Red Bull has brought an infringement claim against a small brewery, but is now facing the backfire of negative publicity.
The energy drink giant has opposed a trademark application by the Old Ox Brewery, a local Northern Virginia brewery before the US Patent and Trademark Office. The claim: Old Ox (for beer) is confusingly similar to Red Bull (for energy drinks).
But when Goliath fights David, the general public tends to root for the little guy.
And Old Ox played the media: an open letter from Old Ox’s President addressed to Red Bull has been published in full by The Washington Post. In the letter, Old Ox question whether Red Bull “claim exclusive rights to all things bovine” and accuse them of “holding us hostage” and being “a big Red Bully”.
The legal claim aside, the public’s opinion is already in Old Ox’s favour. Now let’s see what the USPTO think. Is it going to be the Ox or the Bull?