Just two months after craft brewer Stone Brewing sued MillerCoors accusing it for trademark infringements (inside.beer, 12.2.2018) the second biggest US-brewer fires back with several counterclaims.
MillerCoors emphasizes that its rebranded packaging does not use or infringe Stone Brewing’s trademark since it made prior use of Stone as a nickname for its Keystone beer in its advertising since at least 1995 when Stone Brewing did not even exist. The company further said that Stone Brewing’s complaint relied on “misleading images” that showed only the word Stone while hiding at the same time the rest of the name.
MillerCoors assumes that Stone’s lawsuit from two months ago is just a simple marketing trick to distract from Stone’s own problems and to stage a drama featuring the small craft brewer vs. “big beer”. In truth, though, Stone is one of the largest craft brewing companies in the US and is already one of the big players itself.
The California based company opened in February 2016 a new East Coast brewery and distribution center with retail store and tasting room in Richmond, Virginia. In September 2016 it was the first American craft brewery to open up a facility in Europe. In October 2016 Stone had to admit that the uninterrupted growth came to an end and the company had to lay off 5% of its workforce. The same month Stone’s COO Pat Tiernan resigned, representing the fourth key personnel loss for the company in a little more than one year. (inside.beer, 24.10.2017)