HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

Brewery Sues Competitor Over Schooner Logos And Use Of The Word 'Head'

from the come-sail-away dept

Another day, another sigh-inducing trademark dispute in the craft beer industry. As we've discussed for some time now, the beer industry has a massive problem on its hands in the form of a deluge of trademark disputes between competitors. This has largely been the result of a huge uptick in craft brewers opening new businesses saddled alongside the tradition of creatively naming different beers and the limitations of the English language. Sometimes, however, you get a good old fashioned trademark dispute where one side is simply claiming similarities so tenuous as to be laughable.

Introducing Shipyard Brewing Co., which is suing Logboat Brewing Company claiming that because the latter both uses an image of a schooner on its label for its Shiphead beer brand and because the name of the beer includes the word "head" at all, that its a trademark violation. Let's deal with each in order, mostly because simply putting the beer labels side by side should allow us to take the schooner portion of the claim off the list of things we'll take seriously quite easily.

Do both labels use the image of a schooner? Yup! Are those uses, or the labels themselves, even remotely similar? Hell no! Shipyard's label is a picture of a schooner on the water, whereas Logboat's label is dominated by an image of a woman with a schooner for a head. You know, "shiphead." The beer labels themselves aren't remotely similar so as to rise to the level of trademark infringement.

Which Shipyard likely realizes, which is why they're lacing this trademark suit with the following claims: its the combination of the label and Logboat's use of the word "head" and the name it gave its outdoor seating area near the brewery that creates the customer confusion.

Shipyard further owns and has used other trademarks that contain the term HEAD as a suffix in relation to its beers, including, but not limited to, PUMPKINHEAD, MELONHEAD, and APPLEHEAD. Shipyard’s family of SHIPYARD, SHIP, and HEAD marks (collectively “Shipyard’s Trademarks”) all were in use and/or registered prior to Logboat’s earliest priority date of February 20, 2014.

The suit goes on to note that Logboat refers to its outdoor eating area as "the shipyard", which, yeah, the brewery has a boating theme. But with all of the examples of "ship" and "head" related trademarks owned by Shipyard, what the company chiefly demonstrates is that it does not have a trademark registered for "shiphead." The owner of that mark is Logboat, actually, which was registered in 2014 at which time no opposition was raised against it by Shipyard or anyone else. Logboat took to social media to explain:

“Logboat’s Shiphead Ginger Wheat trademark was registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office following examination by a trademark examiner,” the statement said, “and successfully passed though the public opposition phase. Logboat’s mark was never challenged during the registration process as being likely to cause confusion with the trademark of any other party.”

What Shipyard is trying to do is string two or three tenuous trademark issues together and weave it into a valid trademark lawsuit. It's very unlikely to work, however, given how dissimilar the logos and marks are.

Filed Under: beer, head, schooners, shiphead, shipyard, trademark
Companies: logboat brewing, shipyard brewing

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 2:43am


    Yes, sad, that I "implied" some imaginary argument. While you defend using sh*t as an argument, and I say it's profane and useless. Are you kidding?


    The word “shit” may be profane, sure. A word’s status as a profanity, however, does not make it “off-limits” in an argument. We can all understand “bullshit” as a form of shorthand for “fallacious, nonsensical, or otherwise ridiculous arguments or statements”. The word’s profane status also gives it power when used in sparing doses. Say it 600 times and it loses any capacity to shock; say it once at the right time and it punches you in the gut.

    “Bullshit” serves a useful purpose in arguments. Implying that women cannot craft an argument does not.

    You "pity" me? That's not very manly, is it?

    “Feeling things other than contempt? GAWD, what a woman!”

    You are the same silly ladies that use arguments you got from Madonna about Nazis and pink pussy hats.

    …the hell, did I walk into the 1980s? QUICK, SOMEONE STOP MAKING DONALD TRUMP FAMOUS!

    You have NOTHING TO SAY, but you go on and on

    Pot, kettle, vantablack.

    Try to say one thing that argues for your point about using profanity, and is not a Mean Girl tactic.

    Did that, moving on, try to keep up.

    All you can do is go on and on and on and on with nothing to say but Mean Girl stuff.

    Says the guy who keeps flinging insults like “Mean Girl” and making up nonsensical arguments to keep trolling the comments section of a technology blog that he obviously hates but keeps wasting his valuable time trolling because he has little else better to do with his vapid life other than staying up in the wee hours of the morning to troll a bunch of people and jerk himself off at how many replies he gets. That about the gist of your entire operation here, or are you going to call “bullshit” on that?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.