Brewery lawsuit over beer logos comes to blows over social media

Magic Hat files lawsuit against Ky.'s West Sixth

CINCINNATI - A battle between brewers is spilling out into the digital realm and thousands of people are taking sides.

The owners of the Magic Hat Brewing Co. have sued Lexington's West Sixth Brewing Brewing Co. over alleged copyright infringement. Both sides have taken to the Internet and Facebook to press their case.

Magic Hat's beer can be found at most grocery stores in the Tri-State and West Sixth's can be found at some stores and many bars in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Magic Hat claims the issue started shortly after West Sixth opened. The company says it received calls from "people who were concerned about the similarities between the two brands."

The issue is mainly over the look of the West Sixth's logo and the logo of Magic Hat's trademarked #9 pale ale.

Both sides are claiming that they agreed to mediate the issue and appeared to be working toward an amicable conclusion. However, West Sixth claims Magic Hat stopped responding to correspondence and just recently slapped the Lexington brewery with a lawsuit.

West Sixth has responded with a social media campaign to get Magic Hat to drop the lawsuit. In addition to pushes on Facebook and Twitter, the Kentucky company has started a petition that garnered more than 10,000 online signatures so far.

The brewery has even pledged that if it gets 20,000 names, it will go to Magic Hat's New York headquarters to deliver the printed-out signatures.

Magic Hat has responded with a release of its own saying that West Sixth has launched an Internet "smear campaign."

"West Sixth Brewing packaged the 'perfect story' of a large brewery beating up on a small start-up," Ryan Daley, brand manager of Magic Hat, said in a release. "The only problem is: It's not true."

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