LMFAO The Beer Survives LMFAO The Band's Lawyers To Keep Its Name

from the gtfo dept

A ways back, we brought you the delightfully dumb news that LMFAO, the band, had sent a cease and desist letter to Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. over one of its beer brews, the LMFAO Stout. At chief issue, according to the brand, was a misguided concern that drinkers of the stout would somehow think that the acronym in the beer's name meant that LMFAO the band had endorsed or was otherwise affiliated with the beer. This was dumb on any number of levels, but the primary reason is that LMFAO got its name from a common internet/texting acronym, rather than achieving any kind of originality in music-group-namesmanship.

Well, while nobody is talking details, the brewery recently publicly announced that the LMFAO Stout will keep its name and business will continue on as usual.

After weeks of litigation, the Pigeon Hill Brewing Company posted on Facebook today stating that both they and the band LMFAO have reached an agreement regarding the fate of the LMFAO Stout.

THE FINAL WORD ON LMFAO STOUT:We are pleased to announce that after a few weeks of genuinely good conversations... Posted by Pigeon Hill Brewing Company on Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Which, you know, yay, but why did it takes weeks of litigation and lawyerly conversations to conclude that everyone could live with a beer named LMFAO? Trademark law has a very handy provision that requires that marks be acquired and used ongoing in specific industries. LMFAO is a band. LMFAO Stout is a beer. There's no common marketplace here.

And, while it's a breath of fresh air to hear that two sides had legal representation that were able to work amicably to an end that got us back to exactly where we started, it isn't enough to simply congratulate everyone for not being jerks. This trademark thing is a problem the craft brewing industry is going to have to deal with eventually, or else they risk stifling the immense growth it's experienced in the past decade.

Filed Under: beer, lmfao, trademark
Companies: pigeon hill brewing company


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  • icon
    saulgoode (profile), 7 Oct 2015 @ 1:37am

    Peace Of Mind

    I guess this means Tom Scholz won't be suing the makers of Boston Lager.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2015 @ 1:49am

    I ROFL'ed.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2015 @ 3:18am

    Seems both sides were civil enough in this case. They probably did it more for the publicity than anything else. Never heard of either and have no future plans to listen or imbibe.

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

    • identicon
      Michael, 7 Oct 2015 @ 7:39am

      Re:

      Seems both sides were civil enough in this case

      There is nothing civil about having your attorney send a C&D to someone. Civility would have been the band, having some concern, dropping by to discuss it over a beer.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2015 @ 9:30am

      Re:

      ...have no future plans to listen or imbibe...

      Nobody in my area sells that beer so I can't try it for myself :( (can't find Dark Helmet either, dammit)

      As far as listening goes: you ain't missing a damn thing!






      (For those that don't understand the above reference: there is a craft beer named Dark Helmet.)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2015 @ 4:22am

    Are they so sure they don't overlap markets? Stout and Bands both play in clubs.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2015 @ 4:29am

    LMAO stout sponsors a LMAO concert,
    could have been a beautiful relationship.

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

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 7 Oct 2015 @ 5:59am

    They drink beer don't they?

    LMFAO The Band - they drink beer, right? Why not LMFAO stout? Or do they only drink lite beer?

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

  • icon
    nasch (profile), 7 Oct 2015 @ 8:51am

    Delightful?

    A ways back, we brought you the delightfully dumb news that LMFAO, the band, had sent a cease and desist letter to Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. over one of its beer brews, the LMFAO Stout.

    Maybe it's just me but I'm not seeing anything delightful. Delightfully dumb is when someone does something really dumb and looks dumb for it, preferably without seriously hurting themselves. When an innocent party gets harmed, that's no longer delightful.

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

  • identicon
    michael, 7 Oct 2015 @ 12:10pm

    #titlegore

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2015 @ 4:40pm

    The thing about LMFAO the band, is that they're shitty and they know it!

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

  • identicon
    AlphaDog, 8 Oct 2015 @ 6:48am

    What litigation?

    TechDirt, your research and reporting are both crappy. There was no litigation (i.e., there was no lawsuit). From what we can gather, there was a letter from a lawyer to Pigeon Hill, then there was apparently a very civil discussion between the lawyers, then they reached an agreement and both sides are apparently happy with the outcome. That's pretty much how these things work (and are supposed to work).

    This story, however, shows nicely that the author has not a clue about trademark law, including such things as the concept of trademark dilution and that brands may, naturally and over time, branch out into other areas. Consider this: Nokia (yes, the cell phone maker) started out making rubber boots and galoshes. Brand owners, therefore, have a justifiable interest in keeping their options to branch out open, either because they might want to manufacture their own goods in another area or license their trademarks to others for that purpose. I suggest that, next time you write about a legal issue you don't understand, you talk to a lawyer first and get at least a primer in the subject matter.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 8 Oct 2015 @ 7:33am

      Re: What litigation?

      brands may, naturally and over time, branch out into other areas. Consider this: Nokia (yes, the cell phone maker) started out making rubber boots and galoshes. Brand owners, therefore, have a justifiable interest in keeping their options to branch out open, either because they might want to manufacture their own goods in another area or license their trademarks to others for that purpose.

      Are you saying if someone wanted to make a car called Nokia and trademark the name, the phone manufacturer could block them because they might someday want to make cars?

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

      • identicon
        AlphaDog, 12 Oct 2015 @ 2:41pm

        Re: Re: What litigation?

        Yes, but not exactly for that reason. Nokia is, without doubt, a famous mark. If someone made a Nokia car, they could stop that because it would dilute the (famous) Nokia trademark. It's actually not that important whether they want to make a car.

        This beer matter is slightly different. In this case, it is imaginable that the owners of the LMFAO trademark might want to branch out into the alcoholic beverage market. Didn't I hear about some rapper not too long ago going into vodka? I believe Jon BonJovi may also be in that field, though I might be wrong about that (and frankly don't want to bother looking it up). I think LMFAO (the band) just wanted to keep their options open.

        Trademark law is much more complicated than people usually think...

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

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 12 Oct 2015 @ 3:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: What litigation?

          If someone made a Nokia car, they could stop that because it would dilute the (famous) Nokia trademark. It's actually not that important whether they want to make a car.

          Do you have any reference to statute or case law (or someone knowledgeable writing about it) that says that? I'm not sure what to search for to narrow it down.

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


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