Trademark

by Timothy Geigner


Filed Under:
brewery, drinks, trademark

Companies:
old ox brewery, red bull



Red Bull Disputes Old Ox Brewery Trademarked Logo/Name Because, Seriously, An Ox Is Just A Castrated Bull

from the redballs dept

You talk enough about the intersection of trademark and alcohol, and you end up discussing a whole lot of stupid. Between breweries going after breweries, Star Wars going after breweries, and even the whole damned MPAA going after breweries, and almost always for the silliest reasons, you have to wonder who could possibly come by and really knock the petty trademark thing out of the park, right?

Oh, hi there, Red Bull! Thanks for coming along and turning trademark into a giant joke about testicles!
Red Bull has filed a complaint with the United States Patent and Trademark Office against a small brewery in Virginia called Old Ox Brewery for the using a male cow in its name and logo. “An ‘ox’ and a ‘bull’ both fall within the same class of ‘bovine’ animals and are virtually indistinguishable to most consumers. In addition, an ox is a castrated bull,” Red Bull said in the lawsuit. “Applicant’s Old Ox marks so much resemble Red Bull so as to cause confusion, mistake or deception among purchasers, users and the public, thereby damaging Red Bull.”
I'll give Red Bull credit: it takes a giant set of balls to file a straight-faced trademark complaint that in part centers around your competitor's name's lack of cajones. Beyond that, this entire thing is monumentally stupid. First, any moron in a hurry is too moronic to know what makes an ox an ox, rather than a bull. After all, these are morons we're talking about. Morons with shit to do and no time to sit around and even learn how to spell "bovine" nevermind understand what the hell it means.

Oh, and the similarity of the logos? Pffffffft.


See the similarities in the logos? Because if you do, no you don't, and also shut up. This is pure, unnecessary, downright flabbergasting bullying on the part of Red Bull, which I had thought gives you wings, but apparently might actually give you IQ-point-sucking amoebas in your brain. Fortunately, Old Ox Brewery ain't buying this red bullshit and has instead posted its letter to Red Bull, in which they essentially kindly ask its adversary to eat a bag of castration-remnants.
“Basically you are holding us hostage with a list of demands that, if agreed to, would severely limit our ability to use our brand. Demands like, never use the color red, silver, or blue; never use red with any bovine term or image; and never produce soft drinks. Do you own the color red? What about fuchsia, scarlet, crimson, or mauve? Are you planting your flag in the color wheel and claiming those shades for Red Bull? Do you claim exclusive rights to all things bovine? Do you plan to herd all heifers, cows, yaks, buffalo, bison, and steer into your intellectual property corral, too?”
Huh, turns out these ox have balls, after all...

Reader Comments

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 3:51pm

    Well at least we know what Red Bull intends calling a decaffeinated version of its drink.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 4:09pm

    Red Bull is just blindly lashing out at others because they realized that they've built their brand around a name that can alternately be rendered as "fire-colored shit."

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

  3. icon
    Phoenix84 (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 4:09pm

    Today I learned what an ox is.
    Oh, and the animal too.

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

  4. icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 4:22pm

    "Oxen." Just sayin'.

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

  5. identicon
    PRMan, 25 Feb 2015 @ 4:35pm

    Wait! An ox is just a castrated bull?!?

    I thought that was a "steer". I seriously thought an ox was a different species. TIL.

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

  6. identicon
    Unanimous Cow Herd, 25 Feb 2015 @ 4:36pm

    10 Heifers

    do not agree!

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 4:46pm

    What Makes You Stupid?

    Red Bull?

    Being a trademark lawyer?

    Both?

    (Pick one)

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 4:58pm

    Redbull's lawyers are indistinguishable from a big bag of dicks.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 4:59pm

    Re:

    Pink Ox?

    Blue Ox?

    Who wrote Paul Bunyan? Is it public domain yet? I think there might be yet another issue here.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 5:01pm

    While Chubby Noodle and Fat Noodle were both Chinese-food restaurants in the same part of town that used similar soup-bowl logos (that a person might confuse with the other), it's a very big stretch comparing a canned "energy" drink to a micro-brewery that does not can its beer and whose logos look nothing alike and whose names have barely the faintest similarity.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 5:19pm

    Never Drinking Red Bull Again

    Wait, I thought red bull gave you wings not a castration.

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

  12. icon
    Manabi (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 5:23pm

    Not a shred of similarity

    That's just insane, I can't see anything remotely similar. Old Ox uses blue, yes, but it's nowhere near Red Bull's blue. Maybe Red Bull thinks the X mimics their diagonal on the can, but... the angle's not even close to the same. (Also, it's a fucking letter X.)

    I guess Red Bull's just full of bullshit and needs to let it out.

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 5:26pm

    I should sue Red Bull. The tossers didn't give me wings.
    False advertising.
    (╯°Д°)╯︵/(.□ . )

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 5:27pm

    I really hope whatever Red Bull's lawyers used isn't in their drinks.

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

  15. identicon
    eye sea ewe, 25 Feb 2015 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Not a shred of similarity

    Many a long (short) year ago, two confectionery companies had a blue over the the colour blue used for their wrappers. It ended in a fail for the bringer as the two blues were considered by the courts to be different enough that there would be no confusion. I used to eat both brands and I would select from the shelves based on which brand I wanted that day. No confusion as the blues were very different blues and in no way should a blue have occurred but for the fact of pin stripe suits getting involved.

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

  16. icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 6:31pm

    redbull is asking for a world of trouble

    http://www.glunzbeers.com/ProductImages/10104_SCHMLT.JPG
    Schlitz Malt Liquor, for one, may feel a need to defend its mark. Or the Stroh company could really bring down the hammer with http://beerlabels-collection.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/DSC00724.134192121_large.JPG

    Red Bull has an agreement with them already, right? Idiots.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Wait! An ox is just a castrated bull?!?

    From Wikipedia: "An ox (plural oxen), also known as a bullock in Australia, New Zealand and India, is a bovine trained as a draft animal. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration makes the animals easier to control."

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 11:24pm

    Bawk bawk bawk bawk, Mikey!

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

  19. icon
    PaulT (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 11:42pm

    Re:

    Hey there chicken boy, hadn't seen you around these parts. I thought the regular stories about indefensible actions by your corporate heroes had finally scared you off.

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

  20. icon
    eaving (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 1:09am

    Find myself wishing any Old Ox was available on my side of the country since Redbull has decided to provide the with a national advertising campaign. Maybe with the increased brand recognition they'll be able to expand soon.

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

  21. icon
    JR Price (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 1:51am

    What a load of Old BullOx this case is.

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

  22. identicon
    Gordon, 26 Feb 2015 @ 1:55am

    They have previous

    Red Bull has previously attempted to take action against the small Redwell brewery (named after a road...) in England, apparently claiming ownership of the word 'red' and all words ending 'll'.

    After a lot of mockery on social media they backed down.

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

  23. icon
    arleenzank (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 3:40am

    Tic Tac Toe

    The X and O copyright owners at Tic Tac Toe have a better case.

    Who says IP isn't fun.

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re:

    Nah, he just logged out to make it look like it's not antidirt. It's hilarious how he thinks it actually works.

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

  25. icon
    BW (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 5:15am

    Ox: castrated bull used for draft purposes.

    A castrated male (occasionally a female or in some areas a bull) kept for draft purposes is called an ox (plural oxen); "ox" may also be used to refer to some carcass products from any adult cattle, such as ox-hide, ox-blood, oxtail, or ox-liver.[17]

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

  26. icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 5:15am

    Re:

    Pointless?

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

  27. icon
    Niall (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 5:50am

    Re: Never Drinking Red Bull Again

    Not castration, a lobotomy...

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

  28. identicon
    jl, 26 Feb 2015 @ 7:11am

    Why not these guys?

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

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 7:55am

    Two things are patently obvious In RE: Red Bull's Legal staff:
    1. They have far too little to do and therefore way too much time on their hands, and
    2. They have way too much budget

    Might also add a considerable lack of common sense, but then, we're talking about lawyers here.
    .

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

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 9:04am

    Re: Ox: castrated bull used for draft purposes.

    > A castrated male (occasionally a female or in some areas a bull) kept for draft purposes...

    ... I see what you did there.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 10:13am

    Ox Station Road

    They are probably located on Ox Station Road in Fairfax, hence Old Ox Brewery.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 10:14am

    Does it give you wings?

    Red Bull was forced to pay $10 to anyone who bought a Red Bull...oh, and you didn't need to prove you ever bought a Red Bull, just send in a claim and wait for the check.

    This was a stupid lawsuit from someone who claimed he wasn't able to fly after drinking a Red Bull. )Hey, we've got a nice padded room over here so you won't hurt yourself.)

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

  33. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 11:24am

    Now I want to see Nestle nastygram Red Bull GmbH...

    ...since Red Bull tastes conspicuously like Shock Tarts* which is a product of Nestle Corporation.

    ...No I don't. This kind of trademark defensiveness is really dickish and insecure. Good thing I don't like Red Bull, or taurine-based energy drinks generally, because now I find Red Bull as a company, a product and a concept even more annoying.

    * I guess they're called Shockers now. I'm old.

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

  34. identicon
    Tom Gallagher, 26 Feb 2015 @ 11:45am

    Red Bull

    Maybe because they use both RED BULL and TORO ROSSO as tms for their F1 teams they think they have the "bull mark" cornered ;)

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

  35. icon
    Padpaw (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 1:02pm

    red bull plans to start adding alchohol to their drinks then? as it makes zero sense to go after a competitor that doesn't even sell the same type of product you do

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

  36. icon
    Padpaw (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Does it give you wings?

    it wasn't that he didn't fly, his complaint was that it did not give him an enhanced moment of thinking as it were.

    That what red bull claimed their product did, did not work for him.

    Personally the stuff has no effect on me, but I wouldn't sue. I would just find a product that worked.

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

  37. icon
    GEMont (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 4:43pm

    Water, Sucrose and Caffeine... yumm!

    Well hell folks, I'm kind of amazed that people who sell sucrose and caffeine to kids, have taken this long to show that they are just professional level assholes by jumping into the copyright/trademark bully arena.

    The only surprise here is that it took so long. You'd think their "wings" would have sped things up...

    Considering that their first target is a product that is almost as NOT infringing on their trademark as is physically possible, I'd say that this is a test shot across the bow, to see how hard it would be to make cash demands of brands that actually bear some small resemblance to their over-priced kiddie-toxin-in-water product.

    Any company that willingly poisons kids for money, is a perfect candidate for making even more money on the side through trademark extortion... in my opinion only, of course.

    ----

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

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 6:54pm

    Re: redbull is asking for a world of trouble

    Maybe a quiet word in their ears that Red Bull will be going after them next underneath the logo of Red Bull's legal team may set events into motion.

    Do we know someone who could create this?

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

  39. icon
    Drawoc Suomynona (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 7:04am

    Re:

    Yessir, well said.

    This seems to be an attempt to "keep the register clean", which is a classic corporate IP strategy that is all about quantity and not quality.
    A big pocket company will oppose, threaten to oppose, or send C&Ds to any and every new applicant using certain words, in hopes that most applicants will just withdraw. After a time this means there are fewer and fewer people using those words, thus making it easier for the big pocket company to stake out their claim around that word, and then using that as ammunition to go after yet more new applicants.
    It becomes self fulfilling, as more the sophisticated applicants recognize the pattern and avoid those words, the less knowledgeable applicants fold quickly.

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

  40. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    Even more repulsive?

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

  41. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 10:23am

    Red Bullshit.

    Has a ring to it.

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


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