BrewDog has been making its popular drink, Elvis Juice, since 2015. The India Pale Ale has become the third most popular IPA in England. However, when the Elvis Presley estate caught wind, it filed suit. The Elvis Presley estate claimed that BrewDog hijacked the notorious moniker of the King of Rock himself.
The two owners of BrewDog changed their names to Elvis in response to the litigation, thinking that it could serve to show that Elvis Presley does not have exclusive rights to the use of the name. The Elvis estate initially won the trademark litigation suit. A British court ruled that patrons might believe that Elvis Juice had been officially sanctioned by the Elvis estate.
BrewDog filed an appeal, however, and won. The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) issued a final ruling on the matter, saying that the average person will know that BrewDog Elvis Juice doesn’t make any reference to the King of Rock.
According to an attorney from the firm that represented BrewDog, the case was an important victory because the brewery had chosen to stand up against the massive brand of the King of Rock and won. Ultimately, the owners of BrewDog have become two business owners who will not need to pay any kind of tribute to the King of Rock.
Are you embroiled in a trademark dispute? Winning or losing such a suit could mean the difference between millions of dollars of income in some cases. As such, you will want to proceed carefully, respect the law and formulate your litigation strategy with care.
Source: The Drum, “Brewdog secures ‘important victory’ in Elvis Juice trademark dispute,” Rebecca Stewart, Jan. 28, 2018