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In-N-Out Burger caught wind through the social media grapevine that a local San Francisco brewery had created a beer and beer can design that gave homage to the regional fast food chain.
However, rather than accept the homage and be pleased that their brand was about to get some free, organic marketing from a beloved brewery, it fired off a cease and desist letter, complete with beer puns. Below you can see just how bad/good the burger lawyers did.
Apparently, the burger lawyers used about 10 brewing and distilling related puns. The letter explains that the brewers trademark infringement "ales" the burger joint, must be addressed to prevent the problem from further "brewing" and that they are hoping to "distill" their rights amicably, rather than "barreling" through it. The letter further warns the brewer to not let the issue ferment, and ends by hoping the brewers are in "good spirits."
For consumers, seeing companies go to war over trademarks and other IP rights generally doesn't matter. However, when a larger corporation feels the need to step in to protect its IP against a smaller company, the potential to come off looking like a bully is a serious problem.
As anyone can see here, In-N-Out is serious about their IP, but just doesn't want to be seen as a bully. And according to reports, it worked, as the brewery Seven Stills announced that it will still release the beer, it just won't come in the In-N-Out themed can. No word on whether the In-N-Stout name will be changed or remain the same.
The beer itself is a milk stout being described as neapolitan, as it combines chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors into one creamy stout.
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