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

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bradalmanac

    bradalmanac Initiate (139) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts

  2. elBecko

    elBecko Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Kentucky

    Here is an article from BeerPulse that lists many of the FIFCO (Florida Ice and Farm Company) beer brands.
  3. Jake_Ramrod

    Jake_Ramrod Initiate (183) Feb 19, 2013 Kentucky

    Um, what are they (Magic Hat) trying to say here? All they are saying is that we (Magic Hat) told them to stop using their design that we (Magic Hat) feel resembles our (Magic Hat, duh) design and start using a design that better incorporates their name - West Sixth .

    The truth here is that Magic Hat tried to bully West Sixth into changing their complete media presence, canning, distribution, etc. The "discussions" they are purporting consisted of Magic Hat telling West Sixth to cease and desist to which West Sixth gave them the proverbial finger.

    Nice try to deflect this Magic Hat. All this tells me is that they feel the heat of their actions. This is a new world we live in. The wrath of a scorned social media is the modern day version of picketing in front of the business.

    Kudos to West Sixth for sticking up for their cause.

    Are the logos similar? Sure, a little bit. But, lots of logos are similar. The question is "can you tell the difference" and do you think West Sixth is trying to sell their products by mimicking Magic Hat (of all breweries....). This is a simple bully case that is starting to backfire. This is a different world we live in now.
    FinbarrSaunders, rlcoffey and Nutwood like this.
  4. Levich

    Levich Disciple (336) Nov 14, 2011 Massachusetts

    I think Night Shift Brewing should sue Miller Coors for Third Shift.
    Poorpatz and hardy008 like this.
  5. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    My wife saw on facebook that West Sixth said as a year old start up - profits, what profits?
  6. DrinkSlurm

    DrinkSlurm Poo-Bah (1,817) Oct 3, 2007 New York

    I feel the need to weigh in on this...
    We, as the general public, are getting small pieces of this rift. He said she said. Who cares...
    I still won't stop buying magic hat (or west 6th if I ever see it)
    What are you supposed to do when 2 dogs fight?...just sit back and let it play out. Way too much attention on this.

    Did anyone else see the bruery apologize to babies (and they dont even have to)?
  7. litheum94

    litheum94 Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2008 California

    Love this part:

    "Yeah, and did you know that a “p” is just an inverted “d”? They’re totally the same letter!"

    Seriously, this seems like a stretch to me. And the fact that this is more than a "Cease and desist" seems a little much.
  8. chippo33

    chippo33 Meyvn (1,130) Feb 29, 2012 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    I hate to see Magic Hat win anything, but there is no chance in hell West Sixth will win this one.
  9. jdhowe

    jdhowe Disciple (368) Mar 18, 2013 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Thanks. FWIW I know Pyramid is co-owned alongside Portland Brewing Company, which seems to have at some point previous been MacTarnahan's (as it's listed in the article). Not sure when that changed, but they're the same operation as far as I can tell.
    Nutwood likes this.
  10. Nutwood

    Nutwood Aspirant (232) Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    I found this:

    Which is about Cerveceria Costa Rica's acquisition of North American Breweries. North American Breweries at the time was a shell for a capital investment company called KPS Capital Partners who used NAB to manage the following brands: Genesee Brewing Company, Dundee Brewing Company, Pyramid, Magic Hat, and MacTarnahan's. The company also managed Labatt USA, which imports Labatt.

    Cerveceria Costa Rica is somehow involved with Florida Farm and Ice, but I'm a little hazy on that part. Looks like they are into malternative and ice beers. I gather that at some point somebody swung a deal to import Pepsi into Costa Rica, and has parlayed that into a North American beer empire of sorts. NAFTA I guess.
  11. Blazer06

    Blazer06 Initiate (173) Jun 30, 2008 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I opened the link and then looked for the West Sixth logo to compare to the #9 logo they had pictured. Then realized it was a 6 and not a 9. Whoops. Can't join the mob, have to put the pitchfork away. Damn it.
  12. Shagator

    Shagator Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    And one says West Sixth Brewing in large letters. West Sixth comes in cans, and last I saw Magic Hat comes in bottles.
  13. Lordkrystic

    Lordkrystic Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Washington

  14. VTMoondog

    VTMoondog Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Vermont

    Living about 3 miles from Magic Hat, and knowing people who work there, as well as all the cool things they do in Burlington, I want to side with them, as I agree that the logos are at a glance, very similar, I think that to possibly bankrupt a fellow brewer, sucks.
    That being said. the one person who should lose their job over this....West Sixth's lousy, uncreative, graphic artist who completely lacks originality. Go back to art school, kiddo.
    jamvt, beertunes and kingcrowing like this.
  15. Lordkrystic

    Lordkrystic Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Washington

    What if he has never seen a Magic Hat label? You don't think that people can't be similarly creative?
  16. fritts211

    fritts211 Aspirant (210) Feb 19, 2011 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    Unfortunately, my Kentucky neighbor, magic hat comes in cans also.

    Really, everyone should read the cease and desist letters posted in bradalmanacs link. West sixths lawyer was hilarious, but they did agree in principle to minor logo changes, even though the case is kind of absurd. Pulling for west sixth to come out with a win, or at least minimal fiscal damage. When I return from my vacation, they will be the only ipa I buy for the rest of the summer... And my insatiable liver loves some ipas...
    Lordkrystic likes this.
  17. Lordkrystic

    Lordkrystic Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Washington

    and threatening to sue Georgetown because their porter is named after a local tavern.....9 LB. Hammer, pretty much sucks up any good will I could ever have to them. Freaking lame. Collaboration, not litigation.
  18. RblWthACoz

    RblWthACoz Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2006 Pennsylvania

    #9 is canned, as is Elder Betty. Or, soon to be on the EB.
  19. VTMoondog

    VTMoondog Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Vermont

    In a multi-billion dollar a year industry..ignorance is no excuse.
    kingcrowing likes this.
  20. Shagator

    Shagator Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    I had not seen them in cans so I stand corrected. What I dont understand is that MH wants the profits. Do they really think that people are going to the brewery and purchasing beer and thinking they are getting #9?

    Has anyone looked at the logo for HICu from MH? Looks a lot like Mt Dew
  21. fritts211

    fritts211 Aspirant (210) Feb 19, 2011 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    Seems their primary concern is confusion by association, more or less. Like they think customers will be confused that west sixth is a magic hat side project, or something similar. My legalese is a bit rusty, but that was the gist I got.
  22. HopsMatt

    HopsMatt Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2011 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    While I dont support Magic Hat at all in this, I really am having a hard time lending my support to West 6th. I dont care for West 6th at all, but thats just my opinion. Ive read all of the news about this including the new story about how Magic Hat says this is all false. I can see both sides of the issue, but in the end, I still think both companies produce mediocre beer.
  23. Shagator

    Shagator Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    Im not a lawyer nor do I have any experience and I guess legally it makes a little sense, but practically I dont see it. If the breweries had similar logos then it would make more sense. This is a brewery logo versus a specific beer from a brewery logo. Albeit it is probably Magic Hats most famous logo.
  24. Shagator

    Shagator Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    Have you been to the brewery? I dont care for the Amber at all but I like the IPA. However, the DIPA is great as is Snakes in a Barrel
    Cresant likes this.
  25. fritts211

    fritts211 Aspirant (210) Feb 19, 2011 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    I see what they're trying to claim, but it seems like pareidolia to me. Seeing what you want to see and all that. Hidden codes in the bible, Jesus water stains on the bathroom wall, and people using a version of your logo to cut into your sales profits. Plenty of paranoia at the top with seeing monsters in the shadows.

    Or magic hat are a bunch of pricks. I'm split on the issue of which it is.
    FinbarrSaunders likes this.
  26. SirBottlecap

    SirBottlecap Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2013 California

    Jimi's dad. He's good at sueing!
    Tballz420 likes this.
  27. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (743) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Sierra Nevada and Deschutes should sue one another over their beautiful majestic mountain labels then.
    cfaulman likes this.
  28. Frankinstiener

    Frankinstiener Aspirant (233) Jul 28, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Its lame that they are suing a small craft brewery. But honestly, they had to have ripped off that logo, way too similar. Same star and everything. I had never heard of that brewer, but had saw the label in peoples avatars on here and thought it was some sort of Magic Hat variety. Lame on both parties. Really lame that Magic Hat is suing but also lame to bite their logo. Even if they didn't do it on purpose, at least have the sense to realize that its way too similar. Why would you release a logo so similar to someone elses? I wouldn't want to confuse the consumer.
    kingcrowing likes this.
  29. HopsMatt

    HopsMatt Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2011 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    I have not.

    After reading everything that has been posted today, I wouldnt put it past West 6th to be doing this whole thing for publicity. I have nothing against West 6th other than what they are putting in cans and how they represent it as the best IPA out there.
  30. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (968) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Although I didn't see it before (probably because I don't ever see West Sixth) West Sixth's logo looks a lot like a rip-off of #9. The typeface, star, and round design are oddly similar. I'm a logo designer so I may see things differently than most.

    Yeah, none of you will probably never accidentally order a #9 instead of a West Sixth IPA but there's such a thing as intellectual property and it really doesn't have 100% to do with people confusing your brand. The #9 logo is extremely popular and most people would probably recognize that before the Magic Hat logo.

    Magic Hat has been in the business many years establishing their brand and despite BA beliefs they have made some good beer. I would be pissed off if some brand new place made something that similar to my logo. Magic Hat tried to settle by having them alter the logo a little in the article posted above but West 6th didn't budge. Seems childish on their part if that's true.
    jamvt, Sarlacc83, chimneyjim and 3 others like this.
  31. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Defender (609) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    The more I read about this the more pissed I get. Has craft beer become so corporate that we can expect breweries/"craft conglomerates" to sue each other over the design of their labels?

    I mean, godammit, this is about the beer isn't it?
  32. jucifer1818

    jucifer1818 Initiate (0) May 15, 2011 Florida

    Second. If your going to make crafty beer, at least do a good job at it.
    Mattco and Shagator like this.
  33. Shagator

    Shagator Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    The star and the number have been the center point of this argument and until tonight, I didnt know #9 had a star. The more I look at the pictures, the more I can kind of see the similarities, but I dont know if thats me trying to see it or not.

    I wonder what the company that designed the logo has to say.

    The sad thing is, #9 was one of the beers that got me into craft beer, although I dont drink it now but they seem to have a solid group of people working for them. I just dont see what they have to gain. I doubt anyone has actually confused the two when you actually have them both available in the same place. I dont know the exact footprint for West 6th, but most of the people around here know what West 6th is.

    Sorry, I know this was rambling
  34. Shagator

    Shagator Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    Just thought of something and I hope it isnt related. KY Ale (lexington brewing AKA Alltech) just released their IPA, also in a can. I hope this isnt a ploy to get more attention to take away from Alltechs IPA. Because one taste and that competition is over. Maybe I have been reading this thread all the related media and I am succumbing to the others opinions.
  35. Shagator

    Shagator Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    I dont think they portray their beers as the best out there. I surely dont think they are the best out there. I think they are as good as most of the IPAs that are available here. There are some that are better, but i like to support the local brewery and they do great things for the community. If you get a chance, you chould check out the brewery and try some of their offerings.
  36. cfaulman

    cfaulman Disciple (314) May 1, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader


    I took out the background of each logo and put them side by side next to eachother. I resized the images so that the "6/9" of each logo was the same size.

    IMHO there are definite differences between the two logos. The shape of the numbers are different, the curvature of the font is difference, the stars are not the same and not in the same location, and I had to flip West Sixth's logo 180 degrees for it to resemble a "9"

    I hope this side by side view helps point out the differences.
    PaulQuinn likes this.
  37. jeremy13586

    jeremy13586 Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2007 Pennsylvania

    If they change the design, will the trade value of the old cans go up?
    kingcrowing likes this.
  38. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Meyvn (1,481) Aug 29, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for sharing that article. The best part of it, in my opinion, is the link to the original legal correspondence between the lawyers for Magic Hat and the lawyers for West Sixth. One detail I thought was interesting is that the star/"dingbat" on the #9 logo isn't included in the registration for the #9 trademark, making it only subject to common law. So one of the biggest elements that people are using to draw the similarities wasn't part of Magic Hat's actual trademark registration.

    Furthermore, the Magic Hat brand manager in the Pitch Engine/New Brand article comes of as completely disingenuous. He suggests that West Sixth agreed to make several changes to resolve the lawsuit, but after reading the bulk of the exchange between the two lawyers, it seems clear to me that the Magic Hat lawyers continue to refuse to accept West Sixth's continued attempts to concede some trademark rights to Magic Hat.

    To me, it doesn't sound like West Sixth promised one thing then took it back so much as they initially started out willing to negotiate in good faith, then decided that a different tact was in order after it became clear that Magic Hat was not interested in arriving at a reasonable agreement. It was then they decided that they might be able to fight Magic Hat's expectation for overbroad trademark protection by a public campaign, and while I'm skeptical that this is a battle they ultimately have the resources to win (without severe financial implications), I certainly think they are in the right to fight it.
  39. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Meyvn (1,481) Aug 29, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    This is a great post because it shows how different the two things are even in a highly artificial context where the West Sixth logo isn't being used in a situation even close to it's actual context.

    They don't even have the same stylistic approach, so any consumer who honestly gets confused about West Sixth potentially being a Magic Hat product is either lazy or not paying attention at all.
    cfaulman likes this.
  40. BigJim5021

    BigJim5021 Zealot (592) Sep 2, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Someone should really send that HICu label to PepsiCo and see what they think about it.
    antzman likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.