Another lawsuit over beer names

Reads 2732 • Replies 18 • Started Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:12:50 AM CT

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TheHOFF43
beers 2052 º places 169 º 09:12 Thu 3/28/2013

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

 
CLevar
places 23 º 09:21 Thu 3/28/2013

Really? Can’t we all just get along?

 
JK
beers 6295 º places 420 º 09:59 Thu 3/28/2013

Looks legit. Liklihood of consumer confusion is high

 
RABinCO
beers 1707 º places 103 º 10:24 Thu 3/28/2013

Originally posted by CLevar
Really? Can’t we all just get along?


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

 
CharmCityCrab
beers 249 º 10:45 Thu 3/28/2013

Yeah, as it’s reported anyhow, this looks like a perfectly legitimate lawsuit and like the newer company to the "Farmer’s" party will be found to be infringing. It’s a shame the second brewer couldn’t just come up with their own idea. I mean, for crying out loud, it’s not even that great of a name/concept, and original beer isn’t that popular (Well, maybe it is regionally, but this is the first I’ve heard of it). Show some creativity- come up with your beer and label.

It’d be like if someone started up a "John Adams Boston Lager" in a bottle with John Adams hoisting a pint and similar colored labels. It’s 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 company’s 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 I’m sure the selling point to bars being "Hey, people will think it’s the same thing, but we’ll sell it to you cheaper.".

 
phaleslu
beers 10673 º places 590 º 10:47 Thu 3/28/2013

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for brewers who don’t 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 don’t make yourself a victim for getting sued when you’re using someone else’s name and concept, whether intentionally or not. There are thousands of brewers and hundreds of thousands of beers, so chances are you’re not the first one to have thought of something.

 
GT
beers 10017 º places 672 º 10:53 Thu 3/28/2013

Originally posted by phaleslu
I don’t have a lot of sympathy for brewers who don’t 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 don’t make yourself a victim for getting sued when you’re using someone else’s name and concept, whether intentionally or not. There are thousands of brewers and hundreds of thousands of beers, so chances are you’re 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.

 
beastiefan2k
beers 4112 º places 259 º 10:53 Thu 3/28/2013

Originally posted by phaleslu
I don’t have a lot of sympathy for brewers who don’t 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 don’t make yourself a victim for getting sued when you’re using someone else’s name and concept, whether intentionally or not. There are thousands of brewers and hundreds of thousands of beers, so chances are you’re not the first one to have thought of something.

yeah but Farm Girl and Farmer’s 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 Farmer’s 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.

 
CLevar
places 23 º 10:55 Thu 3/28/2013

Originally posted by RABinVA
Originally posted by CLevar
Really? Can’t we all just get along?


I tend to agree with this sentiment in terms of "really? a lawsuit?" But in this case, I think it’s 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 it’s a little ridiculous.

 
joet
admin
beers 2664 º places 111 º 11:02 Thu 3/28/2013

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

 
GT
beers 10017 º places 672 º 11:09 Thu 3/28/2013

They will win that claim without arbitration, and the other brewery only has to change label and name. Very easy, very low cost involved.