Trademarks and Beer

Time was that you sat at the bar and ordered a beer. The proliferation of over 3,000 new local and specialty breweries over the past few years has created stiff competition to trademark the names of all the brews from all of these breweries.

In 2013, Lagunitas Brewing received a cease-and-desist order from SweetWater Brewing demanding that Lagunitas stop using “420” (the popular code for marijuana) on the labels of several of its beers. SweetWater had been brewing and selling its “420 Extra Pale Ale” since the 1990s, so they laid claim to that branding. Being really mellow guys, the folks at Lagunitas agreed that SweetWater had claim to “420” in its beer brand, and agreed to remove the offending “420” from the Lagunitas’ beer labels.

Rumor has it they burned the unused “420” beer labels