News Cerveceria Costa Rica (Magic Hat) Suing West Sixth Brewing

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Nutwood, May 21, 2013.

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  1. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    This has not hit any news wires yet that I can find, but the conglomerate Cerveceria Costa Rica is attacking a little brewery in Lexington, Ky.

    Basically they are sueing over a logo, saying the the 6 in West 6th is an upside down 9, as in Magic Hat #9.

    Cerveceria Costa Rica acquired North American Breweries in October 2012. (Genesee Brewing Company, Dundee Brewing Company, Pyramid, Magic Hat,MacTarnahan's)

    I don't work for West 6th, nor do I know anyone who works there. I do like their IPA very much. I only know about this because I live in Kentucky and follow West 6th on FB.
  2. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Their website won't load for me. Edit: finally.

    For comparison


    Commence with the fake innernet legal speak.
    JxExM, jRocco2021, Sarlacc83 and 6 others like this.
  3. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    I think the petition is getting a ton of traffic.
  4. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    While they are at it the should sue everyone who uses the letter g. It looks a lot like a 9.
  5. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

  6. StJamesGate

    StJamesGate Poo-Bah (3,660) Oct 8, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    Magic Hat shouldn't worry - nobody will ever confuse #9 with beer.
  7. Mattco

    Mattco Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2011 Illinois

    I am bringing a suit against Magic Hat for making poor "crafty" beer.
  8. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    Maybe we can settle the whole thing with a blind taste test. Better tasting beer gets ownership of the loser's entire brewery.
  9. elBecko

    elBecko Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Kentucky

    West Sixth is a great company who is very involved in the community (also, their beer is DELICIOUS). Although the lawsuit is frivolous and petty, the point is to financially damage West Sixth as much as possible.

    This is not the first time that Magic Hat has taken on a TRUE craft brewery, either.

    Please support local beer, and sign the petition! (It's getting so much traffic, it might take a while to load)

    (As with the above poster, I have no stake in the issue and am not affiliated with West Sixth.)
  10. Jake_Ramrod

    Jake_Ramrod Initiate (180) Feb 19, 2013 Kentucky

    Although there are certainly some similarities between the two logos, I can't see how this would stand-up in court. Does Magic Hat simply own all logos with a circular design incorporating the number nine AND the number six? The thing is, West Sixth doesn't need to be spending money on frivolous lawsuits only one year removed from their Grand Opening. Typical BS from a big box brewery. West Sixth makes a fantastic IPA. Hopefully, they will continue to grow as quickly as they have been without sacrificing quality, so they can afford to fight this BS.
  11. Jake_Ramrod

    Jake_Ramrod Initiate (180) Feb 19, 2013 Kentucky

    Their website has crashed several times as people have flooded it to sign the petition. Just keep trying. This is an easy way to stand up for what is right.
  12. harperman69

    harperman69 Aspirant (234) Feb 11, 2009 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    I sell beer in two different businesses, restaurant and C-store. I'll let my distributor know that I will no longer carry Magic Hat.
    audioserf, Gtg642, Scalzo and 41 others like this.
  13. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Where did you come up with that?
    JG-90 and RobertColianni like this.
  14. elBecko

    elBecko Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Kentucky

    They are not just asking West Sixth to change their logo, Magic Hat is also demanding all of their profits up to this point. If the lawsuit isn't dropped, and West Sixth fights it in court, that's also not going to be cheap, especially for a company that just had its first birthday.
  15. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I can say that I have never confused the two logos.

    Then again, Ive never shopped for beer while standing on my head, which is the only way they are even remotely similar.
    dianimal, Hobo, Doc_Hops and 7 others like this.
  16. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I will see that if West 6th was using a NINE and they werent located in a location that using a nine would make sense, like West 9th street in Lexington, then this lawsuit might make sense.

    But as every 6 is an upside down 9, and the logo isnt really similar in color or smeariness, then I dont see it. But Im not a lawyer.

    And as their name involves a 6, the logo is, of course, going to involve a six.
  17. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Can you also post it with the West 6th logo right side up? I only ask because I think that is a fairer comparison (or contrast).
    Zach136 and hardy008 like this.
  18. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    The suit has no merit, but W6th will still have to show up in court and prove that. That will cost a lot of money to a tiny company like W6th, but it ain't spit to Magic Hat and the off shore conglomerate that backs them.

    Unfortunately this is a common practice, and often the costs can be enough to break a small company. One hell of a way for one American to treat another if you aked me. Oh, wait. Magic Hat is owned by a Costa Rica based conlgomerate.
    Zach136 likes this.
  19. cookiequiz

    cookiequiz Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2013 California

    courtesy of google:
    Gatch likes this.
  20. woosterbill

    woosterbill Poo-Bah (2,616) Apr 6, 2009 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    If the brewery were East 9th and were using the logo in the picture, then I think they'd have a point. As it is, it's a stretch to say the least.

    The telling feature of this story, and what sets it apart from the myriad trademark squabbles that we've seen between craft breweries over the years, is the addition of the lawsuit seeking monetary damages. From reading West 6th's account, it doesn't sound like they received a cease-and-desist ahead of time giving them the option of rebranding and avoiding court costs.

    Magic Hat's corporate overlords just went straight for the jugular.
    cheers55 and Nutwood like this.
  21. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Thanks. Right side up, I dont see any similarity at all. I just thought it was important to view them without playing games with them.

    I think I agree. If they were East 9th, I think it would be an interesting case that I could see going either way, but would probably be a valid concern.

    As West 6th, I dont see it at all.
    fredmugs likes this.
  22. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Circular logo
    Both have a number
    Both have an 8 pointed star

    Smeary background vs solid
    Number is centered vs number off centered and part of circle
    Different font
    Star is different
    One has a # symbol

    Im sure graphic designers could point out other similarities/differences, but those are the ones I see.

    The two big deals are the Star and the Number. The star is similar but not exact, I could see it being an issue if other things were similar too. On the other hand, the number is entirely different as 6 != 9.
  23. chimneyjim

    chimneyjim Aspirant (273) Jun 23, 2004 Oregon

    My uninformed legal guess is the logos are similar enough (when upside down at least) -- even to the star in the same place as the number sign -- that West 6th will have to go back to the drawing board, unfortunately for them.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  24. harperman69

    harperman69 Aspirant (234) Feb 11, 2009 Tennessee
    Beer Trader




    MattXT, audioserf, Gtg642 and 109 others like this.
  25. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Judging it upside down seems silly. I mean, yes, if it was exact or something upside down, then sure, but I think judging them right side up makes more sense, in my uninformed legal opinion. Also, the star isnt in the same place as the number sign. Upside down, its upper left vs lower left.
  26. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    Also one is on a brown bottle of cloying malty crap, the other is on a silver can filled with crisp hoppy deliciousness.
    yesyouam, Shagator, hardy008 and 3 others like this.
  27. Sponan

    Sponan Aspirant (220) Jan 20, 2008 Tennessee

    The first time I saw the West 6th logo was with a group. First comment was "It looks like Magic Hat #9 upside down." Second comment was, "That's a lawsuit waiting to happen."
    Blanco, AReed, cbeer88 and 10 others like this.
  28. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Weird, never occurred to me.

    Knowing nothing about you, I wonder if it differs between thought patterns and stuff. I see two numbers, a six isnt a nine and isnt even close. All that other stuff I mentioned above I had to look at closely to even notice. Im an engineer, not an artist.
  29. Chrome_Dome

    Chrome_Dome Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2012 Ohio

    yes, the "W" in west 6th is also obviously just an upside-down "M" from Magic Hat......
    McJedster, yesyouam, DougC123 and 3 others like this.
  30. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    Just a thought, I'm not so sure W6th should even want to take the slightest chance at their product being confused with such a vastly inferior product as Magic Hat #9.
  31. sefus12

    sefus12 Aspirant (221) Sep 7, 2006 Kentucky

    As a proud member of KY's growing craft beer scene, I will certainly stand up for West Sixth. I've met those guys several times and their IPA is the best year-round KY beer available and stands up well to most any IPA. The guys are great and West Sixth is very involved in the Lexington scene. I too have no "connection" to West Sixth other than the fact that their IPA is one of my 3 go-to's for a hoppy fix and something you will almost always find in my fridge. I really hope this gets tossed out as I hate to see them have to waste a penny fighting a giant company pushing a bad product and only trying to hurt one of the great up-and-coming breweries out there.

    On a side note, i've never liked Magic Hat's #9 logo and I think West Sixth's logo kicks ass.
  32. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    You need to slow your roll, man. This is like the 400th time something similar has been posted to BA and everybody got all outraged, chances are, everything will work out ok. Maybe not perfect, but ok.
    JG-90 likes this.
  33. sintral

    sintral Initiate (0) May 21, 2013

    These two beers will be confused by absolutely everyone who doesn't purchase craft brew.
    elgiacomo and WassailWilly like this.
  34. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    eh just kidding, sort of.
  35. klinger

    klinger Initiate (154) Oct 9, 2012 Ohio

    That is the test for trademark infringement. If the average person can see that one was derived from another. In this case Magic Hat has been around much longer, so West 6th would most likely lose. Sucks, though, that MH has to sue them over it. Just issue a cease and desist, and force West 6th to redesign.
    chimneyjim and kingcrowing like this.
  36. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,533) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    <<<<<<<<< I concur.

  37. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,794) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

  38. SirBottlecap

    SirBottlecap Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2013 California

    I've never heard of West 6th. They're my new favorite brewery.
    yesyouam, papat444, semibaked and 3 others like this.
  39. backbaybrewer

    backbaybrewer Initiate (148) Feb 26, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader


    I can actually see their argument. It's not just that it's an upside down 9. It's that its the exact same shape, and also has that star in the exact same place as the "#" in the number 9. It's a legitimate trademark dispute.

    Having said that, even if you agree that it's a legit trademark dispute, Magic Hat and their parent company are complete douches for suing. They could just summon the inner craft brewer they used to possess and allow West Sixth to use the logo with permission.

    But, what do you expect from a company that used to be the creme de la creme of Vermont craft brewers and now can't even be considered in the top 10 best breweries in VT. Worlds behind small operations like HF and Alchmist. It's just sour grapes, and not the good kind that you find in St. Lamvinus. ZING!!!
    cbeer88, Dizbro21, craigo19 and 7 others like this.
  40. ryhayes

    ryhayes Initiate (162) Jan 21, 2013 Ohio

    Ohhhh, there you go, now I see it.
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