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Guns N’ Roses hard rock band sues a Canarchy brewery over its infringing beer

Written by Floriane Barre, an international intern on 15 May 2019

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Guns N’ Roses (GNR) is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California formed in 1985. The band is composed by Axl Rose – their lead singer, Slash and Duff McKagan. The band’s lawyers filed a lawsuit against a brewery, which sell a beer named “Guns ‘N’ Rosé Ale”. The brewery is Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado which is part of the Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective.

Last summer, the brewery filed an application to register as a trade mark for their beers the term “Guns ‘N’ Rosé Ale”. On 26th of March 2019, before the patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the band filed an opposition proceeding against this trademark application.

On this occasion, the band asked to the brewery to stop the sales.

Despite that, the Canarchy brewery had planned to pursue selling their beers until March 2020. Therefore,on the 9th of May 2019, the band’s lawyer filed a lawsuit against the brewery for trade mark infringement before the US District Court, Central District of California.

The claims of the band are numerous. In their opinion, Oskar Blues Brewery “should not be entitled to continue to sell infringing products and intentionally trade on the GNR’s goodwill, prestige, and fame without GNR’s approval, license, or consent.”. The beers are not the only infringing products as Canarchy has been selling t-shirt, hats, stickers, buttons, pint glasses and bandannas with the name of the beer “Guns ‘N’ Rosé Ale”. The famous band held that consumers are likely to be confused by the beer name. It could be viewed as an official partnership. The band are seeking damages and legal costs.

Oskar Blues rejects this and denies any connection between the beer and the band.

Keep your eyes peeled on the reading room to see how this dispute bubbles up.  

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