Welcome to the trademark jungle, Canarchy, it gets worse here every day. A billion outlets are reporting that Guns ‘N’ Roses has filed suit against Oskar Blues Brewery for its Guns ‘N’ Rosé brand. Someone must have missed our last CBB webinar.
Filed last week in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, the lawsuit cites sales of Guns ‘N’ Rosé merch (hats, pint glasses, stickers, etc.) and the beer itself, which launched in 2018. The band argues that a reasonable consumer could think they had a connection with the beer, which they did not.
The band is seeking triple damages and a halt to sales of infringing products. From Reuters:
According to court papers, Guns N’ Roses sued after Oskar Blues abandoned both its application to trademark “Guns N Rose” and any future use of that name or the band’s name, but said it would keep selling Guns ‘N’ Rosé beer through March 2020.
Our favorite part of the suit is the claim that this infringement was damaging to the band’s “trademarks, business reputation and goodwill.” I assume they meant Goodwill with a capital G, where most of its merch is currently available.
The suit comes as no surprise to Oskar Blues. Interestingly, according to the Denver Post, Oskar Blues met with GNR representation in December and rejected the band’s claim, asserting “GNR does not own a trademark registration for GUNS N’ ROSES for beer or any alcohol beverages.”
It later agreed to live and let die by ceasing all sales and marketing of the offending products, but not until March 31, 2020, which GNR’s legal team did not find to be acceptable. And here we are. The case is Guns N’ Roses v Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 19-04052.