The word ‘ox” at center of Red Bull vs. Old Ox fight

| Feb 19, 2015 | Trademark Law

People in California could be interested in this case involving the drink maker that produces Red Bull recently filing a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opposition against Ashburn, Virginia’s Old Ox Brewery. Old Ox is a small family-run startup craft brewery that began in June 2014. Their beer production schedule includes 4,000 kegs to be produced by the end of 2015. They will be distributing the beer in a small section of Virginia. Red Bull is a well-known energy drink brand based in Austria.

Red Bull is opposed to Old Ox using the word “ox” in their product name. According to Red Bull, if the brewery uses that particular bovine word, it could cause potential confusion among consumers. Their contention is that an ox and a bull are virtually indistinguishable from one another. In addition to excluding the use of the word “ox”, Red Bull is also demanding that Old Ox not produce soft drinks and never use the colors blue, silver or red.

Old Ox contends that this could create serious limitations on the use of their own brand. According to a letter from the president of Old Ox Brewery to Red Bull, the brewery would also be precluded from using any bovine image or terminology in conjunction with the color red if they adhered to the demands of the Austria-based company. In the letter, Old Ox agrees that they will never produce energy drinks in exchange for Red Bull dropping their trademark dispute.

Anyone who has ever been involved or is currently dealing with a similar issue involving trademarks might seek legal advice. Trademark disputes may be complicated by a number of factors, but an attorney could help any individual or company going through a trademark dispute to safeguard their interests.

Source: FOX News, “Red Bull opposes craft brewery’s use of ‘ox’ in name,” Feb. 10, 2015

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