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Old 06-15-2010, 06:18 PM   #21
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think Georgetown distributes anywhere Magic Hat distributes. I've heard of Magic Hat but have never seen it here in Seattle. This whole thing seem pointless considering this. A customer could never be put into a situation where they could have the opportunity to confuse the two.
I don't think whether or not Magic Hat distributes in the area that Georgetown does really matters or not. It's not whether or not there's two taps at a bar and one #9 and one 9lb and a customer orders a 9lb while intending to get a #9. It's about whether or not a given customer could confuse the two somehow. Magic Hat does not need to distribute in a given area for the confusion to occur.

Rough example - person from the east coast takes a vacation to the west coast and sees a handle with a big "9" on it. He thinks "Oh they serve magic hat here, I like that and am going to get it" he orders the nine and gets a 9lb instead of a #9. Georgetown basically profited off of Magic Hat's trademark in this case because the trade marks are too similar for the products and caused confusion over the brands. Not to mention Magic Hat could conceivably start doing business in the area that Georgetown does business.

Trade marks are a federal issue so a trade mark violation certainly can occur in a given area even if the organization in question does not do business in that area.

I'm as against the big guy using their power to beat up on the little guy as the next person. That said, that doesn't mean that the big guy is always wrong. I loathe companies using vagaries of trade mark law to beat up and intimidate smaller companies especially if those violations are baseless (I try very hard not to do business with Monster Cable because of this), but I just don't think that it's the case here.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:18 PM   #22
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how can you patent a number?

even if its a focal point to your labeling, you still can't prevent other people from using the number 9 in their beer label or name. if you wanted to have a unique, patentable label, you should have been more creative and not use a roman numeral. a decent patent lawyer would get this dismissed.

and i don't drink magic hat because they might be jags, their beer just sucks. pyramid sucks too.

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Old 06-15-2010, 06:32 PM   #23
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think Georgetown distributes anywhere Magic Hat distributes. I've heard of Magic Hat but have never seen it here in Seattle. This whole thing seem pointless considering this. A customer could never be put into a situation where they could have the opportunity to confuse the two.
It's only pointless if you want to lose your trademark. Unfortunately they are similar products with similar names. Think about the seattle person who is visiting boston and does not like 9lb and see's the big 9 on the tap and skips over it thinking it's 9lb.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:49 PM   #24
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how can you patent a number?
They didn't - they trademarked it. And they have the right to protect their intellectual property the same way that GE would if some one else started selling electronics under the name General Electric or Brooklyn Brewery would if another brewer started calling their beer a Brooklyn Lager. Just because the term is in general use doesn't mean it can't be a protected trademark.

FWIW I'm not really a fan of the beer either, but that doesn't mean that they don't have a sound argument.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:56 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by bonzombiekitty View Post
Rough example - person from the east coast takes a vacation to the west coast and sees a handle with a big "9" on it. He thinks "Oh they serve magic hat here, I like that and am going to get it" he orders the nine and gets a 9lb instead of a #9.
That's absurd. Who the hell orders a beer like this? If the customer is aware of the beer they would ask for it by name, not "give me the beer that comes out of that tap handle with the number 9 on it". Not too mention they look completely different.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:00 PM   #26
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That's absurd. Who the hell orders a beer like this? If the customer is aware of the beer they would ask for it by name, not "give me the beer that comes out of that tap handle with the number 9 on it". Not too mention they look completely different.
I work in a convenience store, you have no idea how many times I've heard:

"Do you have that beer that starts with a 'Y'?" (Yuengling)

"Do you have that '9' beer?" (Magic Hat #9)

I've even had someone say "Do you have that blue beer?" I still don't know what they were talking about.

People do order beers that way. The whole world are not in to craft beer and they are not beer aficionados.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:01 PM   #27
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That's absurd. Who the hell orders a beer like this? If the customer is aware of the beer they would ask for it by name, not "give me the beer that comes out of that tap handle with the number 9 on it". Not too mention they look completely different.
Actually, not absurd at all. The number of beer "geeks", homebrewers, beer elite is far less than the everyday Joe. It would not surprise me one bit to hear a beer ordered the exact way you mention. If all you see is a "9" and have a memory saved somewhere of a beer with a "9" in it instinct will go with ordering it thinking it's the same as your memory.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:18 PM   #28
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I've even had someone say "Do you have that blue beer?" I still don't know what they were talking about.
My only guess to the Blue beer would be Pabst Blue Ribbon or Blue Moon
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:20 PM   #29
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That's absurd. Who the hell orders a beer like this? If the customer is aware of the beer they would ask for it by name, not "give me the beer that comes out of that tap handle with the number 9 on it". Not too mention they look completely different.
Ummm. How about the 70% of the population that enjoys beer but isn;t a EAC beer geek?
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:24 PM   #30
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My only guess to the Blue beer would be Pabst Blue Ribbon or Blue Moon
Tried both of those as well as Wild Blue and Seadog Blueberry... I even asked if it was the blue Four Loko... who knows what they were looking for.
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