Red Bull Responds … Kind of?

Hey All-

What a wild ride over the last couple of days! Thank you very much for all of your support. We’re overwhelmed by your response and we very much appreciate your efforts on our behalf. You have created a petition, started a Facebook group, and set the web ablaze with your awesome commentary.  We’re humbled and eternally grateful for this. It would seem Red Bull is also taking notice of your actions. While we at Old Ox have not heard a word from Red Bull since writing our peace offering on Sunday evening, some of you have. Yesterday’s response from Red Bull was:

“Red Bull has not sued anyone. Brands, big and small, seek to protect their trademarks every day. All we are asking for is to allow the administrative process at the US Patent & Trademark Office to run its course and we remain hopeful that a fair settlement can be reached by both parties.”

Red Bull’s response downplays the severity of their actions against us. Basically, they’re saying “relax, this is just normal business.” But this is not normal. The “administrative process” that they refer to is not like going to the DMV to renew your driver’s license.  Red Bull has asked the U.S. Government to restrict our rights. They have filed two petitions against our brand with the United States PTO. There are lawyers, motions, discovery proceedings, depositions, etc. These petitions may not have been filed in Federal District Court — but make no mistake — these are legal proceedings. All of which take financial and human resources, diverting our energy from producing great beer.

If this were technically a lawsuit, at least Old Ox Brewery would have some recourse in recouping legal fees against these frivolous claims. As it stands, however, there is no penalty for Red Bull’s filing frivolous trademark objections.

Red Bull states that they are “hopeful that a fair settlement can be reached by both parties”. There is a difference between hope and action. Red Bull has not responded to our letter. They have not taken a single step towards finding a “fair settlement” since we reached out to them. It would seem that what they really “hope” is for this whole thing to go away without having to make any course corrections. They’re hoping that their non-response is good enough to stop the public pressure, which forced them to issue a response in the first place.

Thank you everyone! Great Job! YOU have forced Red Bull to acknowledge this situation. Now we have to keep the pressure on in order to impact a meaningful change in their behavior

Yours in good beer,





8 thoughts on “Red Bull Responds … Kind of?

  1. Suzy Trefsgar says:

    As a Virginia Hop Grower, we salute you and have all our friends responding. Keep us informed. We will share any info you like.
    Peace Out,
    Suzy and Ben
    Maple Spring Farm
    Amherst, VA

  2. Too many lawyers in the U.S. I propose a ten year moratorium on new bar admissions. Nonsense like this trademark objection are the product of people with too few legitimate billable hours.

    But it’s great publicity for the Ox!

  3. Dave Barnes says:

    I hope you castrate that red bull S**T!

  4. Scott Kahler says:

    My letter just sent to Red Bull @ Everyone should give them a piece of their mind.

    Please relay this message to your President or anyone in your organization who has a decent amount of authority and integrity.

    Recent news in Northern Virginia has raised awareness of your suit against Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn VA and I have to say that I am absolutely disgusted and confused by your apparent vengeance against this small company. I am sure you know, as well as the rest of the country, their name “Old Ox Brewery” is not a violation of your trademark.

    Now, my family consists of generations of beef farmers. While we no longer raise cattle, I would like to inform you that we used to have a male cow. In fact, we used to have quite a few over the years. While I no longer spend time on the farm, I do recall that we called the one male cow a “bull.”

    Now I know this may sound crazy to you, but we actually were doing this well before 1987 when your company began using our term to describe your energy drink. We also had other male cows which people referred to as an “ox.” Again, it’s crazy, but I believe this term was in use well before your company confused it for the term “bull.”

    What’s even crazier, is that I’ve seen roads in Northern Virginia (some VERY close to Old Ox Brewery) which used the same term “ox” which you seem to claim is unique and you have ownership of. (By the way, if you want to also sue the state of Virginia, you are in luck. The US Patent and Trademark Office are also in Virginia.)

    Let’s be serious. Red Bull does not have exclusivity over the work “bull” or “ox”. I am sure you are well aware of the fact that these words pre-dated Red Bull by more than a few years. Your assault on this small brewery is reminiscent of Johnson and Johnsons suit against the American Red Cross for their use of the Red Cross, which the Red Cross let J& J use for their bandages.

    Please stop embarrassing yourself and leave this brewery alone. Nobody is going to buy a bottle of beer from Old Ox Brewery and be surprised when they find out it’s not a Red Bull energy drink.

    1. Janice says:

      I also submitted an email, thank you for including that link within your post. Was having a difficult time trying to find a way to send them something. Let’s hope they actually give it consideration.

  5. Marius van den Berg says:

    Your story has reached the shores of South Africa!
    I am absolutely disgusted by the behavior of Red Bull.
    I think Red Bull is damaging their image big time over this and I for one will be boycotting their product from now on and so will my brewing mates(o yeah, i’m a microbrewer myself)
    You will win this.
    I will come and have a taste when visiting the States next time

    1. Mary Ann Burns says:

      We appreciate your support and look forward to welcoming you to Old Ox!

  6. James Evans says:

    At the end of the day, you simply can’t buy publicity like this. Looking forward to trying one of your beers the next time that I am through Old Virginny.
    Salut from Canada

    ps, I’d boycott Red Bull, but I can’t stand the crap

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