BrewDog all shook up over Elvis Juice trade marks!
In a battle between the king of craft brewing and The King, the popular beer brand, BrewDog, has lost a legal battle with Elvis Presley’s estate over the name of one of its beers.
The Scottish brewers launched their grapefruit based IPA ‘Elvis Juice’ in July 2015, with sales of over £2million and over 415,000 litres to date. In early 2016, the company filed trade mark applications for ‘Elvis Juice’ and ‘BREWDOG ELVIS JUICE’ to protect the popular drink.
It wasn’t long before the suspicious minds of the Elvis Presley estate opposed the applications, having already registered the mark ‘Elvis’ for beers and other beverages. The BrewDog founders responded by changing their names to Elvis by deed poll, to show that the name is not exclusive to the Heartbreak Hotel singer.
However, the IPO commented that Elvis Presley was ‘iconic’ and the ‘most famous of Elvises’, and concluded that BrewDog’s trade marks should be refused registration. It considered there was a likelihood of indirect confusion between the marks, even with the addition of ‘BrewDog’ and ‘Juice’. The Hearing Officer also regarded that the average consumer will assume that the goods sold under BrewDog’s marks come from the same or related undertaking as those sold under the already registered trade mark ‘Elvis’.
It is now time for a little less conversation and a little more action from BrewDog, who will need to decide whether to appeal the IPO’s decision and the future of its Elvis Juice. For the time being, it appears that Elvis Juice has left the building…