Knee Deep Brewing Responds to Sony Lawsuit Over Breaking Bud
(Auburn, CA) – Hollywood and local news outlets reported last night that Knee Deep Brewing was issued a lawsuit over their label for their IPA Breaking Bud. [Link.] In a nutshell, Sony believes their intellectual property is being lifted by Knee Deep using likenesses from the famous television show Breaking Bad. Whether or not parody laws protect Knee Deep Brewing or not, this is pretty serious as there is a huge size difference between the two companies. The label shown in this post uses a similar text logo to the show, and the Knee Deep character depicts Walter or Jesse, the two main characters of the hit show. Make sure you never miss another beer story like this by subscribing to our daily newsblast by clicking here.
This afternoon, Knee Deep Brewing issued this response.
From our CEO, regarding our friends at Sony:
I was surprised by the unexpected lawsuit filed against us by Sony yesterday, especially after they originally contacted us many years ago touting their appreciation of our Breaking Bud beer that made gentle fun of their show. Shortly after Breaking Bud was introduced, in early 2015, I actually received an email from a Sony representative that said, “It seems the Knee Deep team are big fans of Breaking Bad and we really appreciate the call out to our very popular show.” Soon thereafter I spoke with the Sony representative and we discussed the potential benefits of a formal partnership between Knee Deep and Sony but we ultimately decided not to pursue such a partnership because, among other things, our label has always been meant as a joke and not something seriously connected to the show. At no point, during those discussions, did Sony ever threaten to sue Knee Deep over the name of the beer. I’ve always been under the impression that Sony had no issue with our Breaking Bud beer since, after all, the Sony rep is the one who told me he “appreciate(ed) the call out to our very popular show” which is hardly what one would expect from someone who thinks they can sue you for the “call out” if you don’t pay them a licensing fee, which is what I gather they now want from us. Breaking Bud is one of our more successful beers, and I think our customers appreciate that the quirky label is a joke. No one has ever thought the joke meant we were endorsed by Breaking Bad. We are a small brewery and I don’t appreciate the distraction, not to mention the expense of having to deal with something that should have been addressed 3 years ago if Sony really had an issue with it.
At the end of the day, the quality of the beer is what has made Breaking Bud popular and we should all be able to take a joke.
We will be following this story and you should be following it here at TheFullPint.com.