Independent Brewers United says they own sixes and nines

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139 Responses to “Independent Brewers United says they own sixes and nines”

  1. Birches Leaves says:

    The logo’s look sort of kind of maybe identical to me.

    • Tighe Estes says:

      I’m from Lexington, Kentucky, where West 6th is.  I have to admit, me, my wife, and about twenty of our friends immediately looked at their logo last year when they opened and said “That looks like the #9 tap.”  That said, I think it’s weird that Magic Hat is suing over a symbol that’s associated with only one of their beers (the Magic Hat logo is a hat that is, presumably, magical), so they are really saying that people in the 100 mile radius around Lexington attempting to buy Magic Hat #9 risk getting it confused with a local brewery.

    • They are remarkably similar – the notion that they believe they ‘own sixes and nines’ is at least 10 times more ridiculous than the story itself.

      Watch out Cory, sensationalism isn’t becoming.

      • otterhead says:

        You’re looking at the same thing I’m looking at: a small brewery likely trying to capitalize on a very well known and popular brand with a very similar design style and icon.

        Cory, it seems, is looking at ways to maximize click-thru with sensationalistic and misleading headlines, which is kind of the norm lately.

        • But I like Cory :( I’m sure it’s unintentional. Have faith.

        • John Buckman says:

          I can guarantee you that it was coincidence. The local designers have a massive body of work in this sort of style, and no respectable craft brewery would want to associate with an overplayed and corporate owned beer such as #9. The style is similar, but there is no harm, and Magic Hat’s approach has been ridiculous.

      • scav says:

        They are remarkably dissimilar.  It’s a different digit. In a different font. One is enclosed in a circle tangent to the back of the digit, the other in some swirly concentric squiggles.  One digit is only part of the name or phrase making up the trademark “#9″ (not just “9″). They are a different colour. The “6″ logo has a star in it. The rest of the packaging is also very different.

        I don’t know what the legal standard is, but I strongly doubt there is a case to be made that West Six are trying to pass off their product as one of North American Breweries’ beers, which is what trademark protection is designed to prevent.

        It is *not* intended to give monopolies on “design approaches”. That’s exactly the same kind of nonsense that people characterised as “Apple claiming ownership of rectangles”, which you are scornful about, but which is only a *simplistic* rather than a *misleading* description of the problem. A reductio ad absurdum if you will, of what Apple would clearly like to have gotten away with. Fortunately the courts said no.

        • Of course there are differences, hence why they look similar and not the same. If I saw these two products on a shelf, I’d assume that they were related – I could feasibly buy one assuming that it was made by the same company as the other – which is the exact reason why people wish to protect trademarks.

          If you don’t think they look similar then I’m afraid we won’t be able to continue this discussion – because cognitively we’re very different.

        • small paul says:

          From a typographical standpoint, the 6 uses a serif flourish that’s very similar to the 9 in Magic Hat’s logo. This is not to say that they have “ripped off” Magic Hat, but the similarities in the ligature are very apparent.

          Battles over logo similarities happen all the time. Wegmans and Walgreens had a similar dispute a year or two ago over a stylized W, but it’s just a challenge to protect intellectual property (or a company protecting their trademark as much as possible). This is routine practice for a company like Disney any time something appears with Mickey Mouse ears.

          Maybe I am swayed by Magic Hat’s delicious beer too, but I don’t agree with West Six’s characterization of Magic Hat being some kind of super-mega corporate conglomerate of bullies.

    • RElgin says:

      A “6″ is still, not a “9″ and a circle is a circle.

  2. awjt says:

    Once you’re cool, nobody else can be cool or ever attain coolness, so you try to beat on them to reinforce how uncool they are but really what you’re doing is totally uncool, the uncoolest of all uncool.  Fuck you, Magic Hat.

  3. soundhound says:

    What if 6 turned out to be 9?

    I don’t mind.

  4. xzzy says:

    They should rename their beer to lowercase ‘g’ and watch what kind of comedy is generated.

  5. peregrinus says:

    So the maturing American craft beer industry, which is leading the world in improving beer, is going to get a dicky name because the branding is not dissimilar so long as you zoom out to Pluto and focus on the numbers spectrum?

    Magic Ass.

    Edit: *Bray*

  6. royaltrux says:

    IPA in a CAN? Eww.

    I hope they (6) prevail, however.

    • Tribune says:

      well if West 6th’s was in bottles it would be harder to place it upside down and confuse people, I see a win-win solution here.

    •  New can technologies have come a LONG way. Check out Oskar Blues brewing and go from there. MUCH good beer in cans now.

      • Navin_Johnson says:

         I love that the tons of crafts are in cans now, well really for a few years now… Especially as somebody who doesn’t drive, hauling cans in my bike bag is much easier, as is the recycling. As you said, the new cans are not the same old cans. They have an inner coating that does away with any metallic taste, and no light means less chance at skunkiness..

    •  Why should that matter? No beverages, soda or beer, have been sold in unlined cans since the 70s. There’s no taste difference.

      Sierra Mist both cans and bottles their pale ale. They carried out a number of double blind taste tests and found no variation. Some people claimed to be able to taste the metal, but they attributed it to the bottled version exactly as often as the canned (bottle caps are lined too, by the way). The canned version is can-conditioned with live yeast just like bottle, by the way.

      And cans have the advantage in several ways: less shipping weight, less disposal weight, lower energy recycling costs, plus absolutely zero chance of the beer getting light-struck.

      • phlavor says:

        I can taste the difference. Whether that difference is due to expansion/contraction, higher susceptibility to temperature variation, or the exposed aluminum edge when you open the can, I cannot say.

        That said their are beers I prefer out of cans and beers I don’t because of that taste difference. Lighter wheatier beers are good in cans. Darker hoppier beers taste bitter and metallic.

        And I buy canned beer for situations that deem it necessary, i.e. the park, the beach, burning man. Anywhere that I pack in, pack out.

        • Brett Myers says:

          If you don’t like the taste of metal when you’re drinking beer, don’t put metal in your mouth. Pour it in a glass like a civilized person. 

        • Brett Myers says:

          There is no flavor difference between glass and cans when you serve the beer in a glass.

        • yumtacos says:

          Beer Advocate did a test a few years ago, with an enormous sample size. Of the several dozen folks who claimed to have been able to taste the difference, once blind, they were unable to consistently identify canned vs. bottled beers.

          So, I’m calling bullshit on your incredible palate. Sorry.

          • phlavor says:

            Oh well since you said that I’m going to doubt my 25 years of experience. It tastes different to me. If it doesn’t to you, cheers, enjoy. But calling me a liar is baseless and rude.

          • spacedmonkey says:

            He’s not saying it doesn’t taste different to you, he’s just saying that it wouldn’t taste different if they were both in glasses and you didn’t know which was which.   Just ’cause the difference is psychosomatic doesn’t mean you don’t taste it.

          • wysinwyg says:

            He should admit you may be right but you shouldn’t have to admit you may be wrong?  (Saying “you may be wrong” is not an accusation of being a liar by definition of the word “liar”.)

        • “Darker hoppier beers taste bitter and metallic.”

          I’m shocked that hoppier beers taste bitter.

      • Lance Curran says:

        Cans take up an enormous amount of space in a brewery because they are pre-designed. Bottles you just need labels so there’s more flexibility and if you decided to discontinue a brand you’re not throwing out a ton of used cans. I prefer drinking out of bottles to cans.

        • er0ck says:

          barely.  sourcing new labels is almost as much of a pain as sourcing new cans.  and this is done much less frequently than “shipping” heavy bottles all over the country.  

        • Navin_Johnson says:

           You prefer to drink from bottles because they of the space they take up in some brewery?

      • Triple E says:

        I *really* hate doing this because you’re right on every count and I’m a huge fan of the new canned beers, but I’m a pedantic asshole and I can’t let it go, even though hardly anyone would get confused.

        I think you meant Sierra Nevada, not Sierra Mist, unless PepsiCo is making beer now.

        Please forgive me. 

    • Brett Myers says:

      All beer should be packaged in cans. They’re much better than bottles for keeping beer fresh and ensuring a stable shelf life. If you don’t like the taste of metal when you drink, pour it in a glass like it’s supposed to be served. 

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Or maybe drink it up before it has time to get stale.

        • Brett Myers says:

          The problem is, you don’t have any idea how it was handled during shipping (likely, poorly) nor how long it has been on the shelf at the store. Cans are airtight and lightproof, eliminating two of the most pernicious spoilers of good beer.

          Additionally, aluminum cans are much more environmentally friendly than glass. It takes significantly less energy to produce them and to recycle them. Their weight is a fraction of that of glass bottles and they can be stacked more densely in trucks, reducing fuel consumption in shipping. 

    • DrNobelDynamite says:

      I’ll bet you 1k USD that you cannot tell the difference between an identical canned or bottled beer.  

    • Mike Fischer says:

      Cans should actually be better for IPAs above all others, since IPAs are heavily hopped, and some components of hops are very averse to light exposure, which creates the skunky flavor often seen in green bottled beers. 

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      In my tribe, ‘beer can’ has an entirely different and highly desirable meaning.

    • Triple E says:

       It’s getting more common as it is easier to ship and the beer keeps longer.  The idea is to pour it out of the can into a glass.

      Oskar Blues Deviant Dale’s will definitely change your mind about that whole can thing.

  7. Nash Rambler says:

    Aw hell, I like both of those beers.  I’m guessing that North American Breweries’ legal department has decided they have a case, and are pursuing it.  Still falls into the “stupid and shitty” category of business dealing.

    I’m torn; the label similarity is there, so brand confusion is definitely an issue, but one’s the name of the beer, the other’s the name of the brewery.  I’d like to be flip and say “let the judge sort it out,” but I doubt that West Sixth Brewing can field a legal team of the same caliber as North American Breweries.

  8. Pcoleman72 says:

    I want some kind of a notification when a multinational buys up what was a decent small brewery beer.  I suppose lawsuits like this serve that purpose.  It’s usually a precursor to the decline of quality of the beer itself.

  9. esquire says:

    As a trademark attorney, I have to say – unless we’re not hearing part of the story (a showing of bad faith on the little guy’s part, etc.), Magic Hat is really stepping in it on this one.  

    Somebody in the executive suite made this decision: “they’re not using a # sign, not using a “9,” tiny unprofitable microbrewery?  Let’s sue the fuckers!”If anyone’s interested, there’s a petition here: http://www.westsixth.com/no-more-magic-hat/
    This is a mistake and I hope Magic Hat gets their noses rubbed in it.

    • peregrinus says:

      In my local boutique beer shop in London, UK, which is amazing, there are at least 40 USA sourced beers.  Neither of those labels look “out of sync” with any of the others – i.e. they’re both on trend.

      Getting deeper into the design, I’d draw a clear parallel between the hippy vibe-ish #9 and the agrarian vibe-ish *6.  They’re very different in the beer label world.

      Straightforward attempt at competitive threat elimination.

      I will ensure my boutique owner friend is aware, and I will guarantee not to buy Magic Hat products.

      • esquire says:

        Yeah, people on forums can debate whether or not the labels are similar.   From a US trademark perspective, there’s no way the USPTO is going to want 6 and 9 to be considered confusingly similar.  If so, we’re going to have all kinds of problems differentiating between d,b,p and q!  

        i don’t think there is even a whiff of infringement here but the real story is that it takes serious money to defend these claims.  Despite the facts and the petition, the little guy cannot defend this in court.  The effect is that Magic Hat is broadcasting in the most asshole-ish way that if you’re starting a brewery, stay the hell away from numbers.  The numbers belong to Magic Hat! 

    • Brett Myers says:

      Yeah, but check out the label on their Amber. The font is very similar as is the color, and they even cop the star burst from Magic Hat. 

      • wysinwyg says:

         I am still not in any way confused about which beer is which or about what brewery is making which beer.

        I’m confused why Magic Hat, the beer of hippies, is doing weird corporatish bullshit.  Seems sure to lose them customers.  I know I won’t be buying a number 9 any time soon.  I may have to try to find some of this west sixth stuff though.

        • Brett Myers says:

          Then West Sixth’s ‘scrappy underdog’ marketing ploy has worked. 

          • wysinwyg says:

             No, Magic Hat’s parent company’s “let’s sue someone for no reason” ploy backfired.

            You’re shit at reading minds, btw.

          • Brett Myers says:

            If you honestly can’t see any similarity between the two marks, then I’m afraid I can’t help you. But, I suspect you’re not really being honest, nor are you interested in elucidation. #mindreading

        • Craig Thom says:

          Magic Hat is one of several breweries and other businesses owned by a Costa Rican company.  They are corporate.

          And West 6th really is a small, independent brewery with limited distribution and, at this time, I think only two beers being sold packaged.

          • wysinwyg says:

            I meant that it confused me from a marketing point of view.  I understand that they are actually corporate.

      • West Sixth’s star is a compass. The 6 is on the west side of the compass. Get it?

        • Brett Myers says:

          Gosh, when you put it that way, the difference is obvious. One is an 8 pointed star and the other is an 8 pointed compass star.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        You’re one of those people who gets savaged by a hyena and says, “But I thought it was just a big tomcat!”, aren’t you?

  10. fractos says:

    Hash symbol to the rescue.

  11. hypnosifl says:

    I would be inclined to say this was totally spurious, but then I noticed that aside from the only-somewhat-similar shape of the 6 and 9, they both have nearly-identical-looking stars in the logo…so now I’m not so sure there wasn’t some influence there.

    • chgoliz says:

      I would say they were both solving an identical problem: a relatively large area of solid color that needed to be broken up.  A star-like symbol is an obvious choice because it’s relatively neutral (unlike a moon, sickle, smiley face, cross, etc.) and in fact has universally positive connotations.  Similar solutions reached independently.

    • Funk Daddy says:

      LoL, one is a compass, the other a star and the one that is a compass is the one with a name based on the company name which is itself based on its physical address.

      • hypnosifl says:

        Are you saying it’s a compass just because, with the eight-pointed star, the vertical and horizontal points are bigger than the diagonal ones? Googling a bit I seen the name for that is a “compass rose”, and it’s true they are often drawn that way, but there’s also usually a circle around it, and they also usually have an alternating dark-and-light pattern; so even if it is meant to be one, it’s different from typical compass roses in ways that make it look more like the star in the magic hat #9 logo. Combined with the similar old-timey font on the 6, it seems pretty plausible to me they were inspired by that logo in some way, even if they put a bit of their own twist on it.

    • luroguco says:

      Realizing now that the star may be the North Star, and the 6 is to the “west” of it. Thus, West Sixth Brewery. 

  12. tw1515tw says:

    They’ll be going after Sesame Street next.

  13. chgoliz says:

    I can see the confusion.  After all, West Sixth Brewing Company is located at 501 West Sixth Street in Lexington, KY.  OBVIOUSLY they were just trying to piggyback off of the logo of a company that has absolutely nothing to do with the number six in any way.  I mean, duh.

  14. Steve Amos says:

    Didn’t Jimi Hendrix write a song about this?
     

  15. miniwheats says:

    If you can’t tell the difference between a 6 and a 9, then you’ve obviously had 1 too many already.

  16. Daneel says:

    Magic Ass-Hat, more like.

  17. sturgidson says:

    As a semi-member of beer-snob communities, I’m something of an outlier: I DON’T think Magic Hat (which makes horrible, terrible beer, btw) is in the wrong.

    West 6th (who makes excellent beer) is a very young brewery, and there’s no way they were NOT aware of the Magic Hat logos, particularly of their most famous beer, #9. They’ve apparently been in legal discussions for the past several months, perhaps as much as a year. This is not something that just appeared out of nowhere.

    Now, what I’ve seen in most of the representations of this debate online are exactly what Boingboing.net published: The orange Magic Hat #9 logo next to the green West 6th logo on their IPA, with a general mocking tone about how “different” they are. 

    Unfortunately, this issue arose not because of the West 6th IPA, which is shown, but because of the West 6th Amber ale, which uses extremely similar colors as the #9. Look at those images, and consider if you saw the two cans, upside-down on a poorly-stocked-shelf, that you’d be able to distinguish them at a glance.

    This case is in no way as clear-cut as boingboing and others are presenting it as being. I hate that fact (because I really really don’t care for Magic Hat), but this could have been prevented a year ago, at the founding of the West 6th brewery, if they’d done due-diligence.

      • thompson says:

         The style of the numbers and the use of the star burst is very
        similar.  This is a trademark case, and Magic Hat runs the risk of
        losing its mark if it doesn’t protect it when another brewer uses a
        similar one.

        I  understand the impulse to side against the
        company that makes shitty, overpriced beer with an undeserved
        reputation, but Magic Hat actually has a point here.

        • There is no star burst in the West Sixth example, and a similar font is not an identical font, nor is a six a nine. If you were stating the names of these one is Number Nine the other is West Sixth Brewery Amber Ale. These are not similar and neither are the direct graphical representation of these, which is what each one is.

          That level of similarity does not that risk make. This is why when Magic Hat played this same game with Georgetown recently they included an offer to purchase the rights to the name and graphic they contested as being an infringement.

          • thompson says:

             Wow, I just looked up the Georgetown 9 lb Porter logo.  I’d still argue that the west sixth font and star thing — whatever it is — are close enough to make Magic Hat’s claim here at least reasonable, but damn, the Georgetown thing is BS.

            It’s a completely differently style logo, name, and numeral.  There’s really nothing in common beyond both having a 9 in there.  And the whole demand that Georgetown change the “9″ to a “Nine” and also give Magic Hat ownership of THAT name, with Magic Hat licensing it back to Georgetown for free….

            Now that one I can worked up about.

    • yoshua says:

      Looks pretty similar to me. http://pe-data.cloudapp.net/v1/images/450/?url=https://pitchenginelive.blob.core.windows.net/dev/a164f197-ff17-4707-869f-2ac27310b698/7eb58575-53f6-4925-851b-ebb2d548f78c.png&scaled=true&mode=pad

    • yumtacos says:

      Come on. Magic Hat is ripping off the logos of a dozen other breweries and beverage makers – Sacramento’s Hoppy Brewing, Mountain Dew, and several others. None of them are complaining.

    • Funk Daddy says:

      “perhaps as much as a year”

      Really? The Amber Ale was released in late January…

      Are you certain then that it isn’t the IPA which drew Magic Hats monopolistic ire?

  18. roycroft says:

    I don’t think West Six is the completely innocent small guy being bullied by the big brewer as this story leads one to believe. After doing a little research it sounds as if  North American Breweries was trying to work with West Six till W6 started a smear campaign on the internet.

    http://beerpulse.com/2013/05/magic-hat-calls-bs-on-west-sixths-media-campaign-after-lawsuit-407/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+beerpulse+%28Beerpulse.com%3A+%231+beer+news+website+in+the+world%29

    • Funk Daddy says:

      That’s not what that article says. It clearly states that the West Sixth media campaign began -after- the lawsuit was filed. 

      And it isn’t a smear campaign, to state that they are being sued and present their side, after they have had a lawsuit filed against them. 

      You call that research?

      • roycroft says:

        It is hard to say who is at fault but this is an interesting quote from American Breweries: “Our first step was to reach out to them. We hoped to handle it amicably.
        We had no desire to file a lawsuit against a fellow brewer,” said
        Daley. “We thought we had made a lot of progress with West Sixth. They
        agreed in principle to modify their design. And now they’re going back
        on their word, and are attempting to tarnish our image

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Let’s look at some of the content from your link, shall we? From the About page:

      BeerPulse does accept content contributors, anonymous info/tips and advertising. For advertising information, please check out the Advertising page.

      And following that rabbit hole:

      Are Sponsored Posts Right For Me?… I want to… Have a post written on my behalf by someone else

      But, wait, it gets better. Look who’s listed as one of the five staff members:

      Daniel Christopherson of DCBrewLaw.com is a registered patent attorney with the Christopherson Intellectual Property Law Firm. He is an avid craft beer enthusiast who helps new and established breweries develop their business models and protect their intellectual property.

  19. Silversalty says:

    I thought this was settled years ago when Intel tried to prevent AMD from calling their cpu chips “486″ or whatever the x86 was at the time. The court ruled that numbers could not be trademarked. But then courts change and though judges may swear to hold precedent holy (stari decisi) during hearings considering their appointment, the holiest have no problem lying. God forgives them – and only them.

    • AlexG55 says:

      Really? The Porsche 911 would have been called the 901, except that Peugeot claimed a right to all three-digit numbers with a zero in the middle.

    • Brian Easton says:

      Sure Intel couldn’t trademark 486 but they could trademark a logo. That’s the issue here.

    •  Almost certainly the suit is about the graphic design, the swirly 9, and not the number 9. Gobs of brewers make special series where they number each batch sequentially, and eventually get to 9.

    • Silversalty says:

      I stand corrected from two directions – design and Europe. As Ms. Litella said, “never mind.”

      In terms of design, I thought something like dress designs could be copied; auto shapes, etc., though a logo that suggests another company would seem to be open to challenge.

      Thanks for the clarification.

    • Craig Thom says:

      Hence the name Pentium (and the reason all CPU lines have been named since).

  20. Two bad they couldn’t take the high road like Avery Brewing and Russian River, when they discovered each was brewing a beer of the same name. So they got together and jointly brewed a new beer called “Collaboration not Litigation Ale”.

  21. Moonpie Nobot says:

    Magic Hat has a different take. http://new.pitchengine.com/pitches/0ab90552-225c-4a77-bf2e-79ecdcd09c15

    • Ethan says:

      Interesting. It appears that Magic Hat (whose beer I hate, by the way), isn’t asking for the “6″ to be done away with. Rather they want the star and the circle around the number removed from the logo.

    • yumtacos says:

      Yes, their attorneys WOULD have a different take, wouldn’t they? However, even if you don’t look at West Sixth’s “smear campaign,” and read ONLY those things that are coming from Magic Hat’s international corporate lawyer overlords, you’ll still see who the bully is here. And the fact that this isn’t the first time they’ve done it is one more nail in their coffin.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Pitchengine?

      PR never looked so good

      Create the content they crave

      Get the Word Out™

      I know that you’re a real commenter, but why are you linking to such cack-handed astroturf?

  22. magic hat has now been lowered even further in my list of beer. I think it might be in the negatives now.

    • capl says:

       Agreed. I got a tour of Magic Hat brewery a long long time ago, then toured again a few years ago. At the most recent tour, someone asked about Microbrewing, and the tour guide said. “We haven’t been a microbrewery for a long time now. In fact, we brew #9 in multiple locations, but we use a syrup to normalize the taste of the beer.”
      Not really selling the product there.. but it was an eye opener that the vibe they try to sell in marketing is way different than the company they have become.
       

  23. roycroft says:

     I posted that link earlier and I agree that the story is not all black and white. Here is a nice quote from the article:

    In letters proposing a resolution to avoid a court case, West Sixth Brewing agreed to:

    1. Remove the design element that mirrors Magic Hat’s #9 starburst/dingbat star packaging;

    2. Use and promote the wording West Sixth Brewing in conjunction with
    the design (Magic Hat agrees that this will help eliminate confusion);

    3. Work in good faith to phase out and replace any existing materials
    that may contain the prior version of the encircled “6” design;

    4. Amend its current federal trademark application or re-file the application with the new design.

    “After months of working with them, they abruptly changed their minds
    and refused to take the simplest steps to avoid confusion and a
    lawsuit,” said Daley.

    • er0ck says:

      all this seems like they were trying to work together.  but from my point of view it was still a huge multinational (Florida Ice & Farm) beating up on a small producer with what appear to me to be spurious claims.  as others have said: no one can own a circle and a 6 is almost never a 9.

    • peregrinus says:

       If you’re into the subtly distinct flavours of craft beers, are you really going to confuse those two?

  24. er0ck says:

    magic hat is now owned by “Florida Ice & Farm” according to WCAX (local news affiliate) and wikipedia:  http://www.wcax.com/story/19928041/magic-hat-sold-again

  25. I’m always strongly inclined to side with the “little guy” on cases like this where it seems (at first blush) like a bigger company is just trying to annihilate competition by whatever ridiculous legal means available. It seems that’s clearly not the case here. I agree with the other commenters who are pointing out that Mr. Doctorow’s piece is sensationalized and disingenuous. The story wouldn’t be the thrilling good-vs-evil, David v. Goliath tale if you replaced that image with this more relevant one and summed up the facts more accurately and equitably.

    • Craig Thom says:

      This is not the first time Florida Ice and Farm Company S.A. (a Costa Rican company and owner of Magic Hat) has done this,
      http://seattlebeernews.com/2010/06/trademark-dispute-moves-georgetown-to-rename-9lb-porter-to-georgetown-porter/

      • That story is from 2010. Magic Hat was not owned by Cerveceria Costa Rica until December of 2012. Trademark disputes are an unfortunate reality of doing business in ANY industry in the U.S.. You are perplexingly naive if you think Magic Hat is the only craft beer company to ever file a trademark lawsuit.

        • Craig Thom says:

          What’s perplexing is how you can infer that I “think Magic Hat is the only craft beer company to ever file a trademark lawsuit” from what I wrote.

          Do you really think I wrote that, or did you just make it up so you could call me naive?

          • Then why are you posting about their last lawsuit? What is your point?

          • Craig Thom says:

            So you really think pointing out that they have done this before is the same as claiming that they are the only ones to have ever do this?  Seriously?  That’s your explanation?

            I pointed out that they have done this before to make the point that they have done this before, and with a label that is not even remotely like theirs. I’m sorry that wasn’t clear enough for  you.

          • (I don’t know why but I can’t reply to your comment below so I’m placing this here.)

            “I pointed out that they have done this before to make the point that they have done this before, and with a label that is not even remotely like theirs. I’m sorry that wasn’t clear enough for  you.”

            No “they” haven’t. Different owners, remember?

    • rustyboater says:

      Have you ever seen a can of Magic Hat for sale in a store?  I’ve seen plenty of bottles, but never once have I seen a can.  Until suddenly one appears when they file suit against this small company, which has only produced beer in cans.  I promise you, when this company started selling beer in Lexington, KY, there were no cans of any of Magic Hats horrible beers available in the market.  And now that they’re suing a Kentucky company, I dare say you won’t be able to buy the brand ANYWHERE in the state within a couple of months.  West 6th has proven to be a great business citizen of the local community, as well as brewing a great IPA.  This company has created a ton of goodwill within the region.  The lawsuit against them is spurious and typical of a multi-national corporation’s heavy handed business practices.  Magic Hat isn’t a quaint Vermont business any more.  

  26. parfae says:

    West Sixth has posted a rebuttal - http://www.westsixth.com/response-to-magic-hat/

  27. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    When reading comments, one should be aware of how easy it is for PR from either company to contribute to this discussion.

  28. dustindriver says:

    Yeah, they’re similar. But for chrissakes people, you make beer. Sit back and collect the money. Sheesh.

  29. Funk Daddy says:

    Haha, roycroft posted that link earlier claiming that West Sixth began a smear campaign during talks and that was why Magic Hat sued, and said that’s what the article said. 

    It didn’t say anything like that, it just quotes Magic Hat, and Magic Hat is who ended negotiation, refusing entreaties and filing suit after months of silence. They never negotiated and never in good faith. 

  30. peregrinus says:

    Has anyone childishly mentioned that if you put them together you get a 69?

  31. Mike Fischer says:

    I used to feel positively about Magic Hat.  Then, I visited the brewery.  I caught a very hipper-than-thou vibe from them while waiting for the tour, and the tour guide was woefully ignorant of basic brewing.  And a lot of their wacky beers just seem to be trying too hard (beets in beer?  Uck!).  I’d like to say this is the last straw, but I gave up on Magic Hat on the day of that tour. 

  32. Cheddar Pants says:

    Magic Hat is poop!  Poop, I say!

  33. tomrigid says:

    I was confused at first, because I saw the six and thought it was a nine, but then I was like, oh! it’s not a nine, it’s a six.

    Close one.

  34. Alan Goulding says:

    This story reminds of the tiny Welsh artisan brewery Bare Naked Beers who recently lost a court case to Pepsico over the use of their name because Pepsico make a product called Naked Juice. So Pepsi own the word naked wrt drinks it would appear even though no-one in their right mind would confuse a juice with beer. Story in the following link:

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/tiny-welsh-brewer-loses-battle-2015697

    Btw, their beers are excellent if you get a chance to try them. Now called Pipes:

    http://www.pipesbeer.co.uk/

  35. I just see two upside down “g”s.

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