Stone Brewing Co., one of the largest craft brewing companies in the US is taking the second biggest US-brewer MillerCoors to court for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The California-based craft beer maker accused MillerCoors for rebranding its Keystone beer brand and emphasizing the word "Stone" on the label and thus overtly copying and infringing the Stone trademark.
According to the indictment MillerCoors has “launched an escalating advertising and social media attack to establish Stone as a new name for Keystone.” Stone claims that the campaign is intended to mislead consumers.
“We believe that MillerCoors is intentionally and deliberately trying to create confusion in the marketplace, and that is why we are suing them,” said stone co-founder and executive chairman Greg Koch in a video. “They know they can’t buy Stone. They can obfuscate. They can co-opt our brand and our good name. Or at least they can try. “
“Keystone’s rebranding is no accident,” said Dominic Engels, Stone Brewing CEO in a press release. “MillerCoors tried to register our name years ago and was rejected. Now its marketing team is making 30-pack boxes stacked high with nothing but the word ‘STONE’ visible. Same for Keystone’s social media, which almost uniformly has dropped the ‘Key.’ We will not stand for this kind of overtly and aggressively deceptive advertising. Frankly, MillerCoor should be ashamed.”
In reply to the allegations MillerCoors said that the lawsuit was “a clever publicity stunt” and that the facts would “speak for themselves in the legal process.”