Guns N’ Roses is Suing a Colorado Brewery

Joe: 106.7 WIZN. John Mellencamp there with “Jack and Diane.” Heard AC/DC before that. I’m Joe Vega taking you through your Wednesday rocking ride home. I was talking earlier about this lawsuit Guns N’ Roses has against a Colorado brewery. And I called my friend Ben Barry from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. You can call them at 1-800-LAW-1010 or go online to Ben, how are you doing?

Ben: Doing well, Joey. How are you?

Joe: I’m doing well. Thanks for coming on. So I wanted to talk to you about this Guns N’ Roses lawsuit. The band is sewing a Colorado brewery. Oskar Blues is the name, and they’re sewing this company for trademark infringement for a beer named Guns ‘N’ Rosé which is an awful name for a beer. You’re thinking wine more there, but they’re suing them for trademark infringement. I guess my question is can the beer really be that bad?

Ben: Well, yeah, it could be. I mean I think Guns N’ Roses the band probably has a pretty good suit against this particular company because essentially this brewery has infringed on the Guns N’ Roses trademark amongst other things.

Joe: Right, I was gonna say it’s gonna be pretty hard for them to say that it’s not at all influenced by Guns N’ Roses, right?

Ben: That’s correct, and from what I could gather the claim was filed in California, and that claim is available. But it looks like the brewery sort of went on this large marketing campaign which merchandised a lot of things with the Guns N’ Rose’ name on it that were sort of in the similar fashion as you would find some of the Guns N’ Roses t-shirts as if you went on tour. So I think that there is a really high likelihood that Guns N’ Roses will be able to at least obtain damages if the brewery does not oblige by their cease and desist request or any injunctive relief from the courts.

Joe: So can Guns N’ Roses get money from them only if they don’t cease and desist?

Ben: Well, Guns N’ Roses isn’t going to say to the brewery, “Give us some percentage of your beer sale.” And so ultimately what Guns N’ Roses the band because they are the plaintiffs in this particular action they have to demonstrate what their damages are. They have to demonstrate that, A, this is a trademark infringement that, B, the brewery has somehow diminished the value of the Guns N’ Roses trademark.

Joe: That’s an interesting thing.

Ben: Yeah, I mean, you know, Guns N’ Roses, Axl and Slash, you know, they have a trademark. They have a good that they deliver, and this brewery is delivering a good that sounds a lot like Guns N’ Roses and might not be of their standard. Maybe they don’t endorse beer sales.

Maybe Axl and Slash don’t even drink beer. And so there’s this sort of taking from or diminishing of the Guns N’ Roses trademark. And they have to demonstrate, as the plaintiff, they have to demonstrate what in fact has been taken from them or how they’ve been damaged.

Joe: Gotcha, all right. Well, there you go. It must really be awful then.

Ben: Well, it’s gonna be off the market at least according to the brewery. In 2020, they’re gonna stop selling the beer but it’s kinda no man’s land between now and then. But the court may tell them to stop selling it. So if it’s on the rack at your local beer shop maybe grab some for nostalgia.

Joe: There you go. Thanks a lot, Ben.

Ben: Thank you, Joey. Talk to you soon.

Joe: Ben Barry from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Again you can call them at 1-800-LAW-1010 or go online to Mel Allen takes over from here. He’s got music from Mötley Crüe and Aerosmith next.