On April 7 we reported that Stone Brewing had just won a jury verdict of $56 Million on its accusation that beer giant MillerCoors infringed on Stone’s trademark rights when MillerCoors rebranded its Keystone Light beer as “STONE.”
In an ironic twist, just three weeks later, a small craft brewery out of North Carolina, Sycamore Brewing, filed suit against the much larger Stone Brewing alleging that Stone infringed on Sycamore’s trademark rights by using the “Keep it Juicy” logo on Stone’s “Hazy IPA” brand of beer. In that case, Sycamore has obtained a preliminary injunction against Stone. That means that the federal court hearing Sycamore’s case has found that Sycamore is likely to succeed in proving that Stone infringed Sycamore’s trademark rights in “Keep it Juicy.” The injunction orders Stone to cease using “Keep it Juicy” on its packaging, etc. The injunction does not end the case because Sycamore is also seeking money damages from Stone and the case must be fully litigated. But Sycamore has won a major victory for now. Stone has filed an appeal of the preliminary injunction order.
In the meantime, back to Stone v. MillerCoors. In that case, Stone has now filed a post-trial motion asking the court to order – in addition to the jury’s award of $56 for trademark infringement – that (1) MillerCoors should disgorge all of its profits earned while using “Stone” to identify its Keystone Light beer, and (2) the jury’s award of $56 Million should be “trebled” as a penalty for MillerCoors’ infringing conduct.