Route 66 brewery determined to fight lawsuit from European company
November 01, 2017 10:10 PM
GRANTS, N.M. -- Take a drive in Grants and it won't take long to realize the city is proud to be nestled along the Main Street of America. From gift shops to photo-ops, it's the whole point of being a Route 66 town.
A company named Lodestar Anstalt -- located in Europe and headquartered on the Mediterranean island Cyprus -- says it owns the rights to the symbol synonymous with the mother road. Now a junkyard-turned-brewery in Grants faces a lawsuit after receiving a cease-and-desist order.
"They didn’t spend a penny to make it famous. Why should they be the only ones able to use it? They're not even on Route 66,” said Henry Lackey, owner of Route 66 Junkyard Brewery in Grants.
According to the lawsuit filed against Lackey and his brewery, Lodestar owns the trademark for Route 66 beers. The brewery doesn’t even make a Route 66 beer but found the problem is all in their logo. Lodestar claims ownership to the famed sign that might appear on any beverage label, or in this case, even Lackey's building because it’s a brewery.
Lackey knows he's not the only business using the signage and wants to get the attention of the federal government with the hope a law could be passed to prevent a foreign country from doing something similar in the future.
"You cannot trademark an American icon," he said. "If you want to have something and brand something and make it your own, come up with something. But you didn’t come up with this in 1926."
Lackey has learned there's even a European company out there claiming the Route 66 trademark for clothing. He knows going up against a big business isn't going to be easy, but the brewery owner is not backing down without a fight.
"Bottom line is I did name it. My stepson did a heck of a job with the logo. Everybody loves the logo and the only way I'm changing it is if a judge makes me," he said.
Both Lackey and Lodestar have motions in for summary judgment. If a federal judge doesn’t rule in either of their favors, Lackey will be gearing up for trial sometime next year.
Updated: November 01, 2017 10:10 PM
Created: November 01, 2017 08:27 AM
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