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Odin Brewing to Change "Ruby" Beer Name at Rival's Behest

Yet another trademark infringement story involving a Seattle microbrewery. (Previous STL posts here, here and here.)

This time, it’s Odin Brewing Company on the hot seat. Portland’s McMenamins Inc. recently told it that “Odin’s Gift Ruby Ale” infringes McMenamins’ federal registration for “Ruby.”

From Odin’s Web site: “We have an important announcement regarding one of our products… Odin’s Gift Ruby Ale. We were contacted this week by the management of McMenamins Corp. (Portland, OR) that they have a U.S. trademark on the term, ‘Ruby Ale.’ Therefore, we are in the unfortunate position of taking the words ‘Ruby Ale,’ off all of our assets from this day forward. This does not affect the availability of the beer itself. We will continue to produce and distribute Odin’s Gift and we thank you in advance for all of your support.”

Odin states it will be holding a contest to re-name the beer.

Washington Beer Blog post on the dispute here.

Not to sound like a broken record, but this thorn in Odin’s side was entirely avoidable. A trademark search — before Odin named its beer — would have uncovered McMenamins’ registration.

Changing brands is tough. It’s way, way better to avoid a problem on the front-end than abruptly having to change one’s brand in mid-stream.

It may seem like it, but this problem is by no means limited to Seattle microbreweries.

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