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Suffix problems: One MN brewery is suing another because of name confusion

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One local "bound" brewery is suing another "bound" brewery, claiming people keep confusing the two.

Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub in south Minneapolis filed a trademark lawsuit Thursday against North Loop BrewCo, – which operates Inbound BrewCo taproom – alleging trademark violations concerning the use of the word Inbound.

(Note: North Loop BrewCo is formally Lucid Brewing, but changed its name in December 2015 before opening its Inbound taproom in Minneapolis' North Loop.)

According to the lawsuit:

North Loop BrewCo's use of Inbound (and other words detailed in the lawsuit) has caused confusion for customers, with Northbound providing examples including comments from people at the All Pints North Summer Brew Fest in Duluth this July, where they thought Northbound was the "old Lucid."

Northbound also says it has caused confusion for people trying to visit the taproom, citing posts on social media including this tweet of a text between two friends – they were supposed to meet at Inbound, but one accidentally went to Northbound.

Inbound responded to the tweet saying "first world brewery problems."

Northbound argues the two breweries will "advertise their products" in the same places, and will likely be sold in the same establishments. "As a result, consumers will inevitably mistake Lucid for Northbound."

In the lawsuit, Northbound is requesting unspecified damages and barring North Loop BrewCo from infringing on Northbound's trademarks.

Inbound, in a statement, to BringMeTheNews, said:

"Getting sued sucks. We want to focus on making great beer. We don't have a lawyer on staff so rather than hire more people and grow our company we have to hire a REALLY expensive guy in a suit to handle this. Guys in suits aren't great at making beer so for the most part we keep them out of the brewery.

We will move past this as quickly as possible and continue making beer."

BringMeTheNews has reached out to both Northbound Brewpub for a comment as well.

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