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Old 11-14-2012, 06:19 PM   #111
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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.
Their "solution" was insulting. Their response was "promote us".

It's kind of a ridiculous thing to say.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:31 PM   #112
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Their "solution" was insulting. Their response was "promote us".

It's kind of a ridiculous thing to say.
The brewery probably didn't know that the HBS was planning to expand to a brewery, and if I remember correctly didn't they suggest a method that would allow for dual promotion? But regardless, it's not the best of solutions.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:31 PM   #113
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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.
I'm from a background of small businesses and own one myself. I don't understand how brewing isn't the same as "real" businesses. These companies provide jobs and income to real people - they need to act like real businesses.

While we love this hobby and many people in the beer brewing industry and home brew business are really friendly - they are businesses.

The courts are in place to resolve exactly this kind of conflict. Sending a C+D letter is one of the least emotionally charged ways to approach this situation - and the right choice for the legitimate owner of a Trademark.

Add to that the fact that if they don't police their TM - they lose it. Simple as that. They HAVE to police it now if they want any future protection from it.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:41 PM   #114
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Calling a response "insulting" isn't the least emotionally charged way to deal with anything. A simple refusal, along with explanation of intent to pursue brewing would have been much more civil. But then that's what lawyers do. They have little to no interest in a quick and easy resolution. That's partly what has gotten the homebrew shop such negative publicity.

But I suspect there's a pretty good case the Trademark is indefensible. I don't believe you can Trademark something that is already in the public domain, and since Bob and Doug put it there, it may not be protected. There's only one real way to find out. And that's how lawyers like it.

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Old 11-14-2012, 06:49 PM   #115
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I'm from a background of small businesses and own one myself. I don't understand how brewing isn't the same as "real" businesses.
How much of your business relies on loyalty, word-of-mouth and a culture of collaboration with direct competitors? I'm not saying that breweries should not act like real business, but look at the top-selling brands in craft brewing. They almost ALL have collaborations with their competition, a lot of them will post recipes of some of their most popular brews, and they are endeared by their customers and fans for that very fact.

By all means, use litigation to protect your business, but I don't imagine you will gain many fans if you do so, and in an industry getting more and more saturated it's going to be real hard to stay in business that way.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #116
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Those other craft brewers collaborating together don't both have the same NAME. Collaborating on a beer kit would do NOTHING to resolve the situation of the brewery having the same name as the LHBS. If anything, it would probably cause further confusion, as the brewery is too obscure for almost anyone to have heard of them. Their solution almost seems like a bit of free advertising.

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Old 11-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #117
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Here's the info on the actual TM. They have it for both "Beer" and "G & S: Retail stores featuring beer and wine making supplies." Looks pretty applicable and defensible to me.

The reason the response was insulting was that they have good legal right to ask the other guys to stop and we don't know what the conversation was after that. I don't see how anyone is taking the side of the Brewery on this one. Why should the home brew shop give up their name? They had it first and did the smart thing and got it registered.

Word Mark STRANGE BREW
Goods and Services IC 032. US 045 046 048. G & S: Beer. FIRST USE: 19970601. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970601
IC 035. US 100 101 102. G & S: Retail stores featuring beer and wine making supplies. FIRST USE: 19970601. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970601

Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 78907474
Filing Date June 13, 2006
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition January 23, 2007
Registration Number 3227867
Registration Date April 10, 2007
Owner (REGISTRANT) Powers, Brian INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 41 Boston Post Rd East Marlborough MASSACHUSETTS 01752
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "BREW" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

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Old 11-14-2012, 06:56 PM   #118
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How much of your business relies on loyalty, word-of-mouth and a culture of collaboration with direct competitors?
All of it - which is why I don't want anyone else doing business under my name.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:08 PM   #119
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I can both sides, and I can see the different sides and conclusions of almost all the posts so far. I do think that both sides could have handled it differently. But at the same time I think the HBS is in its rights and should pursue if need be. If the HBS gives enough time for name change, and letting the brewery have time to reach out to all the customers about the change, I dont see much of a problem. Yes it sucks. But they can still display their awards under Strange, and they can still win awards under a new name. A simple change like SB brewing company. The SB used to be Strange Brewing but now just SB. Everyone that used to go there will still know its them. Just different logo. IBM, LG, and KFC are a few business that have done this. Other that KFC, not alot of people know what IBM or LG used to stand for. Many successful business have changed their name and it didnt cost them in the long run.

Heres a website of corporations that have had name changes
http://www.famousnamechanges.net/html/corporate.htm

On another note, Lets just get along and drink

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Old 11-14-2012, 07:12 PM   #120
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All of it - which is why I don't want anyone else doing business under my name.
Well, you asked how a brewing business is different than any other small business and I think I answered it beyond the first sentence.

In any case, to all I say
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