Canada’s largest independent brewery is suing a much smaller competitor over moose-themed names of beverages. The trademark infringement lawsuit was filed this week against the Hop’n Moose Brewing Co. in Rutland, Vt., arguing that the brewpub’s similarity in name and logos could create confusion and damage the Moosehead brand.
“As a family-owned company, Moosehead Breweries respects and supports the efforts of small business owners everywhere,” Moosehead said in an emailed statement. “It is, however, incumbent on us to protect our business interests, including our corporate trademarks.”
Moosehead Breweries claim in the court documents that it owns US trademarks for ‘moose’, ‘moosehead’ and images of mooses with antlers. The Canadian brewery say they have been using the marks in relation to their beer brands since the 1970s. In contrast, , Hop’n Moose opened in 2014 and recently began canning its beer, which is sold in about 15 nearby stores. In court documents, Moosehead said that the Vermont brewpub has also been using its trademarks on promotional materials and related consumer products since the business first opened its doors.
Moosehead said in the lawsuit that it had made repeated and numerous demands to Hop’n Moose owner Dale Patterson to cease using its trademarks, to no avail.
“When faced with issues of trademark violation, litigation is always a last resort,” Moosehead said. “We always — as we did in this case — attempt to work out resolutions with any breweries considered to be violating Moosehead trademarks.” The brewer added, “we remain open to further discussions.”
Patterson said Tuesday he hasn’t seen Moosehead’s lawsuit, but doesn’t want to change his logo.