What a difference a day makes! Yesterday this was going to be an article about a potential lawsuit by Lagunitas towards Sierra Nevada for trademark infringement. Today it’s a story about…well…that, but also how Lagunitas dropped the lawsuit today.
So here we are. Back to where we all started. The circle of life.
Looking at the Twitter account for Tony Magee (Lagunitas’ founder) yesterday was liking watching a play-by-play of a very long football game. (Did I use that metaphor right? I don’t know much about sports.) Each Tweet gave a little bit more of a clue as to what was going on between the two popular breweries.
Trademarks r a big part of what craft brewers do…like a cattle brand or aboriginal peeps tattoo. The 1st TM was Bass Ale’s ‘red triangle’.
— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) January 13, 2015
The issue was with the branding of Sierra Nevada’s new IPA, Hop Hunter. Lagunitas felt that their trademark had been violated with this packaging. The person Tweeting stated that the issue was not with the letters “IPA,” but with the layout of letters:
We TM’d our IPA as a ‘design mark’. Can’t claim the letters. 1000’s of us make IPAs. Most have found their own cool way t say it w/strength. — LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) January 13, 2015
Sierra Nevada was quieter on its social media. There was one Tweet regarding the situation, and it pointed to this Facebook post stating that Sierra Nevada has been brewing IPAs since 1981, and that they acknowledge that there will be differences in opinion. The poster stated that “We don’t harbor any ill will toward Lagunitas Brewing and are pleased that we can get back to making great beers.” In a blog post on their site, Sierra Nevada asserted that they “have no interest in [their] products being confused with any other brand.”
So, it seems over. However, the folks over at Lagunitas won’t forget it for awhile:
Today, January 13th 2015, has been the worst day ever in 23 years of growing my brewery. Worst. Growing a biz involves defending a biz… — LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) January 14, 2015
While I won’t say it’s the worst day in *my* life, I will say that I hate it when two businesses I love don’t get along. C’mon. Let’s all drink it out.