Deep Ellum Brewing Company announced via social media that it had received its first cease & desist notice from Maryland brewery, Flying Dog Brewery.
“Whelp, we just received our first cease & desist. This one comes by way of Flying Dog Brewery out of Maryland with regards to our newly released “Easy Peasy IPA” and their registered mark of “Easy IPA.” For the record, we filed our mark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office back in February, and it was approved for publication by the examining attorney. The examining attorney found no likelihood of confusion, but legal counsel for Flying Dog has already made mention of their plans to block registration of our mark.
While I am a strong proponent to everyone’s right to protect their marks (and their requirement to do so), I still believe it’s Bush League to not pick up the phone and call the other owner. But what do I know. Maybe you guys could tell me if you’d be confused by the two different labels?”- Deep Ellum Brewing Facebook
Now here’s the thing; This brewery is from a different state, so do they really think that consumers will be confused by the two products? People that are drinking craft beer usually know styles and the brewery that they’re selecting. And it’s an IPA! You know how many IPA’s have ‘Easy’ in the title? Well, according to the Untapped app: SEVEN.
Easy Jack- Firestone Walker
Easy IPA- Flying Dog Brewery
Easy Black IPA- 10 Barrel Brewing Company
Easy Beaver Wheat Session IPA- Belching Beaver
Sunday Easy Pale Ale- And Union
Easy Rider- Lucette Brewing Company
Easy Come Easy Go IPA- Evil Twin Brewing
And if this is a matter of similar artwork, well- I don’t think they look similar to each other, though they do look similar to other brands that have nothing to do with beer.
This is also not the first time a Texas brewery has had issues with intellectual property. Bitch Beer Blog has a nice write-up on Oasis’ recent fiasco with New Belgium that you should take a looksie at.
Bottom line is businesses should definitely protect the brand, but when it comes to the styles of beer available there should be some leniency to the names of beer. Especially for breweries outside of the state, and more for breweries outside of the state that don’t even distribute to the state said brewery is in.
What do you think about breweries suing each other for similar names? Let us know in the comment section!