So, apparently Lexington’s West Sixth Brewing Co. and Magic Hat have settled their battle over the logo design.
But it doesn’t sound like they “amicably” settled, despite wishes for each other’s “good fortune and continued success.”
The joint statement released today is less about the logo and more about West Sixth’s social media blitz that followed the lawsuit filed by Magic Hat.
Magic Hat is owned by Cerveceria Costa Rica, a subsidiary of Costa Rica-based Florida Ice and Water Co., a company with a catalogue of over 200 products.
After months of communication back and forth between Magic Hat and West Sixth about concern over several elements of the West Sixth logo– the numeral 6 and a “dingbat star” design– Magic Hat filed suit.
“Magic Hat seeks damages and injunctive relief under state and federal law to remedy the substantial infringement by West Sixth,” according to the complaint filed in the United States Circuit Court’s Eastern Division of Kentucky.
West Sixth’s Brady Barlow told Michael Tierney: “This will be their forth or fifth disputed trademark against small breweries.”
Barlow and West Sixth took to social media with the message “Stop Corporate Bullying!”
It did indeed seem to be, as Tierney said in his article, “a serious David versus Goliath” issue.
From the West Sixth Blog:
Our success has also made us a few enemies. And this week, one of those enemies got so mad, they decided to try and force us out of business by filing a silly and frivolous lawsuit against us….
Magic Hat is a brewery originally based out of Vermont. While they have some craft roots, they’ve been bought and sold a couple times since 2010, and are now owned by a company called Cerveceria Costa Rica. They’re claiming that we intentionally copied their logo, and that has caused them “irreparable harm”, enough that they’re asking for not only damages but also all our profits up until this point (little do they know that well, as a startup company, there wasn’t any, oops!)…
In fact, we tried to reach out to them individually to see if there was any way to resolve the amicably, but to no surprise, no one ever called us back.
So, they clearly have another motive – which must be to make us spend so much money defending our actions that we have no other recourse than to cave to their demands.
West Sixth posted a petition (since deleted) asking for Magic Hat to cease the law suit. The petition was signed by at least 17,000 people.
On May 28, Magic Hat filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against West Sixth claiming that the brewery caused Magic Hat “enormous financial damage” with a “social media smear campaign.”
Here’s the joint statement released today:
The parties have a mutual interest in assuring that consumers perceive their products as distinct.
The parties have mutually resolved the issues addressed in the lawsuit in a manner that eliminates potential confusion about product origin and resolves the lawsuit in a mutually acceptable way.
To the extent West Sixth in any way represented that Magic Hat filed a frivolous lawsuit, that Magic Hat initiated litigation improperly, that Magic Hat was unresponsive in negotiating a resolution, that Cerveceria Costa Rica was itself involved in the dispute or its resolution, that Magic Hat claimed ownership of the numeral 6, that Magic Hat sued West Sixth after West Sixth had already acceded to its demands, that Magic Hat has no Vermont presence, or that Magic Hat sought to recover for or enjoin West Sixth from truthful public statements, such representations are retracted. West Sixth regrets that it in any manner communicated any inaccuracies, and hereby corrects those errors.
Both Magic Hat and West Sixth have agreed that this joint statement will be the last public communication from either side regarding the resolved dispute.
Each wishes the other good fortune and continued success.
We’d love to know more– especially about what changes will be made to the logo. We’ll just have to wait to see.
But it does seem like in the “David versus Goliath” battle, Goliath came out ahead.