Long Trail Brewery Sues Apparel Company Over 'Take a Hike' Trademark
Long Trail Brewing Company has somewhat of a litigious past, and it's taken other companies to court that dared to use just about anything related to the word "hike" or the act of hiking. The latest lawsuit involves Long Trail suing an apparel company called Chowdaheadz, after the company made a shirt that said "Take a hike."
According to Tech Dirt, Long Trail has the phrase "Take a Hike" trademarked, and has since the '90s.
Chowdaheadz, noting that "Take a hike" is a pretty common phrase that could apply to a lot of things not related to the brewery, responded by pointing out the phrase's popularity in American vernacular.
While we appreciate that your client has used “TAKE A HIKE” on clothing and miscellaneous items for many years, we must point out that the phrase itself appears in every English-language dictionary in publication, and has been in widespread public use since at least as early as 1809. It is the epitome of the type of common, generic phrase that should not be monopolized by a single owner.
To illustrate this point, representative examples of clothing items for sale with the phrase “Take a Hike” on them are attached to this letter. You will note that Google retrieved listings for 642,000 such items in 0.46 seconds. You may also note that my client’s item appeared as the top search result, while, in contrast, your client did not appear at all.
Long Trail maintained in the lawsuit that it uses the trademark for engaging in "a variety of socially and environmentally conscious efforts in the Vermont community," so it holds the phrase close to its heart.
But, again, we've all heard and used the phrase "Take a hike," and we likely weren't talking about Long Trail Brewing. So, does it have a case here? It certainly thinks so.