Looks like West Sixth Brewing Company and Magic Hat have come to a truce following yesterday. Magic Hat posted this “official release” on its Facebook page just a few minutes ago (thanks to John King for pointing this out):
The parties have a mutual interest in assuring that consumers perceive their products as distinct.
The parties have mutually resolved the issues addressed in the lawsuit in a manner that eliminates potential confusion about product origin and resolves the lawsuit in a mutually acceptable way.
To the extent West Sixth in any way represented that Magic Hat filed a frivolous lawsuit, that Magic Hat initiated litigation improperly, that Magic Hat was unresponsive in negotiating a resolution, that Cerveceria Costa Rica was itself involved in the dispute or its resolution, that Magic Hat claimed ownership of the numeral 6, that Magic Hat sued West Sixth after West Sixth had already acceded to its demands, that Magic Hat has no Vermont presence, or that Magic Hat sought to recover for or enjoin West Sixth from truthful public statements, such representations are retracted. West Sixth regrets that it in any manner communicated any inaccuracies, and hereby corrects those errors.
Both Magic Hat and West Sixth have agreed that this joint statement will be the last public communication from either side regarding the resolved dispute.
Each wishes the other good fortune and continued success.
This is a bit of a surprise, but it’s nice to see this thing end amicably.
The Courier-Journal has joined the fray in covering the Magic Hat vs. West Sixth Brewing saga.
Noting that Magic Hat Brewing Company filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Lexington on May 16 over West Sixth’s logo, the story goes in-depth with coverage of just how similar the logo in question is to the Magic Hat #9 logo. Opinions have varied, with most coming down on the side that the two aren’t similar enough to warrant legal action.
One graphic designer interviewed, Brandon Bass of software company Codigo, said, “… It clearly doesn’t seem like it was borrowing from, influenced by or related to the Magic Hat logo at all in my opinion.”
U of L professor Steve Swaggs called the dispute a “fascinating story of Darwinian survival of the fittest in the world of visual form.”
Might as well read it for yourself.
According to a Facebook post from West Sixth Brewing, they’re making some progress in the West Sixth/Magic Hat #9 logo controversy. The post states that Cerveceria Costa Rica/North American Breweries has agreed to go into a mediation session with a magistrate judge.
This is expected to happen “within the next week or so,” according to West Sixth.
“We have no idea whether or not they’re willing to start at a reasonable place, since they still won’t tell us any settlement terms they would accept,” the post states. “While this makes us extremely cautious, we’re hopeful that they’re going into it in good faith and that this is not just a stall tactic.”
As you no doubt are aware if you are reading this, the beer-loving public has come out in favor of West Sixth by a large margin. In addition, Magic Hat was dropped from this coming weekend’s Fest of Ale over the issue.
“At the same time, however,” the post continues, “they’ve amended their lawsuit to up the stakes by including additional charges of ‘defamation’ and ‘false advertising,’ accusing us of lying throughout our posts online.”
West Sixth claims the Magic Hat folks are also “contacting distributors and individuals throughout the country accusing us of lying. And now they’ve asked the court for an injunction for ‘immediate relief’ against our public communications because they realize they have a lot to lose from the public hearing the truth about their legal tactics.”
What the Magic Ass-Hat (thanks Roger Baylor, for that one!) folks seem to have forgotten is that the burden of proof in the case of defamation will be on them. (The charge of false “advertising” simply shows how freaking stupid they must be. Good grief.)
Anyway, the Louisville beer community – and anyone with a conscience – is still firmly planted on the side of the good guys in this one. We have faith West Sixth will emerge smelling like a rose. A very hoppy one.