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Canada's largest independent brewery is once again charging at a smaller competitor in a trademark dispute over its moose-themed names and logos.
Moosehead Breweries has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Hop'n Moose Brewing Co. in Rutland, Vt., arguing that the brewpub's similarity in names and logos could create confusion and injure the Moosehead brand.
"As a family-owned company, Moosehead Breweries respects and supports the efforts of small business owners everywhere," Moosehead said in an emailed statement.
"It is, however, incumbent on us to protect our business interests, including our corporate trademarks."
In court documents, Moosehead said it owns multiple U.S. trademark registrations for the words "moose" and "moosehead" as well as images of the head and antlers of a moose.
The New Brunswick-based brewery said its moose family of trademarks have been in use since at least the late 1970s in the United States in connection to its beer brands and consumer products, which include a variety of drinking glasses, apparel, posters, stickers, playing cards and pens.
Hop'n Moose opened in 2014 and recently began canning its beer, which is sold in about 15 nearby stores. In court documents, Moosehead said that the Vermont brewpub has also been using its trademarks on promotional materials and related consumer products since the business first opened its doors.
Moosehead said in the lawsuit that it had made repeated and numerous demands to Hop'n Moose owner Dale Patterson to cease using its trademarks, to no avail.
"When faced with issues of trademark violation, litigation is always a last resort," Moosehead said.
"We always — as we did in this case — attempt to work out resolutions with any breweries considered to be violating Moosehead trademarks."