DES MOINES, Iowa — There’s little dispute that Des Moines’ history starts with its location at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers.
But the use of the geographic term has prompted a local brewery to file a trademark lawsuit seeking to stop an apartment complex from using the word in their name.
Confluence Brewing Company filed a trademark lawsuit and motion for an injunction Friday against Confluence on 3rd apartments in Polk County District Court, the Des Moines Register reported .
John Martin, president and co-founder of Confluence Brewing, said there’s been confusion in the marketplace over the two entities’ names. He said the move is in response to multiple attempts at conversation with Roers Companies, the apartment complex’s developer, going unanswered.
“It’s not something we wanted to do. It’s kind of a last resort,” said Martin.
The lawsuit says that Confluence Brewing has used the name in connection to its beer since 2006. The apartment building opened in 2017.
Martin said since its opening, several people have asked him if the beer company opened up a new location.
Confluence Brewing’s attorney, Allison Kerndt, said, “we sent them notice letters and cease and desist letters and left multiple voice messages and emails that just went unanswered.”
Jeff Koch, a principal partner at Roers Companies, told the newspaper the companies operate in different business sectors, and he hasn’t experienced any confusion.
“Confluence on 3rd was named solely on the historic relevance the city was founded at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers,” Koch told the newspaper. “It is unique to Des Moines history and should be celebrated, not solely owned and dictated by one brewing company.”
The injunction request hearing is set for Feb. 23 in Polk County District Court.
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com