Logo lawsuit between Duluth, Vermont craft brewers gets a 'Minnesota nice' ending


Trust craft beer companies to show how to settle disputes like sensible human beings.

Duluth-based Bent Paddle Brewing has come to an agreement with Long Trail Brewing, in Vermont, after the East Coast company filed a lawsuit accusing its Minnesotan counterpart of copying its "hiker" logo. You can see both side-by-side above.

In the most "Minnesota nice" of agreements (and maybe it should be "Vermont nice" too), Bent Paddle has agreed to no longer use the logo – described as "virtually indistinguishable" from Long Trail's, according to MPR – and rather than making a settlement payment, it will instead make a donation to the Green Mountain Club in Vermont.

And in return, Long Trail will donate to the Superior Hiking Trail Association in Minnesota.

"I loved that part of it," Bent Paddle vice president Laura Mullen told the Duluth News Tribune. "The craft beer industry is very connected to the outdoors, and both sides turned this into a neat thing."

Mullen told the newspaper that the similarity between the logos was accidental, with Bent Paddle's logo created by Swim Creative in Duluth. The logo was only used on seasonal releases and not on its core brands.

Long Trail director of marketing Jed Nelson told the Business Journal the Minnesotan company had responded quickly after the lawsuit was filed in late August.

"They were as eager as we were to resolve the situation as fellow craft brewers," he said.

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