Case 1:15-cv-00440-NYW Document 1 Filed 03/03/15 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 7

THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO

SUMMIT BREWING COMPANY,
Plaintiff,
v.
THE GRAND LAKE BREWING
COMPANY, LLC,
Defendant.

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Case No. 15-cv-00440 (_______)

COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff Summit Brewing Company (“Summit”) for its Complaint against Defendant The
Grand Lake Brewing Company, LLC (“Grand Lake”), states and alleges as follows:
1.

Plaintiff Summit is a Minnesota corporation with its principal place of business in

St. Paul, Minnesota. Summit is, among other things, in the business of producing and selling
beer.
2.

Defendant Grand Lake is, upon information and belief, a Colorado corporation

with its principal place of business in Grand Lake, Colorado. Grand Lake is engaged in the
business of, among other things, producing and selling beer.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
3.

The subject matter is based on 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1338, and 15 U.S.C. §

1121(a). This action arises under 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1116 and 1125, and deceptive trade
practices in violation of Colorado law.

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4.

This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the Plaintiff’s claims under 28

U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1338 and 1367. Venue in this district is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1391(b) and 1391(c).
UNDERLYING FACTS
5.

Since 1986, Summit has produced and sold beer under its SUMMIT mark.

During Summit’s 29 year history, SUMMIT beer has been distributed and sold in approximately
twenty states throughout the Midwest and northeastern United States. During parts of Summit’s
29 year history, it has distributed its SUMMIT marked beers in Colorado. Summit has also
participated in competitions and tastings in Colorado, the most prominent of which is the Great
American Beer Festival, which is held annually in Colorado.
6.

Presently, Summit produces and markets seven beers year round under the

SUMMIT mark, five seasonal beers under the SUMMIT mark as well as various limited release
products under the SUMMIT mark. These SUMMIT marked beers include, but are not limited
to, SUMMIT Extra Pale Ale, SUMMIT Pilsener, SUMMIT True Brit IPA, SUMMIT Great
Northern Porter, SUMMIT Horizon Red IPA, SUMMIT Sága IPA, SUMMIT Frost Line Rye,
SUMMIT Maibock, SUMMIT Summer Ale, SUMMIT Oktoberfest, SUMMIT Winter Ale,
SUMMIT Unchained Series, SUMMIT Union Series, and SUMMIT Oatmeal Stout. As of 2013,
Summit ranked 32nd in United States for domestic commercial beer sales.
7.

Summit owns United States trademark registrations for SUMMIT BREWING

COMPANY (Reg. No. 3,061,466) in International Class 32 for beer, SUMMIT BREWING
COMPANY (Reg. No. 3,061,467) in International Class 32 for beer, and design and word mark
for SUMMIT BREWING CO. (Reg. No. 4,517,565) in International Class 32 for beer.

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8.

Summit has spent millions of dollars advertising and promoting its beer under the

mark SUMMIT. Summit has won multiple national and regional awards for beers it has sold
under the SUMMIT mark.
9.

In or about late November or early December 2014, a Colorado resident notified

Summit that Grand Lake was selling a beer under mark SUMMIT pale ale.
10.

A review of Grand Lake’s website at www.grandlakebrewing.com shows it is

selling a beer under the brand SUMMIT Pale Ale. (A true and correct copy of a webpage from
Grand Lakes’ website is attached hereto as Exhibit A). The label features the mark SUMMIT as
the most prominent wording on the label. The webpage goes on to indicate which liquor stores
are currently selling “Summit Colorado Pale Ale.” (A true and correct copy of the SUMMIT
Colorado Pale Ale titled webpage from Grand Lakes’ website is attached hereto as Exhibit B).
11.

On or about December 4, 2014, Mark Stutrud, the president of Summit, contacted

Karen Wood of Grand Lake to express concern about the confusion likely to be caused by Grand
Lake’s use of the well-known SUMMIT mark. Wood informed Stutrud that his concerns were
“silly” but promised to contact its attorney and call him back. Summit received no response.
12.

After receiving no response from Grand Lake, Summit’s counsel followed up

with correspondence to Wood dated January 8, 2015 and January 21, 2015 regarding Summit’s
concerns regarding Grand Lake’s using the SUMMIT mark. (a true and correct copy of
Summit’s counsel’s correspondence dated January 8, 2015 and January 21, 2015 are attached
hereto as Exhibit C). To date, Grand Lake has not responded to Summit’s concerns regarding
the use of the SUMMIT mark on Grand Lake’s beer and Summit has been given no assurances
that Grand Lake will cease using the SUMMIT mark on its beers.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(Infringement of Registered Trademark)

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13.

Summit repeats and incorporates by referenced the allegations in the foregoing

paragraphs of this Complaint.
14.

Summit uses the SUMMIT mark in interstate commerce to identify the source of

Summit’s beer and related goods.
15.

Despite Summit’s demand that Grand Lake desist from doing so, it has continued

to use the SUMMIT mark for the purpose of profiting from commerce related to the sale beer
and related goods.
16.

Grand Lake’s use of the SUMMIT mark is in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114 and

17.

Grand Lake’s use of the SUMMIT mark is likely to cause confusion, mistake, or

1116.

deception as to the affiliation, connection or association of Grand Lake with SUMMIT as to the
origin, sponsorship or approval of Grand Lake’s goods and commercial activities.
18.

Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1116(a), Summit is entitled to an injunction restraining

Grand Lake from using SUMMIT as a trademark in any fashion or for any purpose without
Summit’s authorization or permission. Summit has and will continue to suffer irreparable harm
unless Grand Lake’s activities are enjoined by the Court.
19.

Summit is entitled to recover Grand Lake’s profits, actual damages and other

monetary relief pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117. By virtue of Grand Lake’s willful and knowing
infringement, Summit is entitled to trebling of damages and recovery of their attorneys’ fees
incurred in pursuing this action.
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
Lanham Act False Designation of Origin and Unfair Competition

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20.

Summit repeats and incorporates by reference the allegations in the foregoing

paragraphs of this Complaint.
21.

Grand Lake wrongful activities described herein constitute false designation of

origin, unfair competition and false advertising in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a).
22.

Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1116(a), Summit is entitled to an injunction restraining

defendants from using the SUMMIT mark without Summit’s permission, and preventing
additional acts of unfair and deceptive competition. Summit is entitled to recover Grand Lake’s
profits, actual damages and other monetary relief pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117. By virtue of
defendants’ willful and knowing infringement, Summit is entitled to a trebling of damages and
recovery of its attorneys’ fees incurred in pursuing this action.
THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
Deceptive Trade Practices
23.

Summit repeats and incorporates by reference the allegations in the foregoing

paragraphs of this Complaint.
24.

Defendants have engaged in the above conduct willingly with knowledge that the

unauthorized use of Summit’s mark is deceptive.
25.

The actions of defendants alleged herein constitute violations of the Colorado

Consumer Protection Act, § 6-1-105. Under § 6-1-113, Summit is entitled to actual damages,
treble damages plus costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
Common Law Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition
26.

Summit repeats and incorporates by reference the allegations in the foregoing

paragraphs of this Complaint.
27.

By virtue of having used and continuing to use the SUMMIT mark, Summit has

acquired common law rights in the SUMMIT mark. The unauthorized use of the SUMMIT mark

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or substantially similar marks in connection with beer and related goods infringes upon
Summit’s common law rights in its trademarks, and this use is likely to cause confusion, mistake
or deception among consumers and who will believe that Grand Lake’s beer and related goods
are affiliated with, authorized by or endorsed by Summit, when they are not.
28.

Grand Lake is misappropriating the SUMMIT mark with knowledge of Summit’s

rights in the mark and with the intent of causing confusion, mistake and deception as to the
source and/or endorsement of Grand Lake’s products.
29.

Unless Grand Lake is immediately enjoined and prohibited from using the

SUMMIT mark or any confusingly similar mark, Grand Lake will continue to intentionally
infringe the SUMMIT mark.
30.

Summit has no adequate remedy at law, and as a direct and proximate result of

Grand Lake’s deceptive trade practices, Summit has been irreparably harmed by Grand Lake’s
conduct, and will continue to suffer irreparable harm and damage to its trademark rights,
goodwill, businesses and reputation.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for an order directing as follows:
1.

That Defendant Grand Lake is adjudged to have willfully infringed Summit’s

SUMMIT mark;
2.

That Grand Lake, along with its officers, agents, servants, employees and all

persons in act of concert or participation with any of them, be preliminary and permanently
enjoined from any further use of the SUMMIT mark in connection with their goods and services;
3.

That Grand Lake deliver to Summit all inventory and advertising materials that

include the infringing mark;
4.

Awarding Summit Grand Lake’s profits and actual damages in an amount to be

proven at trial and trebling those amounts in accordance with the provision of 15 U.S.C. § 1117

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or statutory damages pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1117(c) at Summit’s election before the entry of
final judgment, together with prejudgment and post-judgment interest;
5.

That Summit be awarded its attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in prosecuting this

6.

That the Court order Grand Lake, within thirty (30) days after service of the

action.

Judgment demanded herein, be required to file with this Court and serve upon Summit’s
undersigned counsel, a written report under oath setting forth in detail the manner in which the
defendants have complied with the Judgment;
7.

Such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and equitable.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff hereby requests a trial by jury.
Dated: March 3, 2015
SUMMIT BREWING COMPANY
By its attorneys,
s/ George G. Matava
George G. Matava, Bar No. 11412
Donald E. Lake, III, Bar No. 32289
LEWIS BRISBOIS BISGAARD & SMITH LLP
1700 Lincoln Street, Suite 4000
Denver, CO 80203
Telephone: 303-861-7760
Facsimile: 303-861-7767
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that this document filed through the Court’s CM/ECF system will be sent
electronically to the registered participants as identified on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)
and paper copies will be sent to those indicated as non-registered participants on March 3, 2015.
s/ Thomas J. Armento
Legal Assistant

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