5 January 2018Trademarks

Canadian brewery seeks to dismiss claim against US rival

Canada-based Moosehead Breweries has sought to dismiss its claim of trademark infringement and unfair competition against US-based competitor Hop’N Moose.

The claim (pdf), filed in October last year at the US District Court for the District of Vermont, alleged that Hop’N Moose’s logo and beer bottles were highly similar to Moosehead's family of registered trademarks.

Moosehead’s group of ‘Moosehead’ trademarks—which have been used since 1931 in connection with alcohol—include the word ‘Moose’ and ‘Moosehead’, as well as the design of a moose head and antlers.

The trademarks, covering alcohol and consumer goods, such as drinking glasses, clothing and bumper stickers, have been used in the US since the 1970s.

According to Moosehead, Hop’N Moose’s logo is “highly similar” to the Moosehead trademarks.

Alongside its beer, Hop’N Moose also sells similar promotional materials in connection with its brand, such as signs, mugs and clothing. Moosehead claimed that the materials depict the head of a moose or feature the defendant’s logo.

The claim stated that the products are similar to Moosehead’s family of registered trademarks including US trademark numbers 1,598,511; 1,217,629; and 1,597,390.

Moosehead claimed that as a result of the similarity between the marks, “members of the purchasing public familiar with Moosehead’s products and Moosehead’s ‘Moosehead’ trademarks are likely to be confused, misled, or deceived into thinking that the products of defendant are products of Moosehead”.

Moosehead sought an order to stop Hop’N Moose infringing the Moosehead registered marks. The Canada-based brewery also requested the delivery or destruction of all infringing products and damages.

On Thursday, January 4, Moosehead filed a notice to voluntarily dismiss the claim without prejudice.

In a statement provided to WIPR, Moosehead said that it had reached an "amicable settlement" with Hop'N Moose.

"Under the terms of an agreement between the parties, Hop'N Moose will continue to operate as an eatery and tavern. Within an agreed upon timeline, the brewing operations will be separated from the Hop'N Moose eatery, moved to a seperate facility and rebranded without the use of the term 'moose' or the image of a moose."

Moosehead, which claims to be Canada’s oldest independent brewery, was first established in 1867.

Hop’N Moose is located in Rutland, Vermont, and first opened its doors in March 2014.

Moosehead previously won a trademark infringement suit against US-based Adirondack Pub & Brewery, a company that produced Moose Wizz root beer.

It claimed that Moose Wizz’s root beer products are so similar, in labels and packaging, that it created a likelihood of confusion. Both logos featured a moose head although Moosehead's logo uses a more life-like moose while Moose Wizz uses a cartoon moose.

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More on this story

30 August 2016   Canadian beer company Moosehead has won a trademark infringement suit surrounding Moose Wizz, a soda produced by US-based Adirondack Pub & Brewery.
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