Friday, November 8, 2013

Goldenrod Brewing Co. forced to change their name by another craft brewery

Goldenrod Brewing Company, a brewpub to open in Omaha in 2014, has been asked, via cease and desist, to change their name by Golden Road Brewing Company in California because they feel the Goldenrod name is similar enough to theirs to cause confusion in the marketplace.

Initially this surprised the gang at Goldenrod, but they looked into it and they did see some similarities to their old logo and the Golden Road Brewing logo so they decided to give them a call and see if changing the logo would work. They received no response initially to that request.  In the spirit of craft beer camaraderie, the Goldenrod crew was ready to work with Golden Road and come up with a workable solution and yet they have been met with silence.  We often hear how great this community is and have even seen cases where brewers with similar beer names come together and work up a collaboration beer instead of a lawsuit.  Apparently that kind of compromise and friendly attitude that we've come to expect from the people in the craft beer world was not acceptable to Golden Road and they have chosen to bully a start up brewery, half the country away, into changing their name.

When is there going to be confusion in this marketplace for either of these beers?  I understand that craft beer is exploding and we may see the day that Golden Road is in Nebraska on the shelf, but come on, yours is a two word name for a brewery in California and Goldenrod is the state flower of Nebraska. 

I understand you have to protect your brand, but this seems a bit extreme. Why not first simply call the folks at Goldenrod and talk with them about your concerns? Isn't it possible that a conversation could have ended this thing quickly and amicably?  If, after a conversation, they felt that legal action was still necessary, then so be it, but bringing the threat of legal action against a brand new, not yet open brewery with little financial ability to stand up for themselves is mean-spirited and cold.  It certainly does not endear Golden Road to us Nebraskans and those who hear and read about this.

Bottom-line, Goldenrod gang, we got your back and so does the state of Nebraska.  Whatever name you settle on, we have faith in you and the product you will produce.  This is a small hurdle in the big picture and most of us know what you can do, and will do, and the name, in the end, doesn't matter.  The silver lining is that it happened now and not later.



deborah said...

Trademarks are very tricky, especially if of the words in them is sort of generic (like the word "golden" is). Agree that it is not exemplary of the camaraderie one usually finds within the craft beer community. No doubt the "other side" has a lawyer in the family who has them to be less than sporting. I know a ton about trademarks, from the various companies I have run or been involved with, if they
want to talk to somebody.

Ken said...

Very discouraging when a small business has to deal with something that could turn into a big expense.

Maybe the state Guild could lend some support to Goldenrod here in some way?

Tom said...

While it is sad to see I can honestly say that I was confused by the two names multiple times while reading about this issue. I think Goldenrod is doing the right thing by changing.

Joe said...

I suggest Golden Rule Brewery. I will stop by as soon as you open. Go for it!

Joe said...

I suggest Golden Rule Brewery. I will stop by as soon as you open. Go for it!

Anonymous said...

Golden Road Brewing on "Workaholics"