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Lockhorn Hard Cider in Bozeman is shown in this Chronicle file photo.

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A Red Lodge brewery has filed a lawsuit against Bozeman cidery LockHorn Hard Cider over its use of the name “Beartooth.”

Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company alleges in the lawsuit, filed in August in U.S. District Court in Billings, that LockHorn Hard Cider’s sale of Beartooth Bittersweet cider violates Red Lodge Ale’s right to control its federal trademark on its Beartooth Pale Ale beer.

Beartooth Pale Ale is a beer federally trademarked in 2013 and registered in the state of Montana from 2009 to 2014 and again in 2020, according to court documents. Beartooth Bittersweet Cider is an alcoholic cider registered in the state of Montana in 2019.

According to court documents, Red Loge Ales sent a cease and desist letter to LockHorn regarding the name in January 2020 and a follow-up letter the following month, but did not receive a response.

The lawsuit alleges that LockHorn is “creating a likelihood of confusion, mistake and deception among consumers” and that the cidery is creating false association between itself and Red Lodge Ales.

LockHorn owner Anna Deal disputed that claim in an interview with the Chronicle.

“We worked really hard to build our reputation ... We don’t want to be confused with anyone else,” said Deal, who owns and operates the cidery with her husband, Glen. “We love the land, so we named our product after the beautiful landmarks.”

In its complaint, Red Lodge Ales argues that LockHorn’s use of Beartooth in the name of its cider is “causing incalculable and irreparable damage” to it and its cidery, Last Chance Cider, located in Billings.

Red Lodge Ales attorney Antoinette M. Tease said that Red Lodge Ales’ federal trademark affords the brewery “exclusive rights” to use the name “Beartooth” to sell alcoholic beverages.

“There’s a huge body of law surrounding federal trademark rights,” Tease said. “(Red Lodge Ales) have a federal trademark registration.”

Deal said that LockHorn plans to dispute the lawsuit.

“We love making cider,” Deal said. “We don’t love legal disputes.”

Red Lodge Ales has previously filed a complaint against Missoula cidery Western Cider over the name “Flathead Cherry.”

“That case was resolved,” Tease said.

Western Cider declined to comment on the complaint or the settlement.

The Beartooth Mountains are a mountain range in south-central Montana and northern Wyoming. According to a 2018 Billings Gazette article on the origins of the mountain range’s name, the name “Beartooth” comes from the name “Bear’s Tooth,” the Crow Tribe’s name for a spire in the range of mountains.

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.

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