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Brewer Disputes With Real Sam Adams

 6:44 pm on Oct 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The Boston brewers of Sam Adams beer objected when they learned that a mayoral campaign here included Web sites invoking the name of their product.

What they didn't realize is that Sam Adams is also the name of the candidate and has been since before the beer hit the market.

Brewer Disputes With Real Sam Adams [ap.google.com]



 9:04 pm on Oct 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bornemann said she's willing to discuss Adams' use of his name on his Web sites "probably for the length of the time the election is being held."

Which is complete crap of course, he can hold it for as long as he wants, and if the brewery wants to cry about it, they can fork over the dough (or at least the yeast)


 9:13 pm on Oct 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

If he's willing to take donations from the alcohol industry, I'm sure there are dozens of brewers that would LOVE to have their logos put on a Sam Adams domain.

And of course, a picture of Sam Adams drinking a Budweiser- priceless!


 11:03 pm on Oct 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I find two things very disturbing in her response.

Boston Beer's Helen Bornemann said she didn't know there was a real Sam Adams running for mayor when she sent the letter.

It just goes to show how entitled some feel. She did NO due diligence before sending it out? Why not?

Bornemann said she's willing to discuss Adams' use of his name on his Web sites "probably for the length of the time the election is being held."

Well isn't that nice of her?!?!? Glad they are willing to allow someone use of their own name.

Again we decent further into insanity with these types of trademark bullying.

Trademarks are specific to the industry they were registered in so unless this guy is running for the mayor of beer-town then they have no claim to the name in this context at all.... and yet they send out the legal letters.

We need a way to deal with these "bullying" tactics so that when someone can't afford a lawyer or they simply don't know any better they don't hand over domains they have as much right to as the company demanding they be turned over to.

How many of these stories don't we hear about because some poor guy/gal doesn't even know their rights.. sees a letter from a lawyer and hands over their property...

If the letter says:

"you are in violation of our trademark and must hand over the domain or we will take you to court"

And they haven't even checked to see if you have a right to the name..... Then that is extortion... Threatening court action for something that is not infringing at all is nothing less.

[edited by: Demaestro at 11:05 pm (utc) on Oct. 29, 2007]


 1:08 am on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Helen Bornemann is Intellectual Property Manager with the brewery so should certainly know right from wrong. This is a clear case of bullying. She's taken domains to the WIPO before and will be entirely aware that it is required that the current holder has no legitimate interest in the name.

On the other hand; she should have acted when the radio station registered the domains at which point they were held by someone with no legitimate interest.

We need a way to deal with these "bullying" tactics ...

Agreed entirely. Something like self representation and a fixed fee to claim fixed awards for lawyer-mediated harassment (fixed claim per letter, per false claim and per threat). The lawyer would need to demonstrate reasonable legal basis for the threat and all other claims made. No legal costs regardless of outcome as this is self representation and the laywer appears in a personal capacity to make payment from personal funds.


 3:10 am on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Did you see that the two guys are auctioning the original cease and desist letter off on ebay to benefit charity?


Ha! I loved that.


 3:26 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

If they were smart, Sam Adams would try to buy it as part of damage control. Admit they made a mistake, let a charity benefit, and Sam Adams gets a tax writeoff and some decent publicity to counteract the bad publicity this is bringing them.


 1:19 am on Oct 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Currently at $416... probably a lot less than it cost Sam Adams in the first place. And I like the damage control idea... how about all Sam Adams branded beers for Portland distribution carrying a photo of candidate-Sam Adams until the election is over?

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