Quoth the raven “trademark no more”? A California winery claims HBO has committed fraud on the Trademark Office and is fighting HBO’ s attempt to register a Game of Thrones related trademark for beer. The winery claims that its “raven” trademarks would be confused with HBO’s THREE-EYED RAVEN pending application.
Ravenswood Winery is a Sonoma, CA based winery with the slogan “no whimpy wines”. The Ravenswood Winery was founded in 1976 and since that time has used several raven-related trademarks. The winery owns seven registered trademarks consisting of the marks RAVEN, RAVENSWOOD, and the three ravens in a circle that can be seen on the wine bottle to the right.
Fans of Game of Thrones know of the famous three-eyed raven that has appeared in the television show since episode one. In June 2014, HBO filed an intent to use application to register the THREE-EYED RAVEN trademark. The proposed application covers alcoholic beverages namely beer. (The same category as Ravenswood’s trademarks.) In April 2015, HBO, through a brewery, started distributing “Three-Eyed Raven Beer”. You can see the Game of Thrones beer on the left in the picture below.
Last week, Ravenswood formally filed its opposition to HBO’s application. Ravenswood claims that registration of the mark will cause consumers to erroneously assume that HBO’s mark is affiliated with Ravenswoods’. Ravenswood is essentially claiming priority use of the word “raven” and images of ravens in association with alcoholic beverages. Ravenswood did not stop there as it asserted fraud on the Trademark Office against HBO claiming that HBO knowingly made false statements in its application and does not have a bona fide intent to even use the THREE-EYED RAVEN mark in association with beer. Ravenswood does not set forth any factual allegations to support this claim but it is a bit confusing since the beer is currently being distributed bearing the mark.
If the two parties cannot reach a settlement, the Trademark Office will decide if HBO’s trademark application is successful or if it suffers a cruel beheading.
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