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Florida brewing company suing competitor over packaging

A picture of a bathing beauty has led to a federal lawsuit that alleges trademark infringement.

The plaintiff is a Florida-based brewing company and the defendant is a competitor that sold its products in the Midwest before expanding to Florida. The Florida company is suing the second company, contending its packaging is too similar for comfort and could mislead customers.

The Florida company's packaging on its Beach Blonde Ale, which has been sold in the state since 2013, features white sunglasses for a woman with blonde hair rising up from the glasses. The packaging has teal accents, and the packaging has a federally registered mark.

The rival's Oval Beach Blonde Ale, when sold in the Midwest, had packaging that consisted of a woman wearing a yellow bathing suit riding in a canoe. The lawsuit contends, however, that when the company began selling its product in Florida, the brewery altered its packaging to include a teal design, as well as a woman in sunglasses with hair around the glasses.

The Florida company contends the product wrapping "will create confusion among members of the relevant consuming public and will cause irreparable and immediate injury" to its business.

It is seeking damages of more than $75,000, and a ban on packaging that could be mistaken for its product. Additionally, the Midwestern company has been asked to recall all the items and advertising bearing that packaging.

A logo and packaging are the face of a product and must be protected. A Florida attorney with experience in intellectual property laws can advise on such cases.

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