This spring, Magic Hat sued Kentucky-based, West Sixth Brewing on the charges of trademark infringement. Why, you ask? Well take a look at this video to learn more.
Both logos feature numbers in a circular design. A six and a nine can often be confused, as can a star and a compass. Some say, no big deal. Others stand behind Magic Hat and the popular brewery’s allegations.
What’s most interesting about this story is all of the negative backlash that Magic Hat has received from craft beer consumers. According to Magic Hat, West Sixth crafted the perfect stereotypical story of a bigger brewery beating on the little guy. But Magic Hat maintains that this was not the case. “Our first step was to reach out to them. We hoped to handle it amicably. We had no desire to file a lawsuit against a fellow brewer,” said brand manager of Magic Hat, Ryan Daley. “We thought we had made a lot of progress with West Sixth. They agreed in principle to modify their design. And now they’re going back on their word, and are attempting to tarnish our image instead.”
Regardless of the “he said, she said” dialogue that ensued, Magic Hat faced some very negative press as a result of the lawsuit, and is still feeling the effects of the feedback. West Sixth even went as far as to create a petition against Magic Hat and its so-called “corporate bullying.”
Just a few examples of the negative feedback:
Old hat for Magic Hat?
Even more interesting, this is not the first time Magic Hat has made such accusations. In 2010, Georgetown Brewing of Seattle was forced to rename its “9 lb. Porter” to the “Georgetown Porter” after the number 9 was disputed.
The Magic Hat and West Sixth lawsuit was ultimately resolved with the mutual agreement that West Sixth would remove the star from its logo. Now the question remains, will Magic Hat learn from this situation, or will it continue to bully the little guys?