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Coronado Brewing Co. Sues Elysian

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by crvcac, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. crvcac

    crvcac Aficionado (160) California Feb 26, 2010

  2. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Speaking of idiots...
  3. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) California Dec 31, 2008

    I cannot wait for people to comment on the merit of the lawsuit based on which brewery/beer they like better
  4. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,255) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    Kopfschuss likes this.
  5. tozerm

    tozerm Savant (400) Washington Jul 1, 2005

    This kind of lawsuit nonsense is not a positive for the craft brew industry whatsoever. What's next? Are they going to sue Lagunitas for using the word Stoopid in a beer name? Or is Lagunitas going to sue them for using it....

    A quick search through BA shows numerous beers with the word Devil in the name... can they all expect nasty letters from Coronado's attorneys?
  6. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,255) Washington Sep 24, 2007

  7. Rempo

    Rempo Initiate (0) Indiana Jan 18, 2010

    Definitely going to follow the same pattern as every trademark lawsuit thread. Definitely. Uh oh, ten minutes to Wapner.
    adamdd, gpawned and Levitation like this.
  8. If they sue Weyerbacher they will have a tough fight blithering Idiot has been around for ever. I am not sure which one is older. I am sure I will not be purchasing any Coronado anytime soon
  9. jklinck

    jklinck Savant (255) Washington Jul 23, 2007

    While the lawsuit itself may have some legal merit the thing I take issue with is this statement "the defendant's goods (Elysian beers) are not of the same quality as CBC's (Coronado beers)".

    GABF Medals
    Elysian: 14
    Coronado: ZERO

    The actual beers at question in the suit BA scores
    Coronado Idiot IPA: 3.98 w/258 reviews
    Elysian Idiot Sauvin IPA: 3.9 w/63 reviews

    Both beers have a good amount of reviews and pretty similar scores. 0.08pts over someone else's beer isn't really enough leverage to be trash talking like Coronado is. Especially when neither of the beer's are in BA's top 50.
    litheum94, ch3no2 and 66jzmstr like this.
  10. i'm sure this thread will contain level-headed discourse on the merits of the infringement claim, and no one will assume that words written by their lawyers are direct statements from cbc.
  11. July2Nov

    July2Nov Savant (415) Hawaii Aug 27, 2006

    Breaking News via Coronado Brewings facebook page.

    Coronado Brewing just became aware of a website by an attorney critiquing a matter between Coronado and Elysian Brewing. The attorney's commentary leaves a misperception of the matter and misrepresents Coronado's statements. (Go figure.) Coronado never said that Elysian's beer is a "knock off" or inferior to Coronado's fine brews. The language that the attorney is spinning is formal language r
    equired for a trademark dispute.

    Coronado and Elysian very quickly engaged in discussions and appear to have resolved this matter to both parties' satisfaction. In fact, Coronado and Elysian may explore cooperative projects with one another. Coronado and Elysian care about the craft brewing industry and both care about the public's ability to identify a craft beer with its brewer through its mark.

    Coronado encourages you to try both brewers' products.

    Ron Chapman

    Coronado Brewing Co.
    Kuemmelbrau, Holland and DrAwkward82 like this.
  12. Hmm..I enjoy an idiot IPA now and then...not any more. Can't stand this kind of stuff among craft brewers. Especially the line there in the new press release: caring about the public's ability to identify a craft beer. I think I'll figure it out, thanks.
    Lantern likes this.
  13. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (860) Michigan May 8, 2006

    Apparently brewers should forego copyrights, trademarks and the law. We should all be happy and allow everyone and anyone to potentially diminish their brands.

    I do not like these lawsuits amongst craft brewers but I understand why they exist. Let's let the businessmen conduct their business and let's try to keep the ignorant comments to a minimum unless we have some sort of understanding of what running a brewery involves.
  14. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) California Dec 31, 2008

    maybe you should read the post above yours... or rush to judgement
  15. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    As representatives hired by cbc, they are direct statements from cbc. They hired the lawyers to make legal statements on their behalf. They have to stand behind them now.
  16. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    You can protect your trademarks without lawyers being involved. That is step 2 (or 3 or possibly even 4). Its not at all clear whether Coronado attempted the easier and less lawyer intensive (and better PR) steps.
  17. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (860) Michigan May 8, 2006

    I will agree with that but based on the statement made by the CEO and the lack of complete information available people really ought to stop making ridiculous, wildly uninformed comments.
  18. I did. In fact I referenced it in my post. It talks about craft beer buyers not not being able to identify which beer they're buying. I think that's ridicuous.
  19. Bad reporting by beerpulse IMO.

    a) the suit was filed in May, it doesn't appear that they attempted to get an update on the suit from either brewer.
    b) the owner of CBC claims it's all good between them and Elysian, they've reached an agreement, and are cool to possibly collaborate with each other in the future.
    c) I believe it was this columnists first article for beerpulse, a lawyer, who wanted to show off his legal knowledge, unfortunately he chose to do so with an outdated/non-story/resolved issue. He also seemed to have a bias in favor of Elysian.
  20. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) California Dec 31, 2008

    I still don't think we are talking about the same thing. I was referring to the response by CBC (I copied it below), which clears up a lot of the speculating and drama. I believe tjensen sums it up fairly well in his post (also below)

  21. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) California Dec 31, 2008

    can you protect your license without lawyers? Sure, but there are many reason not to, or that make it non-practical. I know everyone loves to quote the RR and Avery situation, but part of the deal there is they were already friends and well acquainted.

    CBC and Elysian might not really know each other, and CBC may not know how they would have reacted. Sending this notification is not insulting ones mother, it is simply stating "hey just letting you know there might be an issue". You have to read beyond the legal BS and understand the meaning of the document. Honestly, what I would do is send the legal document and then call the brewer a little bit before the letter arrives to give them a heads up and let them no there is no ill will. The reason I would send the doc is because it serves as a time stamp and legal document that will only help make my case stronger if there ever was an issue (whether with Elysian or anyone else in the future).
  22. jivex5k

    jivex5k Advocate (660) Florida Apr 13, 2011

    They should make a beer together and call it collaboration not litigation....oh wait.
    They might get sued for that.
    DavoleBomb and Duff27 like this.
  23. Big waste of money by Coronado. Can't wait til they increase prices to pay for this lawsuit.
  24. Hey nano, This is the part I was talking about:

    "the public's ability to identify a craft beer with its brewer through its mark."

  25. that's standard language for an infringement claim.

    people freak out way too much about these things.

    legal statements sure, but people who apparently don't know how trademark infringement cases work are up in arms screaming about how elysian got strait up dissed y0 omfg
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  26. funkel81

    funkel81 Savant (465) California Jan 23, 2011

    does having a word in the title of your beer make it illegal for another brewery to use said word in the title of their beer? i'm just confused as to why cbc would make any issue out of this at all...
  27. So does Coronado have an issue looking at the giant font on the label that says ELYSIAN right above the name of the beer?... this to me clearly distinguishes the beer as Elysian and not Coronado. I notice the name of the Brand before the name of the beer. Extremely easy to identify who brews it, which seems to be the heart of the issue here with Coronado.
  28. the standard is an average consumer.

    that's why red racer ipa was challenged by bear republic (people would confuse it for racer 5 and/or red rocket, especially given the similar fonts / designs / color schemes). i'm a beer geek and i was thrown for a second when i saw it. branding, especially subconscious cues like color and font, is an important part of a company's identity. that's also why lost abbey sued over the celtic cross.

    i don't know about the labels in question, but if they are similar enough that most people would get confused (and that's what the claim asserts), then cbc has grounds. that they CAN be told apart isn't the question; it's whether most WILL be able to.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  29. I have looked at both labels and both breweries seem to put front and center who they are with much smaller font for the name of the beer - though I am drawn to the name of the beer for CBC first but the name of the brewery in Elysian's case. I feel that the average craft beer consumer would have no issue distinguishing them if they were placed side by side in front of them. Maybe they are referring to a hypothetical situation where it was brought up in conversation and confused between the two, but I feel that even the average consumer could tell the difference by looking at the label for no more than 5 seconds. Then again maybe I am giving too much credit to the average consumer.
  30. danmc

    danmc Aficionado (150) California Mar 16, 2007

    "The unsuspecting consumer can be angered by this misleading advertisement." I often confuse monkeys with mermaids, and am now quite angry that I have been mislead.
    beertunes, 66jzmstr and jivex5k like this.
  31. funkel81

    funkel81 Savant (465) California Jan 23, 2011

    lawyers suck.

    (please don't sue me for libel)
  32. like i said, i don't know about the specifics of THIS case, and it's possible the labels are quite distinct.

    but yes, the standard is a lot lower than someone who spends a few hours a day on a website devoted to the products in question. :) though i have been confused by red racer (as stated above), de molen / north coast rasputin, and heretic evil twin vs. evil twin brewing (i thought evil twin had made a beer called heretic, and i passed on buying it - because mikkeller is mediocre at best, and i'm pretty sure that kind of banality runs in the family).

    as always in threads like this, i point out that no one would be upset if coronado were suing bmc. it's business, not kumbaya.
    Beerandraiderfan and nanobrew like this.
  33. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (860) Michigan May 8, 2006

    Have you owned a business or have you ever had to worry about anything like this? It is really easy to chalk this up to nonsense until it is your product or trademark. I am sorry but anyone who does not own a trademark or runs a business probably does not have a relevant or informed opinion on this matter.
  34. I agree with you. Though regarding your last line, I do not mind the trademark infringement suits that are brought up - I know trademarks can be an integral part of a business and its ability to stay in business and separate itself from the crowd. However, my issue lies with seemingly frivilous suits. To me its obvious that the beers are produced by different brewers by just looking at the labels. I feel that in these cases it would be a good thing/more useful not to look to the average consumer in general but rather look at the average person who buys that type of product - it seems like a much more logical connection to ask a person who will actually buy craft beer about the issue than a person into model airplanes about a craft beer issue. It may not be how it is done necessarily but it just makes more sense IMO.
  35. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) California Dec 31, 2008

    to you this is easy. You know of these breweries. Have you ever had a conversation about craft beer with someone who is only casually familiar with it? You hear a lot of weird things. People think Sam Adams is a specific beer, others think Fat Tire is a brewery. I could see the concern. Someone tries a beer, they tell their friend. Hey I had this awesome (terrible) beer, it was an IPA, I forget who brewed it but it was called Idiot.

    Also, what about when the beer is on tap? This happened to me between these two beers:


    I was at a bar with 60+ taps in SoCal, not impossible to have the Alpine version. All the board said was Nelson IPA. I ordered it and was sad when I saw him pull the Widmer tap handle.
    Levitation, ehammond1 and Rempo like this.
  36. Rempo

    Rempo Initiate (0) Indiana Jan 18, 2010

    So far so good...
  37. funkel81

    funkel81 Savant (465) California Jan 23, 2011

    this case seems a lot different to me. 2 beers both called nelson, this i can see it being confusing. i dont know, i feel like when you add an adjective, verb, etc you make it different. if my dad's name is nelson and i call a beer Father Nelson, am i going to get sued or hit with a c&d? just seems silly to me
  38. So this is what it sounds like when doves cry.
    tyrsis and BeerFan95 like this.
  39. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Savant (290) Nebraska May 25, 2005

    well, to be fair, a lot of people who own a trademark and run businesses probably do not have relevant or informed opinions on this matter either
  40. dedrinker

    dedrinker Savant (410) Kansas May 13, 2006

    go ahead and sue. I would like to sue beer geeks to shut up already.