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Lawsuit launched by Charlotte brewery over 'Keep It Juicy' tagline withdrawn, California business reports

Stone Brewing said a lawsuit launched by Charlotte-based Sycamore Brewing was dismissed.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A California-based brewery says a lawsuit launched by Charlotte-based Sycamore Brewing has been dismissed, saying the North Carolina brewer made a "sham trademark case" in a statement.

Stone Brewing of Escondido said in a statement on Thursday, May 19, the lawsuit launched by Sycamore in April 2022 was dismissed the day before, revolving around the use of the phrase "Keep It Juicy" on Stone's Hazy IPA. Sycamore reportedly chose to withdraw the case and dissolve the injunction, which the court did. Stone said it had filed counterclaims against Sycamore days before to cancel Sycamore's trademarks.

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In its full statement, Stone said the phrase and the word "Juicy" have been generic terms widely used in the beer industry to describe and market certain products, something the California brewery said Stone failed to disclose to the United States Patent and Trademark Office when registering the marks. Stone also claims Sycamore withheld that information from the court when seeking the injunction, which saw Stone ordered to put stickers on boxes of their beer that had the "Keep It Juicy" phrase on them while still selling them.

Credit: Stone Brewing
Stone Brewing's Hazy IPA

“While we are relieved this case is over, we feel it’s necessary to set the record straight.  Sycamore forced Stone to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expense to defend ourselves and sent our team scrambling to sticker 21,000 boxes of beer in warehouses across the country taking more than 600 hours of valuable time," said Stone Brewing CEO Maria Stipp. "We also had to engage the resources of our distributor partners, to whom we are immensely grateful. We complied earnestly with court orders out of respect for trademark protections and the court system.  As we now know, all of this was because of Sycamore’s baseless trademark claims and opportunism.  At the end of the day, the truth came out.  We can only hope this story helps prevent similar situations from happening to any other brewer.  We are thrilled that Stone (and Sycamore, for that matter) can now turn its attention back to making great beer.” 

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WCNC Charlotte has reached out to Stone Brewing and its attorneys for a response to the dismissal. We will update this story if we receive a comment back.

Stone Brewing's full statement follows:

Sycamore Brewing has dismissed its lawsuit against Stone Brewing after wrongly claiming trademark infringement for Stone Brewing’s use of the “Keep It Juicy” tagline on Stone Hazy IPA.

On May 18, Stone obtained complete dismissal of claims brought by Sycamore Brewing claiming that it had misused an alleged trademark for the phrase “Keep It Juicy” and the court dissolved the preliminary injunction that it had granted against Stone.  Just days prior, Stone had filed counterclaims against Sycamore to cancel Sycamore’s trademarks. “Keep It Juicy” and “Juicy” long have been generic and widely used terms in the beer industry to describe Hazy IPA beers. Sycamore failed to disclose this to the U.S. PTO when it registered the marks and then withheld that information from the Court in seeking an injunction against Stone. Faced with these facts and Stone’s counterclaims for substantial damages, Sycamore wisely withdrew the case and agreed to dissolve its ill-gotten injunction. 

Stone CEO Maria Stipp stated, “While we are relieved this case is over, we feel it’s necessary to set the record straight.  Sycamore forced Stone to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expense to defend ourselves and sent our team scrambling to sticker 21,000 boxes of beer in warehouses across the country taking more than 600 hours of valuable time. We also had to engage the resources of our distributor partners, to whom we are immensely grateful. We complied earnestly with court orders out of respect for trademark protections and the court system.  As we now know, all of this was because of Sycamore’s baseless trademark claims and opportunism.  At the end of the day, the truth came out.  We can only hope this story helps prevent similar situations from happening to any other brewer.  We are thrilled that Stone (and Sycamore, for that matter) can now turn its attention back to making great beer.” 

Despite accusations from Sycamore of being a “trademark bully,” this leaves the number of times that Stone has sued another company over a trademark dispute at a total of ONE. Stone, for one, sincerely hopes it remains this way.

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