Sycamore Brewing Sues Stone Brewing For Trademark Infringement

, Sycamore Brewing Sues Stone Brewing For Trademark Infringement

(Courtesy Sycamore Brewing)

It’s litigation time again for Escondido-based Stone Brewing who recently won a trademark infringement case against Molson Coors, but now the shoe may be on the other foot.

Here’s the deal….

According to court documents Charlotte-North Carolina based Sycamore Brewing is suing Stone Brewing for trademark infringement, which is beyond ironic given that Stone had just successfully ended four years of litigation agfainst Molson Coors.

The jury in that case found in favor of Stone Brewing and the company was awarded a $54 million settlement.

Beer industry watchers saw that case as very much a ‘David vs Goliath’ battle. Stone Brewing, although the ninth largest craft brewer in the nation, is a relatively small brewing company up against Molson Coors, a global beverage company and the second largest brewer in the US.

In this case, Sycamore Brewing is the ‘David’ and although we’re not judge nor jury, our initial impression is that the much smaller Charlotte-based craft brewery could carry the day.

, Sycamore Brewing Sues Stone Brewing For Trademark Infringement

(Credit: court documents)

Stone Brewing is accused of using “Keep it Juicy,” a trademark which Sycamore said it owns.

According to the court filing Sycamore first used the slogan in September 2020 and successfully trademarked the phrase, which WSOC-TV reports, “is prominently displayed on retail packaging boxes,” in 2021.

California-based Stone Brewing adopted the “Keep it Juicy” mark  aswell using it on its packaging and advertisements for its Hazy IPA, and according to the court filing Sycamore is claiming that “Stone Brewing was trying to confuse customers looking for Sycamore beer.”

In the Stone/Molson case, the Escondido-based craft brewer argued that Keystone Light’s rebrand, which emphasized STONE over KEYSTONE. was a deliberate effort to confuse its audience.

And although this suit involves the use of the trademarked slogan “Keep it Juicy” and not a rebranding, the similarity to Stone’s previous complaint is inescapable.

, Sycamore Brewing Sues Stone Brewing For Trademark Infringement

(Cuortesy Sycamore Brewing)

The lawsuit claims that with Stone Brewing’s expansion east (they opened a brewery in Richmond, Virginia in 2016) the company is now a direct competitor with Sycamore Brewing which in addition to North Carolina, distributes its beers in seven other states, including South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky.

“Stone is properly described as a ‘Trademark Bully.’ the lawsuit said, ‘given its aggressive use of its millions to bully smaller companies into ceasing use of common terms even when they are in non-competing industries or there is no possible likelihood of confusion.”

According to Yahoo Finance Stone has filed more than 100 trademark cancellation requests with the United States Patent and Trademark Office over the years.


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