Throughout the Indian subcontinent and beyond, the word namaste may be a respectful greeting, one used to conote well wishes and mutual regard, but today in the craft beer world, it’s wrapped up in a much more American dispute–trademark infringement. According to a Facebook post from Dipak Topiwala of The Whip In, the Austin-based Indian brewpub/craft beer bar/bottle shop has been hit with a trademark cease and desist order from Dogfish Head Brewing.
The issue? The Whip In’s recently created nano brewery, Namaste Brewing, happens to share a name with Dogfish Head’s witbier.
Meanwhile, in a post on their blog titled “Searching for a friendly solution,” Dogfish Head has stated that they did not send a formal cease and desist to Namaste Brewing and that they hope to resolve the issue brewer-to-brewer:
Because we believe in working collaboratively with other brewers in handling these disputes, we have called and emailed Namaste Brewing in hopes of resolving the matter brewer-to-brewer. (We have not sent a cease-and-desist and have not taken any legal action, as has been reported.) We have given them several creative solutions in an effort to alleviate any hardship they might face in making the changes, including the option to continue to sell the beer at their existing location and at festivals. Another option was to allow them ample time to phase out the name.
This is of course the latest issue in a long line of trademark disputes in the beer world (See: Magic Hat Vs. West Sixth, Anheuser-Busch Vs. Belleville Brewing) But, there have been examples of breweries taking more civil approaches, with Russian River and Avery’s “Collaboration not Litigation” probably being the most famous.