by Doug Brown
One of the signature beers from Akron's Thirsty Dog Brewing Company is its delicious porter "Old Leghumper," sold in bottles with a label design of a black lab looking up at legs of three women wearing skirts and high heels. That fantastic beer name was trademarked by the brewery more than 15 years ago.
A few years back, a similarly-named brewery popped up in Arizona and started selling a similarly-named beer with a similarly-designed label. In a trademark lawsuit filed in federal court on Thursday, Thirsty Dog's lawyers say it's no random coincidence: they say Scottsdale, Arizona-based Sleepy Dog Brewery's "Leg Humper" willfully and intentionally imitated Thirsty Dog's "Old Leghumper," violating their up-to-date trademark on it.
According to its website, Sleepy Dog opened up in 2009 and started brewing and wholesaling their craft beer throughout Arizona. The complaint says Thirsty Dog raised the issue with Sleepy dog about the beer name back in July 2011. But nothing changed, they are still selling it.
It's not hard to see why the Akron brewery is annoyed at the Arizona company. Not only do they think they violated the name trademark ("Old Leghumper"/"Leg Humper") that they got 10 years prior to the Arizona company opening, the Sleepy Dog label concept for their beer is nearly identical: it's a dog between the legs of a woman wearing a skirt and high heels.
Take a look at the picture above and read the complaint above. What do you think? Did Sleepy Dog obviously copy Thirsty Dog?