Beyond stating that this is an update to the dumbest craft beer trademark infringement story ever, this post should need no introduction, but if you missed it, we quote ourselves:
But one thing you can never be prepared for from a trademark infringement standpoint: A completely lame pop/hip-hop group that had one mildly popular song coming after you for using their name, which is actually a bunch of letters that people have been using as Internet chat slang since the days of ICQ.
So, as you no doubt understood from that intro, the music group LMFAO is saying Muskegon, Mich.-based Pigeon Hill Brewing Co.’s LMFAO Stout infringes on the group’s trademark of being annoying and terrible.
And we only took it less serious from there. Unfortunately for Pigeon Hill, they needed to take this a bit more seriously, and they did (kind of) by responding to the cease-and-desist letter from LMFAO’s legal team and defending their rights to LMFAO (Let Me Fetch An Oatmeal) Stout. We go to Redfoo for his reaction:
This story from the Grand Rapids Business Journal says the brewery hired attorney Sheila Eddy of Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge to help with the case, who 100 percent believed in Pigeon Hill’s cause, mainly that these two industries (professinal brewing and professional circus clowns) have a low likelihood of consumer confusion.
Some highlights from the seriously awesome Pigeon Hill letter:
“While we appreciate the concerns raised in your letters, we do not believe there is a likelihood of consumer confusion between Pigeon Hill’s LMFAO STOUT mark and your client’s marks because they differ with respect to the goods and services with which they are each associated, their respective meanings, the trade channels in which each mark is used, and the sophistication of the respective purchasers that buy goods and services sold under the markets. Ultimately, we believe that any attempt to oppose Pigeon Hill’s mark would fail; simply put, there is not even a scintilla of evidence that a likelihood of confusion does, or could, exist.”
Redfoo, you’ve been scintilla’d. BOOM. In our first post about this story, we tried to pack in as many jokes about the group LMFAO as we could, but man, Pigeon Hill’s legal team has us beat. Again, we implore you to head over to GRBJ.com for the full legal beatdown, but we have to quote another example:
“In this case, Pigeon Hill’s LMFAO STOUT is known to its customers as “Let Me Fetch An Oatmeal” Stout, or is otherwise likely to be perceived by purchasers as an entirely arbitrary designation, or, at the very least, as being suggestive of “laughing” one’s derrière off out of the sheer enjoyment that arises while imbibing in exceptional beer. Clearly, the many wholesome connotations of LMFAO Stout could not be further from those of the now-defunct party rocking duo, known better to the underground electro house club scene than by the masses, for its once-popular, explicit lyrics and a music video featuring porn star Ron Jeremy with a thematic focus on the male genitalia.”
Another interesting tidbit from that GRBJ story — beyond just standing up for themselves, Pigeon Hill, possibly, has the burden of all craft breweries on its back. If Pigeon Hill decides to change the name and not legally pursue this, that could inadvertently set a bad precedent for future trademark challenges. Who knows where that could lead. The Baha Men are practically DARING someone to brew Who Let the Dogs Stout? right now. And if you do, we highly recommend reading everything in our archives on trademarks.