Mark of the Beast

Published February 6, 2012

A San Antonio brewpub calls a step in its brewing process “Hopasaurus Rex,” a play on the name of the Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur. Evidently, a brew pub in another state calls its actual end-product beer the same thing. The latter pub wrote to the founder and CEO of Freetail Brewing Co., Scott Metzger, in San Antonio asking it to “cease and desist” using the name “Hopasaurus Rex.” Metzger replied:

HOPASAURUS REX is the name we give to a process … we apply to a beer and not the beer itself. Normally I would tell you what this process is, but I really don’t feel like it anymore since your first introduction to me wasn’t very nice.

Metzger notes infringement would occur only if there is a “likelihood of confusion” between the two beers:

Therefore, to the extent that Freetail Brewing Co. (Freetail) uses the Mark, it would only represent an infringement if someone had a hazy enough of a recollection to confuse drinking beer from a brewpub or bar in [redacted] or [redacted] with drinking beer from a brewpub in San Antonio, Texas. I admit to having consumed too many beers on a few occasions in the past, but never have I been drunk enough to make that confusion!

In any event, we don’t use HOPASAURUS REX enough to care about what we call it, so you may consider this letter to be our complete and total acquiescence. … When you are informing your client of such, I request (but not demand) that you please tell them they could have just asked us nicely and saved the legal fee.

The letter included an original dinosaur drawing–not copyrighted.

PS: Please enjoy this drawing of a T-Rex waiving [sic] white flags, which was suggested for inclusion by my attorney. Actually, he’s just my friend, I can’t afford his legal fees.

Source: Kevin Underhill, “How to Comply With a Cease-and-Desist Letter But Still Win,” lowering the bar, January 13, 2012. The letter is here.