Lexington-based West Sixth Brewery and Vermont-based Magic Hat announced today that they have resolved their trademark dispute lawsuit “in a manner that eliminates potential confusion about product origin and resolves the lawsuit in a mutually acceptable way.” The details were not explained in an initial release, but a statement announcing the resolution includes a full retraction by West Sixth of its claims last month that it was being bullied by Magic Hat.
The trademark conflict foamed over last month when West Sixth launched an aggressive social media campaign in response to a trademark infringement lawsuit by Magic Hat. That suit contended that Magic Hat round trademark with an ornate number six and multipointed star was being infringed on by West Sixth’s round trademark with a similarly sized number nine and stylized compass rose.
“To the extent West Sixth in any way represented that Magic Hat filed a frivolous lawsuit, that Magic Hat initiated litigation improperly, that Magic Hat was unresponsive in negotiating a resolution, that Cerveceria Costa Rica was itself involved in the dispute or its resolution, that Magic Hat claimed ownership of the numeral 6, that Magic Hat sued West Sixth after West Sixth had already acceded to its demands, that Magic Hat has no Vermont presence, or that Magic Hat sought to recover for or enjoin West Sixth from truthful public statements, such representations are retracted. West Sixth regrets that it in any manner communicated any inaccuracies, and hereby corrects those error,” today’s statement says.
“Both Magic Hat and West Sixth have agreed that this joint statement will be the last public communication from either side regarding the resolved dispute,” it continues, finishing, “Each wishes the other good fortune and continued success.”
In late May, Magic Hat filed for an injunction in U.S. District Court to stop West Sixth’s social media campaign, which began with a notice to the media saying, “We’re being bullied, and we have a full response here.” The link went to a page that began,”Stop corporate bullying. Fill in your name to the right to quickly sign our petition! Hi. We’re West Sixth Brewing, a socially-conscious craft brewery that opened last year in Lexington, Kentucky. … Unfortunately, our success has also made us a few enemies. And this week, one of those enemies got so mad, they decided to try and force us out of business by filing a silly and frivolous lawsuit against us.”
One of the owners of West Sixth is Ben Self, a social media expert who had a key role in the 2008 Barack Obama campaign’s very successful online fund-raising and organizing.
TheWest Sixth petition and allegations of corporate bullying gathered lots of attention and Magic Hat seemed to be caught off guard by the response, which garnered thousands of petition signatures within hours.