(Lyons, CO) – Oskar Blues Brewery will change the name of Gordon after using it for over seven years.
[2/2 Update: CraftWorks has responded to the news about the Gordon name change.]
Those cans of Gordon tumbling to the ground may be some of the last to be produced under the old name.
Brewery spokesman, Chad Melis, confirmed a rumor on Westword that first surfaced last month: Oskar Blues was to change the name of one of its longtime flagships after being hit with a cease and desist order by the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group. Melis also told the publication that there will be a party held at the brewery to celebrate the beer’s new name on February 19th.
The new name will be G’Knight and labels have already been approved by the TTB (see image below). Per the brewery website, “It’s brewed in tribute to Gordon Knight, a Colorado craft beer pioneer and Vietnam vet who died fighting a 2002 wild fire outside of our Lyons hometown.”
The new name will still fit but the whole thing begs the question…why send a cease and desist after allowing Oskar Blues to use the name for several years? Gordon Biersch did not respond to a request for comment on the story [for that matter, Oskar Blues also didn’t respond]. There is speculation that it may have something to do with the recent acquisition of the restaurant group by Centerbridge Partners.
Gordon Biersch holds a number of trademarks in the beer category and has an obligation to defend these marks in situations of infringement in order to keep them. Whether this is infringement is obviously up for debate. Oskar Blues attempted to file a trademark for Gordon four years ago but ultimately failed. Trademark law allows the filer a certain amount of time to address any qualifications on its original filing, typically six months. Documentation at Trademarkia shows that the Oskar Blues filing was abandoned. It would appear as though Oskar Blues either ran into GB before or had an administrative oversight, one that may have proved to be costly than the brewery realized.