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Author Topic: Guns N' Roses sue brewery over Guns 'N' Rosé beer  (Read 1212 times)
GypsySoul
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« on: May 10, 2019, 07:12:01 PM »

Guns N' Roses sue brewery over Guns 'N' Rosé beer

Rock band argue the beer will look to consumers like an official product and has caused them ‘irreparable damage’


Axl Rose and Slash of Guns N’ Roses. Photograph: Victor Lerena/EPA

Guns N’ Roses are suing a Colorado brewery for trademark infringement over a beer named Guns ‘N’ Rosé.

In a California court filing, the band argue that consumers are likely to be confused by the branding from Oskar Blues Brewery, part of the Canarchy Craft Brewing Collective, and could assume it is an official partnership. The complaint argues that the band’s brand has thus had “irreparable damage” done to it by the craft beer, and has “suffered and continues to suffer and/or is likely to suffer damage to their trademarks, business reputation, and goodwill”.

It argues that the brewery “should not be entitled to continue to sell infringing products and intentionally trade on the GNR’s goodwill, prestige, and fame without GNR’s approval, license, or consent”. The band are seeking damages and legal costs.

Oskar Blues Brewery has not yet responded to the lawsuit. It had attempted to trademark the Guns N’ Rosé name and abandoned the application after opposition from the band – but is understood to intend to continue selling the beer until March 2020. Its flavour is described as “sticky prickly pear and floral hibiscus with a subtle hop profile”.

Guns N’ Roses continue to tour following their 2016 reunion, with Slash and Duff McKagan saying that writing is under way for a new album, their first since 2008’s Chinese Democracy.

The band have faced numerous lawsuits in the past: separate claims by former members Steven Adler and Chris Pitman over unpaid earnings were both settled, and they were also sued in 2008 by German ambient musician Ulrich Schnauss, after two of his pieces were used on Chinese Democracy. The band denied the claim, saying they had been told the samples had been sourced legitimately.

https://www.theguardian.com

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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 09:51:49 PM »

So they approach the band, get rebuffed, and plow ahead anyway?

My god.  Who is THEIR lawyer?
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2019, 01:13:17 AM »

So they approach the band, get rebuffed, and plow ahead anyway?

My god.  Who is THEIR lawyer?

Not quite, they tried to trademark the name but the band stopped them. That is more understandable but I don't think Guns have much of a case on simply naming the beer that. If they named it "Guns N Roses Beer" they might have a case, but simply making a pun based on their name isn't the same.

And are they selling a competing beer? If not, how has it caused any damages?
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Lord Stan
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2019, 03:02:34 AM »

And are they selling a competing beer? If not, how has it caused any damages?

I agree there is no damage because how could there be but this is still crazy.  The brewery knows full well they are using the name of a famous rock band hoping to sell more because of the name.

And that is unacceptable. They could name their shit anything else. Trying to be clever not using the exact name but meaning it to be the same.
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2019, 03:56:21 AM »

Pretty dumb thing to do really. If it was my company I'd have knocked it on the head with a sincere apology at the first sign the band weren't happy.
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2019, 05:31:52 PM »

I agree there is no damage because how could there be but   they are using the name of a famous rock band hoping to sell more

That's exactly it.  There isn't any "damage" per se, but they ARE making money off the band because the beer is going to sell based on the similar name.  If I were GNR, I wouldn't take too kindly to that either.
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2019, 08:14:55 PM »

I agree there is no damage because how could there be but   they are using the name of a famous rock band hoping to sell more

That's exactly it.  There isn't any "damage" per se, but they ARE making money off the band because the beer is going to sell based on the similar name.  If I were GNR, I wouldn't take too kindly to that either.

Is it though? I mean, would anybody actively go out of their way to seek out this beer at this bar just because of the name? Whether somebody picks that over another drink at the same bar makes no difference to the bar if they are already there drinking something either way. The only way it drives up sales is if people come specifically because of that beer.
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2019, 05:13:19 AM »

Is it though? I mean, would anybody actively go out of their way to seek out this beer at this bar just because of the name? Whether somebody picks that over another drink at the same bar makes no difference to the bar if they are already there drinking something either way. The only way it drives up sales is if people come specifically because of that beer.

Huh?

The bar doesn't matter in this case.

Selling more beer doesn't imply making people go out and actively look for the beer and buy it.

It's the brewery that's using the GN'R name and has decided to closely associate one of their products with the band's famous name. So just one person buying one bottle of this beer because it has a cool name, almost like the rock band's, means their tactic worked....





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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2019, 07:25:29 AM »

So....we might not like how this is being done, but....

Satire is protected, even in product names, by the Constitution in the US.

And the brewery can make a pretty good case this is satire.

The brewery can't use GnRs logo, likenesses, etc, but in this case, GnR would have to prove the name causes one of two things:

1) Confusion
2) Dilution

I would guess GnR are going to argue Confusion (that people might mistake this for an official GnR product).  I think that's a tough sell as long as there are no logo infringements or pictures of band members on the label.  The name, itself, could be considered a satirical take without some other form of "relationship" indicators.  I've seen TONS of other beer names (Dr. Strangehaze, Hop Wars (using the Star Wars font), Fruit Loop, etc) go through similar C&Ds and the courts usually rule it's fair use based on satire, as long as there aren't other product indicators (ex: The Fruit Loop beer couldn't show actually ringed fruity breakfast cereal on their labels).

And Dilution would be near impossible because it would be tough to argue that even a shitty beer would effect perception of the bands musical efforts.  Ask Metallica.  Their official beer is pretty shitty.  Tongue

I don't like it either...and I'm of a mind that if the big time musical act doesn't see it as a flattering homage, you just pull it and relabel it as something else.  But I think in a court case.....it's not a great case for GnR.  And, honestly, all it's doing is selling more beer for the brewery.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 07:27:55 AM by pilferk » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2019, 08:29:39 AM »

I was aware of this beer prior to this- i wasn't aware of the brewery, or any other beers they make or have made.

The reason? GNR. That says all you need to know right?

The band have to take a stand on things this, otherwise it's a slippery slope. It's just business really. Sounds like they offered the brewers a sensible solution first too- say sorry and stop producing it, or rename it. That's a route most peoople would take then up on- that they chose to ignore that suggests to me that they're making money off the GNR name, rather than the quality of the product.
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2019, 11:56:37 AM »

I tried this beer a couple of months ago. it is on tap at Brickwall Tavern in Philly. I saw it on the list, so it was a no brainer to try. i liked it. pretty good beer.

sucks about the lawsuit, but can't blame them. in the end, free press for brewery so they won't be hurting.
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2019, 01:38:39 PM »

I tried this beer a couple of months ago. it is on tap at Brickwall Tavern in Philly. I saw it on the list, so it was a no brainer to try. i liked it. pretty good beer.

sucks about the lawsuit, but can't blame them. in the end, free press for brewery so they won't be hurting.

No doubt the GNR reference would have caught my attention but I doubt I would have tried it because no way am I drinking what possibly could actually be "Rosé" flavored beer!!! And they can also keep all their micro-brews or whatever.  I'll have a Bud!

That being said,
A little bit of an ironic lawsuit from a band with the major hit song "Nightrain"
I confess, I bought it just because of the GNR connection.

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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2019, 03:20:43 PM »


Pretty dumb thing to do really. If it was my company I'd have knocked it on the head with a sincere apology at the first sign the band weren't happy.


This is what I was getting at.
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2019, 03:11:25 AM »

I don't think this lawsuit would work here in Europe, I studied a little bit of antitrust law and for what I can remember if you use a similar brand but you work in a different sector  you won't create confusion for consumers. If i have a brand named cola cola and i sell red cars, i can do it without any problem. But maybe i remember wrong, too many years  crying crying
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2019, 05:30:17 AM »

I don't think this lawsuit would work here in Europe

Europe is Europe and thankfully we don't have that American bullshit where you sue everyone for a ridiculous amount of money that they couldn't possibly pay anyway. Sometimes something probably even didn't happen but let's sue. See you in court.
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2019, 07:30:48 PM »

Guns N' Roses settles lawsuit over Guns 'N' Rosé beer


FILE PHOTO: Axl Rose, lead singer of U.S. rock band Guns N' Roses, performs during their "Not in This Lifetime... Tour" at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi

(Reuters) - Guns N' Roses has settled a lawsuit in which it accused the Colorado brewery Oskar Blues of trademark infringement for selling Guns 'N' Rosé ale and merchandise without permission.

According to a Monday court filing by the rock band's lawyers, both sides agreed in principle to settle on July 31, and are working on a written settlement that would lead to the lawsuit's dismissal.

Guns N' Roses, whose general partners include singer Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, accused Oskar Blues on May 9 of deliberately trading off its fame and goodwill by selling Guns 'N' Rosé, starting in early 2018.

It also objected to the sale of related T-shirts, stickers, buttons and bandannas, saying Oskar Blues confused beer drinkers into thinking Guns N' Roses and Guns 'N' Rosé were connected.

The Longmont, Colorado-based brewery, whose products include Dale's Pale Ale, has described Guns 'N' Rosé as combining "sticky prickly pear and floral hibiscus with a subtle hop profile."

Lawyers for the band and the brewery did not immediately respond on Tuesday to separate requests for comment.

Other craft breweries including Lagunitas, Rogue, Sierra Nevada and Stone have also been in trademark lawsuits, whether as plaintiffs or defendants, as the swelling ranks of breweries make it tougher to come up with new ways to sell beer.

The Brewers Association said the United States had 7,346 craft breweries in 2018, up from 3,814 in 2014.

The case is Guns N' Roses v Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC d/b/a Oskar Blues Brewery, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 19-04052.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)



Guns N' Roses Settles Legal Battle Over Knockoff Guns 'N' Rose Beer and Merch
Ryan Naumann, TheBlast



Guns N’ Roses has reached a deal to drop the lawsuit they brought against a company allegedly hawking beer and merchandise using the band name.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Guns N’ Roses – including Axl Rose and Slash – have reached a settlement agreement with Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective.

The band informed the court, “Plaintiff and Defendant CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC have been engaged in settlement discussions since the filing of the Complaint on May 9, 2019. On July 31, 2019, Plaintiff and Defendant reached an agreement in principle that resolves all claims asserted in, and will result in dismissal of, the Complaint. The parties are in the process of finalizing a written settlement agreement and expect to execute a written agreement that will lead to dismissal of the Complaint in the near term.”

Guns N’ Roses is asking the judge to allow them more time to finalize the deal and they will then dismiss their lawsuit.

Earlier this year, Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan came together to sue Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective over a beer they've been selling called Guns 'N' Rose.

In addition, the band claimed the company has been selling hats, t-shirts, pint glasses, stickers, buttons, and bandannas with the name on them.

GNR claimed Canarchy tried to trademark the name but after the band objected, they agreed to abandon the application.

Axl and the boys claim they reached out several times to tell them to stop selling all the goods completely and claim Canarchy agreed to stop ... but not until March 2020.

That didn't fly with GNR but they claimed Canarchy “refused to immediately and completely cease sales and marketing" the beer and all the goods.

Guns N' Roses sued for trademark infringement and sought unspecified damages.

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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2019, 10:38:46 PM »

I don't think we are getting our beer.  It's not on their site and the merchandise isn't even in the sales section.  It's gone.
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2019, 12:24:03 AM »


Axl and the boys claim they reached out several times to tell them to stop selling all the goods completely and claim Canarchy agreed to stop ... but not until March 2020.


Lol. You got guts kid.
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2019, 01:04:05 AM »


Axl and the boys claim they reached out several times to tell them to stop selling all the goods completely and claim Canarchy agreed to stop ... but not until March 2020.


Lol. You got guts kid.

Quote
She went on to dispute the band’s claims of trademark infringement — and then took a direct shot. “We see no evidence that your client has reached a level of fame to warrant the extraordinary remedies of the Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006.”

And that's when they crossed the line from gutsy to, what are you smoking?  Cheesy
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2019, 09:11:07 AM »

I still think it was an amazingly stupid move by the brewery.....and even more stupid not to just say "oh, sorry, we'll cease making it straight away, issue an apology and try and make amends".
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