Guns N' Roses sues Colorado brewery over Guns 'N' Rosé ale

(Reuters) - Guns N’ Roses is showing an appetite for litigation over a beer.

Axl Rose and Slash, lead singer and lead guitarist of U.S. rock band Guns N' Roses, perform during their "Not in This Lifetime... Tour" at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Christopher Pike - RC19DB9B0280

The rock band has sued the Colorado brewery Oskar Blues, accusing it of trademark infringement for selling an ale named Guns ‘N’ Rosé without permission.

In a complaint filed on Thursday in Los Angeles federal court, Guns N’ Roses accused Oskar Blues of intentionally trading off its goodwill, prestige and fame by selling Guns ‘N’ Rosé since early 2018, and confusing beer drinkers into thinking the band was connected with the ale.

Guns N’ Roses, whose general partners include singer Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, also objected to sales of related goods including T-shirts, stickers, buttons and bandannas, “an item uniquely associated” with the band and Rose.

The band is seeking triple damages and a halt to sales of infringing products.

Oskar Blues is part of the Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective. The brewery, its outside law firm and Canarchy did not immediately respond on Friday to requests for comment.

According to court papers, Guns N’ Roses sued after Oskar Blues abandoned both its application to trademark “Guns N Rose” and any future use of that name or the band’s name, but said it would keep selling Guns ‘N’ Rosé beer through March 2020.

Oskar Blues, based in Longmont, Colorado, has said Guns ‘N’ Rosé “bands together sticky prickly pear and floral hibiscus with a subtle hop profile.”

There have been many lawsuits challenging beer names and labels in the United States, where the explosion of craft breweries can make it tough to find unique ways to sell beer.

According to the Brewers Association, there were 7,346 U.S. craft breweries in 2018, up 93 percent from 3,814 in 2014.

The case is Guns N’ Roses v Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 19-04052.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz