Skip to main content

Hammer-Schlagen inventors are suing another Minnesota bar

The company says The Lumberjack is offering the game without the proper licensing.

The company that owns the trademark for the popular bar game Hammer-Schlagen has sued a Stillwater ax-throwing bar. 

The lawsuit from WRB alleges The Lumberjack and its owner Sara Jesperson engaged in “unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business acts of unfair competition" when it used the Hammer-Schlagen game without authorization. 

WRB says The Lumberjack had a one-year license agreement to have Hammer-Schlagen at its facility, and when WRB sent the bar a renewal offer in December 2020 for the license that was set to expire on Feb. 2, the Lumberjack rejected it. 

Then in June, WRB CEO Jim Martin observed people playing Hammer-Schlagen at The Lumberjack after hearing that the bar was offering the game earlier in the day.

"The patrons playing Hammer-Schlagen identified the game by name," the lawsuit states, adding that employees asked Martin to play the game by name. "It offered the service for $2 per game per person."

The lawsuit also says the Lumberjack has been offering Hammer-Schlagen since it reopened in 2021, and a virtual tour on its website shows two Hammer-Schlagen games. 

Bring Me The News has reached out to The Lumberjack for comment. 

This is the latest lawsuit WRB has filed against a Minnesota establishment for offering a Hammer-Schlagen game in violation of the company's trademark. In December 2020, WRB sued Schram Haus Brewery in Chaska, accusing it of counterfeiting the Hammer-Schlagen stump. They settled in March

Related [March 15]: Hammer-Schlagen owners settle with brewery in stump trademark lawsuit

On Hammer-Schalgen's website, there is a prominent warning about the trademark the company has, noting the unauthorized use or reproduction of the game is prohibited. 

Hammer-Schlagen's story

Hammer-Schlagen bargoers are familiar with today has Germanic roots, Hammer-Schlagen's website says. Carl Schoene grew up playing a nail game with his friends in Germany where they'd take turns swinging an ax at a single nail the was pounded into something (old tire, a wall, the side of a tree), and the last one to finish had to do a dare of sorts.

When Schoene moved to St. Paul with his family in 1957, he modified the game to use a cross-peen hammer instead of an ax and each player was given their own nail, which was driven into the perimeter of a tree stump.

Schoene would challenge people to "Nagelspiel" at his family's restaurant, Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter, in an attempt to sell more beer, with the loser of the game bound to buy a round for the winners.

Schoene's father-in-law Mike Wlaschin took over the game in the 1980s, standardizing it and renaming it Hammer-Schlagen. He also changed the goal to be the first to pound in one's own nail, with each player getting one swing per turn before passing the hammer to the next player.

The brand started to expand and in 1999, WRB Inc. was formed and it got a trademark for the game. Since then, the nail driving competition has appeared at music festivals, fairs, bars and other events throughout the U.S.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Popular Minneapolis North principal fired for breaking protocols

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.

14869-Manitou-Road-NE-Prior-Lake-MN-55372-6110268-image37

Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.

Growlers

Signs that MN Legislature could move to loosen liquor laws

A provision was approved by a legislature committee on Thursday but still awaits a final decision from the House and Senate.

US Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium looking to hire 400 part-time workers

A hiring fair will be held for the positions.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 8.55.56 AM

Officials looking for man last seen leaving Hudson home

David Mckay, 67, was last seen in Hudson Thursday morning.

Related

hammer-schlagen

Hammer-Schlagen owners settle with Stillwater bar over trademark lawsuit

A judge recently ruled the bar continued to use the game after their license for it expired.

hammer-schlagen

Hammer-Schlagen owners settle with brewery in stump trademark lawsuit

The brewery was playing their own version of the game, which violated trademark laws, a judge recently ruled.

MyPillow

After being sued, MyPillow is now suing Dominion Voting Systems

The company's lawsuit claims the voting system suppressed free speech and hurt its business relationships.

Flickr - child teenager school mask covid - Jill Carlson

Minnesota school district sued by parents who oppose mask mandate

The school district has asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

Image from iOS (48)

ACLU sues Minneapolis PD over actions against journalists covering protests

The lawsuit says police pepper-sprayed and threatened journalists, among other things.

Imam Abdirahman Aden Kariye

Lawsuit: Border officials' questioning of MN imam is unconstitutional

The lawsuit calls the questioning illegal and invasive.