Inventing a better economy

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Inventing a better economy

If patents can drive local business, Southwest Colo. in good spot
Charlie Patterson, an industrial designer, demonstrates the Magnifly, a device he designed to aid in tying a small fly to a flyline. Most of Patterson’s patents are the result of work he did for other companies, but he paid for the Magnifly design and patent process himself. He hopes to someday interest a company in selling the device.
Charlie Patterson invented and patented this device, which helps paramedics place breathing tubes down a patient’s trachea when they are unconscious. Patterson has invented and received patents on 40 devices and designs during his 34-year career as an industrial designer.
Charlie Patterson works from his Hermosa home.
Ska defends right to Euphoria name

One of Durango’s brewers is involved in its own trademark dispute. Ska Brewing Co., maker of Euphoria Pale Ale, is petitioning the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the rights to the name Euphoria after it received a cease-and-desist letter from Maryland-based DuClaw Brewing.

The Maryland brewery makes Euforia Toffee Nut Brown Ale and acquired the rights to the names Euphoria and Euforia in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

On March 5, Ska filed a protest with the trademark office’s trial and appeal board to revoke DuClaw’s rights to the names, arguing it had acquired common-law rights to the Euphoria mark because it had been manufacturing the beer since 2005.

“Since at least as early as November 14, 2005, Petitioner has used the mark EUPHORIA in commerce in connection with beer and ale,” the petition said. “Petitioner has invested a great deal of time and money in promoting Petitioner’s EUPHORIA beer, and is continuing to spend substantial amounts of time and money in the promotion of the same.”

Ska has priority rights to the Euphoria name, the petition said.

The Durango brewery has trademarked or is in the process of trademarking most of its beer names, said Dave Thibodeau, Ska’s co-founder. Ska filed a trademark application for the Euphoria name on March 5, according to the trademark agency’s database.

The issue of naming rights has become “a really big deal in the brewing industry,” Thibodeau said. “A lot of breweries are popping up, and everybody tries to play nice, but it’s kind of crazy when you get stuck in a corner and you have to defend your trademark.”

Yet naming etiquette among brewers seems to lack a clear set of rules.

“There are certainly going to be breweries that use the same name and can coexist with the same name, but it’s also not hard to Google new names to make sure you’re not using the same name,” Thibodeau said.

He cited an instance where Ska discovered another brewery had begun using the True Blonde name. Ska called the other brewery and nicely explained that it was already making and distributing its True Blonde Ale, Thibodeau said.

He declined to say how that situation or others like it are generally resolved.

“I can’t talk about what we do or what we would generally do or would like to do or what the law is,” he said. “If this (case) goes the way I hope it goes, it’s going to be a much better story a little ways down the road.”



ecowan@durangoherald.com

Inventing a better economy

Charlie Patterson, an industrial designer, demonstrates the Magnifly, a device he designed to aid in tying a small fly to a flyline. Most of Patterson’s patents are the result of work he did for other companies, but he paid for the Magnifly design and patent process himself. He hopes to someday interest a company in selling the device.
Charlie Patterson invented and patented this device, which helps paramedics place breathing tubes down a patient’s trachea when they are unconscious. Patterson has invented and received patents on 40 devices and designs during his 34-year career as an industrial designer.
Charlie Patterson works from his Hermosa home.
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