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Another lawsuit over beer names


read 1896 times • 18 replies • posted 3/28/2013 9:12:50 AM

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TheHOFF43 1730:105
This is a local one (for me). I have always thought they were similar, despite different packaging. I would guess others have confused them on a consistent basis.

http://m.bizjournals.com/twincities/blog/law/2013/03/lift-bridge-sues-lucette-farm-girl-beer.html?r=full
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CLevar 376:10
Really? Canít we all just get along?
3/28/2013 9:21:49 AM

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JK 4352:271
Looks legit. Liklihood of consumer confusion is high
3/28/2013 9:59:21 AM

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RABinCO 1156:70
Originally posted by CLevar
Really? Canít we all just get along?


I tend to agree with this sentiment in terms of "really? a lawsuit?" But in this case, I think itís legit and "getting along" would have been Lucette not blatantly ripping off Lift Bridge.
3/28/2013 10:24:45 AM

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CharmCityCrab 148:
Yeah, as itís reported anyhow, this looks like a perfectly legitimate lawsuit and like the newer company to the "Farmerís" party will be found to be infringing. Itís a shame the second brewer couldnít just come up with their own idea. I mean, for crying out loud, itís not even that great of a name/concept, and original beer isnít that popular (Well, maybe it is regionally, but this is the first Iíve heard of it). Show some creativity- come up with your beer and label.

Itíd be like if someone started up a "John Adams Boston Lager" in a bottle with John Adams hoisting a pint and similar colored labels. Itís a pretty clear rip-off. And the fact that the second company in refused to change their name and/or packaging during six months of discussions means they pretty much deserve to lose big in court. The original company tried to play nice and just ask them to stop. By the end of the proceedings, the first company may well own the second because of the damages the second might incur in real and putative damages from willingful violation of a copyright and trademark for commercial gain. Them trying to get the first companyís Farmer tap handles replaced with tap handles for their own beer in bars pretty much shows they knew exactly what they were doing here, with Iím sure the selling point to bars being "Hey, people will think itís the same thing, but weíll sell it to you cheaper.".
3/28/2013 10:45:15 AM

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phaleslu 6278:398
I donít have a lot of sympathy for brewers who donít use Google, RateBeer, and/or BeerAdvocate before naming their beers. A few minutes of searching on any combination of these sites should give anyone an idea if a name has already been used or not.

So donít make yourself a victim for getting sued when youíre using someone elseís name and concept, whether intentionally or not. There are thousands of brewers and hundreds of thousands of beers, so chances are youíre not the first one to have thought of something.
3/28/2013 10:47:37 AM

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GT2 8242:567
Originally posted by phaleslu
I donít have a lot of sympathy for brewers who donít use Google, RateBeer, and/or BeerAdvocate before naming their beers. A few minutes of searching on any combination of these sites should give anyone an idea if a name has already been used or not.

So donít make yourself a victim for getting sued when youíre using someone elseís name and concept, whether intentionally or not. There are thousands of brewers and hundreds of thousands of beers, so chances are youíre not the first one to have thought of something.


+1, every time a brewery thinks they have come up with an amazingly clever name, a quick ratebeer search will show 10+ breweries have already done it.
3/28/2013 10:53:18 AM

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beastiefan2k 2367:176
Originally posted by phaleslu
I donít have a lot of sympathy for brewers who donít use Google, RateBeer, and/or BeerAdvocate before naming their beers. A few minutes of searching on any combination of these sites should give anyone an idea if a name has already been used or not.

So donít make yourself a victim for getting sued when youíre using someone elseís name and concept, whether intentionally or not. There are thousands of brewers and hundreds of thousands of beers, so chances are youíre not the first one to have thought of something.

yeah but Farm Girl and Farmerís Daughter with completely different packaging.
http://beerimages.pintley.com/19459/FarmGirlSaisonLabel_large.png
http://www.mustlovebeer.com/public/album_photo/ec/56/5696_00ce.jpeg?c=d240

Not to mention there is this about 15 other beers in the RB db that are named Farmerís Daughter including these bottles
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NFNtd-IVeo4/TnuPtiMmeDI/AAAAAAAACdk/RjMMoAppsis/s1600/FarmersDaughter_22oz_body.png
http://beerstreetjournal.com/images/Bat-Creek-Brewery-Midwest-Farmers-Daughter-Blonde-Ale.jpg
and bat creek happens to be a blind ale as well.

I cannot see Lift Bridge winning this one.
3/28/2013 10:53:44 AM

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CLevar 376:10
Originally posted by RABinVA
Originally posted by CLevar
Really? Canít we all just get along?


I tend to agree with this sentiment in terms of "really? a lawsuit?" But in this case, I think itís legit and "getting along" would have been Lucette not blatantly ripping off Lift Bridge.


My main question is this: How many sales (in either direction) resulted from this confusion? In the final analysis, I have a hard time believing that these sales would represent a large portion of the total market.

Furthermore, if someone buys one of the beers, thinking it is the other, and gasp enjoys it and buys more (because it was enjoyable), what then? Do we blame the producer of the second beer for making an enjoyable product and "stealing the brand" of the first?

I realize that many people wont really agree with me, but it seems to me that they are obviously two different products. Similar names, sure. Similar products, sure. But worth suing another brewery over? Maybe I am just being naive, but I think itís a little ridiculous.

3/28/2013 10:55:18 AM

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joet 2134:89
This seems ridiculously obvious to me and a legit claim.

1. Same market
2. No common (generic) beer industry terms
3. High likelihood of confusion
3/28/2013 11:02:36 AM

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GT2 8242:567
They will win that claim without arbitration, and the other brewery only has to change label and name. Very easy, very low cost involved.
3/28/2013 11:09:39 AM

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