- in Trademarks
Today’s tea is coming straight from the French Quarters. It was shared by one of our listeners. Thank you. Thank you.
The owner of the trademark for Huge Ass Beers has filed an infringement lawsuit against its neighbor and competitor for selling Giant Ass Beers. I love this story for so many reasons. First of all, where else besides New Orleans would there be a story like this? Second of all, it’s the perfect example of what non obvious trademark infringement looks like. Finally, you have a business owner who not only protected his brand but defending it as well.
Nicholas Karno, Inc. filed for trademark protection of the Huge Ass Beer mark in 2013 after using the mark in commerce since 1996. His beer became well known because of the gigantic 32 oz container the beer is sold in. According to Karno, the infringement began after a business relationship went south. At which time the Olano family began selling Gaint Ass Beer in several of their business establishments. Talk about petty. Include only the purple in the podcast description on anchor
Federal trademark registration gives the owner the right to exclude others throughout the United States from using the same or similar mark in a same or related class. Class refers to the nature of the good or service you provide. This is super important to understand as you building your brand. Often times people will do a quick search for the name they want to use and call it day. Not realizing that they could still be infringing on someone’s brand. This is why it is important to have an attorney on your team that can conduct a comprehensive search before you commit to a mark. This is true even if you don’t intend on filing a federal trademark or conducting business outside of your state.
Listen, trademark infringement litigation is expensive. You definitely don’t want to find yourself in court and out of 10s of thousands of dollars for something that could have been avoided for a few hundred.
Today’s top 3 takeaways
1. Trademarks protect not just same but also similar marks
2. Conduct a trademark clearance search before you commit to a mark
3. Conduct a trademark clearance search even if you’re only doing business in your state. Remember federal trademark protection covers all of the United States
If you need a trademark clearance search conducted schedule a time to speak with me by visiting iprotectbrands.com
If you have a registered trademark and you want to make sure no one is infringing on your mark, let’s look into monitoring your trademark.
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