Oregon’s Full Sail Brewing has filed a lawsuit with an Atlanta-based law firm specializing in driving under the influence (DUI) cases, alleging that the firm’s logo — which is printed on brown paper bags — is an infringement of the brewery’s own trademarked Session Lager artwork.
According to the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., The Sessions Law Firm LLC “has been marketing services on the Internet using counterfeit versions” of Full Sail’s distinctive red shield logo, which the Hood River Ore.-based brewery trademarked in 2005.
Both logos prominently feature the word “Session” in a similar cursive-like font in the middle of a red shield.
The law firm specializes in “handling” DUI cases, according to its website.
“[T]he defendant has been publishing information on the Internet and on single-container to-go bags for beer, diluting, defaming, and disparaging Full Sail’s marks,” the lawsuit continues.
Full Sail CEO Irene Firmat said she hopes the matter will be resolved out of court, and described the ordeal as “a bummer.”
“We really looked at it and it was just kind of shocking, and we certainly don’t want the association with a DUI or a brown paper bag. It’s just not good a beer brand,” she told Brewbound. “You certainly don’t want an association with reckless drinking.”
Firmat also emphasized the need to simply protect the brewery’s intellectual property.
“Trademarks are property just as much as recipes and every other asset that companies have,” she said. “I think it’s important to protect them, and defend them, and respect them.”
When contacted, a representative at the Sessions Law Firm declined to comment.
Firmat, however, said that Full Sail has begun a dialogue with the firm.
“We just want it cleaned up,” she said. “We don’t want it out there.”
The lawsuit can be read below.