There are more than 14,000 beer product names currently registered or in the process of registration at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Ensuring proper trademarks for a brewery is a serious legal process that many craft brewers don’t take seriously enough. Oregon Brewing Co. takes its trademarks seriously. The company behind the popular Rogue Ales is suing chef R.J. Cooper and his restaurant, Rogue 24, based in Washington, D.C., for trademark infringement (among other claims), according to The Washington Post. Cooper says he’s just being bullied. Here what the article says:
Named after a tasting menu that Cooper first conceived at Vidalia, where owner Jeff Buben joked his chef had “gone rogue,” Rogue 24 has been serving up small modernist plates since July 2011. Nearly two years later, the West Coast brewery has determined that the chef and his restaurant are “likely to cause confusion, mistake and/or deception as to the affiliation, connection or association of defendants with” Oregon Brewing, attorneys for the brewery wrote in the suit, filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Oregon Brewing is asking Cooper and Rogue 24 to stand down on all fronts. The brewery, which owns a number of Rogue-themed watering holes and distilleries on the West Coast, wants Cooper to stop using the Rogue name and “destroy all literature, signs, billboards, labels, prints, packages, wrappers, containers, advertising materials, stationery, menus and other items in their possession, custody or control that use Rogue and Rogue 24.” Oregon Brewing also wants Cooper to transfer the domain name for his Web site, rogue24.com, to the company.
“It’s a multi-, multi-, multi-million-dollar brewery going after a small restaurant for no reason,” says the Beard Award-winning chef about Oregon Brewing, one of the top 25 craft brewers in the country. “It’s called bullying. It’s exactly what it is.”
This is just the latest news in a steady stream of craft beer-related trademark disputes. Be sure to check out more stories from all our trademark coverage.