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Old 11-14-2012, 05:18 PM   #101
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If I'm not mistaken they've actually brewed and sold beer in the past in a much smaller scale. Now that they have a larger faculty they are trying to grow the business in that direction as well

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Old 11-14-2012, 05:18 PM   #102
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I still think what Strange Brew Shop is doing is right, and its really screwed up that people are slandering his business on facebook/yelp like this is some Call of Duty match and we're all 13 year old boys.

Grow up and stop ruining his business, he LEGALLY has the right to pursue his legally binding federal trademark.
He has ZERO obligation to work with Strange Brewing, ZERO. Just because you think he shouldnt doesnt mean he has too, nor is that a reason to bash him.

End of story.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #103
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But, c'mon... this part...

Quote:
the ones who decided to copy our brand less than two years ago, instead of doing it the old fashioned way and coming with a brand of their own? Who is stealing from whom
... is HILARIOUS!
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:33 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by bovineblitz View Post
So, you think I'd get away with starting a new company with the name "Boston Brew Company"? What about "Dogfish Heads"? It's different so it's okay, right?

Still causes confusion. It doesn't have to be exactly the same to be a violation.
I don't think you read my whole post. I certainly wasn't saying that a small bit of wording negates the whole lawsuit. I actually said that the HB shop is right in this case, but really should have gone about it a different way.

So to answer your question, no. I wouldn't get away with starting a company named Boston Brew Company, but have you ever heard of Mother Earth Brewing? There's actually two of them. And this same scenario was played out a couple of years ago with a very amicable outcome.

Edit: For reference....
http://www.motherearthbrewco.com/
http://www.motherearthbrewing.com/

Edit #2:
I guess I remembered it incorrectly, it did go to court. But it does show that there can be a *** Brew and a *** Brewing, legally speaking.
Although it has caused some confusion as stated...
http://beerpulse.com/2011/09/a-clusterf-of-mothers-mother-earth-brew-co-wins-trademark-ruling-over-nc-brewery/
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:52 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by dunnright00 View Post
I don't think you read my whole post. I certainly wasn't saying that a small bit of wording negates the whole lawsuit. I actually said that the HB shop is right in this case, but really should have gone about it a different way.

So to answer your question, no. I wouldn't get away with starting a company named Boston Brew Company, but have you ever heard of Mother Earth Brewing? There's actually two of them. And this same scenario was played out a couple of years ago with a very amicable outcome.

Edit: For reference....
http://www.motherearthbrewco.com/
http://www.motherearthbrewing.com/
Yea...this is the definition of not amiable.
Quote:
[Mother Earth Brew Co.] says it has won a trademark ruling against similarly named Mother Earth Brewing Co. LLC, a North Carolina-baser microbrewery, as craft brewers are also known.

The Tarheel State namesake declined to settle the differences amicably, and sought to invalidate Mother Earth Brew Co.’s trademark, said Daniel Love, who co-founded Mother Earth Brew Co. less than two years ago. Owners include Love and his wife along with business partner Kamron Khannakhjavani.

So with help from an investor, the company successfully defended its trademark [...]

http://beerpulse.com/2011/09/a-clusterf-of-mothers-mother-earth-brew-co-wins-trademark-ruling-over-nc-brewery/

*edit* You found it too I wouldn't say this is directly related to this case though, for one the trademark has been held for MUCH longer, and two he has documented cases of customer confusion between the two brand names. It sounds like this lawsuit you posted was two new breweries trying to get the same name at nearly the same time and trying to invalidate eachothers claim.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:57 PM   #106
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I don't know trademark law but would not be surprised if Strange Brewing has a legal problem here. And I get why a well established home brew shop getting into brewing would want to keep using the same name, and would be disapointed to find out that someone is already making beer under a very similar name. Having said that, it's hard not to smile when Mr. Powers writes that "they decided to copy our brand." It is hard to believe that the home brew shop did not lift that title from the McKenzie Brothers film. Probably too late for MGM to come calling about your appropriation of their IP, but it makes the story less compelling when you are complaining about someone "hijacking" something you both ripped off from someone else.

Also, I appreciate that Mr. Powers is a business owner and not a lawyer, but no one "posted his privileged legal communications" -- a letter sent to the other side in a potential law suit is not "privileged" just because a lawyer wrote it. No doubt he did not anticipate the public outcry that resulted. But with 16 years in the business he must be familiar enough with home brew and craft brew culture to know that the side of a dispute firing off hostile-sounding legal correspondence is not going to get good coverage or much public sympathy. Ultimately, being legally entitled to take a course of action does not mean that the public will love you for doing it (ask anyone in the loan foreclosure business). Strange Brew just has to weigh the cost (bad PR and legal fees) against the benefit (despite the focus on "dozens" of customers in Colorado, which presumably matters for the legal claim but just sounds silly to the public, I assume the real concern is the new brewery, which could face legitimate confusion if either brewery becomes successful and they end up distributing in the same markets). It probably doesn't help the legal case, but at least to me, knowing that Strange Brew is planning to make and sell beer make it easier to understand why this whole disagreement is happening.

I'll close with this -- I enjoyed a few pints at Strange Brewing a few weekends ago and they're making some pretty good beers (the Farmhouse in particular). They'd presumably taste just as good under a new name if things work out that way.

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Old 11-14-2012, 06:02 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzeWuzze View Post
Yea...this is the definition of not amiable.



http://beerpulse.com/2011/09/a-clusterf-of-mothers-mother-earth-brew-co-wins-trademark-ruling-over-nc-brewery/

*edit* You found it too I wouldn't say this is directly related to this case though, for one the trademark has been held for MUCH longer, and two he has documented cases of customer confusion between the two brand names. It sounds like this lawsuit you posted was two new breweries trying to get the same name at nearly the same time and trying to invalidate eachothers claim.
Heh, We must have been posting that at the same time. I don't know why I somehow thought they got together in the end. Collaborated or something?

In any case, here we have Mother Earth Brew Co and Mother Earth Brewing and besides some confusion on the BA forums, they seem to be getting along ok with their businesses.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:05 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzeWuzze View Post
I still think what Strange Brew Shop is doing is right, and its really screwed up that people are slandering his business on facebook/yelp like this is some Call of Duty match and we're all 13 year old boys.

Grow up and stop ruining his business, he LEGALLY has the right to pursue his legally binding federal trademark.
He has ZERO obligation to work with Strange Brewing, ZERO. Just because you think he shouldnt doesnt mean he has too, nor is that a reason to bash him.

End of story.
/Thread
Just for accuracy's sake, it's potentially "slander" only if the posts are factually innacurate (as well as defamatory). So if someone was claiming on FaceBook that Strange Brew stole Strange Brewing's recipies and was now suing for control of the "Strange" name as well that would (presumably) be slanderous. But if they're just saying they won't be shopping at Strange Brew and encourage others not to either because they don't like the way this issue is being handled (or disagree that Strange Brew should have a valid legal claim under the circumstances) that's probably not slander.

Doesn't mean you have to agree with the practice of complaining on Facebook when you disagree with a company's behavior (regardless of its legality), just that if these claims were "slander" then Strange Brew would potentially have the option of suing everyone posting negative stuff on Facebook. If they're telling lies it might, but if they're criticizing based on facts then presumably not.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:10 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by dunnright00 View Post
I don't think you read my whole post. I certainly wasn't saying that a small bit of wording negates the whole lawsuit. I actually said that the HB shop is right in this case, but really should have gone about it a different way.

So to answer your question, no. I wouldn't get away with starting a company named Boston Brew Company, but have you ever heard of Mother Earth Brewing? There's actually two of them. And this same scenario was played out a couple of years ago with a very amicable outcome.

Edit: For reference....
http://www.motherearthbrewco.com/
http://www.motherearthbrewing.com/

Edit #2:
I guess I remembered it incorrectly, it did go to court. But it does show that there can be a *** Brew and a *** Brewing, legally speaking.
Although it has caused some confusion as stated...
http://beerpulse.com/2011/09/a-clusterf-of-mothers-mother-earth-brew-co-wins-trademark-ruling-over-nc-brewery/
I read it, I was just countering that one point. I try to focus on the factual aspects and not the opinions on "it would be better if..." etc.

I get what you're saying and there's of course merit to the perspective, but just because someone's done it before doesn't mean it's right for the businesses involved this time around.

I personally would never be okay with having a competitor have the same name as me, and at the same time I'd ideally like to have amicable relationships with competitors... but same name is pretty problematic in a lot of ways. Kudos to the Mother Earths' for being okay with that/working it out, that's great... but is this situation similar? I imagine both those guys were relatively new (didn't look into it so forgive me if I'm mistaken).
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #110
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I personally would never be okay with having a competitor have the same name as me...
Nor would I. But in an attempt to reach out and find a reasonable solution, I wouldn't call their solution insulting and demand immediate action, especially not in a business that is much more of a community than most others. I'm sure that works in most business circles, but this smacks of AB/InBev type tactics, no matter how small the company is and that will result in backlash.
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