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BART Battles Brewer In Trademark Dispute Over Beer Named 'B.A.R.T.'

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF)--Bay Area Rapid Transit is finding itself in an odd position: facing off against a brewing company over the name of one of their popular beers, the B.A.R.T.

FiftyFifty Brewing Company, a Truckee-based brewery has been crafting B.A.R.T. for years, but only recently decided to increase production so they may sell across state lines. To do so, they need to trademark the name of their beer. Being from Truckee, the B.A.R.T. beer doesn't have anything to do with Bay Area local transportation, but rather stands for "Barrel Aged, Really Tasty", created in honor of brewers Kyle and Todd Ashman's late pet dog Bart.

Still, Bay Area Rapid Transit believes, the name of FiftyFifty's brew could be confusing, or damage the trademark of the transit agency.

"Just as any agency or business does, BART routinely protects its name and registered trademarks. Use of the BART name by unauthorized parties for commercial gain, whether or not they are in the rapid transit business, is a violation of trademark law, and something BART must protect itself against," BART's communication manager, Alicia Trost, told CBS SF.

As of yet, FiftyFifty's brew name is safe, but the company may eventually need to change it in the event that B.A.R.T.'s legal department wins this trademark dispute.

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