A lengthy and unlikely legal tussle between BrewDog and the estate of the late Elvis Presley has seen the former come out the worse for wear, forcing the brewer to think again on the name of one of its bestselling drinks, Elvis Juice IPA.
The grapefruit and blood orange specialty came to the attention of Graceland lawyers on account of a shared first name, prompting co-founders James Watt and Martin Dickie to change their own names to Elvis in a desperate bid to prove that the name was not sole property of one American rock and roll legends.
Elvis Presley Enterprises, which trademarked the singer's name and likeness upon his untimely death in 1977, took a different view however, successfully arguing that ‘Elvis Juice’ could not be registered as a trademark on account that people may believe the concoction was endorsed by them.
In his ruling Oliver Morris of the UK Intellectual Property Office said: “I consider most average consumers, on seeing the name Elvis alone, are likely to conceptualise that on the basis of Elvis Presley.”
BrewDog must now cough up £1,500 costs to cover the Elvis estate’s legal costs.
BrewDog hasn't peeved all Americans however, having recently raised $100m from a US private equity firm to power its expansion in the land of the free.