Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys!

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2008/04/26 11:52:33 (permalink)

Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys!






The Brew Haha that went around the world.

This strong-armed approach resulted in over 300 stories and international attention. From beer bloggers to the Harvard Law School, hackles raised, battle lines drawn. Hometown boys, Mark & Dave provide a weekly radio program in Portland, Oregon on KEX 1190 AM, 4 to 7 pm. I listened first hand as this drama unfolded. Mark & Dave phoned vacationing Commissioner Samuel Adams. He dodged the issue of his candidacy for mayor of Portland. Mark & Dave wanted to thank him for his time and bought two domain names as a gift. Samadamsformayor.com and mayorsamadams.com; the results for their good deed resulted in a cease and desist letter from Sam Adams Beer. Mark & Dave tried in vain to contact the Intellectual Property Manager to no avail. International pressure arose, the David and Goliath struggle compelled Sam Adams Beer to relinquish and Commissioner Samuel Adams given full rights to gifted domain names. I did purchase the beer to post its picture. (Then we drank it!) We will no longer purchase Samuel Adams. What do you think?

Laura

Read about this drama. Control and click at the following link.

http://www.1190kex.com/pages/pages/md_sam_adams.php


I've been doing some thinking... there's just two things that can't be improved upon: a good glass of ice water when you're thirsty and a good honest hug."
#1

10 Replies Related Threads

    1bbqboy
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    RE: Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys! 2008/04/28 17:31:33 (permalink)
    too bad he couldn't have bbeen name "Rogue" or "Caldera" Adams
    #2
    mr chips
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    RE: Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys! 2008/05/12 09:44:46 (permalink)
    Since I am supporting Sam for mayor. I have found the brouhaha interesting.
    #3
    Scorereader
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    RE: Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys! 2008/05/12 15:34:30 (permalink)
    I think what the Boston Beer Company did was appropriate. They had an advertizing campaign about Sam Adams for President. They did not want a Radio show using the sam adams name, since the radio show will ultimately have a financial gain from the use of the name. According to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog: "A spokeswoman for Boston Beer called the Law Blog and said they never had an issue with the mayoral candidate using his name but they do have an issue with the radio station using Sam Adams for its own business purposes."

    Trademarks are important and valuable rights and if companies don't protect their trademark, they can lose them. So, I think the Boston Beer Company acted appropriately. They don't have a problem with the mayoral candidate Sam Adams using his name to promote himself and his campaign, but they do have a problem with a for profit company using the name. Clearly, in this "brouhaha", which is being overinflated by the DJs and their radio station, the Boston Beer Company did not appear to have targeted the candidate Sam Adams at any time. They targeted the for-profit radio station based on their not-unreasonable belief that the station had purchased the domain name simply to sell it and make a quick buck on the brand name Boston Beer had cultivated, since the domain names were registered under the DJs' names. A C&D is quite normal in that circumstance.

    Right now, I'd say the brouhaha is realy being kept up because it keeps the radio program relevant. It also adds to the East Coast vs. West Coast brewing battle i.e.: look at this big bad Eastern beer company making problem for us Oregonians.

    In the end, it's good radio, and fun for blogs, but it's not all that big of a deal.
    #4
    David_NYC
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    RE: Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys! 2008/05/12 23:41:32 (permalink)
    I don't think it happened exactly that way. The DJ's didn't tell the unvarnished story and the brewery's spin doctors issued a cock-and-bull story as well.

    I did look up the WHOIS record at the time. One of the fields included the name of an individual other than that of the on-air DJ. That field also included the words "KEX IT Supervisor". I also did a reverse search on that address. All that came up were business listings for Clear Channel's Portland radio cluster. I am firmly convinced the person at the brewery had no idea a radio station was involved at the time the C&D letter was mailed.

    I also looked up the WHOIS listings for the other campaign web site used by the politician. Those web sites were not in his name, either. Campaign manager, political consultant, whatever.

    I think they should start teaching in the 8th grade "What to do if you get a cease and desist letter." Truth be told, most people don't know. In this case, the brewery did not prevail:
    http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/boston-beer-co-v-sam-adams-mayor
    #5
    Scorereader
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    RE: Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys! 2008/05/13 09:36:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by David_NYC


    I did look up the WHOIS record at the time. One of the fields included the name of an individual other than that of the on-air DJ. That field also included the words "KEX IT Supervisor". I also did a reverse search on that address. All that came up were business listings for Clear Channel's Portland radio cluster. I am firmly convinced the person at the brewery had no idea a radio station was involved at the time the C&D letter was mailed.



    I don't see how you can make that conclusion? The letter the Boston Beer Company sent was to the radio station - not the candidate! When they realized the candidate was a real person and the sites were actually going to be used for campaign purposes (and not to make money for the radio station), they withdrew their filing.

    The other sites for the mayor may not have been in the mayor's name, but they weren't in the name of a large radio business like the one's the Boston Beer Company responded too.

    The only spin, is that the radio station is trying to make it seem like the Boston Beer Company was trying to not let Sam Adams, the candidate, use his name, which is completely false.
    #6
    David_NYC
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    RE: Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys! 2008/05/13 10:31:22 (permalink)
    Here is why I am convinced the intellectual property manager did not know a radio station was behind it:
    1. The letter, an image of which is enclosed in the link given by the original poster, did not include the name of "Clear Channel Communications" or "KEX Radio".
    2. The letter was not sent to the legal division of Clear Channel.
    3. Plugging the address into an Internet search engine would have revealed many references to Portland radio stations, and even to a photograph of the building showing it was a commercial building and not a residential building.
    4. The tone of the letter is not one which would be used when communicating with a very large broadcasting firm. Selling physical products is not the primary line of business of broadcasting firms.

    The points I am trying to make are:
    1. Trademark bullies send letters meant to intimidate people.
    2. The claims made by trademark bullies may be without merit.
    3. Meritless claims made by trademark owners cause the recipient to have to expend needless funds on legal services.
    4. Sometimes trademark bullies pick on the wrong victim and receive adverse publicity.

    This whole thing took place right after the current mayor of Portland announced he would not be seeking re-election. If Sam Adams' advisors would have obtained the domain names, they would have received the letters instead. But it would probably would not have hit the AP worldwide wires.
    #7
    Scorereader
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    RE: Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys! 2008/05/13 11:47:11 (permalink)
    Trademark bullies?
    laugh laugh, har har.

    A Trademark is very expensive and extremely valuable property. When a trademark owner does not enforce the use of their name, they stand to lose it.

    The letter they sent was normal. Not out of the ordinary. The language was typical of a cease and desist letter. Nothing odd about it.

    Trademark lawyers do not send letters to intimidate, they send letters to defend their property. If one feels intimidated, it's probably because one is doing something one shouldn't.

    Trademarks are in constant peril of being lost. Band-Aid, Kleenex and others have had their trademarks weakened substantially due to the use of these words in the American lexicon. I bet, if they could do it over, those companies would've been even more vigilant with protecting their trademark.

    I would expect anyone, whose name isn't Sam Adams, to get the letter. And that would be perfectly normal for any company to protect their trademark. When one receives a letter like that, one should respond. If your name is Sam Adams, you simply write a letter stating that. Respond appropriately and inside the time frame you've been given. In this case, the Boston Beer Sompany did not start a lawsuit, they merely sent a cease and desist letter. It's not a lawsuit, it's a warning that a lawsuit could come forth if the letter is not anwered in a timely fashion.

    If one is so stupid as to use a name protected by trademark without checking the status of the name, then one is surely responsible for any legal fees that comes one's way.

    I'm feel the Boston Beer Company reacted appropriately and within the norm for this type of thing. The Portland media is using it to help bring attention to a candidate they support. I'd say the DJ was in the wrong, because he should've cleared his actions with the radio stations legal team first- who might have told him not to create the website - and not just because of the trademark issue, but also because Clear Channel may not have wanted their employees using commercial radio time to support a DJ's own personal agenda of supporting a political figure.
    #8
    David_NYC
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    RE: Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys! 2008/05/13 14:04:38 (permalink)
    http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.php?p=8230896&postcount=1
    http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.php?p=8233709&postcount=42
    #9
    Scorereader
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    RE: Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys! 2008/05/13 15:28:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by David_NYC

    http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.php?p=8230896&postcount=1
    http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.php?p=8233709&postcount=42



    no new information there. I don't see a written response from the DJ or the lawyer. So we have no idea what his or the station's lawyers response was and why, according to him, the Boston Beer Company wouldn't back down. Of course, they did withdraw their C&D, so, they did back down, so I don't see why this is important - except to give his radio show some good promotion and try to rip down an east coast beer company in the meantime. His use of name calling (f---ers) only furthers the viewpoint, that he's nothing but a little weasel who didn't understand the gravity of the situation.

    I guess the only way to see the Boston Beer Company's viewpoint is by spending millions of dollars to protect your own trademark and then see how liberal you are with allowing others to use the name.

    I know many people feel the intellectual property laws are too strict, but once one works in the business, one gets a sense of how important the laws are and how prevalent it is that people knowingly infringe intellectual property rights. C&D letters are common knee jerk reations now. Whether warranted or not. The language is pretty standardized. The letter in this case, fit the mold perfectly.


    #10
    mr chips
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    RE: Sam Adams Takes On Our Local Boys! 2008/05/23 21:25:59 (permalink)
    Sam did win the mayoralty in Tuesday's Oregon primary. He got 58% of the vote so he will be unopposed this fall.
    #11
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