Local Brewery Resolves Trademark Dispute With Sass
After Pitt ordered Voodoo Brewery to stop production of its "H2P American IPA," the company relaunched the beer under a new name.
It’s a good thing colors can’t be trademarked. Good for Voodoo Brewery, that is.
After the University of Pittsburgh ordered the Meadville-based brewery to cease production of its Pitt-themed beer, H2P, Voodoo Brewery had to get creative. The university ordered Voodoo to halt production and distribution of the beer — which had a Cathedral of Learning design and script similar to Pitt’s logo on its label — in October, citing copyright infringement. Now, Voodoo has debuted a new version of its Pitt beer, which is still recognizable due to the distinctive blue and gold label.
The new brew, “Non-Trademark Infringement Alma Mater IPA,” pokes fun at the copyright issue.
Like its predecessor, the copyright-free beer is still a hot seller, Voodoo CEO Matteo Rachocki told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“We still used the yellow and blue color scheme,” Rachocki says. “They’ll know what they’re drinking without it needing to say what it is.”
Voodoo has been producing the Pitt ale since 2014, and the university invited them to showcase the original H2P beer at two Pitt events in the past. It came as a surprise when they received the order to halt production, Rachocki says.
Pitt fans on social media were quick to criticize the university for cracking down on the brewery.
— Jeffrey Hart (@jeffhart77) May 26, 2018
Pretty ridiculous @PittTweet issued a cease and desist around Voodoo's H2P beer rather than come to some terms with Pitt-alum brewery.
— pittengineer75 (@pittengineer75) October 13, 2017
Voodoo hopes to come to an agreement with the university to make its H2P brew Pitt’s official beer. So far, the parties have not reached one.