As if breweries didn’t have enough to worry about battling each other for unique names that won’t infringe on any trademarks, they now have a new litigious group to worry about: Elvis’ estate. But Scotland’s BrewDog believes they’ve found a way to get around a new lawsuit from the keepers of the King’s name.
One of the brewer’s popular new products is Elvis Juice, a grapefruit-infused IPA. However, that name ruffled some feathers at the estate of Elvis Presley, the world’s most famous Elvis – sorry, Elvis Costello, et. al – and the estate reportedly sued BrewDog over the moniker.
So what’s an embattled brewery to do? Well, the brewery’s co-founders decided to fight back by also using the legal system… to change their names. In a press release, BrewDog announced that James Watt and Martin Dickie, the men behind the brand, “have legally changed their names by deed poll to Elvis.” Though legally altering their names may sound a bit drastic, the British seem to be a bit more cavalier about swapping names than we are on this side of the pond. For instance, last year someone in the UK changed his name from Sam Smith to Bacon Double Cheeseburger – one of a record 85,000 people who changed names in that country in 2015 alone.
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But back to the BrewDog guys, Watt discussed the reason for the switch with Munchies. “There isn’t just one single person in the world called Elvis, so we added two more to make a point,” he said. “Our grapefruit-infused IPA has no connection to the famous rockstar.” Okay, but, more importantly, does he think changing his name to Elvis will really help with his company’s legal problems? “We haven’t seen or heard anything as of yet, but if those hound dogs wanna play, we’re game,” he’s quoted as saying.
One thing the name change certainly has helped with is free publicity – something BrewDog has been pretty good with over the years. To milk the whole thing further, the brewery even gave away free half pints to anyone named Elvis last week. Maybe we all should have changed our name to Elvis.