A Craft Beer Trademark Issue That Didn’t Result In Litigation
We’ve all heard the tales of a brewery or craft beer company encroaching on another company’s brand name, trademark, logo, likeness or property. Sometimes these issues resolve before the public ever finds out about it, but as the popularity of craft beer rises, and as more and more startup breweries are born, more times than not, litigation becomes a sad reality.
While we are on a non-existent budget, one of the first things we did was trademark our name. While it’s expensive for a startup to pay for things like this, it’s even more expensive to defend. Luckily we’ve only had a few minor disputes over the past 8 years.
A few months ago, we were tipped off via email that there was a craft beer apparel and barware company going by the name Full Pint Branding. My first reaction was anger, then it turned to sadness. It’s just something I don’t wish to deal with, but understand this is the world we live in. I took a few deep breathes and contacted our attorney Candace. Candace verified that at a quick glance, our trademark was in fact being violated and we were well within our rights to defend and protect our mark. Then she told me, pick up the phone, introduce yourself and explain the situation with Full Pint Branding.
I did just that. I called and left a quite timid voicemail introducing myself and requesting a call back. Within an hour, I received a voicemail from Co-Owner Rodney. I explained to him we’ve been around for a while, the grassroots story of myself and Co-Founder Jonny Fullpint, and the scrappy rise to the top of the online beer content game over the past 8 years. Funny enough, his story about his company’s inception was quite similar. He told me he wasn’t familiar with us, but that he completely understood where I was coming from and that it was an honest mistake. My heart stopped racing after hearing that. We made a gentlemen’s agreement that he would work on changing his company’s name, and in turn, I would let you, the loyal readers of The Full Pint, know that Rodney and Nick over at Cask Branding (THEIR NEW NAME) were good guys with products and services for the entire craft beer genre.
So no cease and desist letter, no venomous email threads, no 20 page forum thread talking about the big guy is going after the little guy, just two sets of hard working dudes who have similar tastes in company names who worked it out in the end.
We’d like you to go check out Cask Branding, they might have something cool for you, whether you are a homebrewer, pro brewer or a mancave dweller. If you could do us a solid, give these guys a nice shoutout on Twitter https://twitter.com/caskbranding as well.