BrewDog plc (“BrewDog”) has lost its trade mark dispute over the “Doghouse” beer hotel recently. In 2018,  it opened the doors to the DogHouse, the world’s first craft beer hotel in the US. In 2019 BrewDog applied to register the below mark in the UK, but were opposed by Doghouse Distillery Ltd (“the Opponent”).

The Opponent owns the below earlier UK trade mark registration for which was the base of its dispute with BrewDog. 

It filed the opposition against Class 40 – brewing services and Class 43 – services providing food and drink and claimed that respective marks were highly similar. The Registrar held that the marks are aurally and conceptually identical. The Registrar further held that visually the words are identical but the figurative elements are different, therefore the overall impression of the marks visually is similar to a medium degree. Further, the Opponent argued that “the word DOGHOUSE in its mark is highly distinctive for the goods and services it relates to”. Therefore, on assessment, the Registrar held that the mark is inherently distinctive to a medium degree.

The Registrar therefore refused BrewDog’s application for brewing services and services for providing food and drink, which are core services related to hotel industry for which the mark was intended to be used.

We cannot reiterate more than enough, always conduct your pre-filing searches before you file a new application and when you start thinking about your new brand. This will help avoid your trade mark falling into trouble in your key jurisdictions where you want your business to expand and grow.

Get in touch if you require help with your branding and filing strategy.