Old Ox Brewery, founded in June 2014 in Ashburn, Virgina, is getting an unexpected beating from energy drink giant Red Bull. Based on reports from The Washington Post, Red Bull objected to Old Ox’s trademark application for the brewery name and logo nearly a year before they had ever created their first batch of beer.
Old Ox’s chief financial officer, Graham Burns, told The Washington Post that despite the brewery’s attempts to satisfy Red Bull’s demands by promising to never produce energy drinks or use similar shades of red on their packaging, Red Bull would not relent: “Every time we heard from them, it got more and more complicated. It became clear from the nature of the opposition that they opposed to the name of the brewery altogether.”
While Old Ox has attempted to work with Red Bull “on an informal basis” to resolve the problems, Red Bull’s most recent protest towards claims that because an ox and a bull are both bovine animals, they “are virtually indistinguishable to most consumers.” Furthermore, Old Ox will agree to never produce energy drinks, but can’t promise never to sell sodas with their logo on it—something Red Bull would find to be “damaging” to its reputation because of apparent similarities in imagery.
Understanding that these proceedings could drag on for months, Old Ox’s president, Chris Burns has taken to the Internet and posted an open letter directed at Red Bull. Burns calls them a “a big Red Bully” and accuses the company of keeping the little guy down. [The Washington Post][Photo: Flickr/reynermedia]