Stone Brewing Co., LLC filed a lawsuit against Molson Coors Brewing Company, MillerCoors, LLC, et al. alleging trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, unfair competition, and declaratory relief. Stone Brewing Co. obtained a federal registration for STONE with “beer” on June 23, 1998. However, since then there have been 8 trademark registrations issued for a mark containing STONE with “beer.”
Below is a screenshot of the search results from BOB.
Stone Brewing Co. alleged in the complaint that defendants rebranded KEYSTONE to simply STONE. MillerCoors, LLC owns two federal registrations for KEYSTONE and KEYSTONE LIGHT. And it is clear that Stone Brewing Co. will peacefully co-exist with other STONE marks including KEYSTONE.
Although we can only speculate as to the reason for dropping KEY from mark, it would appear that no trademark search was conducted prior to this decision being made. The lesson to be learned is to conduct a trademark search before making material changes, like deleting matter, from an existing mark.