SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A Bay Area brewery has been sent an order to cease and desist by In-N-Out Burger for its beer, In-N-Stout, that has a strong brand resemblance to the restaurant.
The brewery sits in San Francisco's Bayview District. There's Tessie, the brewhouse dog, and even a pair of googly eyes on a tank watching over the space. Also watching is In-N-Out after an Instagram post about a month ago caught their eye. It advertised Seven Stills' new In-N-Stout beer.
The packaging bore a striking resemblance to the home of the double-double.
"We just try to get really creative with all of our packaging, and he had this idea of making a can that looked exactly like an In-n-Out cup," said Seven Stills co-founder Tim Obert.
The corporate response was both swift and surprising to the can of barrel-aged stout.
"This was the fastest we'd ever got a cease and desist from somebody," said Obert. "They sent us that C&D basically the next day."
While the response from the west coast burger giant came out faster than animal-style fries from the grease, the contents of the letter itself gave Seven Stills a sense what that hamburger chain was all about.
"Based on your use of our marks, we felt obligated to hop to action in order to prevent further issues from brewing."
'We hope you appreciate, however, that we are attempting to clearly distill our rights by crafting an amicable approach with you, rather than barrel through this."
"I hope I have the same attitude that In-n-Out has had towards it and have a good sense of humor because I know that there's no malcontent and we're obviously not trying to go there and sabotage In-N-Out's branding," said Obert.
This is not the first 'cease and desist' Seven Stills has received. They've also got one from Makers Mark, but not from Swedish Fish candy over a label that looks similar to their wrappers.
Obert says it's about trying to grab attention for a great product in a crowded field of breweries and growing a business big.
"They all started as the little guy, so they're just trying to protect what they built," he says.
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