Oregon Brewer Sues Law Firm for Trademark Infringement

by T+B Blog Team on July 21, 2014

Full Sail Brewing, an employee-owned brewery in Oregon, has started legal proceedings against an Atlanta-based law firm over trademark infringement, a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court shows.

In the suit, the brewer claims that The Session Law Firm LLC is promoting its business with the help of “counterfeit versions” of its Sessions Lager logo, for which it obtained trademark rights in 2005. According to the brewer, the law firm’s mark is “confusingly similar” to the red-shield logo that it uses—both logos feature the word “Session” in the same black cursive font in the middle of a red shield outlined in grey. Full Sail is alleging that the law firm, which specializes in driving under the influence (DUI) prosecutions, is marketing itself to beer drinkers.

The brewer notes in the suit that a piece of the law firm’s marketing material features a brown paper beer can bag imprinted with the Sessions Law logo. Full Sail insists that the logo that Session Law is using could cause consumers to make a “malicious” connection between its products and DUI, harming the positive reputation the brand has built up.

The company is now asking for damages and an injunction barring the law firm from using the words “Session” or “Sessions” in the same cursive script in logos with a red-colored diamond shape.

When contacted by Brewbound, Full Sail’s CEO Irene Firmat expressed hopes that the case would be resolved out of court, noting that the brewer has already started talks with the firm. While the brewer does not want to be linked to DUI or reckless drinking, Firmat also emphasized the necessity of protecting and defending trademarks.

Do you see a likelihood of confusion?

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