If you are new to my website you might think that this is a beer blog dedicated to beer law and all it’s legalities. Being that this is my 3rd post in my last 4th that takes on a legal aspect of the beer industry you would have a good case (pun intended) with that assumption. Alas I am no lawyer, let alone trying to run a law blog about the beer game, but I have recently found the intricacies of beer laws fascinating. With that in mind yesterday I got a nice, new story to drop many hours of my day reading about with the news that Stone Brewing Company was suing MillerCoors for trademark infringement over the rebranding and marketing of their Keystone Light brand. A craft brewery suing a big boy brewery? Woah!
The news of the case was broken by Stone themselves through the use of a cheeky video staring co-founder and fellow graying beard enthusiast Greg Koch. In true Stone style the video includes Greg being snarky if not arrogant (get it?) while explaining the company’s thought process through the entire decision for the lawsuit. I mean do you expect Stone to be 100% straight laced?
He sites new can designs that prominently display the word STONE separated from it’s usual partnering word KEY and, honestly, at this point the video it seems very obvious that Greg is covering the KEY word up with his hand and it can make you think that this is nothing but a publicity stunt. When this is followed up by Greg claiming that this was indeed not a marketing campaign in a five minute, well produced video with graphics, a soundtrack and an official hastag it’s hard for some to not think that it was a stunt. However when new sources received the official complaint you could tell right away that this was anything but a game.