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Old 11-12-2012, 07:47 PM   #81
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If the HBS does have the trademark then they have the right to proceed as they are. However, they really should be handling this better. It's a bit disappointing that they waited until more than a year after the brewery got a medal at the GABF to pursue this. You'd think since they were a HBS that someone would be paying attention to who the GABF winners are. Unfortunately, the brewery has already started getting recognized (I have a few friends who like their stuff) and has made a name for themselves, ideally the HBS would have said something way before now. Either way, this whole thing is turning into a nightmare for the HBS, and giving PR to the brewery.

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:50 PM   #82
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Funny, he trolled himself out of the thread.

Anyways. Let's not allow that to derail us.

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Old 11-12-2012, 08:06 PM   #83
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OK how about we think about this differently.
Lets say the homebrew shop finds starnge brewing company and say "hey, you know they are all the way over there, what harm can it be to just let them be and not defend our trademark. Meh, too much work and I might look like a dick"
So then five years later strang brewery opens up 2 doors down from the homebrew store. Owner goes "ok now that is rediculas, you can't be that balntant in disregarding my trademark." He sends him a C&D, this new brewery turns around and says "piss off you can't pick and choose who you stop using your name, strange brewing company has been doing so for 5 years."
So they go to court and court says, "if you were so concerned about your trademark then why didn't you defend it 5 years ago?", "well I thought it was to much work and I was being a dick", "So why is it any different now?" "because he is in my town" "5 years ago he was in the same country as you?" "well.... well... ****!"
I don't think it would go down like that exactly but it would give others more legs to stand on later down the track if the owner did not actively defend his trademark.
I do not see this as clear cut the brewery is in the wrong, he did do research and has reason for choosing the name (specifically brewing company) so the homebrew store could still walk away red faced. The original reply from the brewery should have been not as nice though, this left them kind of admitting they were in the wrong but wanted to brush it under the carpet. He should have sent a simple explaination why he regarded himself as being not infringing on the trademark and left it at that (and got a lawyer to look over the response as one would not let that letter go out).

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Old 11-12-2012, 08:08 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiNuke View Post
If the HBS does have the trademark then they have the right to proceed as they are. However, they really should be handling this better. It's a bit disappointing that they waited until more than a year after the brewery got a medal at the GABF to pursue this. You'd think since they were a HBS that someone would be paying attention to who the GABF winners are. Unfortunately, the brewery has already started getting recognized (I have a few friends who like their stuff) and has made a name for themselves, ideally the HBS would have said something way before now. Either way, this whole thing is turning into a nightmare for the HBS, and giving PR to the brewery.
All good things for the brewery to defend with.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:25 PM   #85
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I believe trademark names have to be in the same market for there to be an infringement. Since we are discussing this at length I feel it is worth pointing out that the hbs has very little market in competition with the brewery. If strange brew were to be the exclusive carrier of strange brewing company recipe kits then the could effectively cash in on whatever market the brewery has established. A collaborative work around would easily be achieved unless the owner of strange brew has dreams of opening up his own brewery.

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Old 11-12-2012, 08:40 PM   #86
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I believe trademark names have to be in the same market for there to be an infringement. Since we are discussing this at length I feel it is worth pointing out that the hbs has very little market in competition with the brewery...
Again another point that backs up the brewery. Basically the way I see C&Ds going is a bully tactic, people send a C&D and hope the other person does not challange the correctness of it and just folds.
There are some flaws to the C&D:
No direct compitition - one sells brewery supplies the other beer, they as sort of similar but you would not be able to buy each others type of product from the other by mistake... ever!
Time to issue C&D - could be argued they only just found out, could be argued that they didn't care until they preceived a threat. They sent the C&D 2 years after the brewery open and 3 years after they registered the domain name. I would consider activly defending your tademark as meaning at least going on google twice a year to see what hits you get with searches similar to your trademark!
Confusion of inwards orders - this is an issue with their suppliers, not a trademark issue.
There is negetive impact on the homebrew store - basically how it is written it sounds like customers are saying hey have you opened up a brewery or something, can I buy some beer? The bad credit rating - again that is an issue with the vendors - and that is why they should have a vendor/account number so you don't get confused between 2 accounts!
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:30 PM   #87
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I don't know much about the situation but I do know a little less than a year ago strange brew actually moved locations to a bigger place. They were also working on getting permits and all that other fun stuff to open ip a brewery at the same location. All that being said, I believe this is where being a direct competitor comes into play. Again, I'm not 100% sure as I do not know them personally, I just shop there every now me then and talk to some of the employees.

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Old 11-12-2012, 10:07 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glavini
I don't know much about the situation but I do know a little less than a year ago strange brew actually moved locations to a bigger place. They were also working on getting permits and all that other fun stuff to open ip a brewery at the same location. All that being said, I believe this is where being a direct competitor comes into play. Again, I'm not 100% sure as I do not know them personally, I just shop there every now me then and talk to some of the employees.
This is where I could see the issue. And I suppose a judge will get to decide who gets to operate a brewery under the strange name.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:32 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glavini View Post
I don't know much about the situation but I do know a little less than a year ago strange brew actually moved locations to a bigger place. They were also working on getting permits and all that other fun stuff to open ip a brewery at the same location. All that being said, I believe this is where being a direct competitor comes into play. Again, I'm not 100% sure as I do not know them personally, I just shop there every now me then and talk to some of the employees.
I am in there almost every week and can confirm all that. They are beginning to reconfigure the building space to meet the plethora of regulations covering both a brewery operation and a serving operation separate from the supplies side.

As for the whole C&D thing, it's a simple legal thing that has to be dealt with, imo. Whatever the outcome, bidness is bidness...

Cheers!
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:07 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post
I am in there almost every week and can confirm all that. They are beginning to reconfigure the building space to meet the plethora of regulations covering both a brewery operation and a serving operation separate from the supplies side.

As for the whole C&D thing, it's a simple legal thing that has to be dealt with, imo. Whatever the outcome, bidness is bidness...

Cheers!
This puts the whole C&D in a new light. They are now in a direct compitition and if the name was trademarked for anything relating to beer there is an issue. Biggest problem for the HBS I see is the fact they did nothing about it until they wanted to start brewing. The brewery should have a bit of a chance if they argue that they have been existing for 3 years with national recognition and it is only now that the TM owner wants to encroach into their business type it is unfair for them to inforce their TM now.

If it was me (as the brewery) I would have replied with a simple letter explaining that we are not in the same business catagory and therefore no confussion could occur that would lead to loss of business, the business name is different enough to distiguish between the two, we have been overtly operating for the past 3 years with no indication that we were infringing on the TM and we would be happen to meet if this matter needs further discussion.
Realisitcally, I would have applied to TM my brewery at the very begining! That would mean that the HBS would of had to contest the TM then, and I would guessed it would have slipped right under their radar given it is only now when they want to open their own brewery that they have checked what is happening with their name (other examples are the tavern with the same name!).

PSA: TM your brand! I think trademarking individual beers is going to far for a small nano/micro but for god sake at least trademark you company name!
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