Breaking Bad has been off the air for five years, but some fans haven't really been able to let go. The hit drama has gone on to inspire RV tours around set locations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, pizza-throwing maniacs, and now, to Sony Pictures's dismay, an award-winning beer.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the company has come knocking after California craft beer company Knee Deep Brewing Co. over its "Breaking Bud" IPA, filing a lawsuit over the alleged similarities between the hit AMC show and its branding. A complaint filed with the US District Court in California accuses Knee Deep of copping the show’s logo and “other design elements” such as Walt and Jessie's hazmat gear, the RV, and the desert landscape on the beer's label.
Suing for trademark infringement and other copyright-related claims, Sony’s lawyers stated: "Simply put, rather than investing the time, effort, and resources necessary to establish their own reputation and identity, Defendants have instead opted to hijack the famous brand identity associated with SPT and its BREAKING BAD show for Defendants’ own intended benefit."
According to the Auburn-based manufacturer’s website, Breaking Bud took the bronze medal for American IPAs during the 2016 Great American Beer Festival. But Sony is now demanding Knee Deep stops slinging it at festivals, or anywhere else for that matter, along with asking for monetary damages.
The beer company is not the first food manufacture facing legal action over branding that appears a little too familiar. Grumpy Cat Limited—owners of a lucrative brand based on the glum-looking feline—successfully sued the makers of "Grumpy Cat Grumppuccino" over unlicensed roasted coffee and T-shirts. And Starbucks triumphed in a legal battle over the makers of a clear bong with a green pipe called the "Dabuccino."
But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Even the show's protagonist shares a very similar story to a former meth cook in Alabama who also just so happens to be named Walter White.
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