Beer Company not Amused by Law Firm
PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A law firm specializing in drunken driving, that advertises on brown paper bags fit to hold one beer, ripped off an Oregon beer maker's logo, Full Sail Brewing claims in court.
Full Sail Brewing sued The Sessions Law Firm in Federal Court Tuesday, alleging trademark infringement and dilution, unfair competition and state law product disparagement.
Full Sail is based in Hood River, Ore., Sessions Law in Atlanta.
Since 2005, Full Sail has been selling "Session" beer, with the word Session inside a "distinctive shield logo, using a distinctive font, often with a red background and with a grey outline," the complaint states.
Sessions Law Firm, which handles DUI and vehicular homicide cases, markets its services by printing the words "Sessions Law" inside Full Sail's diamond-shaped shield logo - using the same cursive font and gray outline - on single-container to-go bags designed for open container consumption of beer, the complaint states.
Underneath the logo are the words DUI LAWYERS, followed by the law firm's contact information.
"Sessions creates a direct and malicious connection between Full Sail's goods, namely beer, and DUI (driving under the influence), through use of the marks," the beer company says in the complaint.
"The good will and reputation for quality that Full Sail has worked so hard to cultivate has been threatened by Sessions' actions."
Sessions Law uses the bags in many of the same consumer markets served by Full Sail, causing consumer confusion and irreparable harm to the beer company, according to the complaint.
The law firm's intentional use of the marks "disparage Full Sail's beer by falsely implying that Full Sail's Session beer is directly and harmfully connected to DUI," the beer company says.
Full Sail claims it has been told by at least one of its contractual partners that the use of the Session logo on the paper bags is of concern.
The beer company seeks treble damages and an injunction prohibiting the law firm from using the words "Session" or "Sessions" in connection with any diamond shape or outlined shield, the color red, or a cursive font.
Full Sail is represented by Charles DeVoe with Kolisch Hartwell.
The Sessions Law Firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.