Fegley’s Brew Works Rude Elf’s Reserve / Troegs Mad Elf Litigation Resolved

02 December 2011

Rude-elf-case-photo1-150x150Remember THIS?  Breaking news  from Mike:

Fegley's Brew Works is pleased to report the litigation with fellow Pennsylvania Brewer, Troegs Brewing, has been resolved and Fegley's Brew Works will continue to sell Rude Elf's Reserve. When asked to comment on this matter Jeff Fegley responded, "We have no further comment. You may direct any questions to me via email only at jeff@thebrewworks.com."  When asked if Troegs would be attending the Allentown Brew Works Beer Festival this Saturday, December 3rd, Fegley responded, "Unfortunately no, they are tied up with their new brewery expansion."    Further Updates & Details Below…

When asked about this year's batch of Rude Elf's Reserve, Fegley noted that it is "better than ever. We added two new 30bbl fermentation tanks this year and are really happy with how the complexity of the flavor profile has come together.  The 1999 recipe has only been tweaked slightly over the years as the equipment changed, and was a Medal Winner at the Great American Beer Festival in 2009."  Like many craft breweries, in 2011 Fegley's Brew Works has seen a giant increase in business. "We are at full capacity projected to brew about 3,800 barrels of beer in the next 12 months at our Allentown facility alone. We are adding 3 more 30 barrel fermenters in the next few months." said Fegley.

There are only limited quantities of this year's Rude Elf's Reserve left so get them while they last! Or sample them at the annual Allentown Beer Festival this Saturday afternoon with almost 30 other breweries attending. Look for Fegley's Brew Works products at Shangy's Beer Authority, Whole Foods, Wegmans and Tanczos, or sample their fine brews at locations like PJ Whelihans (Allentown and Bethlehem), Dunderbaks (Whitehall), Porter's Pub (Easton), TGIFriday's (Quakertown), Wise Guys Beer Depot (Allentown) and a distributor near you. 


Happy Holidays from the rudest elf in Town. The now Legendary ...Fegley's Brew Works Rude Elf's Reserve.  Cheers!

UPDATE 12/27 from Lehigh Valley Live with some new details…

Troegs Brewing Co. has withdrawn a trademark challenge against Fegley's Brew Works over the name of the Bethlehem-based company's Christmas-themed beer.

Troegs, based in Harrisburg, filed a legal challenge against Brew Works' trademark on Rude Elf's Reserve, claiming it was too similar in name to Troegs' own Mad Elf Ale.

But Troegs withdrew its challenge after Brew Works countersued, claiming e-mail messages sent by Troegs officials proved the complaint against Brew Works was disingenuous and fraudulent, according to state records.
In the original suit, Troegs compared the similarity between the Rude Elf's Reserve logo and a Mad Elf Ale logo that Troegs holds a trademark on, according to the records.

In its countersuit, Brew Works argued Troegs had adopted a new logo for that beer five years ago and that the logo Troegs cited in court documents had not been in use since 2006, after Brew Works started using its own Rude Elf's Reserve logo.

In its argument, Brew Works cited e-mail messages sent by Troegs officials in November 2010 discussing the possible use of the last remaining cases that still had the old labels.

"We may need a different name since we technically should have been using the old label continually, from a trademark stance," Troegs co-founder Chris Trogner writes in the e-mails, which were included with the suit.

Brew Works' Rude Elf Reserve

Brew Works attorney Jeanne Hamburg argued the e-mails proved there had been "no continuous use" of the old trademark even though Troegs had filed a declaration of its use with the state in October 2010, less than a month earlier.

"Based on this newly discovered evidence, Fegley has factual grounds to support counterclaims of (Troegs') fraudulent maintenance of the registration for, and abandonment of" the trademark, Hamburg wrote in the countersuit.
Troegs withdrew its challenge against Brew Works on Oct. 20, and 10 days later the state dismissed it with prejudice, meaning Troegs cannot resubmit the challenge later.

Trogner declined to comment on whether the e-mail messages played a factor in his company's decision to withdraw the challenge.
"I can't really comment on it because both of us came to an agreement and that's the only thing I can say," Trogner said.
Hamburg was unavailable for comment this week, and a phone message to Brew Works owner Jeff Fegley was not immediately returned.
Troegs had previously argued Brew Works' use of the name Rude Elf's Reserve was damaging to their company because customers would likely confuse it with Mad Elf Ale, according to records.

Brew Works continues to offer Rude Elf's Reserve, according to its website, which describes it as a Belgian strong dark ale brewed with two-row pale and caramel malts, dark Belgian Candi Sugar and three Belgian yeast strains.

Rude Elf's Reserve has been offered since 2006, according to state records. Mad Elf Ale, offered by Troegs since 2004, has a combination of cherries, honey and chocolate malts, according to the company website.

1 comments (click to read or post):

Brad Beneski,  29 December, 2011 16:21  

Part of me thinks this suit is silly and part of me remembers seeing more than one person tell me how much theyre enjoying the Mad Elf theyre drinking and then shows me a Rude Elf bottle. Chalk it up to newbie-ness or intoxication, but the name does promote some confusion. But its a tough precedent to set by saying you can't use an elf because someone else did.

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