A trademark dispute between Lexington’s West Sixth Brewing Co. and the Vermont brewer Magic Hat has gone viral on social media, sparked by a lawsuit filed last week by Magic Hat.
The dispute regards two circular logos formed around numbers. In the suit, Magic Hat—owned by the Costa Rica-based Florida Ice & Farm—claims the similarity between them is causing confusion for consumers.
Ben Self, co-owner of Lexington’s year-old West Sixth Brewing Co., says that argument doesn’t hold up.
“They call our six an ‘inverted nine,’ rather than an entirely separate number. Which is pretty silly, everybody knows that a six and a nine are not the same thing,” Self said.
In response, West Sixth has launched a petition on social media to generate 20,000 signatures for its cause.
In a news release, a Magic Hat representative claims the company was blindsided by the campaign and charges West Sixth with failing to negotiate in good faith after the issue was brought to their attention last September. But Self says West Sixth heard nothing from Magic Hat for the three months leading up to the lawsuit and has reached out to the owners to resolve the issue amicably.
“I would say if they hadn’t filed a lawsuit and instead had continued negotiating in good faith, there would have been no need to even talk about it publicly,” Self said. ”We didn’t talk about it publicly any time before that, so they really pushed the issue.”