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Charlotte's Sycamore Brewing filing trademark claim against company over phrase 'Keep it juicy'

The lawsuit alleges Stone Brewing Company stole the registered trademark "KEEP IT JUICY" from Sycamore.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A well-known brewing company based in Charlotte is suing another company because it "ripped off" a trademark. 

According to court documents obtained by WCNC Charlotte, Sycamore Brewing is suing Stone Brewing, based out of California, for using the "Keep It Juicy" phrase on merchandise and in advertising. 

Sycamore Brewing's website says the taproom in Charlotte opened on Nov. 1, 2014. Since that time, the company has grown into the largest Charlotte-based brewery and a top brewery in North Carolina. The company says at the current trajectory, it anticipates being the largest independent brewery in the Carolinas by 2023. 

The lawsuit says Sycamore Brewing distributes alcohol in seven other states and one of the most popular beers is Juiciness IPA.

In 2020, the company started marketing the IPA with the slogan "KEEP IT JUICY" displayed on retail packaging boxes.

Credit: Randazza | Legal Group
An image of the packaging for Juiciness IPA.

According to the lawsuit, Sycamore owns the name and trademark "KEEP IT JUICY" and it was officially registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Aug. 24, 2021. 

"Based upon its federal trademark registration and extensive use, Sycamore owns the exclusive right to use the KEEP IT JUICY trademark in connection with beer and craft beer services," the lawsuit reads.

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Sycamore Brewing alleges after the mark was granted registration by USPTO, Stone Brewing Company, based in California, released its Hazy IPA to the public, which features Sycamore's "KEEP IT JUICY" slogan. It also says Stone uses the mark on the Hazy IPA webpage and video advertisement.

Credit: Randazza | Legal Group
A photo of Hazy IPA in packaging.

Stone is no stranger to filing its own copyright claims, recently winning a $56 million judgment against Molson Coors over its rebranding of Keystone. Brewhound reported on April 6 that Stone also filed a post-trial permanent injunction against Molson over the Keystone decision. 

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Sycamore is suing for trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices and is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction against Stone to not use the "KEEP IT JUICY" slogan and seeking compensation.

A summons was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against Stone on Thursday, April 7.

You can read the full lawsuit filed in court below: 

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