There are two things certain in the world: a 6 is not a 9. And beer is beer. Well, not for IP attorneys. So what’s the deal?

Magic Hat Brewing is in the process of suing West Sixth Brewing over their “6” logo. According to them West Sixth’s corporate logo — which features the number 6 and a compass symbol — is constituting trademark infringement. Magic Hat thinks it’s confusingly similar to their “9” logo. both logo’s are used for ‘beer’. They believe consumers will think both beers originate from the same company.

West Sixth Brewing, a relatively small company, used social media to fight their battle, saying this is a clear case of “corporate bullying”: “It’s a pretty clear example of a large corporation trying to bully a smaller one. Our logo was professionally designed and is a six, not a nine, with a compass.” West Sixth Brewing explains their logo: The 6 is to the left (or west) of the compass, representing West Sixth Brewing. Simple.

It is indeed a battle betwee David (West Sixth Brewing: 2.000 barrels a year) and Goliath (Magic Hat Brewing: 154.000 barrels a year). But the question remains: is a 6 a 9? MarkMatters.com says ‘no’.

Okay, maybe when you had a lot of beers and you’re upside down.

Erwin Hauër

“Hope is not a strategy.”

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