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News AB InBev/10 Barrel in dispute with Mason's brewing over naming rights

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by BreakingMyBalls, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. BreakingMyBalls

    BreakingMyBalls Initiate (145) Apr 27, 2017 California
    Beer Trader

  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,280) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    Doesn't sound like it has reached the "lawsuit" stage to me.

    AB-Inbev Communications Manager for The High End:
     
  3. BreakingMyBalls

    BreakingMyBalls Initiate (145) Apr 27, 2017 California
    Beer Trader

    Edited title to reflect that.
     
    Loops likes this.
  4. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (830) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Sound to me like Mason's is trying to incite the Torches and Pitchfork Nation while being duplicitous at the same time.
     
    SuperWhip, Loops and drtth like this.
  5. Sixpoint

    Sixpoint Poo-Bah (1,585) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Supporter Subscriber Industry Beer Trader

    from another beer friend:

    "Well, 3 Floyds was brewing Apocalypse Cow back in 2008, predating 10 Barrel's use of Apocalypse in the name of a beer. Perhaps 3 Floyds should send a similar letter to 10 Barrel?

    EDIT: juicier info from my digging around trademarks because I was bored. So in February of 2014, 10 Barrel filed the trademark for "Apocalypse" and another for "Swill." Swill was denied, and "Apocalypse" has not been granted yet either. It has been under appeal since 9/7/17 and may be revoked/denied. Also, the brewery did not trademark its name until April 2014. They announced the acquisition by ABI in November 2014."


    Also interesting to note that 10 Barrel has very limited presence outside of the PNW, and virtually no penetration out east, let alone in Maine.

    Happy to see Mason's not immediately back down on this one - they have common law rights in their geographic area they could preserve, as does 3 Floyd's.
     
    DovGibor, rgordon, 66jzmstr and 4 others like this.
  6. Squire123

    Squire123 Poo-Bah (1,543) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Would this beer sell any less under a different name? Since no suit has been filed or Court made a ruling it would seem existing stock labels could be used up and the beer relaunched. A reverse David/Goliath scenario might result in favorable publicity as well.
     
    rgordon and EvenMoreJesus like this.
  7. kool-aid

    kool-aid Initiate (179) Apr 3, 2017 Vermont

    I don't know about Maine, but 10 Barrel is definitely all over Vermont and has been for a few years now.
     
  8. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (437) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Supporter

    Easiest route, IMO. Change the name, take the free publicity, and get on with it.
     
    jdell15 likes this.
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,280) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    Yeah, it's in New Jersey, too.

    Large Central Jersey AB House - High Grade Beverage:
    http://www.hgbev.com/beerspecialty.htm
     
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  10. ericwo

    ericwo Initiate (78) Aug 21, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Good luck to Mason's, whatever route they decide to take on this matter. This sounds like more of AB InBev just being a bully, which they are very good at.
     
    Lone_Freighter and Fitzy01 like this.
  11. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (437) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Supporter

    It's trademark protection. Everyone who has a trademark needs to protect it or they will risk losing the tm. Most of the time these things are resolved with no fanfare or bloodshed. People simply need to do their due-diligence when they name something that's going to represent their business. It's no frivolous affair.
     
  12. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (830) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Yeah, like they were in 2013 when they went after Apocalypse Brewing. :rolling_eyes:
     
  13. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (288) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    adding that Mason’s is much smaller, operates on the other side of the country from 10 Barrel, and their respective labels bear very little resemblance apart from sharing a single word (a word that is employed by a number of brewers no less)
    --------------------------

    This argument doesn't fly with me. 10 Barrel, like every other AB INBEV venture wants to be global and has gained market penetration in quite a few new markets. 10 barrel wants their beer (even if its brewed in OREGON or at a AB INBEV facility) to be side by side in stores in ME and people not be confused.

    Usually we see these fights play out between two medium size or two small players, who years down the line want their beers in those competing markets. 10 barrel is already in those markets. They may even be in stores when the ME brewery isn't even canning yet. Big $$$$ at play here. I see no win for Mason
     
    Fitzy01 likes this.
  14. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (830) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Well, upon further review, as @Sixpoint posted, apparently the trademark for "Apocalypse" has not yet been registered (and neither has "Apocalypse IPA" according to the trademark search I did). Both have been rejected by the USPTO and are under appeal (I think... ). This whole dispute may just go "poof".
     
    EvenMoreJesus and drtth like this.
  15. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (288) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    I just see it as, who has more money to waste. I wouldn't want to mess with AB INBEV. But that's just me. I do value Mason's eagerness to push this as far as they can though.

    Can AB INBEV even sue if no one owns a trademark or copyright? It seems like you could just tell AB INBEV to kick rocks. It's like the frivolous lawsuits I saw a while back with messageboards and 'newspaper' articles. This company was suing everyone and seeing what would stick. I wonder how many letters AB INBEV sends out with others in total fear of their tactics??

    i dont agree with AB, but I would feel hard pressed to spend "upgrade funds" to retain a lawyer
     
  16. Fitzy01

    Fitzy01 Disciple (305) Sep 6, 2014 Maine
    Subscriber

    Mason's is one of my favorites. Great food too! It really pisses me off that this "other" BIG company wants to take this to court. Hope everything works out for my Maine brewers! Hipster apocalypse and liquid rapture have awesome labels too.good luck guys!
     
    Lone_Freighter likes this.
  17. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (288) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    Okay. I think I saw the light.

    “To be clear, 10 Barrel is not seeking to interfere with your client or prevent the sales of any particular style of beer,” the letter read. “But it cannot allow Mason’s to sell beer that capitalizes off the goodwill 10 Barrel has generated in its “Apocalypse IPA” beer, or that otherwise undermines 10 Barrel’s trademark rights.”
    -----------
    What the hell kind of rights does 10 barrel think it has when @Sixpoint disputed them even having a trademark? This pisses me off. Straight bully tactics.
    Are these companies under any legal obligation to tell the true on these "friendly letters"? Or do most just cave in?

    I'm changing my tune here. Go get em' MASONS!
     
    ericwo, Lone_Freighter and Fitzy01 like this.
  18. Fitzy01

    Fitzy01 Disciple (305) Sep 6, 2014 Maine
    Subscriber

    Exactly!
     
    Lone_Freighter likes this.
  19. Sixpoint

    Sixpoint Poo-Bah (1,585) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Supporter Subscriber Industry Beer Trader

    10 Barrel does not have a registered trademark. They tried to get one, but the application was rejected.

    Futhermore, FFF has been making a beer with a similar name longer than anyone.

    And I don't think 10 Barrel has any sales in Maine right now.

    So conclude what you may.....but this one sounds like a pretty massive overreach.
     
    rgordon likes this.
  20. kool-aid

    kool-aid Initiate (179) Apr 3, 2017 Vermont

    FWIW, I had a can of Hipster Apocalypse last week and it was delicious. In no way would I remotely confuse it with a 10 Barrel product, or even be reminded of that company in any way by seeing the name or the label. But what would the lowly consumer know or understand...?
     
  21. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (437) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Supporter

    I thought it was being appealed? If so, they have a duty to protect it until said appeal is complete.

    Do they have a trademark on that beer?

    This is where these situations get squirrelly. If the parties are not in direct competition with each other, say 2 smaller regional breweries on the opposite sides of the country with no distribution footprint overlap, in my mind, there is no need for enforcement because there is no direct competition. Only when there is direct competition should naming rights become an issue.

    I would agree. No confusion between products in this case.
     
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