Red Bull files trademark complaint against Old Ox Brewery

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by RblWthACoz, Feb 9, 2015.

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  1. RblWthACoz

    RblWthACoz Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2006 Pennsylvania

    This is pretty silly. I do believe a riot would be in order. Or some type of beer community intervention.
    Hey Red Bull –

    You seem pretty cool. You sponsor snowboarders, adventure racers, rock climbers and motocross bikers. You launch people into space so that they can skydive back down to earth. That’s all really darn cool. For all I know, you’re reading this while strapping yourself into a Formula One racecar that is about to be lit on fire and jumped over a large chasm of some sort. How cool would that be? Feel free to give it a try.

    Here’s the thing, though. You are being extremely uncool to us at Old Ox Brewery. We are a small startup brewery in Ashburn, Virginia. We’re family-run, we love beer, and we love our community. For reasons that we cannot understand, you have attempted to strong arm us into changing our identity for the last 10 months because you believe folks might mistake Old Ox beer for Red Bull energy drinks. We respectfully disagree. The only similarity between our two products is that they are both liquids. You make non-alcoholic (but very extreme) energy drinks. We make delicious (but laid-back) beer. Our consumers are looking for two distinctly different experiences from our respective products.

    Basically you are holding us hostage with a list of demands that, if agreed to, would severely limit our ability to use our brand. Demands like, never use the color red, silver or blue; never use red with any bovine term or image; and never produce soft drinks. Do you own the color red? What about fuchsia, scarlet, crimson, or mauve? Are you planting your flag in the color wheel and claiming those shades for Red Bull? Do you claim exclusive rights to all things bovine? Do you plan to herd all heifers, cows, yaks, buffalo, bison, and steer into your intellectual property corral, too?

    When we refused to succumb to your demands, you responded by filing a formal opposition to not just our trademark but to the very name Old Ox Brewery. Way to step on our American dream. You say you are protecting your intellectual property rights, but your claim, in our opinion, is Red Bulls**t.

    We can only interpret your actions as one thing—bullying. You are a big Red Bully. Just like that mean kid from grade school pushing everyone down on the playground and giving us post-gym class wedgies. You are giving us one hell of a corporate wedgie. We don’t appreciate it and we sure as hell don’t deserve it.

    Is this really what you’re about? Are you a bully? Your extensive marketing campaigns (your glitzy advertising, your sponsored sports events, your death defying stunt shows, etc.) certainly don’t project that image. Take a hard look at your “case.” Can you honestly look at our brand and say, “this is a threat to my image?” We don’t think you can. Given that, we repeat our offer: We agree NEVER to produce energy drinks. In exchange, we are asking for one simple thing: Leave us alone. Drop this trademark dispute. The only people benefiting are the lawyers.

    Sincerely and Uninfringingly Yours,

    Chris Burns

    President – Old Ox Brewery




    FB page:

    (Mod note: Reformatted the OP's post, dropped in a clearer title, and added a bunch of related items for sharing purposes.)
    joelwlcx, Bonis, Horbar and 61 others like this.
  2. tkdchampxi

    tkdchampxi Initiate (0) Oct 19, 2010 New Jersey

    What a great letter! Someone over there can write!
  3. Hop-Droppen-Roll

    Hop-Droppen-Roll Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2013 Minnesota

    What an awesome reply. Cheers to Old Ox, ISO!
  4. Nick_Bousquet

    Nick_Bousquet Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2014 Virginia

    I literally live next door to this brewery, I walk to it. They are good guys over there and this is a real shame.
  5. pagriley

    pagriley Meyvn (1,023) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    Great response from the brewery. This seems like a massive stretch from RedBull who are just trying to bully the brewery with the threat of legal action (action that the brewery probably can't afford to defend). Dick move.
  6. Dupage25

    Dupage25 Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2013 Antarctica

    Actions like this should raise the question of whether or not lawsuits might be too easy to file in this country...

    Hopefully Red Bull loses and is forced to compensate the brewers for attorney fees.
  7. Nick_Bousquet

    Nick_Bousquet Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2014 Virginia

    I am all for tort reform...
    Redrover, kevanb, raveskdr and 8 others like this.
  8. parrotsnest

    parrotsnest Initiate (0) Aug 16, 2010 Washington

    Crap. We have no power over Red Bull like we did with Lagunitas... what do we do now? :\
    PsilohsaiBiN and jrnyc like this.
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,981) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Is Red Bull owned by Tony Magee!?!:confused:

    Cheers to Old Ox!!!
  10. Tpain518

    Tpain518 Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2013 New York

    If anything,this is good publicity for this brewery.
  11. BuxMontBeerLover

    BuxMontBeerLover Zealot (550) Jul 7, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I like Red Bull but "F" them...what a stupid, frivolous lawsuit. Is there really anyone that would associate Old Ox Brewery with Red Bull Energy Drink. SMH in disbelief that they have to go through this sort of harassment.
  12. RblWthACoz

    RblWthACoz Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Drink too much of Red Bull's crap and who knows what may happen. (Apparently...)
    Doctor_Bogenbroom likes this.
  13. Teen-o

    Teen-o Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2014 California

    Wow what a stretch by red bull. Hope they drop the lawsuit and old ox continues to grow.
    Doctor_Bogenbroom and RblWthACoz like this.
  14. Mongrel

    Mongrel Crusader (761) Feb 14, 2013 Maryland

    Hopefully they drop the lawsuit after the public backlash this awesome letter is sure to incite. Poor form, Red Bull, poor form.
    jrnyc and RblWthACoz like this.
  15. Fargrow

    Fargrow Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Michigan

    I would suggest a new slogan, like "Old Ox Makes You Feel Like You Can Fly"
  16. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,161) Mar 21, 2010 New York

    Wow, what a crock of shit by Red Bull. This lawsuit makes the Lagunitas lawsuit look like one that should have gone in front of the Supreme Court!
  17. lillitnn92

    lillitnn92 Initiate (0) Aug 22, 2009 Virginia

    I've left messages. Respectable, cuss free messages on RB's site and other places. This so asinine. I'm a fan of extreme sports and an ex skater/bmxer and this just hurts. I "loved" watching their tv events and youtube videos. I've never drank an energy drink thankfully, but if I ever decide to, it won't be RB. That reply letter was wonderfully written. Kudos to Chris.
  18. sdeese21

    sdeese21 Initiate (0) Jan 29, 2015 Louisiana

    They're so up their own ass.
    misternebbie likes this.
  19. Bdubbsyall

    Bdubbsyall Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2014 Illinois

    So they are okay with Shlitz - Red Bull XL, but they got their panties in a bunch over Old Ox?
    jhartley, RockAZ, cjgiant and 3 others like this.
  20. shadwow13

    shadwow13 Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2014 Ohio

    No Kidding that was well said and well thought out.
    jj139 and tkdchampxi like this.
  21. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    What I'm about to write has absolutely no bearing in a trademark dispute...

    ...but let's put it this way: if Red Bull were to diversify into alcoholic beverages--specifically beer--and named their brewery Old Ox Brewery, their VP of Marketing should be fired on the spot for approving such a laughably bad brand expansion effort.

    Old Ox brings none of the key Red Bull brand components into play--not from a visual/aesthetic standpoint, not from a brand identity standpoint. There is no common ground outside of the fact that an Ox and a Bull are both bovines (as the owner of Old Ox cleverly points out).

    On that same note, the Old Ox letter is a case study in brand identity. He clearly delineates what he and his brand stand for while simultaneously pointing out how silly this lawsuit is.

    PS - if you are about to write something about "you have to defend your trademark to keep it!", just stop. The need to defend a trademark doesn't mean that all "defenses" of said trademark are reasonable. I wish Old Ox had the money to take this to court so that Red Bull would get slapped on the wrist for filing a frivolous lawsuit.
  22. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (670) Mar 28, 2009 California

    For all I know, you’re reading this while strapping yourself into a Formula One racecar that is about to be lit on fire and jumped over a large chasm of some sort. How cool would that be? Feel free to give it a try.....haha! That's was such a great opening!

    I never drink redbull but if I did I sure the heck wouldn't anymore. Beside Monster is way better.
    jhartley, cjgiant and jbakajust1 like this.
  23. Hatfield_223

    Hatfield_223 Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2013 Virginia

    It's extra lame because the brewery takes its name from nearby Old Ox Road. There's no actual ox mascot.
  24. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,351) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Society Trader

    I agree with @GetMeAnIPA - Monster is way better. Perhaps that should be the energy drink company of BA.....unless they decide to sue Brooklyn Brewing.....
    Stagga_Lee and abkayak like this.
  25. pat61

    pat61 Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota

    Good letter. Red Bull suing Old Ox is a lot like the Detroit Lions suing Lion Lager.
    Doctor_Bogenbroom and tkdchampxi like this.
  26. mertzhb15

    mertzhb15 Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Well I guess I won't buy a Red Bull ever again.
  27. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (2,440) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware

    Another comment sent to Red Bull. I have never had a red bull and certainly will not now. But damn do I love watching the idiots at the Red Bull Rampage doing things on a bike no human should.
    lillitnn92 likes this.
  28. atrocity

    atrocity Initiate (0) Dec 18, 2013 Virginia

    Saw this. Absolutely ridiculous. Old Ox vs Red Bull... one is beer other is energy drink. No... just no.
  29. PGD120

    PGD120 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2015 New Jersey

    this is as if, the Chicago Bears sued the Boston bruins, for fear that fans may think they are affiliated with another sport in another state.

    if the logo was very similar and they called the beer red bull, it would make sense. to me it just sounds like someone at red bull is being sour.
    mschofield and jbdpsu82 like this.
  30. lillitnn92

    lillitnn92 Initiate (0) Aug 22, 2009 Virginia

    Right? I love watching their videos and such. I always respected what they were doing for the alternative sports, but this just shows that they aren't any different than the rest.
  31. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,071) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    OK... this is an overreach by Red Bull, and a silly one at that (well, it would be silly were it not costing a small business money). And, their filing does contain at least one factual error: a castrated bull is called a steer, not an ox. Yes, some oxen bulls are castrated, but not all oxen bulls are castrated (or there would be no more oxen), and not all oxen are bulls.

    Nonetheless, from the information provided, Red Bull has NOT filed a lawsuit. They have filed a "Notice of Opposition" to the trademark office against the proposed registration of the Old Ox mark.
    JimKal, elgiacomo, spoony and 6 others like this.
  32. msscott1973

    msscott1973 Devotee (438) Dec 28, 2013 North Carolina

    Does anyone own the rights to the Paul Bunyan story? If so, they should sue Red Bull. That is an obvious ripoff of the "blue ox".
  33. Vitacca

    Vitacca Crusader (794) Sep 15, 2010 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    ISO Old Ox. What a great letter.
    AdmiralOzone likes this.
  34. McMatt7

    McMatt7 Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2014 Pennsylvania

    This was fun and you made it gross with facts about castration :wink:

    I'm kidding, it's not fun, it's redbulls**t like dude said.
    MNAle likes this.
  35. alucard6679

    alucard6679 Initiate (0) Jul 29, 2012 Arizona

    I don't even know what to least Lagunitas had a somewhat reasonable argument (not saying I would have done the same in their shoes)((actually who knows, I might've, never run a large business before)) but this is just pathetic. Can't think of a better word for it. I actually like Red Bull, especially the cranberry one, but for what its worth they just lost my business. Best of luck to Old Ox
    AdmiralOzone and jrnyc like this.
  36. PBoegel

    PBoegel Initiate (0) Oct 18, 2005 New York

    Monster actually sued Rock Art Brewery in 2009 for "Vermonster" Barlywine.
    Grayson14 and RockAZ like this.
  37. LittleDog

    LittleDog Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2014 Texas

    This case is not a tort. It is a trademark/intellectual property matter. An example of a tort is if you punch me in the mouth, and I sue you for my dental bills. Another tort is if I go to the doctor to have my leg amputated, and the doctor cuts off my wrong leg. Or, to keep it beer related, if I bought a beer that had a dead mouse in the can, and I drank the mouse-beer and got sick, I could sue the seller for making me sick and costing me doctor bills. Those are torts.
  38. Nick_Bousquet

    Nick_Bousquet Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2014 Virginia

    That is fair, tort is a civil offense that causes harm and this is not within that category. I was speaking in a general manner to the post I replied to about thel feeling that we need to stop frivolous lawsuits from occurring, but your clarification is likely helpful and needed. Cheers!
  39. fossage78

    fossage78 Champion (804) Sep 9, 2012 Massachusetts

    Doesn't Paul Bunyan own the Blue Ox?
    ESCO138 likes this.
  40. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,071) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I prefer blueberry torts.
    benzalman, YeahRightt, JimKal and 9 others like this.
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