Kaufman & Forman, P.C.
Call to arrange a consultation
678-957-7769 | 770-390-9200
Contact Us
practice areas

Trademark infringement or free advertising?

Patents provide legal protection against those who wish to steal ideas or products. Many believe that the value of a product is directly tied to the willingness to aggressively protect their products and services against infringement.

Now, however, there seems to be alternate course of action. In-N-Out Burger recently made news when it sent a pun-filled cease-and-desist letter to the San Francisco-based Seven Stills Brewery & Distillery, which announced that it was going to release In-N-Stout beer.

Cease-and-desist letter

The letter got coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Diego Union-Tribune and elsewhere. It had the necessary language to point out that the beer’s label appropriated the burger chain’s iconic arrow logo and palm tree. Brewers response

Instead of stopping production on the beer, Seven Stills posted the letter on its’ Instagram account, announcing that the beer was coming soon and asked followers to find all the puns in the letter (the brewers found nine, but one follower counted 10).

Sensing victory or hedging their bets, the company also created a video promoting its release. The video blurs the label with the trademarked material, but then goes on to offer free In-N-Out Burgers to the first 100 people who purchase the beer at the brewery. The ad ends appropriately enough with “Cease being late! Desist missing out!”

Cheaper than mediation, more fun than litigation

This sort of back and forth is now more commonplace in the commercial arena. The 2-year-old distillery and brewery is a small operation, and it created a limited run beer (which will apparently get a new name next time it is brewed). Obviously, the small company is not selling In-N-Out style burgers.

This win-win approach also spawned a lot of free publicity for both sides with the larger entity showing that it had a sense of humor about it. However, this may not always be appropriate. If a trademark infringement issue concerns you, it is always wise to speak with an attorney with experience in this area of law.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Kaufman & Forman, P.C. Now

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

get Legal Help Now

Kaufman & Forman, P.C.
8215 Roswell Road
Building 800
Atlanta, GA 30350

Toll Free: 800-461-5864
Phone: 678-957-7769
Fax: 770-395-6720
Atlanta Law Office Map

Review Us

Robert Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the May issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.Alex Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the December issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.