‘Epic’ trademark lawsuit plays out in Denver

epic and eddyline logos

Epic Brewing Co. sued Eddyline Brewing Co. over its use of the “Epic Day” name.

The battle over a grandiose beer name has landed two companies in the U.S. District Court in Colorado.

On Nov. 3, Salt Lake City-based Epic Brewing Co. sued Eddyline Brewing Co. for marketing a double IPA under the name Epic Day. The suit says Epic has used the “Epic Mark” on packaging and as its logo since it was founded in 2010.

Epic has trademarks for both its packaged beer products and its brewery services, including taprooms and restaurants. The suit says those trademarks became incontestable in September. Epic opened its second taproom in RiNo in 2013.

Epic is asking for $1 million in statutory damages, profits Eddyline made selling the product, and court fees. It also has asked the court to require Eddyline to destroy anything with the infringing logo.

Before filing the suit, Epic sent a letter in July to notify Eddyline that it was allegedly violating the trademark.

Eddyline is based in Buena Vista and has a location in New Zealand. The suit says both breweries use many of the same channels to distribute beer in Colorado, causing confusion between the two brands. And it claims Eddyline knowingly targeting Epic’s Colorado market.

The lawsuit states that Eddyline’s application from October 2016 for a trademark on “Epic Day” as a beer name was rejected due to its similarities to Epic Brewing’s existing trademark.

Eddyline CEO Brian England declined to comment on the suit. Epic did not respond to a request for comment.

C. Matthew Rozier from Snell & Wilmer LLP is representing Epic. Rozier declined to comment.

Brewery trademark cases are not new in Colorado: In 2015, two Centennial State beer makers took naming rights to court.

In February that year, Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing, one of the largest brewers in the state, sued Texas-based Oasis Brewing Co. over an IPA named Slow Ride. The brewery withheld their Slow Ride beers from products sold in Texas, and eventually gave it a new name there. The U.S. District Court in Denver dismissed the case in May, claiming Oasis did not have a presence in Colorado.

Later in 2015, Fate Brewing in Boulder sued a brewery with the same name based in Arizona. Both opened in 2012. According to the Phoenix New Times, Fate Brewing in Scotsdale, Arizona, changed its name to McFate Brewing Co. in summer 2016. A press release from McFate said the brewery didn’t want to put its resources into fighting the suit, and instead wanted to concentrate on making beer.

POSTED IN Brews and Booze, Featured, News

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