The City of Portland v. Old Town Brewing

Have you heard the one about the big brewery that sends the little brewery a cease-and-desist letter for trademark infringement? Of course you have—it happens every month or two. It’s usually not great press for the big brewery, and sometimes it even metastasizes into a David-and-Goliath morality tale. Last Wednesday, Portlanders learned of a through-the-looking-glass variation on the story. A little brewery owned a valid, long-standing trademark, but a deep-pocketed large city refused to acknowledge it and told the little guys they planned to license the disputed image to AB InBev. And despite having no clear legal avenue to securing these rights, the city keeps dumping thousands of dollars into their effort to defeat Old Town.

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