Ale Tales

A special place in our IP loving hearts is reserved for beer infringement. You gotta love ’em. This time, an infringement over IPA: Indian Pale Ale.

Lagunitas Brewing Company is suing Sierra Nevada Brewing Company for infringement of their trademark IPA. Although the case hasn’t actually gone to court yet, beer lovers have been posting their opinion on social media, mostly not in favour of Lagunitas, criticising their decision to file a law suit.

Because of the many negative remarks surrounding the law suit, Lagunitas announced they will drop the legal claim. In the end, the law suit was a terrible decision by Lagunitas, as it may have hurt the brand pretty badly. On the other hand, Sierra Nevada’s Hop Hunter IPA has received free publicity.

Let this be a lesson for trademark owners out there: be careful what you fight for. In this age of social media, your right can easily turn into a wrong. Or as Homer Simpson put it: “Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and answer to, all of life’s problems.”

Erwin Hauër

“Hope is not a strategy.”

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