Tire company wins trademark suit against bar

Glenn W. Peterson

Companies in California know how important their trademarked names can be. In the modern world fueled by consumer preference and social media, brand identity can be one of the biggest assets a business has. It is for this reason that entities so heavily pursue intellection property protections. One recent case would at first glance appear to not have posed a problem but upon further investigation, the potential conflict was revealed.

As reported by the Sacramento Business Journal, Firestone is a long-time name brand of tires. The company who owns the trademark is Bridgestone Corporation, based in Tennessee. In Sacramento, Firestone has also been known as a popular bar and pub. Tires and bars do not necessarily seem to be in a similar marketplace so some might wonder why Bridgestone Corporation pursued trademark infringement action against the bar.

For the past 22 years, a brewing company based in central California has licensed the Firestone brand name from Bridgestone. The company, called Firestone Walker Brewing Company, produces many beers that have even been served at the Sacramento Firehouse bar. These facts were integral to the action taken against the bar. Bridgestone alleged that the bar’s name created confusion in the marketplace and may even dilute their brand.

An agreement in the case was recently reached although few details, including whether or not any financial compensation will be due, are unknown. The one detail that is known, however, is that the bar’s owners have nine months to find a new name for their business.