GRANTS, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico brewery owner is being sued for using “Route 66” in his business’s name.
A European company said it owns the rights to “Route 66” in any beverage name. Henry Lackey said the Route 66 name is iconic and no one should have the right own it.
“All my life I’ve lived off of Route 66, I mean I grew up on Route 66,” Lackey said.
Now Henry Lackey’s business is being threatened.
“I’m not going to back down,” Lackey said.
Lackey purchased a junkyard in Grants six years ago. Last year, he opened a brew pub there to help keep the business afloat.
“We named it ‘Route 66 Junk Yard Brewery’ because the road that it’s on is Route 66 it’s been a junkyard for 30 years,” Lackey said.
It’s a name he is now fighting to keep. Lackey is being sued by Lode Star Anstalt, a European company that brews a Route 66 Ale in Wisconsin.
According to the lawsuit, Lode Star owns the Route 66 trademark for any beverage-related product. Read the lawsuit here >>
“We asked him if he’d be willing to change his name to ‘Junk Yard Brewery located on Historic Route 66.'” said Lode Star attorney’s Warren Bleeker. “That would have solved the problem.”
In his answer to the lawsuit, Lackey said allowing an overseas company to trademark Route 66 is like allowing a New Mexico corporation to trademark the Eiffel Tower.
“So for a European company that wasn’t even doing business in the U.S. to trademark the name and sue me for using the street I’m on, I think is ridiculous,” Lackey said.
Lode Star wants all of Route 66 Brewery’s profits and triple damages. A trial is set for next spring.
In Lackey’s response to the lawsuit, he said the European company should have no right to trademark Route 66 because it did nothing to help make the highway great to all Americans.