Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is “searching for a friendly solution” to its dispute with a Texas brewery that’s using the ‘Namaste’ name that was trademarked by the Delaware-based brewery.
Owners of the Austin, Texas store Whip In celebrated the opening of their new, in-house brewery just a few months ago. While the opening of a new brewery in the Lone Star State normally would not attract any attention in Delaware, the name of the Whip In’s brewery, Namaste Brewing, has raised eyebrows at Dogfish Head.
The Delaware brewery, which counts Governor Jack Markell among its fans, received a federal trademark for the Namaste name in the beer industry, covering both breweries and beer. Dogfish Head first brewed its Namaste beer as part of a fundraiser more than five years ago.
In a statement posted on their website, Dogfish Head’s owners say they want to work with the Whip In to work out a resolution. “There is no point in having a trademark unless we actively defend it (and if we don’t defend it this time, anyone can name a beer Namaste.)”
The general manager of the Whip In, Dipak Topiwala, compared the situation to “cultural imperialism” in a post on Facebook and claimed that Dogfish Head had sent the Whip In a cease-and-desist letter to stop using the Namaste name.
Dogfish Head disputes that, saying they have not taken any legal action or sent a cease-and-desist letter.
And what is Namaste? Well, there is the Dogfish Head Beer definition as seen on their website. The dictionary defines namaste as a Hindu expression of greeting or parting. The speaker holds his/her palm together vertically against one’s chest.