LFP Trademark Battle Brewing Over ‘Hop Hustler’

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A popular microbrewery known for its traditional ales in the Carolinas has butted its head with LFP Inc., the famous adult entertainment brand that counts more than 40 “Hustler” trademarks for its online, video, casino and sex toy store operations.

LFP recently filed an opposition to Green Man Brewing’s trademark application over its “Hop Hustler” craft style that it plans to sell in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, where the brewing company distributes its other EPA, IPA and Porter brews.

Green Man is one of North Carolina’s oldest breweries and got its start as a brew pub with views overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville.

Its labeling is a familiar one in these parts, as well as worldwide. The company uses the “green man,” a sculpture of a face surrounded by or made from leaves that popularly is interpreted as a symbol of rebirth or renaissance, representing the cycle of growth each spring.  

As Green Man approaches 18 years in business, the brewery is expanding the size of its operations, as well as its numbers of ales. And one of them has been developed and branded as “Hop Hustler.”

Once LFP counsel got wind of Green Man’s trademark application for “Hop Hustler” they jumped into action and filed papers with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Appeal Board opposing the mark.

It isn’t clear whether Green Man plans to answer LFP’s opposition to the trademark or abandon attempts to market “Hop Hustler.” The Appeal Board has set a deadline of today.

Green Man’s counsel, Jon Gibbons of Boca Raton, Fla., did not immediately respond for comment on the case.