StarBock update

The legal battle between Starbucks and a Galveston brewpub over its “StarBock” beer, first noted here, will enter mediation shortly.

U.S. Judge Samuel Kent ordered the parties to mediate the case and set it for trial in 2005. Kent wants a report by July 30 on efforts to settle the case.

“That is the next step in the long process of getting through this agonizing ordeal,” said John Egbert, the Houston attorney who represents bar owner, Rex Bell.

Bell operates the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe. He sells the beer from one of bar’s taps.

“That is pretty much all he does with it,” Egbert said of the beer Bell has sold for about a year. Egbert told the Galveston Daily News in Thursday’s editions that Bell obtained U.S. Trademark Office approval for his beer’s name.

Bell came up with the name after he combined Lone Star beer and Shiner Bock beer into a glass for a customer, suggesting he try a “Starbock.” Egbert said Bell’s beer is brewed in Texas from a “special recipe.”

“The name just stuck in my head, and I knew I was onto something,” Bell said.

Seattle-based Starbucks claims Bell’s beer has infringed on its brand. Starbucks appealed the trademark office ruling in February.

A month later, Egbert filed a complaint in federal court, pushing the coffee company to prove its case in court.

Starbucks filed a counterclaim alleging Bell chose the beer name “which he knew would be associated by consumers with Starbucks and its products.”

Unless Starbucks is willing to let Bell keep the name, “I really don’t see where we would go from there,” Egbert told the newspaper.

Michael, who may or may not be able to find Shiner Bock beer in his new Jersey digs, tells us a little bit more about Rex Bell.

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4 Responses to StarBock update

  1. William Hughes says:

    Let’s see:

    Starbucks Coffee – Overpriced, horrible tasting coffee that is sold in every mall and street corner worldwide.

    Starbocks Beer – A combination of two decent (in the opinion of everyone I know that has had either a Lone Star or Shiners, personally, I prefer to homebrew) beers sold in one bar.

    I can’t tell the difference. 🙂

  2. Michael says:

    It’s been a long, dry spring, but at least there’s Vitamin G.

  3. CrispyShot says:

    FWIW: We just started getting Shiner here in MN about 5 months ago, and I still thank the Alcohol Marketing and Distributing powers-that-be every time I open one.

  4. Murphy says:

    I live in New Jersey and I am trying to find a place to find Shiner Bock. I don’t mind a drive. Any info would be great. Thanks

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