A Toronto brewer ‘owns’ airport, phone codes for all of Canada’s majors cities

Apr 18 2018, 5:41 pm

A Toronto brewery has landed in hot water after one of its competitors informed the company that the name of its Strawberry Vanilla Milkshake IPA infringes on a registered trademark… but maybe the rest of Canada should be a little shook too.

Explaining the name change, Bandit Brewery shared to Twitter a cease-and-desist letter from “The Big Guys” claiming ownership of Toronto’s airport code when it comes to marketing beer.

“A lot of you have asked about the slight name change to our Milkshake IPA series.
Turns out, we got some friendly mail from The Big Guys claiming they own “YYZ”- our city’s airport code,” reads the Tweet from Bandit Brewery.“Since we don’t have the funds to fight this, we are “pleased” to introduce our series YY*→”

“The Big Guys,” in this case, are Amsterdam Brewing Co. per the trademark first filed in 2011 for “alcoholic brewery beverages, namely beer.”

In an interview with the CBC, Amsterdam owner Jeff Carefoote said “Just because your name is Bandit, doesn’t give you the right to steal what you want,” and was reportedly insulted by being characterized as a “big brewer stomping on them.”

As it turns out, Amsterdam might be the reason why there’s no such thing as 604 Stout, or YYC Lager.

According to the Canadian Trademarks Database, In addition to YYZ, the company has also trademarked “The 6,” airport codes for Calgary (YYC) and Montreal (YUL), along with area codes including 416, 905, 604, 403, and 514.

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