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Brewery Sued by Lucasfilm Over Star Wars-Themed Beer



The Force is not with Empire Brewing Co.  The New York-based brewery is being sued by Disney-owned Lucasfilm over their "Empire Strikes Bock" lager.  On October 15, Lucasfilm filed a notice of opposition with the Trademark Office claiming that the name is too close to the title of the 1980 film, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

The brewery also uses phrases such as "May the hops be with you," and an ad on their website uses a crawl similar to that used at the beginning of every Star Wars films to date.

While the brewery has been producing their beer for seven years, trouble arose when they decided to file trademark papers for the product.  Since Star Wars creator George Lucas is already in the alcohol business with his Skywalker-brand wine, Lucasfilm fears confusion will arise and the public will think the beer produced by the brewery is an officially licensed product.

Kevin Griffin, a manager at the brewery, says this is all a misunderstanding since the name of the beer is actually "Strikes Bock," while Empire is just the name of the company.
“I don’t see why they would have any objection. It’s not like we’re using images of Star Wars on the bottle or on our Web site,” Griffin told The Post.
“As a Star Wars fan boy, I’m a big dork. I’d love nothing more than to be the trilogy’s official beer, but I don’t think there’s any chance of people actually interpreting it that way.”
The plan was to start selling the beer at locations outside the brewery's pub, but it's not likely that Empire Brewing will be able to face off against Disney and Lucasfilm.

Source: NYPost.com


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