BrewDog lose legal battle over Elvis beer

A North-east brewery has lost its legal battle with the estate of Elvis Presley over the name of its beer.

BrewDog filed the trademark for its Elvis Juice in 2015 and BrewDog Elvis Juice in 2016.

But they were contacted by Elvis Presley’s estate saying the name had to be changed.

Following the action BrewDog founder James Watt and Martin Dickie changed their names by deed poll to Elvis in a bid to prove the name was not exclusive.

The estate said the application overlapped with their registered trademark ‘Elvis’ and people could mistakenly believe the beer was endorsed by them.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which rules on trademark disputes, has now found in favour of the Elvis estate following a hearing.

In a written ruling, trademark hearing officer Oliver Morris said: “Put very simply, and not withstanding that Mr Presley died nearly 40 years ago, he was/is such an iconic figure, that I would be very surprised if many people, including those at the younger end of the average consumer age spectrum, had not heard of him.

“There may be some exceptions, but this is likely to be few and far between.

“The mark, is though, Elvis, not Elvis Presley.

“However, on the basis that Elvis is a relatively uncommon name and given that Mr Presley is the most famous of the Elvises, I consider that most average consumers, on seeing the name Elvis alone, are likely to conceptualise that on the basis of Elvis Presley.

“Conceptually, both marks make reference to Elvis and I consider that the average consumer will think of Elvis Presley.”

BrewDog will now have to change the name or apply to the Elvis estate for permission to use it.

BrewDog said it was famous in its own right and didn’t need to rely on someone else’s success.

The multinational brewery and pub chain was founded in April 2007 in Fraserburgh and is now based in Ellon.