Lagunitas Brewing Co. is suing Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., alleging that an upcoming beer from the Chico, CA-based brewery infringes on Lagunitas’ trademark for its top-selling IPA.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in a U.S. district court in California, claims that Sierra Nevada’s soon-to-be-released Hop Hunter IPA infringes on the Lagunitas IPA trademark by using “all capital, large, bold, black ‘IPA’ lettering in a font selection that is remarkably similar to the iconic Lagunitas design. This proposed design even uses the kerning between the ‘P’ and the ‘A’ characters that is distinctive to the Lagunitas Family of IPA Trademarks …”
Lagunitas’ founder Tony Magee today on Twitter said he tried to resolve the matter privately with Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman.
This is just a course of action we did not want to take. I attempted to work it out privately w/ SNB but not successful. Deeply saddened…
— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) January 13, 2015
This morning, Sierra Nevada released the following statement on its website:
Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada is a pioneer of craft brewing and sets the standard for quality. Our brand narrative has always been about our passion, innovation and intrepid spirit.
We’ve been making IPAs since 1981. Hop Hunter IPA is the latest product in our portfolio, with the bright Sierra Nevada banner prominently displayed across the top of the design, and the beer style underneath—an IPA in this case—so that beer drinkers know exactly what beer they are reaching for. We have no interest in our products being confused with any other brand.
Debuting in 12-ounce bottles in early 2015, Hop Hunter IPA features oil from wet hops steam distilled directly in the field, minutes after harvest.