Stone Brewing Defeats Molson Coors in Trademark Infringement Case

Today the San Diego federal court ruled in favor of Stone Brewing in a trademark dispute filed four years ago. Stone filed the lawsuit against MillerCoors (now Molson Coors) for illegal use of Stone’s registered, incontestable STONE® trademark after the company rebranded its Keystone beer as STONE.  During the time of infringement, Molson Coors sold more than $1.7 billion of Keystone beer branded as STONE. The three-week trial took place before U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez and an eight-person jury.

Stone Brewing is the nation’s 9th largest craft brewery, yet in 2020 it produced 347,000 barrels of beer, only 0.5% the volume of beer produced by Molson Coors. This underdog win is a victory for every craft brewery that prides itself in independence, valuing quality over all else.

“From the moment our team saw Keystone’s intentional theft of the STONE® trademark, we believed this day would come, explained Maria Stipp, Stone Brewing CEO. “We are committed to doing everything in our power to protect the incredible reputation of the Stone brand and the passionate team who built it. We’d like to thank the team at BraunHagey & Borden LLC for their representation of our case. They put their heart, souls and talent into it, and we couldn’t have asked for anything more than that.”

Stone Brewing Co-Founder Greg Koch added, “This is a historic day for Stone Brewing, and for the craft beer industry. MolsonCoors threatened our heritage, but we stood up to that threat. They will put the ‘Key’ back in ‘Keystone’ ending their hostile 4-year co-op of the Stone name. Cheers to our legions of fans, friends and supporters who believe in the good that craft beer brings. This is your win too.”  

Stone was represented by the law firm BraunHagey & Borden LLP, a litigation boutique based in San Francisco and New York.  

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