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Shipyard Brewing loses trademark lawsuit

Portland’s Shipyard Brewing has lost a lawsuit against a Missouri-based brewer Logboat Brewing Co. over its Shiphead beer, having claimed that it had infringed upon its trademark.

Shipyard Brewing Co. filed a lawsuit in Missouri last year against Logboat’s Shiphead Ginger Wheat beer, accusing Logboat of infringing on its trademark through the use of a similar name and logo, which it said was likely to confuse consumers.

Both beers have the word ‘ship’ in their name and a similar colour scheme, along with the image of a schooner ship, however the vessel on the Shipyard logo is depicted in port, while in the Shiphead logo, it is in the hair of a painting of a woman serving beer.

This week, a Missouri judge dismissed Shipyard’s claims, ruling in favour of Logboat Brewing Co, which registered the Shiphead trademark in 2015.

As reported by Portland’s Press Herald, judge Nanette K. Laughrey said there was no evidence to support Shipyard’s claims that consumers could be confused by the names and the image of the schooner, and also dismissed claims over the similarity of the beer names.

“Shipyard argues that its Shipyard mark and Logboat’s Shiphead Ginger Wheat mark ‘look and sound alike’ because they share ‘six out of eight letters,’ ” she wrote.

“But no reasonable juror could conclude that the terms ‘yard’ and ‘head’ independently are similar in look or sound, outside of the negligible fact that they both end with the letter ‘d.’

“The only real similarity between Shipyard and Shiphead Ginger Wheat is the term “ship,” and Shipyard has admitted that ‘ship’ is a generic term, not subject to trademark protection.”

Shipyard’s American Golden Ale
Logboat Brewing’s Shiphead Ginger Wheat beer


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