A brief interruption to our dormant commerce clause constitutional beer law nerd-out, to bring you some breaking brewery trademark news. Rogue may have settled one trademark lawsuit, but yesterday they entered another. The case is captioned OREGON BREWING COMPANY v. SCOUT LLC, dba GONE ROGUE PUB and it’s 1:14-cv-00439 for those looking on the docket.
We’ve reported before about Rogue’s litigation against Rogue’s Harbor Inn, which settled out on August 11, 2014 (see image for details there). Yesterday, on October 14, 2014, a little over two months since getting that dispute out of the way, Rogue’s back before the bench. This time, Rogue has filed a complaint in federal court against an Idaho bar that opened in 2012 under the name “Gone Rogue Pub.” Rogue has its concerns, given they have a registration in restaurant services, on beer, on beverage glassware, and on clothing.
In Rogue’s complaint (again, as always, under Oregon Brewing Company—speaking of, glad they picked a more defensible trademark for their branding), they allege that Gone Rogue pub has some of Rogue’s own branding up inside the bar, that the word Rogue appears on the pub’s branded glassware and coasters there, and to throw salt in the wound: the pub has specifically identified serving Rogue beer in press releases.
Cheers to Rogue, as their complaint states that Rogue reached out to Gone Rogue Pub early on in 2013 and tried to get some kind of coexistence rolling, so the pub wouldn’t have to completely change its name. That was a year and a half ago. Per the complaint, the owners directed Rogue to their attorney, and the attorney didn’t respond to Rogue. Then, a few months ago in August (the same month the Rogue legal squad finally took a breather after Rogue’s Harbor) talks/negotiations were not successful when Rogue again initiated them.
Given the press release and also the use of Oregon Rogue-branded stuff in the bar, the court might infer some bad faith here, which would not be good news for Gone Rogue Pub. Also, I would imagine Rogue’s olive branch is no longer leafy and green after being forced to draft and file this complaint, instead of being able to quietly hammer out an agreement.
Below are the counts in the complaint. We’ll see what sticks, unless Gone Rogue Pub comes to the bargaining table and it settles. Stay tuned to the Brewery Law Blog, as we’ll keep you updated on this one.
TRADEMARK COUNTERFEITING UNDER THE LANHAM ACT
(15 U.S.C. § 1114)
TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT, UNFAIR COMPETITION AND FALSE
DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN UNDER THE LANHAM ACT
(15 U.S.C. § 1114)
TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT, UNFAIR COMPETITION, AND
FALSE DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN UNDER THE LANHAM ACT
(15 U.S.C. § 1125)
CYBER-SQUATTING UNDER THE LANHAM ACT (15 U.S.C. § 1125)
UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES UNDER IDAHO LAW
(I.C. §§ 48-601 et seq.)
COMMON LAW TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT
(I.C. §§ 48-500 et seq.)