Strange Brewing founder on trademark dispute with homebrew shop: “It’s idiotic”

strange brewing logo(Denver, CO) – Strange Brewing Co. founder, Tim Myers, appeared on the Colorado Craft Beer Show on Saturday to discuss the company’s ongoing trademark dispute with Massachusetts-based homebrew shop, Strange Brew.

Some noteworthy quotes from Myers during the broadcast…

“You know, we never would have sold a single pint if we weren’t riding their coattails.” (said jokingly)

“There are always a few bumps in the road and challenges facing any new business but that was one we didn’t anticipate.”

“Our market radius is 30 miles around the brewery in kegs. We don’t distribute.”

“It’s idiotic. It could have been handled a lot differently, it could have been resolved much easier.”

“The good news out of all it is the amazing overwhelming outpouring of support from Colorado craft brewers and beer drinkers. It has been so heartwarming and touching to me.”

A fundraiser will be held to raise money for Strange’s legal defense this month. If the two companies resolve the dispute in time, the money will go to charity.

Myers said some new ten-barrel fermentation tanks will arrive by the end of the month. Production numbers are as follows:

100 in 2010
300 in 2011
550 in 2012
Budgeting 800-1000 in 2013

7 thoughts on “Strange Brewing founder on trademark dispute with homebrew shop: “It’s idiotic”

  1. Trademark infringement is stealing no matter how far apart the two are. I don’t see how Strange Brewing can attempt to justify this. Own up to your mistakes.

  2. That I’d beyond strange! Visited Denver in July & Strange folks were great. Good luck from Wis.

  3. @Chuck…this isn’t that clear-cut. You are correct that infringement is stealing. However, the home brewing group must prove that Strange Brewing Company creates confusion in using a similar name.

    If the suit moves forward, a “likelihood of confusion” analysis will be done. Courts will often look at a number of factors in determining whether there is a likelihood of confusion. These factors include, among others:

    1. Strength of the mark;
    2. Proximity of the goods;
    3. Similarity of the marks;
    4. Evidence of actual confusion;
    5. Marketing channels used;
    6. Type of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser;
    7. Defendant’s intent in selecting the mark; and
    8. Likelihood of expansion of the product lines.

    source: http://www.trademarkaccess.com/us-trademark-standard-what-constitutes-likelihood-of-confusion/

  4. @forcollinsjunto…though i agree that these matters are never clear cut. Strange Brew (the homebre supply store) has already stated that it experienced a disruption in credit from venders as they had confused the two accounts(posted in an earlier article on this site)…I would love to see these two work it out outside of a court room, but it seems Strange Brewing may need to make some concessions.

  5. I have been a customer at Strange Brew a few years ago when my schedule allowed for more homebrewing. They treated me well, and I special-ordered XL DME @ 5 kg in a box, twice, and have bought various other supplies but due to work circumstances I haven’t been there for about 5 years. I used to get catalogs from them before the internet really took off, and I SWEAR they had another name before this one, but I can’t recall it. I also thought they had a business association with a distributor or family member or friend in Sturbridge MA; I think at one point they expanded apart and changed names at that point. I love all micro-brewing everywhere, don’t know the CO operation, but the MA one is a nice place with nice people who grew the business to move out of downtown, into a nice strip mall location. But WHAT WAS THE OLD NAME, before Strange Brew? There WAS one. Incidentally, it hasn’t escaped me that they certainly copied a dancing bear image and a song title already popular among exactly the same kind of people with whom craft brewing is popular. The MA store has used the name a longer time, but it is NOT the first name they have had. I just can’t remember, so that’s because it has been a while!

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