Lawsuit – No Lawsuit

First there was, then there wasn’t.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, which filed a lawsuit Monday against Sierra Nevada Brewing Company over alleged trademark infringement on its new Hop Hunter IPA label, quickly withdrew from the dispute in true Lagunitas fashion – via Tweeter.

On a quick series of tweets posted by Tony McGee, the founder and owner of Lagunitas Brewing said the suit would be dropped.

“Today I was seriously schooled & I heard you well,” one tweet stated. Another tweet then stated “Today was in the hands of the ultimate court; The Court of Public Opinion and in it I got an answer to my Question; Our IPA’s TM (trademark) has limits.”

The announcement of the lawsuit on Monday fired up the social media and blogosphere with a huge outpouring of opinions by craft beer consumers.  Most comments were negative about Lagunitas taking action and supported Sierra Nevada.

A few blog posts by trademark specialist also commented that design disputes are very difficult to prove because they tend to be subjective unless blatantly obvious.

One thing for certain, the demise of the dispute is good for the public perception of craft beer.