In 2017, Shipyard Brewing Co. filed a lawsuit against Logboat’s Shiphead Ginger Wheat Beer. The lawsuit was focused on trademark infringement through the use of a similar name and logo, which was likely to cause consumer confusion.
Although both beers use the same color scheme and have ‘ship’ in their names, the vessel on the Shipyard logo is depicted in port, while in the Shiphead logo, it is in the hair of a painting of a woman serving beer.
A Missouri judge dismissed Shipyard’s claims, ruling in favor of Logboat, which registered the trademark in 2015. Judge Nanette K. Laughrey said there was no evidence to support Shipyard’s claims that consumers could be confused by the names and the image of the schooner, and also dismissed claims over the similarity of the beer names.
Judge Laughrey wrote “No reasonable juror could conclude that the terms ‘yard’ and ‘head’ independently are similar in look or sound, outside of the negligible fact that they both end with the letter ‘d.’… The only real similarity between Shipyard and Shiphead Ginger Wheat is the term “ship,” and Shipyard has admitted that ‘ship’ is a generic term, not subject to trademark protection.”