Barley Mowat 

Nitro Update

with 3 comments

Well, I promised to keep you up to date on Steamworks’ Owner Eli Gershkovitch’s other trademark dispute–the one against US-based Left Hand Brewing over the far too generic term “Nitro.” If none of this makes any sense to you, the words “Eli” and “trademark” entered the craft beer lexicon last fall when it was revealed that Mr Gershkovitch held (and was defending) a trademark on the term “Cascadia.” I have a summary of how things went down here. Or, if you want, just skip to Part 3 where I talk about Nitro here.

In the end, Steamworks did the right thing and allowed general usage of the term Cascadia, even though they still technically hold the trademark. In the US, though, they summoned lawyers and started to prepare a defence of Nitro against Left Hand Brewing, makers of their (quite decent) “Milk Stout Nitro.”

Lawyers and documents went back and forth. Deadlines were extended, letters exchanged, and law-talking-folk made rich. A trail of PDFs in legalize the length of my arm was generated, and it read about as exciting as one might imagine. In the end (just last week) negotiations between Eli and Left Hand concluded with Mr Gershkovitch agreeing to voluntarily give up the trademark. There’s no indication of what changed hands in the background to facilitate this, if anything.

Anyway, there you go. Presumably Left Hand will now proceed to register their own trademark on the term Nitro, but perhaps they’ll exclude more generic uses of the term when they do so (like, for instance, for beers with nitrogen in them). We can only hope. To be clear: this isn’t a win for craft beer. Neither outcome would be that. This is simply an update. So, uh, happy Friday.

Written by chuck

September 27th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Posted in Beer and You

3 Responses to 'Nitro Update'

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  1. Well at least that part is done until he finds some other bloody word to sue over.


    27 Sep 13 at 17:00

  2. @mikescraftbeer — In the spirit of being completely fair, this particular case was the result of someone else initiating legal action against Eli.


    30 Sep 13 at 09:02

  3. […] Steamworks has agreed to relinquish the Nitro TM in the US, without any official […]

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