks bad and tastes even worse. My children thought it a great joke to offer me Vegemite toast as they were growing up.

                I love jam and scones and cream particularly with a cold glass of ginger beer. Green Thai chicken curry or mustard infused Roast beef also go well with ginger beer.

                David Oliver Graeme Samuel Offenbach

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2014 @ 6:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Only Beer Worth Drinking.......

            Right up there with
            wine coolers not made with wine...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Digger, 12 Sep 2014 @ 7:18am

        Re: Re: Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

        Ever heard of people known as "super tasters"?

        Beer and most wines have an incredibly foul sulfur content to them that makes super tasters gag and wretch.

        In my case, even something as common as cilantro adds the overwhelming flavor/scent of bleach to a dish (the flavor reminds my olfactory senses as the scent of bleach), making anything with cilantro in it inedible.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 15 Sep 2014 @ 12:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

          Cilantro is a curse on mankind. Even small amounts of it ruins anything.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 15 Sep 2014 @ 1:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

            Cilantro is a curse on mankind. Even small amounts of it ruins anything.

            You are so wrong...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Drawoc Suomynona (profile), 15 Sep 2014 @ 10:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

            Recent research suggests that a small percentage of people have the genetic make up that causes cilantro to smell like soap. My wife has said for decades that cilatro smelled / tasted like lemon Dawn. Apparently she's not the only one who thinks so.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Sheogorath (profile), 13 Sep 2014 @ 8:17am

        Re: Re: Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

        I personally cannot stand beer because I think it tastes disgusting, but I do have to say:

        A long time ago, way back in history
        When all there was to drink was nothing but cups of tea
        Along came a man by the name of Charlie Mops
        And he invented a wonderful drink, and he made it out of hops

        Oh, he must have been an admiral, a sultan, or a king
        And to his praises we shall always sing
        Look what he has done for us, he's filled us up with cheer
        Lord bless Charlie Mops, the man who invented beer, beer, beer. Tiddly beer, beer, beer
        The Lord bless Charlie Mops! ;)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2014 @ 6:40am

      Re: Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

      What, were you beaten with a beer bottle as a child?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 13 Sep 2014 @ 11:23am

      Re: Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

      Whether or not you like the product is completely irrelevant the trademark issues being discussed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        G Thompson (profile), 13 Sep 2014 @ 12:20pm

        Re: Re: Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

        I disagree! Since one beer is produced by "Bent Paddle", with his statement about the elixer of the gods a 'paddlin' is in order ;)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wiggler, 13 Sep 2014 @ 1:56pm

      Re: Meh, beer, who gives a frak?

      "Food tastes like shit, can't stand the smell, and the taste is worse."

      Yes, your comment about beer is as asinine as the one above.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andyroo, 11 Sep 2014 @ 10:22pm

    what!!!

    This is one case that this site has brought up where I can see the reason for suing, there is a picture of exactly the same hiker design on both brewers cans and this could be confusing if you as a drinker only wanted to buy from one brewery for some reason,especially if you had a few before purchasing more. I would immediately think it was from my local brewer if I was buying the beer shown in both photos.

    Saying that these breweries should have been able to sort this out without having to sue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 10:44pm

      Re: what!!!

      Indeed. Would be nice to see the same sized complete products next to each other. But to me, the similar colors (green/gold/red/white) and the the logo scream the same company. I know the colors are "inverted", but its the same color scheme. And the logo is very similar, especially when you aren;t comparing one directly to the other like a game of "Spot the differences". The only major point here, is the large "brewing company" names - I wonder how many people would actually READ that and not just grab their beer by it's distinctive colors/logo. I could easily make that mistake. However, I would also argue that these aren't huge beer brands likely to clash in the same market, let alone be stacked next to each other in a supermarket.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 8:36am

      Re: what!!!

      Agreed. If you didn't look at them one right after the other, you could *easily* mistake one for the other. "Oh yeah, the beer with the red and white hiker!" I'm not sure where Tim is coming from on this one.

      Keep in mind that Long Trail is asking for a ban of the logo, a recall of all beer sold with the logo, and triple damages and legal fees.

      Triple damages is ridiculous, but I think the trademark claim is very reasonable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    AricTheRed (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 11:02pm

    Time for a BEER SUMMIT with The Oath Breaker in Chief!!!

    Instead of murdering Americans, creating more Muslim extremists by killing innocent peasants with drone strikes and generally fucking-up the world Darth Obama should sit down with these brewers, crack some cold ones, maybe hit the driving range and have a serious beer-summit and sort this shit out!

    I mean it is BEER! Sorta like Red Stripe. It's beer Mon!

    It's not like the hikers in question have been abducted by the Iranians or anything!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lurker Keith, 12 Sep 2014 @ 2:34am

      It's not fair!

      It isn't fair to Sith Lords to include Obama among their number.

      First, not all Sith Lords are trying to screw over the universe. It just ends up that way because Power Corrupts, & the Dark Side corrupts absolutely.

      For example, Jacen Solo, aka Darth Caedus, was actually trying to save the universe when he chose (he didn't fall) to turn to the Dark Side. He believed a Galactic Civil War was the only way to prevent an even worse future.

      Second, Obama doesn't have any Jedi/ Sith abilities (same ability set, Jedi just ignore certain ones), so the comparison falls flat.

      Third, Sith Lords don't get caught trying to screw over the universe until it's too late. Since the Constitution is still, technically, in effect, Obama hasn't gotten to that point yet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2014 @ 5:00am

      Re: Time for a BEER SUMMIT with The Oath Breaker in Chief!!!

      You seem to have left out a few people.

      hint: this has been going on for some time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    The Original Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 11:21pm

    Confused beer drinkers drive 850 miles and purchase wrong beer

    Using the "beer finders" on the web sites of the respective breweries, it appears that the Long Trail beer is not sold west of Pennsylvania and that the Bent Paddle beer is not sold east of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and the city of Superior in Wisconsin.

    Google Maps shows that it is approximately 850 miles from Erie, PA. to St. Paul, MN.

    Even the most drunk and confused of beer purchasers would most likely sober up while driving from Erie to Superior (or to St. Paul) and realize that they were after the wrong product. That is unless they were purchasing more beer enroute.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 12 Sep 2014 @ 6:41am

      Re: Confused beer drinkers drive 850 miles and purchase wrong beer

      But that is exactly the confusion they are trying to protect us consumers from.

      Just think of the guy that looks at his Long Trail beer bottle, logs onto the internet, accidentally finds Bent Paddle because he is looking for the logo using Google images rather than searching for the beer brand name, finds the Bent Paddle website, sees the logo, thinks that is there his Long Trail came from, gets into his car, drives more than 850 miles, and finds a beer that is not to his liking.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        The Original Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 7:50am

        Re: Re: Confused beer drinkers drive 850 miles and purchase wrong beer

        Yes, I can see where someone who has consumed a couple of cases of Long Trail beer might make this mistake.

        I hereby volunteer to test the theory.

        The only problem is that I am in Minnesota so I'll guess that I'll have to work the problem in reverse.

        Time to hit the liquor store...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 8:37am

      Re: Confused beer drinkers drive 850 miles and purchase wrong beer

      Using the "beer finders" on the web sites of the respective breweries, it appears that the Long Trail beer is not sold west of Pennsylvania and that the Bent Paddle beer is not sold east of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and the city of Superior in Wisconsin.

      That would be a much better reason to dismiss this claim than the logos being dissimilar.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bt Garner (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 3:29am

    If Long Trail is willing to send some free beers this way, I will be more than happy to let them know exactly how many beers it takes until I cannot tell the difference in logos.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2014 @ 3:55am

    Uh, both of those images are nearly identical to public park signs

    Both of these images are plays off the hiking sign used at state and national parks. So I don't see how one has any more claim over the image than the other.

    http://www.visualphotos.com/photo/1x9049537/close-up_of_a_hiking_trail_road_sign_mammoth_hot_s prings_yellowstone_national_park_wyoming_usa_213812551.jpg

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 12 Sep 2014 @ 9:57am

      Re: Uh, both of those images are nearly identical to public park signs

      It is possible that one could be drinking at the park, get confused, and end up buying a yearly park pass instead of a case of beer.

      Someone should sue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Red Monkey (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 3:55am

    likelihood of confusion

    They really should have known better.

    The defense based on the idea that the hiker logo is very small compared to the Bent Paddle logo is a weak defense. The idea seems to be "Since hiker is small and paddle is big, the consumer would reason that it's a Bent Paddle beer, not a Long Trail beer."

    But you could easily shoot back with "Because they are on the same can, consumers are just as likely to think that Bent Paddle beer itself is made by Long Trail." Or they might think "Long Trail beers are made by Bent Paddle."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 12 Sep 2014 @ 6:45am

      Re: likelihood of confusion

      These breweries are 1000 miles apart and do not operate anywhere near each other. The odds that Bent Paddle never saw a Long Trail logo before they were sued are pretty high.

      So, "knowing better" may not have been an option.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 6:17am

    This is why

    This is why we should first shoot all the lawyers...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jim s, 12 Sep 2014 @ 7:02am

    If you can't see the difference...

    If you can't see the difference between these two logos, you're must be drunk and don't need to buy any more anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    cryophallion, 12 Sep 2014 @ 7:08am

    Drinking game

    We clearly need a drinking game to go along with these lawsuits.
    1 drink for every time we see one.
    1 drink if it's a small brewery
    2 drinks if they don't even sell in the same market
    1 drink if the drink has a horrible pun name. (2 if both do)
    1 drink if you needed all the above drinks to spot the similarity they even sued over.

    Clearly the companies filing these suits are drinking to even find the issue. We may as well play along. Cheers!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2014 @ 7:33am

    They're not claiming to be a famous mark, too, are they?

    Because that would be awesome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adam, 12 Sep 2014 @ 7:58am

    Logo

    Whether the hitchhiker logo is "generic" looking is besides the point. A hitchhiker logo does not generically refer to beer or have anything to do with beer. Just because Apples logo is a generic-looking apple with bite taking out of it, it can still function as a trademark for computers, phones, and other non-fruit-related products.

    The two hitchhikers look similar enough to me to bring this out of the frivolous realm.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 15 Sep 2014 @ 10:39am

      Re: Logo

      "The two hitchhikers look similar enough to me to bring this out of the frivolous realm."

      Yeah, not to me. I would not have thought at all that the two products were from the same company.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2014 @ 8:11am

    What goes around...

    They better hope that Rogue doesn't decide to do the same thing to them because of infringement on their Dead Guy Ale label by Long Trail Limbo IPA. Similar color schemes, both feature a skeleton. Could be trouble.

    http://www.rogue.com/roguebeers/

    vs.

    http://longtrail.com//beers/limbo-ipa

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    wec, 12 Sep 2014 @ 8:24am

    Using a generic hiker logo like the National Parks' logo should concern the National Parks Department as it looks like they are supporting drinking alcohol in the national parks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2014 @ 8:50am

    Similar but not alike

    Long Trail hiker has a serious backpack, as evidenced by the bulges. Most likely North Face or REI.

    Bent Paddle hiker has a generic frame backpack, of the type sold by Walmart/Kmart.

    Long Trail hiker is striding, as evidenced by the aggressive pitch of his hiking stick and extreme forward position of knee.

    Bent Paddle hiker is strolling - legs are straighter, stick is at a more relaxed angle.

    Conclusion:

    Long Trail hiker is one of those dickheads you meet on expert trails in exotic parks. Might have a beer after a long day of hiking and being a dickhead. Won't offer you one.

    Bent Paddle hiker is wandering around enjoying the day. Shape and size of pack indicates it carries 3 12-packs. Will offer you a beer on the trail and bullshit with you for a couple hours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    connermac725 (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 9:03am

    WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE ME

    I could argue it looks like me when I go hiking maybe I should sue too

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Drawoc Suomynona (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 10:16am

    I guess I need medical help

    Before I give my two cents…I work in IP. I love Techdirt. I’m also usually okay with the general anti-IP view of writers and commenters here. Often it is justified, sometimes not, but I’m love that the Techdirt is here to challenge the system on a daily basis.

    That said, this is one of those Techdirt posts that make me cringe. Beside the legal aspects that are glossed over, the needless comments about how dumb one would have to be to confuse the two brands make the writer seem clueless on the subject matter. There are so many good examples of IP overreach and IP abuse out there, but this is not one of them. The writer is so cock sure in his comments, but just plain wrong about the subject matter.

    There are several aspects common to both designs. Both feature a hiker, within a colored circle, and the colors used in both designs are almost identical, though used in different places within the design. That alone would probably give Long Trail the win. But you also have the can colors that are nearly identical, gold and green, and the print colors of red and white. The similar trail/hiking subject matter and the fact that the offending beer is part of a “Trail Series” go a bit further to cement the issue.

    It doesn’t matter that the hiker guy is generic looking, or similar to some other logo used by the Park Service, or any other products. A hiker might be generic for camping equipment or trail gear, but it is not generic for beer. Long Trail has an established history of using a hiker design on beer products, in these colors, with no previous coexistence with other beers using such images and colors. They have several US registrations that feature the hiker design and these colors (thus the treble damages if it goes to Federal court). Whether folks like it or not, Long Trail owns the hiker image for beer and they’d be stupid not to protect it.

    Long Trail may not currently sell their products in areas where Bent Paddle sells their products, but they do supply their beer to distributors in other state in the US, establishing inter-state commerce. Long Trail may well sell their beer in other locations in the future and if they don’t challenge Bent Paddle now it might come back to bite them if they want to expand their business.

    Long Trail is correct to take action and they will prevail in this case, either in court or more likely in settlement. Bent Paddle either didn’t do enough research to see what else was out there before they launched, or they’re intentionally trading on Long Trail’s goodwill. I would venture a guess that Long Trail tried to soft approach and asked Bent Paddle to voluntarily change their design, but were ignored of rebuffed. Either way, if Bent Paddle has good counsel they will settle and make some changes to their can design.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      antidirt (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 12:50pm

      Re: I guess I need medical help

      Before I give my two cents…I work in IP. I love Techdirt. I’m also usually okay with the general anti-IP view of writers and commenters here. Often it is justified, sometimes not, but I’m love that the Techdirt is here to challenge the system on a daily basis.

      Techdirt is certainly "anti-IP," and sadly, Mike can't explicitly admit it. Ask him to clearly present his views on anything IP-related, and his response makes it seem like you asked him to sacrifice his first-born child. But the posts speak for themselves. We all know where he stands. That he can't admit it is priceless fun for me.

      That said, this is one of those Techdirt posts that make me cringe. Beside the legal aspects that are glossed over, the needless comments about how dumb one would have to be to confuse the two brands make the writer seem clueless on the subject matter. There are so many good examples of IP overreach and IP abuse out there, but this is not one of them. The writer is so cock sure in his comments, but just plain wrong about the subject matter.

      I agree. This post is terrible. There's no actual infringement analysis, such as the strength of the senior mark, the defendant's intent, or the consumer's degree of care. The author fails to demonstrate even a basic understanding of trademark infringement. Posts like this make me laugh when Mike attempts to smear other sites for their lack of journalistic prowess, as with the recent series of posts slamming HuffPo. Mike should get his own house in order before throwing stones. His own team of "journalists" come across as morons. Journalism!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2014 @ 8:34pm

        Re: Re: I guess I need medical help

        To you posting barnyard noises qualifies as criticism.

        Posted on your wife's laptop today?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 12 Sep 2014 @ 3:56pm

    Streisand Effect as advertising

    The cynic in me says this was all planned as a way for Long Trail Brewing to get more attention for itself. Why spend millions on advertising when you can file a lawsuit for a few thousand and get plenty of press coverage for a "worthless" lawsuit?

    Maybe sometimes companies use the Streisand Effect to their advantage. After all, outside of these two breweries' market and some beer fans, who else has heard of these companies? Now everyone has!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BernardoVerda (profile), 13 Sep 2014 @ 2:18pm

    There has been a growing trend for larger brewers to make and sell smaller "indie" brews under a different name (trying to cash in on the growth of "micro-brews".

    Neither of those brews is available where I live. But if I had noticed the little hiker logo, in conjunction with the colour scheme, I would likely (in fact, probably) have assumed that there was some connection -- a faux micro-brew, a partnership, or just that it was a plain old, subsidiary brand.

    I'm not going to take sides on this case. One one hand, there's far too much "IP" abuse out going around; on the other hand, this seems like a legitimate (though not necessarily intentional) instance of potential brand confusion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Garrett Mead, 2 Dec 2014 @ 2:11pm

    Trademarks and infringing

    As a small business owner, I have to admit that what I have legally trademarked as mine, should not be infringed upon. I spent a lot of time energy and money to secure my trademarks. If someone came along and used the same colors, facing, and framing of my design, and tried to use it to sell their product, I would sue them as well. It is not about the size of the company, it is about the integrity of one's reputation. Bent Paddle may make some fine beers, but their marketing confuses the "Trail".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    christian m, 16 Jan 2015 @ 7:15am

    and the owner is....?

    an equity firm. According to Wikipedia, Long Trail is owned by an equity firm since 2006. Guessing that might have something to do with the suit in the first place. I've seen a vary similar (though over the brewery name) suit between Marble(AZ) and Marble City(TN)(Now Saw Works) where the suing brewery is owned by an investor. Doesn't have to ABInBev for bean counters and lawyers to get riled up. Curious if the original owners in either case gave a crap.

    That being said, I couldn't blame anyone for wanting to nip it in the bud before the little occasional use logo becomes a big logo on everything and markets overlap.

    Rightly so, I believe (and I'm in MN), Bent Paddle will not produce anymore product with the "hiker" but no money was paid other than a friendly donation between the two breweries to each others' local trail system.

    The original suit seems heavy handed but I guess ya gotta leave room for negotiation just like garage sales.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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