Trademark News & Screw-ups Metro Detroit microbrewery battling national liquor company over trademark

The local brewer is asking the right question when he says, "I'd like to get an explanation as to what they think is confusion." That's what trademark disputes always come down to. Would the purchasing public be likely to be confused into thinking that products of two different manufacturers actually come from the same source. Here, the question is not whether E&B is too close to E&J but whether the overall impression created by the two logos is such that consumers with some vague recollection of the E&J logo would be likely to think they are buying the product from the same company when they get to buy beer with E&B logo. I would say that if you don't know the history behind both brands, the answer to that question is, possibly yes. Apparently, E&J does not mind that E&B keep the mark as long as they restrict their sales to Michigan and Ohio, which is probably as far as common-law would protect E&B's brand.

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