SURREY, BC – beernews.org reports that Bear Republic Brewery of Healdsburg, California has filed a lawsuit against Central City Brewing of Surrey, BC, alleging that Central City’s Red Racer brand constitutes trademark infringement on their Racer 5 IPA and Red Rocket Ale brands:
In the lawsuit […] Bear Republic says that at this year’s [Great American Beer Festival], a representative was approached by two different people asking about its Red Racer beer in cans. Bear Republic also points to an article penned by Massachusetts-based beer columnist, Norman Miller, in which he repeatedly confuses the Red Racer and Red Rocket names. […] The lawsuit was filed in late January with a Massachusetts court, a state where Central City and Bear Republic products are both available.
The lawsuit also notes that it was an (unnamed) Ohio brewery owner that phoned Bear Republic, mentioning the similarities between the two breweries’ marks as well as “the similarities of words, fonts and colors” used between them, that first made the brewery aware of Central City Red Racer products.
Bear Republic reportedly filed a cease and desist order in mid-December, which Central City rejected in early January, leading to this lawsuit. It remains to be seen if Central City will fight these claims in court, or it a settlement will be negotiated.