UPDATED: Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron has filed a federal trademark lawsuit against an Arizona brewery over a beer brand that bears a striking resemblance to Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper Robust Porter.
Sleepy Dog Brewery in Tempe, Ariz., has a Leg Humper Hefeweizen. Both labels feature a dog looking amorously at a woman's legs.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on April 17, notes that Thirsty Dog has used Old Leghumper since at least February 1997 and the name Old Leghumper has been a registered trademark since March 1999.
Sleepy Dog couldn't be reached for comment.
Thirsty Dog co-owner John Najeway said in an email that the brewery tries to resolve issues without filing suit. "We constantly watch for any infingement on our brand and our individual beers and this was not under the radar," he said. "In fact we have three issues right now that we are trying to resolve that could all end in lawsuits being filed. This was the first."
The Sleepy Dog lawsuit asks for financial damages and for the court to order Sleepy Dog to stop using the Leg Humper name.
The craft brewing industry is collegial, but with the number of new breweries opening in the U.S., many brewers are becoming extremely protective of their brands.
In 2010, Thirsty Dog filed a federal lawsuit against the Thirsty Dog Tavern in Atlanta. That case was settled and dismissed.