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Tried Hands "FarmHands" no longer

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by SPRichard, Sep 2, 2013.

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  1. SPRichard

    SPRichard Disciple (362) Apr 26, 2008 New Jersey

  2. BulletproofBA

    BulletproofBA Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2013 Chile

    It's a shame this is occurring so frequently, it seems, within the craft brewing world recently. Especially with brands that see next to zero distribution, or overlap between the two brews sharing a similar/identical name.

    The beer's solid regardless of what they call it.
  3. RPH2327

    RPH2327 Disciple (319) Dec 5, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Brewery Vivant can suck my Tired ****

    But... there was a very interesting phrase buried deep down in the statement and it sounded like "construction of a new production brewery."

    Does anyone know details? Suddenly, my FarmHands pain has eased a little...
  4. CassinoNorth

    CassinoNorth Disciple (304) Apr 5, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    What dicks. Seriously getting tired of this over beer names. There should be a law if your beer isn't rated higher on BA you can't sue.
  5. nrs207

    nrs207 Defender (687) Sep 8, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    So it's not the same name, nor is it distributed in the same area, yet they really care that much? Ridiculous. Craft beer is starting to have too much of the corporate politicking that no one wants to see it have. On such a small scale this is incredible. TH claims to have defended the name somewhat, so this ridiculous C&D didn't get thrown out immediately. I don't understand how you can claim a name that is so generic. The style is farmhouse ale, so how is Farmhands so infringing on Farm Hand? TH really stole the creative thinking that name took right from Brewery Vivant... :rolling_eyes:
    VonZipper likes this.
  6. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2005 Minnesota

    Yeah, Vivant makes some tired ass beer. Tired Hands is near the top of my list to try.
  7. oldp0rt

    oldp0rt Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2011 Quebec (Canada)

    That's really unfortunate. Vivant should spend more time on their products and less time picking fights.
  8. stmgl01

    stmgl01 Aspirant (202) Dec 11, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Somewhere in DelCo I believe...it's in the works for sure.
  9. ygolordned

    ygolordned Disciple (315) Apr 7, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    being from michigan, i am officially allowed to decree this as a dick move on vivant's part and say that people should think twice about supporting them
    VonZipper and GRDave like this.
  10. nesarebad

    nesarebad Devotee (474) Feb 4, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    It is kind of interesting here that these breweries are so relatively young in age. Vivant looks very corporate, so it makes sense they have the law game on lock down. Obviously they are in the right here legally. Very happy about a TH production brewery - if I can get Hop Hands in any form on the reg I will be a very happy boy. Also, does this mean HandFarm is dead too?
  11. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Companies should be able to defend their brands, but it's pretty lame to see a scene that claims to be "a tight knit community" on the surface descend into a shitstorm of legal red tape every other week whilst fighting over who came up with a name or tap handle design first. I can understand breweries in the same market needing to prevent brand confusion but a 16oz can only available in Michigan isn't going to get confused with a draft-only offering in Ardmore, PA.

    Also, as a couple of people have pointed out on the FB thread, Vivant should read through their own catalog sometime and see how many other breweries have also used the same or similar names:

    Hubris - Elysian and Black Star
    Menage a Trois - Rock Bottom, The Alchemist, Crabtree, Howe Sound
    Perdition - Russian River
    Solitude - Kane, Lucky Monk, Hill Farmstead
    Sgt. Peppercorn - Cambridge
    Trebuchet - Ladyface Ale
    White Devil - Kuhnhenn
  12. kelvarnsen

    kelvarnsen Devotee (401) Nov 30, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    It seems every few months this type of story comes up and every time it seems like it is always same spin, with the company that gets the cease and desist letter acting like the poor little victim. But with trademark law my understanding is that if you don't defend your trademark you can lose it. So if these Vivant people don't document that they sent out letters like this, then A-B could decide they want to make a Farm Hand beer and no one wouldn't be able to stop them.

    Plus every time I read one of these letters I often wonder what would happen if the shoe was on the other foot. I mean if a brewery in the US decided to make a beer called Tire Hands or Tired Hand, would Tired Hands be cool with it. Because I read their letter and that is sort of how they spun this situation, with the other brewery not being cool by letting them us the name.
    todisht and Franch like this.
  13. EvilAsh

    EvilAsh Aspirant (294) Nov 5, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Utterly ridiculous....
  14. ao125

    ao125 Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2010 Virginia

    Pleased that I got to try FarmHands this past weekend. Really drinkable.

    Vivant needs to back the f- down. There's no marketplace confusion, unless they plan to open a tiny brewpub in that same town.

    One thing I'm *not* confused about in the marketplace though, is that I'm not buying any more of Vivant's beers or their collaborations with other brewers.

    I'm not saying they don't have a right to defend their trademark - but I'm also not putting up with their BS, as a consumer.
  15. shadowane

    shadowane Aspirant (204) Sep 7, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I don't know, but I do feel like there is a huge difference between naming the beer after the brewery itself versus just one of that breweries beers. Meaning, It's Brewery Vivant Farm Hand vs. Tired Hands Farmhands. Different than if like there was a Brewery Vivant Tired Hands beer.

    In the end, this is annoying, but maybe Tired Hands is better off because I imagine that Farmhands will be one of the beers they distribute once their new brewery is up and running and then they'd run into trademark issues.
  16. shadowane

    shadowane Aspirant (204) Sep 7, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    While kind of hilarious, if none of those are trademarked then they can do whatever they want.
  17. stmgl01

    stmgl01 Aspirant (202) Dec 11, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Exactly, their Cease & Desist letters may already be in the mail. Think about it, they only filed for a Trade Mark on "Farm Hand" on May 2nd of this year. Seems funny to feel the rush to do so a few years after it was first made. Maybe the rush came after feeling threatened by what I can only imagine is a superior beer made by a more successful brewery.

  18. kelvarnsen

    kelvarnsen Devotee (401) Nov 30, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    Whether it is the name of your brewery or one of your brands I am not sure it really matters. If one company went to the trouble, and expense of registering a trademark they are allowed to protect it. It's not about who is cooler, or who makes better beer or where you are distributed. That's the way the legal system works with respect to trademarks. I am sure Tired Hands takes advantage of the trademark system as much as every other company. So why is it when the trademark system is working against them it becomes some sort of sentimental thing?
    todisht, Franch, DaGrizz and 4 others like this.
  19. dhartogs

    dhartogs Disciple (364) Apr 29, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

  20. shadowane

    shadowane Aspirant (204) Sep 7, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Oh I agree with you for sure. I was just saying it's worse if it's the name of the brewery vs. just one of their beers.
  21. Steeeve

    Steeeve Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I don't think the outrage is so much about defending one's brand as it is pompously flexing your legal muscle to subvert a "competitor" (even though they don't compete in the same markets). Craft brewing is supposed to be an open, friendly community where brewers collaborate with each other and there's an understanding that it's "us against them" (BMC), not "every man for himself". I've read stories of other name disputes where one brewer sent a six-pack and a note saying "Hey, we've been using a similar name for a long time, would you mind changing your beer's name as it would be mutually beneficial for us not to confuse consumers?" or something to that effect. The problem is that this is something that can and should be handled without lawyers.
  22. callmemickey

    callmemickey Meyvn (1,236) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Earth Bread + Brewery in Philadelphia has brewed a beer called "God Put His Tired Hand in My Tired Hands"
    BulletproofBA likes this.
  23. ThoreauLikeAGirl

    ThoreauLikeAGirl Initiate (0) Mar 11, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Well that's interesting, considering the history there with brewers.
  24. mdillon86

    mdillon86 Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Pennsylvania

    As lovely as that sounds, people need to wake up to the fact that craft beer is turning into big business.
    VonZipper likes this.
  25. jiggad369

    jiggad369 Initiate (181) Aug 11, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Thank god I can go there every week.
    Slatetank likes this.
  26. callmemickey

    callmemickey Meyvn (1,236) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Regardless of whether the whole industry is turning into "big business," many brewers (both large and small) are more interested in feeding their families than being idealists about collaboration amongst brewers.
    eyeenjoybeer likes this.
  27. mdillon86

    mdillon86 Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I agree with you. I don't think it's a bad thing that many brewers are interested in craft beer as a viable business interest, rather than as some higher calling. And because it's a business, I don't fault people for wanting to protect their investments, regardless of whether I agree with the legal merits of their decisions.
  28. Greenplastic615

    Greenplastic615 Disciple (385) Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Thankfully, the beer will not cease to be, only the name FarmHands will. It'll still be a great local saison, it'll just be called something else.

    Also, I've heard from 1-2 of the guys @ TH over the last couple months about the production brewery thing, so it was cool that Jean tossed that in. From what I've heard (and this is not at all confirmed), the idea was/is to produce 'the beer formally known as farmhands' and 'hophands' to sell to the local philly market, draft only. I have no idea if that's still the plan, but I'd love them to use the production place to do some of their bottling runs, but that's just me being greedy for some delicious saisons. I don't think the place is going to be huge, but it'll be bigger than what they have now, and it leaves even more space in the fermenters at the Ardmore location for the one-off stuff.

    So, other than the guys @ Vivant being jerks about a name, everything Jean posted is really good news. :slight_smile:
    mdillon86 likes this.
  29. rondufresne

    rondufresne Aspirant (286) Dec 13, 2011 Pennsylvania

    A quick google search shows Vivant has applied for the trademark on "Solitude," so they may be in the same process with the other brewers listed, too. What has me shaking my head is the timeline included in this article:


    If this reporting is correct, it looks like they sent TH a C&D (in April) before they even applied for the trademark (in May). I don't know trademark law at all, but this strikes me as being on the slimy end of the scale. Once they won the race to the trademark office, it's their legal right/obligation to defend the mark... but the timing of it all feels slimy to me.
  30. stmgl01

    stmgl01 Aspirant (202) Dec 11, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I have to admit that I copped my post from YOUR post on the TH Facebook page :slight_smile:

    But, as you have made even more clear, the truth of what Brewery Vivant is up to is scarier than any blatant homerism/defense of THBC. Slimy is the perfect word for what they're up to.
    rondufresne likes this.
  31. Greenplastic615

    Greenplastic615 Disciple (385) Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    All the more reason not to buy their beer, if you ask me. (Vivant)
  32. Flashy

    Flashy Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2003 Vermont

    Don't be surprised if a now craft brew becomes a dick MBC in the future. The cycle of life.
  33. Franch

    Franch Devotee (451) Mar 22, 2011 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    not only are they allowed to protect it, they are required to do so.
    ThoreauLikeAGirl likes this.
  34. nrs207

    nrs207 Defender (687) Sep 8, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    My argument was more geared toward the fact I think the law is working to a useless end in this case. I'm sure BV is well within their rights considering TH gave up and is changing the name, but it just seems like an unnecessary thing to do since the name isn't identical and is pluralized and all the other things I talked about. It's not like AB came out with a beer called Coors Platinum to screw with MillerCoors. I think this is part of the reason why I decided not to be a lawyer even though I did well on the LSATs lol (I know there is much more to the law than patent/trademark laws).
  35. callmemickey

    callmemickey Meyvn (1,236) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    You can have trademark rights prior to applying for a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office. That is the difference between a trademark and a "registered trademark." The benefit of having a registrered trademark is it comes with a presumption of validity. If Vivant were to sue Tired Hands now that they have a registered trademark, Tired Hands would carry the burden of showing the trademark was bogus.
    Franch and rondufresne like this.
  36. callmemickey

    callmemickey Meyvn (1,236) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Here is the rub... if Vivant doesn't sure Tired Hands for "FarmHands," AB can come out with a beer called Farm Hands, sell it in cans in Michigan and when/if Vivant tried to defend their trademark on Farm Hand, AB would challenge Vivant's trademark as bogus by pointing to the fact that Tired Hands has now been using "FarmHands" for more than a year.
  37. dborginis

    dborginis Disciple (307) Jul 9, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    But can't Vivant license the name "Farmhands" to TH for like $1 a year, thus protecting their trademark?
  38. phillybeer7779

    phillybeer7779 Initiate (0) May 31, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    And then they can hold hands and sing Kumbaya too!
    VonZipper, mdillon86 and callmemickey like this.
  39. chriscostanzo

    chriscostanzo Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Maybe it is inevitable that some "craft" breweries become corporate breweries. I am sure some of the Busch's of the world started out as genuine brewers of good beer. Brewers like Vivant are perhaps simply seeking to move on from the craft brewing market to bigger and better things. Craft brewing as you and I define it and appreciate it will not change but some of the breweries will. We will continue to enjoy the ones that do not divert their attention from making great beer.
  40. kelvarnsen

    kelvarnsen Devotee (401) Nov 30, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

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