On May 16, just as Lexington’s first Craft Beer Week was winding down, Magic Hat filed suit against Lexington’s one-year-old craft brewery, West Sixth Brewing, claiming copyright infringement. Magic Hat #9 uses a 9 in their logo and West Sixth uses a 6 (which could be an upside-down 9).
Today, West Sixth responded via social media with a statement that included:
- Our logos were professionally designed by a designer in Lexington called Cricket Press who has a long history of fantastic and creative logo designs.
- Their federal trademark is simply for the text “# 9”, and our logo contains neither a “#” nor a “9”. (our favorite part of their argument is where they call a 6 an “inverted 9”. Yeah, and did you know that a “p” is just an inverted “d”? They’re totally the same letter!)
- Finally, our logo includes the words “West Sixth Brewing”. We think that makes it pretty clear.
Next, they invite fans to “sign our petition on the right to tell Magic Hat No More’ and drop their lawsuit.”
West Sixth co-founder Ben Self is an MIT grad and was a founding partner of Blue State Digital, a digital brand instrumental in transforming the landscape of presidential campaigns, shifting the territory online.
No one seems to know if it was Mencken or Twain or an old PR hack who first said “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.” Magic Hat is quickly learning that there’s a corollary to that for the digital era, having picked on one of the guys who first figured out how to wrangle an iGeneration into electing a president. Twice. Win or lose in court — the lawyers will haggle that out — Magic Hat has lost round one.