Recently, one of the most well-known craft breweries in Northern California, Lagunitas, filed trademark-infringement lawsuits against a fellow craft brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, over the logo of its newest brew. To Tony Magee, founder and CEO of Lagunitas, the bold IPA design on the label Sierra Nevada’s brew was too similar, and in an attempt to protect his brand, he decided to take legal action. Following a Twitter backlash, Magee decided to drop his case.
While we’ll never know how this story would unfold, the incident brings up important questions for any growing brand in a competitive space. How can I protect my brand? And how do I keep from infringing on others?