BrewDog loses Elvis copyright fight

Scottish brewer BrewDog has lost a legal battle against the Elvis Presley estate over the branding of its ‘Elvis Juice’ beer.

In 2015, the brewers launched a grapefruit-infused IPA called' Elvis Juice’, which representatives of ‘The King’ demanded they renamed.

The trial came to a close last week and the ruling means that BrewDog will have to change the name of its beer or apply to the Elvis Presley estate for official permission to reuse it.

Hearing officer Oliver Morris said in a statement: "On the basis that Elvis is a relatively uncommon name, and given that Mr Presley is the most famous of Elvises, I consider that most average consumers, on seeing the name Elvis alone, are likely to conceptualise that on the basis of Elvis Presley." 

BrewDog now owes the estate £1,500 in court costs despite co-founders James Watt and Martin Dickie changing their first names by deed poll to ‘Elvis’ in 2016 in response to the copyright infringement notice.

Watt told Vice magazine: "There isn't just one single person in the world called Elvis, so we added two more to make a point.

“Our grapefruit-infused IPA has no connection to the famous rockstar. We're driven by the celebration of good beer and not the egos of late celebrities."

Prior to the trial Watt added: "Let's see how it goes. I have become quite attached to my newfound ability to leave any building in style."

This is not the first time BrewDog has been involved in a copyright fight. Earlier this year the brand threatened legal action with an English bar over the use of its trademarked word ‘punk’ in the title.

And following the launch of BrewDog’s new spirits range Lone Wolf, the brewers forced another British pub to change its name from ‘Lone Wolf’ to ‘The Wolf’.