Here now, beer wars in a galaxy not so far far away: Star Wars creator George Lucas and his production company Lucasfilm are suing Empire Brewing Co., a small brewpub located in Syracuse, New York. According to the Post-Standard, Empire Brewing Co. recently applied for a trademark on a beer it makes called Strikes Bock. Lucasfilm — which is now owned by Disney — has filed an opposing motion claiming that the name could "infringe its trademark rights and cause confusion among consumers." They feel it is far to similar to the name of the popular Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back. The opposing motion also points out that Lucasfilm operates a vineyard in California that makes wines that use "Star Wars-themed names and logos."
Empire Brewing Company owner David Katleski says his company has been making the beer for nearly seven years but only used to serve it on tap. Katleski is now building a larger brewery and plans to bottle and sell his beers in stores, restaurants, and bars. So he decided to file for a trademark. Katleski claims that ‘Strikes Bock' is different from the film in that it's not called ‘Empire Strikes Bock' but instead, "‘Strikes Bock,' by Empire."
Katleski may have a losing argument however. The Guardian writes that the beer's description on the website continues the motif of references to Star Wars. According to the website, Strikes Bock is a "spring lager brewed with German malt & hops and then lagered for six weeks. Extremely clean and refreshing," before adding, "May the hops be with you."