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(Some Brewmeister)   Lawsuit trolls aren't just for technology apparently. Some poor little brewery in Kentucky is being attacked... help 'em out   (westsixth.com) divider line 220
    More: Sad, Magic Hat, irreparable injury  
•       •       •

11755 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 May 2013 at 1:47 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-22 04:24:57 PM
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2013-05-22 04:25:32 PM

Teiritzamna: they are usually NOT looking for whether it is a 100% winner (although those are great when you get 'em) but whether the argument has any colorable merit at al

l.

way to reverse the meaning of my intended sentence you farking fingers.
 
2013-05-22 04:32:12 PM

Silverstaff: lennavan: Lost Thought 00: Magic Hat has a point. Same specialized font, and exact same 8-pointed star design. West Sixth needs to come up with a new logo.

Maybe they'd have a point if they had trademarked the font, or the 8-pointed star design.  As it is, they only trademarked the name "#9."

Yeah, if they didn't bother to trademark any of the design elements they claim are infringing, how can they say those elements are infringing on trademarks?


Lanham Act, sec. 43, covers infringement of  unregistered marks.
 
2013-05-22 04:32:31 PM
My advice to West Sixth Brewing Company would be to change your logo. Magic Hat has deeper pockets. Some fights are just not worth it.

It may be possible to get back at them at some point though.

Change the logo and come out with a beer that contains the word "Magic" or "Hat" .

May I suggest West Sixth Wizard Hat Ale. With a new logo of course. Maybe a "6" next to an upraised finger.
 
2013-05-22 04:33:12 PM
blogs-images.forbes.com
+
si0.twimg.com
=
www.mustlovebeer.com
 
2013-05-22 04:42:10 PM

MugzyBrown: Being that they're both beers and the 'font' of the numbers are identical (and a 6 and 9 and basically the same shape) they have some standing.  They should sue the design company to recover any losses.


I don't think you're right.  Any similarities between the typefaces is only in that they are numerals. From a typographical perspective they aren't even remotely similar. ( WARNING I am not a typographer, just a wannabe font fan so I'm probably not using all the terms correctly here )

In the font people's world, that's like saying that Ariel is the same as Comic Sans because they both have the same alphabet.

The 9 has a disconnected loop, had a vertical  stem with a deep bowed curve and a sharp thinning to a bulbous terminal.
 The 6 has a a connected loop which is more uniform (at points half as thick as the 9 ), and a different axis of stress of the loop, the stem is rounded at all times ( and is formed by the backbone of the circle surrounding it ) and the thinning point to the terminal is far less dramatic.


Similar with the star. Different length and width of the points,   one has an outline, the other doesn't, entirely different positioning etc...

Probably won't make a huge difference but how the trademark is being used is slightly different too... one is the logo for the beer company (6)  and the other (#9) is the logo for a specific beer.

I'm just not buying it. This looks like bullying to me.
 
2013-05-22 04:44:10 PM

rwfan: As soon as the image of the logo popped up on my browser I knew what the problem was.  They do look similar and if I saw that logo I would assume it was from Magic Hat.  Change the logo or fight it out in court.


Yes, after seeing the logos side-by-side (West 6th crybaby page didn't show the MH logo they're infringing), I bet I would be *very* likely to confuse them while sauntering down the beer aisles.
 
2013-05-22 04:46:49 PM

Teiritzamna: rmcooper4: It's difficult for me to try and look at this as an outsider as I go to West 6th frequently and very much enjoy their IPA. Perhaps because I'm so familiar with West 6th it never has occurred to me that the logos might look similar and I can't imagine being confused when at the liquor store or looking at the taps. I kind of see some of the similarities, but I find it insulting as a consumer that Magic Hat doesn't think I can tell the difference. I've never really drunk much Magic Hat because there are better, cheaper beers (like West 6th), but it would take a lot for them to win me over after this.

Put it a different way: Lawyers use the term "colorable" (which should actually mean "correct") ...


Wow, thanks for parsing this out. I'm trying not to be too much of a homer on this so I appreciate you taking the time break the case down. It does seem MH has a legit case. I just wonder if it's a good business decision. Places in Lexington are taking #9 off their taps in solidarity with West 6th. The social media firestorm also seems pretty bad. Nonetheless, being so close to the center of the action it's hard to tell if this will just be a short term PR road bump for MH or if they are alienating their customers. I'm afraid it's probably the latter.

Honestly, I'd like to see West 6th change the logo as it's a bit busy for my liking. Loreweaver's up-thread would be a good starting point. Still, I don't want them to be forced to change because of a legal battle.
 
2013-05-22 04:47:28 PM

Theaetetus: Silverstaff: lennavan: Lost Thought 00: Magic Hat has a point. Same specialized font, and exact same 8-pointed star design. West Sixth needs to come up with a new logo.

Maybe they'd have a point if they had trademarked the font, or the 8-pointed star design.  As it is, they only trademarked the name "#9."

Yeah, if they didn't bother to trademark any of the design elements they claim are infringing, how can they say those elements are infringing on trademarks?

Lanham Act, sec. 43, covers infringement of  unregistered marks.


Well, first, it seems according to the letters linked previously in the thread, they are claiming this infringes their trademark.  A case for unregistered marks is very different.  According to the PDF I found http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/law/tmlaw.pdf  that would require proving the design is "famous" which means amongst other things "widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States."  I can't imagine that fits here.
 
2013-05-22 04:56:17 PM

huntercr: MugzyBrown: Being that they're both beers and the 'font' of the numbers are identical (and a 6 and 9 and basically the same shape) they have some standing.  They should sue the design company to recover any losses.

I don't think you're right.  Any similarities between the typefaces is only in that they are numerals. From a typographical perspective they aren't even remotely similar. ( WARNING I am not a typographer, just a wannabe font fan so I'm probably not using all the terms correctly here )

In the font people's world, that's like saying that Ariel is the same as Comic Sans because they both have the same alphabet.

The 9 has a disconnected loop, had a vertical  stem with a deep bowed curve and a sharp thinning to a bulbous terminal.
 The 6 has a a connected loop which is more uniform (at points half as thick as the 9 ), and a different axis of stress of the loop, the stem is rounded at all times ( and is formed by the backbone of the circle surrounding it ) and the thinning point to the terminal is far less dramatic.


Similar with the star. Different length and width of the points,   one has an outline, the other doesn't, entirely different positioning etc...

Probably won't make a huge difference but how the trademark is being used is slightly different too... one is the logo for the beer company (6)  and the other (#9) is the logo for a specific beer.

I'm just not buying it. This looks like bullying to me.


The test is not whether there's  any discernible difference between the mark and the accused infringing mark, but whether an ordinary observer would likely be confused between them or falsely believe they were both associated with the same manufacturer. Sure, if you take a ruler and measure the length of the points, you can tell they're different... but if you saw one on one shelf in a store, and the other on a different shelf? Or if you're familiar with the Magic Hat logo, and you see this new one, would you think it was another beer by the same manufacturer?
 
2013-05-22 04:57:05 PM
I just can't bring myself to care about any beer that comes in a can.
 
2013-05-22 04:58:19 PM

rmcooper4: I just wonder if it's a good business decision. Places in Lexington are taking #9 off their taps in solidarity with West 6th.


Yes, it may hurt MH's market share in Kentucky, but if it protects their mark in the rest of the country (not to mention the world), then it may be worth it.
 
2013-05-22 04:59:34 PM

missmez: I just can't bring myself to care about any beer that comes in a can.


beerstreetjournal.com
 
2013-05-22 05:00:30 PM
You've got the magic hat.

Put a curse on them
 
2013-05-22 05:02:43 PM

lennavan: Lost Thought 00: Magic Hat has a point. Same specialized font, and exact same 8-pointed star design. West Sixth needs to come up with a new logo.

Maybe they'd have a point if they had trademarked the font, or the 8-pointed star design.  As it is, they only trademarked the name "#9."


I haven't read all the trademarks, so I only know is that that is what West 6th is claiming. I'm not even saying that Magic Hat would win in court. All I'm saying is that the suit isn't frivolous - there is sufficient concern over the designs that it deserves to be sorted out by the courts
 
2013-05-22 05:04:05 PM

Theaetetus: missmez: I just can't bring myself to care about any beer that comes in a can.

[beerstreetjournal.com image 570x427]


I'm glad they made it in cans, but why on god's green earth is it $16.50 + dep for a damn 12-pack in Massachusetts?  I can get much better beers for $4-5 cheaper.
 
2013-05-22 05:07:51 PM

missmez: I just can't bring myself to care about any beer that comes in a can.


Then you are missing out.
 
2013-05-22 05:07:59 PM

Theaetetus: missmez: I just can't bring myself to care about any beer that comes in a can.

[beerstreetjournal.com image 570x427]


Okay, Sam Adams Boston is a pretty good beer. . .but I'll still drink it out of a bottle and not a can :-)
 
2013-05-22 05:09:27 PM

Lost Thought 00: lennavan: Lost Thought 00: Magic Hat has a point. Same specialized font, and exact same 8-pointed star design. West Sixth needs to come up with a new logo.

Maybe they'd have a point if they had trademarked the font, or the 8-pointed star design.  As it is, they only trademarked the name "#9."

I haven't read all the trademarks, so I only know is that that is what West 6th is claiming. I'm not even saying that Magic Hat would win in court. All I'm saying is that the suit isn't frivolous - there is sufficient concern over the designs that it deserves to be sorted out by the courts


I agree there is sufficient concern over the designs.  The design was not trademarked.  "#9" was trademarked.  I'm going off the link from previously in the thread:

zobear: http://www.scribd.com/doc/142860493/Magic-Hat-Brewing-and-West-Sixth- B rewing


The lawsuit is frivolous.
 
2013-05-22 05:25:50 PM

Teiritzamna: PunGent: Teiritzamna: PunGent: Not sure how relevant intent is in trademark cases, though...either you're infringing or not, maybe?

Intent is in fact considered, but it is not at the heart of the matter.

The important thing in trademark is to remember that out of all IP it is the nice one (if we ignore rarer bullshiat like dillution and post-sale confusion).  It exists specifically to prevent consumers from being confused and taken advantage of, and that is basically the legal test.  Looking at two marks, would a consumer be confused as to the source of the goods.

Now, note, i said source of the goods, not confuse the goods themselves.  Thus if a consumer saw two logos side by side and was likely to think they were not the same product but made by the same guys, that can be actionable.

Additionally, as the system is built such that the "owner" of a mark is also the one who polices it, we make them actually have to do their job and police EVERYTHING.  We don't want companies only suing the easy guys or the deepest pockets and letting lots of consumers get hosed by operators with less cash or harder claims, so we require that they enforce against everyone or risk losing the mark.  This also makes sense from a confusion perspective, as if a mark is loosely enforced, it is likely that it will end up standing for lots of different producers, consumers will stop trusting it and it will be useless as a source signifier.

All of this is to say: Stop throwing around the word troll, subby, you obviously have no idea what it means.

Well put.  I'd ask if you do trademark law for a living, but your explanation is suspiciously clear, concise and devoid of legalese...

I am young yet.


Ah, that explains it.  Like a young whale without barnacles, you have yet to acquire the mighty encrustations of legalese of the pod elders...

/you'll never get your billable hours up if you persist in being clear and concise, young man
 
2013-05-22 05:26:44 PM

impaler: Note that the logo is inverted.


In my opinion: definite infringement. This looks like a case where they should have to change their logo. And if they made up their sob story to smear Magic Hat, I hope those "fancy NYC attorneys" get every penny they seek.
 
2013-05-22 05:27:45 PM

lennavan: I agree there is sufficient concern over the designs.  The design was not trademarked.  "#9" was trademarked.  I'm going off the link from previously in the thread:


As previously mentioned, the design was most certainly trademarked. It was not  registered under the Lanham Act, but trademark rights can arise  automatically. See section 43 of the Lanham Act, discussing rights in  unregistered marks and trade dress.

Since you agree there is sufficient concern over the designs, then any lawsuit over them would not be frivolous.
 
2013-05-22 05:28:10 PM

RatOmeter: Yes, after seeing the logos side-by-side (West 6th crybaby page didn't show the MH logo they're infringing), I bet I would be *very* likely to confuse them while sauntering down the beer aisles.


They're practically identical:
media.tumblr.comres.cloudinary.com
 
2013-05-22 05:29:54 PM

impaler: RatOmeter: Yes, after seeing the logos side-by-side (West 6th crybaby page didn't show the MH logo they're infringing), I bet I would be *very* likely to confuse them while sauntering down the beer aisles.

They're practically identical:
[media.tumblr.com image 300x357][res.cloudinary.com image 250x488]


I think a better version was posted by this wise person early on in the thread:
impaler:
encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com

Note that the logo is inverted.
 
2013-05-22 05:34:31 PM

factoryconnection: I just saw this on Magic Hat's facebook feed today: http://new.pitchengine.com/pitches/0ab90552-225c-4a77-bf2e-79ecdcd09c 1 5

Worth a read, what with two sides to every story.  Maybe Magic Hat is being the bad guy, but one must defend trademarks or risk losing their legal standing.


I like how his "working with them" was basically a cease and desist with nicer wording so they look reasonable.  Letter chain abruptly ends when they clarify that they are not willing to do exactly as Magic Hat wants.
 
2013-05-22 05:35:34 PM

Dead-Guy: Doesn't anyone have the patent on groundlessly suing people over copyright infringement?  I think I'll go get it.. as long as I have enough backing to tie these folks up in court, the fact that the patent was made afterwards, won't even matter... They'll settle, or go out of business, because I'm not good for the kind of money they'd try to counter-sue for.


The problem here is that this isn't copyright, nor is it groundless. So you're maybe getting into STFU territory.
 
2013-05-22 05:36:57 PM

missmez: I just can't bring myself to care about any beer that comes in a can.


Typical woman, knows nothing about beer.

ironhops.com


www.selectism.com

3.bp.blogspot.com

www.ohbeautifulbeer.com
 
2013-05-22 05:38:50 PM

derpy: I'd like to see them sue ABInBev over "33."

OMG! There's a number on your beer!

Or even better, every small brewery needs to come out with a numbered beer.  By #247, I think Magic Hat would get over it.


A competing distributer a line of beer contract brewed beer in order to directly compete against the brewery I work for.

They named their IPA "Old Richmond #9"

It was a dick move by the distributor to come up with the idea, it was adick move by the other brewery to take the contract. We just kinda let it slide because we found that the beer sucked. Retailers saw through it, customers were educated, and Magic hat came down on all parties involved like ticks on a hound dog for even DAREING to use "#9" in a name for anything.

the fail was eexquisite!


Yes, the logo is too similar to magic hats logo.
 
2013-05-22 05:42:38 PM

missmez: I just can't bring myself to care about any beer that comes in a can.


There's some decent micro brews coming out in cans now, don't knock it til you try it.
 
2013-05-22 05:42:49 PM

Maud Dib: missmez: I just can't bring myself to care about any beer that comes in a can.

Typical woman, knows nothing about beer.

[ironhops.com image 228x300]


[www.selectism.com image 540x363]


[3.bp.blogspot.com image 650x488]

[www.ohbeautifulbeer.com image 450x367]


No, I am a woman who drinks local.  If it doesn't come out of a tap or a growler, I won't touch it.
 
2013-05-22 05:44:32 PM

Maud Dib: missmez: I just can't bring myself to care about any beer that comes in a can.

Typical woman, knows nothing about beer.

[ironhops.com image 228x300]



Modus Hoperandi is currently my favorite beer. I am gonna mow the lawn tonight and then have a couple.
 
2013-05-22 05:50:26 PM

impaler: RatOmeter: Yes, after seeing the logos side-by-side (West 6th crybaby page didn't show the MH logo they're infringing), I bet I would be *very* likely to confuse them while sauntering down the beer aisles.

They're practically identical:
[media.tumblr.com image 300x357][res.cloudinary.com image 250x488]


Yea, if you have any problem figuring out those are not the same beer you don't need anymore beer because you're retarded drunk.

Theaetetus: impaler: RatOmeter: Yes, after seeing the logos side-by-side (West 6th crybaby page didn't show the MH logo they're infringing), I bet I would be *very* likely to confuse them while sauntering down the beer aisles.

They're practically identical:
[media.tumblr.com image 300x357][res.cloudinary.com image 250x488]

I think a better version was posted by this wise person early on in the thread:
impaler:
[encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com image 327x154]
Note that the logo is inverted.


That little "Note" part is important because it's completely unnecessary, it's completely obvious that it is inverted because of the wording.

Even W6th pretty much agreed the logo without wording should be changed.  So that's not the issue at hand.
 
2013-05-22 05:51:34 PM

missmez: Maud Dib: missmez: I just can't bring myself to care about any beer that comes in a can.

Typical woman, knows nothing about beer.

[ironhops.com image 228x300]


[www.selectism.com image 540x363]


[3.bp.blogspot.com image 650x488]

[www.ohbeautifulbeer.com image 450x367]

No, I am a woman who drinks local.  If it doesn't come out of a tap or a growler, I won't touch it.


Choosing to miss out. Interesting.
 
2013-05-22 06:00:24 PM

IRQ12: Even W6th pretty much agreed the logo without wording should be changed.  So that's not the issue at hand.


That is the issue, though - apparently W6th had "pretty much agreed"* and then withdrew that and said they weren't going to change.

*they wouldn't characterize it that way, I'm sure
 
2013-05-22 06:00:36 PM
If I was just going off of the "style" of the packaging, I would have guessed 6 IPA was an Odells product. With it's 2/3 color palettes and handwrittenish serif font.

FYI, if 90 shilling was upside down, it would be 06 in a circle and 06 = 6...

res.cloudinary.comwww.refinedguy.com
 
2013-05-22 06:12:19 PM
This is even more shocking

growlersoftware.com
 
2013-05-22 06:27:53 PM

impaler: If I was just going off of the "style" of the packaging, I would have guessed 6 IPA was an Odells product. With it's 2/3 color palettes and handwrittenish serif font.


impaler: This is even more shocking


Looks like Odells should consider a C&D them . . .
 
2013-05-22 06:34:05 PM
Also, the brewery I work for is located at 321 west 7th street in Richmond Virginia

do y'all think if we came out with a line of beers named west 7th, west sixth would go apey on us?

in any case, we are turning 20 years old this year, and the anniversery logo is a truncated version oflogo unicorn logo with the roman numeral for 20 behind it.

ive warned people about a certain brand being represented by a Certain very interesting man.
I was rebuffed with something along the lines of "what? They are going to sue us over the roman numeral 20?"

"yes... why wouldnt they? Its a beer company that uses XX in thier logo... I WOULD send a C&D if I were them., change it to a 20 at least"

but im just a lowley beer miner......
 
2013-05-22 06:42:55 PM

Theaetetus: IRQ12: Even W6th pretty much agreed the logo without wording should be changed.  So that's not the issue at hand.

That is the issue, though - apparently W6th had "pretty much agreed"* and then withdrew that and said they weren't going to change.

*they wouldn't characterize it that way, I'm sure


No, from what I am reading they weren't going to change exactly as their attorney expected.  They agreed that the 6 by itself in a logo (without wording) could be misconstrued as a 9.  The MH attorney wanted them to phase out the logo (with lettering) altogether.  Like I said before you're retarded drunk if you see the full logo/label and think it resembles MH's at all.

I'll agree that W6th is hamming up the scenario but it certainly looks like they were willing to work with MH and MH took their ball and went home as soon as W6th made it clear that they weren't going to bend over and do as instructed.

I also highly doubt a distributor was the person who initiated it because of possible confusion. TONs of brands look "alike" at a glance. At least as similar as these two if not a whole lot more. Look at Bud Light/Miller Lite.  At a glance they look very similar (depending on the version of label at the time).
 
2013-05-22 07:36:16 PM

fiddle-faddle: And then there are these...
[machoarts.com image 476x723]


Most of those businesses do not overlap in their markets. At most one sent a letter to the other to acknowledge the trademarks as similar to show that it was "defended" These similar trademarks are not as big a deal. However, these are both breweries. In the same line of business, trademark infringement is a big deal.
 
2013-05-22 08:11:45 PM
W6th is quite tasty.  and their bar is really cool and hip, and yes, FULL of hipsters in a newly emerging hipster Utopia in Lexington.  But I dont care, tasty beer is tasty beer and i dont froth at the mouth with hipster hate anyway.  There is also another good spot to hang out in over at Country Boy Brewery.  There is some quite tasty new beer happenings in Lex-ville.

/signed it
 
2013-05-22 08:51:20 PM
Get rid of all copyright laws.  All of them.
 
2013-05-22 08:53:16 PM

Cerebral Knievel: Also, the brewery I work for is located at 321 west 7th street in Richmond Virginia

do y'all think if we came out with a line of beers named west 7th, west sixth would go apey on us?

in any case, we are turning 20 years old this year, and the anniversery logo is a truncated version oflogo unicorn logo with the roman numeral for 20 behind it.

ive warned people about a certain brand being represented by a Certain very interesting man.
I was rebuffed with something along the lines of "what? They are going to sue us over the roman numeral 20?"

"yes... why wouldnt they? Its a beer company that uses XX in thier logo... I WOULD send a C&D if I were them., change it to a 20 at least"

but im just a lowley beer miner......



Hey man, I live on the other side of town and I have kids so I don't get down there very often - it's months between visits - but should I look you up the next time I'm in?  Are you there days or nights?  Do I ask for Cerebral Knievel?
 
2013-05-22 09:31:57 PM

downstairs: fiddle-faddle: I always liked this bit of laziness. Apparently, this "G" got treated like clip-art.

[i.chzbgr.com image 401x271]

Grambling's logo also.

I believe they all received permission from the Packers.


could be vice versa. I know my college owned the rights to the St Louis cardinals logo for a long time (we pre-dated them by more than a bit.) they ended up buying the logo for a one time fee and a guarantee that the college would always be allowed to use it
 
2013-05-22 09:57:35 PM

CapeFearCadaver: Meh. Create another logo and move on.

Gene Simmons sued some friends of mine out of Sweden who's name was Crown of Thorns. They were signed, had records, doing international (through Europe) tours, etc. But since Gene Simmons decided years later to produce a small band in the States with the same name he sued them.

Rather than go through the hoopla over it, considering the cost of it which they didn't have, they just changed their name to The Crown.

Guess which band is worldwide popular?


as someone who has been a fan of The Crown for years -  I did not know this! heh, learn something new every day.
 
2013-05-22 10:19:25 PM

tlchwi02: downstairs: fiddle-faddle: I always liked this bit of laziness. Apparently, this "G" got treated like clip-art.

[i.chzbgr.com image 401x271]

Grambling's logo also.

I believe they all received permission from the Packers.

could be vice versa. I know my college owned the rights to the St Louis cardinals logo for a long time (we pre-dated them by more than a bit.) they ended up buying the logo for a one time fee and a guarantee that the college would always be allowed to use it



The Packers trademarked the design in 1961 and granted limited permission to the later-designed Georgia and Grambling people.

/Cheeseheads all know this--surprised everyone doesn't.
 
2013-05-22 11:22:37 PM
I think these logos are indeed similar enough to cause confusion in the marketplace, and that West Sixth Brewing Company did this on purpose to get free publicity. Sometimes, the little guy is not the good guy. This is trademark infringement. I am usually against stifling free speech by locking up ideas as property, but this is different than bogus copyright and patent claims.

West Sixth, you've been caught trying to pull a fast one. Knock it off! It would be simple common decency, which should not be too much to ask for.
 
2013-05-23 12:17:45 AM

uncoveror: I think these logos are indeed similar enough to cause confusion in the marketplace,


res.cloudinary.commedia.tumblr.com
People probably can't tell, but I reversed the order of those pics from my previous post.
 
2013-05-23 02:13:19 AM

Begoggle: Get rid of all copyright laws.  All of them.


Go away.
 
2013-05-23 03:07:23 AM
Screw these guys. Magic Hat tried to work with them.
 
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