Harvester Brewing in Portland has fallen victim of a frivolous lawsuit by Hope Family Wines in Paso Robles, CA. They are claiming that they have the sole rights to use Harvester for their wine that I could not even find on their website. So instead of fighting them Harvester has decided to rename their brewery and is giving its fans a chance to have a say in it. Hope Family Wines, or rather their owner, Treana Winery LLC, was issued the trademark for Harvester on May 31, 2011. I find it difficult to believe that there would be any "brand confusion" between a wine that doesn't use the name harvester and a gluten free beer company but Hope Family Wines may have patrons of below average intelligence.
If you would like to throw your idea for a name into the ring and support "The brewery previously known as Harvester", email your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the full text of the press release:
If you were disappointed that you missed out on the opportunity to help name the first dedicated gluten-free brewery in the United States then we have some great news. Hope Family Wines in Paso Robles, California has decided that our use of Harvester will create brand confusion and has demanded that we change the name of our brewery, despite being in a different trademark class. Rather than spend time, money, and energy focused on a lengthy legal battle we have decided to ask our fans to help us choose a new name.
Hope Family Wines finds the use of “Harvester” in any form “unacceptable” so ideas like New Harvester Brewing or G.F.Harvester Brewing will not be permitted by Hope Family Wines. We would like it if the new name worked well with our love of farming, farmers, and tractors so we can continue using our tractor logo but we will consider non-tractor related ideas too.