A Canadian beer maker has sued a Vermont craft brewery that it claims infringed on its trademarked logo: a moose head.
The aptly named Moosehead Breweries, headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick, alleges that Hop'n Moose Brewing, an establishment on Center Street in Rutland, uses such a similar image on its beer labels "as to create a likelihood of confusion" for consumers.
Moosehead, which has used its logo since 1931 and describes itself as "the last major brewery in Canada owned by Canadians," demands that Hop'n Moose owner Dale Patterson cease using a moose logo and even give up the brand's domain name, hopnmoose.com.
Patterson, reached by phone Monday, said he had no idea Moosehead filed suit and said he had not been served. The Québec native and former University of Vermont hockey player said his family has long hunted moose, inspiring the name and logo for his brewpub, which opened in March 2014. Moosehead reps called him in the fall of 2016 to discuss his logo but never threatened legal action, said Patterson. His logo depicts the silhouette of an entire moose in profile — while Moosehead uses, well, just the antlered animal's head.
"Certainly, it was never, and never would be, my intent to infringe on anyone's property or intellectual property," Patterson told Seven Days. He declined to comment further, saying he'd yet to see the Canadian company's claim and wanted to talk to his attorney before making a statement.
Moosehead hasn't shied away from litigation. The company recently went after the Adirondack Brewery in Lake George, N.Y., which sold a root beer called Moose Wizz. A jury last August found in favor of Moosehead. Moose Wizz is history.