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Boston beer battle coming to a head.

Believing that its customers confuse the word "Boston" on Commonwealth Brewing Co.'s bottleneck labels for its own products, the Boston Beer Co. filed a trademark infringement suit with a U.S. District Court recently.

"If someone goes and buys a bottle of beer from Commonwealth Brewing with 'Boston' on it, thinking it is ours, and they don't like it, we have no control over that," Boston Beer's attorney, Norman Soloway, told the Boston Globe in a recent interview.

According to Joe Quattrocchi, a co-owner of Commonwealth Brewing, a label on the neck of some of the brewpub's bottled products does say "Boston;" however, customers would not be confused with labels from Boston Beer Co., he said.

"We've been bottling some beers since 1986," Quattrocchi said, "and you can't trademark a geographic location."

Quattrocchi added that Boston Beer Co. is merely picking on a smaller business with its suit, and pointed to an earlier suit brought by Boston Beer against Boston Beer Works, another Boston microbrewery.

Soloway disagreed, saying, "We recently found out that Commonwealth Brewing was offering a couple of beers with the Boston family trademark on them, and if we failed to police it, we could lose our trademark."
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Title Annotation:Boston Beer Co.'s trademark infringement suit against Commonwealth Brewing Co.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Oct 26, 1992
Words:201
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