January 21, 2020
The owners of a tavern in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin have reportedly changed its name from “The Ninkasi Pub” to “Kimkasi Pub” after the Ninkasi Brewery Co. in Eugene, Oregon threatened legal action.
The brewery’s lawyer reportedly informed them that, due to potential confusion between their two businesses and infringement of the brewery’s trademark on “Ninkasi”, they must abandon their name or face legal repercussions.
When asked to provide words of wisdom for other business owners choosing a name, owner Kim Minette reportedly said that more due diligence could have been used to avoid potential trademark disputes. In fairness to Minette, however, she also said she did not know the name “Ninkasi” – the Sumerian goddess of beer – could be trademarked at all.
Authors: Larissa Fulop and Sasha Engel Hercz