Posted in Brooklyn Brewing

Legal: Brooklyn sues Black Ops Brewing over Ops name

Brooklyn Brewery is suing Fresno’s Black Ops Brewing in the state of California. The focus of the suit is over the “Black Ops” name.

This source of the suit might be a little more obvious than brewery legal entanglements. Brooklyn Black Ops, (the brewery’s barrel aged beer that doesn’t exist, but does if you’ve seen the marketing) was first released in 2007. Brooklyn owns a trademark for Black Ops.

Recently, Black Ops Brewing applied for a trademark for the brewery name, but was denied the mark in July, due to the potential brand confusing with Brooklyn’s beer.  Brendan Palfreyman, lawyer friend of Beer Street Journal clarifies for us:

Brooklyn Brewery has a solid case here as its trademarks – BROOKLYN BLACK OPS and/or BLACK OPS – are similar to the BLACK OPS BREWING trademark.  This is especially true given that courts typically discount portions of trademarks that are merely descriptive of the associated goods and services, like “brewing” in the BLACK OPS BREWING trademark.  Also, notably, Black Ops Brewing applied for a federal trademark registration for its name, but the application was rejected based on Brooklyn Brewery’s trademark registration for BROOKLYN BLACK OPS.

Brooklyn Brewing mentions in the suit, a cease and desist was issued in August. Below, the proposed artwork for Black Ops Brewing’s Bayonet Brown Ale.

Bayonet-Brown

  • Dave K

    1) Brooklyn doesn’t distro to California to the best of my knowledge.
    2) I’m pretty sure that anything out of “Black Ops Brewing” would be markedly better than the garbage coming out of Brooklyn. I’ve yet to have an enjoyable Brooklyn beer, especially any of their barrel aged overpriced bullshit. $20+ for a bottle that might as well be full of raw sewage.

    There is no confusion here. Tired of this shit.

    • j

      dude, this is a pretty clear violation of a copyright.
      I know you have your bias, against Brooklyn, but this is totally on Black Ops Brewing.

      When the federal government says “you can’t trademark that name because it’s already trademarked” BEFORE Brooklyn even gets involved, you know you’re in the wrong

      • TheLight

        But they aren’t actually using the trademark since the beer they allegedly registered it for does not exist. Trademarks can be declared abandoned by the courts if the trademark holder is not using them and the the trademark is clearly not being used if there is no product on the market bearing the name.