Abnormal faces legal battle against 3 Floyds

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by toolbrew, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. toolbrew

    toolbrew Zealot (573) Feb 26, 2008 Indiana

  2. BeersandBread

    BeersandBread Initiate (196) Jan 20, 2016 California

    Neither of them compete in the same market. Nobody is confused.
    Not that i like the way Abnormal dealt with their past head brewer but 3 Floyd’s is being a bitch.
    mambossa, azorie, RobNewton and 4 others like this.
  3. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (252) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    So a trademark for a slogan is getting mixed up with a brewery who's name has normal in it? At least according to attorney's? Attorney's must really think consumers are stupid.

    It's not even a brewery name vs brewery name dispute.

    Is three Floyd's even really known for that slogan?

    It's like Nike suing a 'Do It' t shirt company. Or suing every tshirts company that has IT on their shirt.
  4. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,080) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    A client demanding a stupid position be taken is not unheard of in the legal profession.
  5. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (252) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Three Floyd's uses religious God figures, skeletons, and a whole bunch of other misc. stuff usually thrown together like a random sketchbook drawing for 90% of their bottle/can work. A lot of it looks like they stole inspiration from various artists and art styles. They are really one to talk here. Pretty sure 90% of it is trademarked by someone in some capacity.
    PatrickCT likes this.
  6. MFMB

    MFMB Meyvn (1,030) Jan 23, 2015 Idaho

    Wait, my bam3 didn’t taste like soy sauce so what is the confusion about?
    Yabu and RobNewton like this.
  7. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,689) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Wonder why the guy in the first picture is flipping the bird at us when the picture is taken if their post is intended as a "thank you?" The action and the words don't match up.
  8. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,689) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    It is, however, safe to say, based on comments by the Abnormal folks in the interview, that they lack an understanding of certain aspects of trademark law.
    RobNewton likes this.
  9. Beerbom

    Beerbom Zealot (588) Dec 20, 2014 California

    Screw FFF...this is bullshit. Just go F yourselves FFF In fact I'm getting a patent on the "F word" and I'm suing your asses for patent infringement for being FFF. I'll take down drie fonteinen too for being 3F. I'm officially boycotting any and all FFF shit. I've only had a few Abnormal beers as I'm in NorCal but this is about principle and the big guys pushing the little guys around. What a bunch of assholes at FFF. I'm a small business owner and we've had "the big guys" try and push us around before too and it's a pretty helpless feeling.
  10. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (252) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    The first picture is from a month back when abnormal met up with FFF and apparently squashed any beef. Then they get a surprise this past week. Unless it's in writing, craft beer is surrounded by snakes anymore. No longer pure and clean and about the craft.
  11. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,689) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    That's my point I guess. If that photo was from a month back, why is he flipping the bird to viewers of the picture?
    Beerbom likes this.
  12. DoghouseReilly3946

    DoghouseReilly3946 Initiate (159) Aug 17, 2018 Kentucky

    I just got a six pack of Zombie Dust (08/21/18) that was way off taste wise and really lacking in flavor. Intimidation tactics plus poor quality control coupled with a higher price point, 3 Floyd’s, you are making it very easy for me to pass up on your beer.
    tzieser, HopsAreDaMan and Beerbom like this.
  13. skelliott

    skelliott Initiate (68) Jul 2, 2013 California

    the person flipping the bird is nick floyd. read the caption.
  14. Thirst_trappist

    Thirst_trappist Aspirant (208) Jan 18, 2016 Florida

    what's the story with past head brewer? Can you fill me in?
    Beer_Economicus likes this.
  15. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (873) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I really apologize, but I don't give a flip.
  16. Tamarack

    Tamarack Initiate (52) Sep 22, 2016 Massachusetts

    Any 3 Floyds staff active users on the forums? Let's get them in here
  17. BrewsOverHoes

    BrewsOverHoes Defender (633) Nov 17, 2013 Georgia
    Premium Trader

    Have you met the friendly folks at Scofflaw Brewing of Atlanta?
  18. BeersandBread

    BeersandBread Initiate (196) Jan 20, 2016 California

    So the head brewer left because his fiancé got a job in Sacramento. That guy made abnormal what it is. Great brewer, he was able to get relationships with other great breweries like JWB. Hype grew. Abnormal wouldn’t give him any ownership stake. The last beer he made was the Pappy Barrel series 1-4. They were supposed to give him something like 6-12 bottles of each one. He left and they wouldn’t give him any beers. Zero.
    This is all hearsay but if any of that’s true it’s pretty fucked up.
    Brewer set up Moksa and has continued making great beers, abnormal hasn’t put out anything original.
    mig100 and Thirst_trappist like this.
  19. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (454) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    Wow, how lame of FFF. Their core beer is lackluster at best these days, so I guess they find other ways to bring attention to themselves outside of DLD.
  20. Thirst_trappist

    Thirst_trappist Aspirant (208) Jan 18, 2016 Florida

    Derek left to set up moksa

    And the other guy set up INU...right?
  21. pjeagles

    pjeagles Initiate (139) May 29, 2005 New Mexico

    Having had the "pleasure" of meeting Nick Floyd and plenty of the Three Floyds staff over the years, I have no doubt why he's flipping us all off. Just not pleasant people, from the door guy on. I hate to generalize, but a culture of bad attitude permeates the place. Nice that there's more options now.
  22. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,689) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Your personal experiences match with some things I've heard. I don't think I'd be comfortable thinking I'd reached an agreement with someone like that or even someone who just flips off viewers of pictures.
    tzieser likes this.
  23. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,080) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    My reaction to being flipped off is immediate and permanent.
  24. eppCOS

    eppCOS Crusader (749) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    FFFail. Truly disappointing. Won't be buying anymore FFF(off) until they drop this suit.
    This is why we can't have nice things.
  25. AyatollahGold

    AyatollahGold Champion (859) Nov 28, 2016 Indiana

    I personally think this is stupid and feel like it's bad for craft beer anytime this happens. But I do understand these places have to fight for their trademarks. What I think is funny even more tho is the hate when only some breweries do this. If this was Treehouse, Trillium, or Toppling Goliath, people would be boycotting Abnormal. That being said, I do hope Abnormal doesn't have to spend too much (if any) and they win. I don't see their name affecting FFF business.
  26. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (231) Jun 4, 2005 California

    I don't see any FFF beers in NorCal, maybe they distro to SD? Or perhaps both breweries distribute to coveted NV territory :rolling_eyes:
  27. pjeagles

    pjeagles Initiate (139) May 29, 2005 New Mexico

    You think that if lawyers for Treehouse or Trillium sent a letter to Abnormal telling them they had to change their name or else, that people would boycott Abnormal?
    beertunes likes this.
  28. AyatollahGold

    AyatollahGold Champion (859) Nov 28, 2016 Indiana

    It wouldn't surprise me and I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility. But I was just stating the differences between "hype" and "in" breweries and what they do compared to others. And I don't think that if this would be Treehouse, Trillium, or Toppling Goliath right now instead of FFF that people would even mention not buying their product. I mean Toppling Goliath is going after an old brewer of theirs that left to start a business with his brother. Do you think that stopped people from going to Morning Delight?
  29. pjeagles

    pjeagles Initiate (139) May 29, 2005 New Mexico

    I don't think you're wrong when it comes to hot/beloved breweries getting the benefit of the doubt when it comes to legal matters, but I just can't see anyone actually finding a reason to boycott Abnormal over this matter no matter who has the complaint.
    AyatollahGold likes this.
  30. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,080) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    I think a number of people might find this a reason to support Abnormal.
    Yabu likes this.
  31. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Zealot (530) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    Actually they have used famous local Chicago artists for lots of their bottles. Are you claiming Chicago's local artists are thieves? I think they would choose to differ with you on your accusations.

    I'm really astounded by breweries not spending a little bit on lawyers and doing some research before they name their breweries. 4,000 breweries these days you are going to step on people's toes if you don't do your due diligence.

    Considering FFF has been using "It's not normal" for well over a decade if not longer, I can perfectly see their position if a new brewer could be perceived to intrude on their slogan. Considering AB sued over someone trying to use "Queen of Beers" this lawsuit isn't a far fetched as people are making it out to be. Is a name change going to adversely affect the finished product at Abnormal?

    That's his thing. He flicks off the camera, it isn't normal, but he does it. When you see people taking photos with him at Dark Lord Day he is throwing out the finger.
  32. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,391) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    When will Stone go after Worthy brewing in Bend?

    There will be more trademark C&D's, as there were 6,372 breweries in operation at the end of 2017 according to the Brewers Association.
  33. cmukid87

    cmukid87 Aspirant (271) Jan 30, 2017 Michigan

    Ding ding ding. I stopped FFF once, last summer. Pulled into the parking lot about 15 minutes after they opened on a Saturday afternoon. 4 cars parked there but there were a few couples standing outside. I walk in and notice 2 tables with people and a guy at the bar. I ask to be seated, they look at me like I'm out of my mind for asking such a thing. "Theres a 30 minute wait. Stand outside with everyone else" I laughed in their face, turned around and left, never to be seen again.
    beertunes and Squire like this.
  34. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Indeed. Nobody's confusing the two.

    FFF, IMO, is decidedly in the wrong here. Especially if they shook hands and insinuated that everything was OK.

    Indeed. If FFF wanted the TM, they should have applied for it.

    The Abnormal trademark actually existed prior with no issues with 3 Floyds, which is why we’ve been so stumped as to why they’re fighting us so much on this. A company out of Singapore I believe owned the Abnormal trademark prior, which eventually expired as they were no longer using it. We applied for it right after and have been met with opposition from 3 Floyds. This opposition then spread to involve our winery mark as well, which is confusing since they do not produce any wine.

    If I was in their market, I certainly would.

    It, absolutely, is. Abnormal =/= It's not normal, but Queen of Beers is certainly stolen directly from King of Beers. There's no confusion between the two businesses AND, more importantly, they are not in direct competition with each other. This is a publicity stunt, at best.

    Probably not, but it IS going to cost them a decent amount of time, effort, and money to rebrand.
  35. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (547) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    This case sounds similar to Bell's vs Innovation, where a larger/older craft brewer's marketing slogan was up against a smaller brewery's name. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled in favor of Innovation Brewing. FFF's claim to "abnormal" seems even weaker than Bell's claim to "innovation" [to my untrained legal eye], because in Bell's case at least the same word, ("innovation") was used. FFF is saying "it's not normal" slogan will be confused "Abnormal brewing," ...different words. A factor in the Board's decision against Bells was Bells didn't use the slogan on the beer labels/packaging; and from I can tell, FFF doesn't use their slogan on their labels either.
  36. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    This is the situation that immediately came to mind when I read this thread. You would have figured that FFF would have been aware of the situation and the ruling, but, instead, chose to unnecessarily force a small brewery to spend thousands of dollars in attorney's fees. Bitch move, IMO.
    elohim, Ranbot and Squire like this.
  37. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Zealot (530) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    They have used it on bottles and 6 pack holders in the past and on a few current seasonals....
    AyatollahGold likes this.
  38. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (547) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Fair enough. My "research" was just a brief look at few images of bottles on their website.
    RobNewton and AyatollahGold like this.
  39. AyatollahGold

    AyatollahGold Champion (859) Nov 28, 2016 Indiana

    I will say they do use it on bottles and 6 pack holders. More so than not. Even hats and some merchandise. But I still do not think there is any confusion between the two.
    Ranbot likes this.
  40. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (252) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    ^Thanks @Ranbot for reminding me of what I was trying to remember with Bells and Innovation.

    Looking back, wasn't their mark technically unregistered, and merely stated "bottling innovation since 1985", which they felt got confused with an actual brewery that is merely named Innovation Brewery?

    This case feels eerily similar although FFF may own the slogan trademark for "This is not normal". 'This is NOT normal' has been on t shirts, coasters, and such for many years for FFF. Does an average consumer relate NOT normal, or anything NORMAL in it with FFF? I think not. Slogans maybe other than King of Beers are complete crap for craft breweries. I can't remember a single slogan or trademark that a small to mid brewery has "coined" and trademarked.

    Unless im just way off and they are merely fighting over the trademark that fell off and Abnormal picked up on. Was FFF looking to own the Abnormal trademark, even though none of their markings have that in branding? It just looks really bad for FFF. Almost like jealously that they couldnt get a trademark that isnt even gonna be used by them. Like others are saying Abnormal =/= This is not Normal. So what are they gonna do with a Abnormal trademark? Did they want to own everything with NORMAL in it?
    Ranbot and Thirst_trappist like this.