(Boston, MA) – More craft beer legal battles…
Boston Beer Co. is going after SanTan Brewing for allegedly copying the design of its special glass.
Boston Beer Corp. says Peter Sciacca, a glass importer, and Anthony Canecchia, owner of SanTan Brewing Co., are infringing on its patents.
Boston Beer has asked the International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., to halt the importation and sale of the di Sciacca heavy-base Pilsner glass, saying it’s too similar to the Samuel Adams Boston lager glass.
Though the glasses appear to look pretty similar, Sciacca’s attorney says that BBC’s patents protect the functionality, not the design.
Michael Gerity of Phoenix, Sciacca’s intellectual-property attorney, said Samuel Adams has only design patents, not a utility patent. He said its design patents, which cover only ornamental features, are invalid.
“Samuel Adams is barraging the market with TV ads that show that every single element of their glass has a functional capacity,” he said.
The ads show the glass is thinner to keep the beer cooler, and the lip is designed to release the aroma, for example.
According to a Facebook post from SanTan, the brewery received its first shipment of the glassware in May 2007 after several prototypes. Boston Beer first marketed its glass in February 2007.
Beer drinkers seem to be split on the matter.