In a blog post written on Dogfish Head’s website, they state that:
Because we believe in working collaboratively with other brewers in handling these disputes, we have called and emailed Namaste Brewing in hopes of resolving the matter brewer-to-brewer. (We have not sent a cease-and-desist and have not taken any legal action, as has been reported.) We have given them several creative solutions in an effort to alleviate any hardship they might face in making the changes, including the option to continue to sell the beer at their existing location and at festivals. Another option was to allow them ample time to phase out the name.
Dogfish Head is correct to say that they need to defend their mark. In fact, any trademark owner that is made aware of unauthorized use of their mark should act to protect their mark. This is because U.S. trademark law states that abandonment of a trademark may occur if the owner of the mark allows authorized as well as unauthorized third-parties to use the mark without adequate supervision. Therefore, if Dogfish Head did not monitor the use of its mark and act accordingly to protect the mark, there is a good chance that a court would conclude that the company has lost its exclusive rights to the mark.
Let’s hope that this trademark conflict can be resolve in an amicable manner.
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