Indiana Trademark Litigation: Purdue University Granted Injunction Against “Boilermaker Beer”


Tippecanoe County, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, The Trustees of Purdue University, filed suit in the Superior Court No.1 of Tippecanoe County, Indiana alleging that Defendant, Paul Parshall d/b/a Sports Beer Brewing Company, of Florida infringed its rights for use of the “Boilermakers Beer” and “Purdue Boilermakers Brewing” trademarks which were registered by the defendant. A Tippecanoe County Judge sided with Purdue University in an order dated November 9, 2017, and issued a Preliminary Injunction against the Defendant.

Defendant’s business is not a beer brewing company; rather, it is an Intellectual Property holding company whose portfolio consists of trademarks and service marks of various sports teams across the country. The company then works with breweries in different cities to provide beverages to customers with the chosen team’s logos, nicknames, and word marks on cups and other forms of packaging.

The Defendant has state trademark registrations in Indiana for the marks “Boilermakers Beer” and “Purdue Boilermakers Brewing.” Purdue University owns various registered federal trademarks for combinations of the words “Purdue,” “Boilermakers,” and “Boiler.”

In February, the Plaintiff filed suit looking to enjoin the Defendant from using any of the marks in question, alleging that “the Defendant has infringed on and diluted common law and federal trademarks which are owned by Purdue.”

The Court found that Defendant’s marks, which are marketed in connection with similar products as some of Purdue University’s marks and marketed in the same geographic area, were likely to cause consumer confusion, and granted the injunction. The Court also reiterated that Defendant’s state trademark registrations under the Indiana Trademark Act are subordinate to federal trademark registrations and the Lanham Act.


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