California Intellectual Property Blog


In-N-Out Burger Sends a Clever Trademark Cease and Desist Letter to a Brewery

Orange County – Last week, Irvine, California based In-N-Out Burger sent a pun-filled cease and desist letter to Seven Stills Brewery & Distillery located in San Francisco suggesting that the brewerey “hop to action” to clear up a “brewing” trademark issue “in good spirits.”
In-N-Out Burger reached out after hearing of the upcoming release of Seven Stills Brewery & Distillery’s new beer called “In-N-Stout.” The brewery recently used Instagram to promote the new beer, describing it as a barrel-ages milkshake stout and tagged In-N-Out Burger’s account. Within the promotion was an image of the beer featuring a logo similar to In-N-Out Burger’s logo.
The cease-and-desist letter was also posted to Instagram with the caption “Can you find the puns?!?” In the letter, In-N-Out burger states that it has had multiple reports about the beer and continued to say: “In case you are not already aware, In-N-Out owns multiple trademark registrations in these trademarks. As you may expect, we tap into a lot of effort in protecting our marks, which includes limiting their use by others.”
“Please understand that use of our trademarks by third parties’ ales us to the extent that this could cause confusion in the marketplace or prevent us from protecting our trademarks in the future. We hope you appreciate, however, that we are attempting to clearly distill our rights by crafting an amicable approach with you, rather than barrel through this.”
In-N-Out continues the letter by requested that the brewery refrain from further use of the logo on products and to remove all images of the beer from social media and the brewery’s website and ends the letter by saying “we look forward to resolving this in good spirits.” The letter has gained a lot of attention on social media, and others began to comment on the topic.
The co-owner of the brewery states that they are not surprised by the cease-and-desist letter and that they had already planned on selling the beer in different packaging. Later, the brewery released a video featuring the blurred out In-N-Out logo and the brewery says it will not be releasing a cheap knockoff. The ad continues to state that the first 100 people to buy a beer will get a free burger from In-N-Out.


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