A microbrewery is being sued by Lucasfilm over its Empire Strikes Bock beer.

A microbrewery is being sued by Lucasfilm over its Empire Strikes Bock beer.
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"No, I am your lager."

[Ed note: The author highly recommends that you read the following blog post with John Williams' "The Imperial March" as musical accompaniment.]

For the past six years, the Empire Brewing Company in Syracuse, New York has offered a style of lager that it has dubbed Strikes Bock. Get it? Do you get it? Like The Empire Strikes Back. See? That's clever.

However, now that Empire is trying to trademark the beer so that they can distribute it, Lucasfilm—which was bought by Disney for all of the money in the world two years ago—is filing a lawsuit to stop the microbrewery from calling it that, saying it sounds too similar to the name of the movie that Empire is rather obviously trying to make it sound like. I like to imagine that they filed it via a highly concentrated legal beam from a small artificial moon which is always orbiting the Earth. But they probably just faxed some papers over to some law office somewhere.

The microbrewery's owner, David Katleski, is painting himself as a sort of scrappy booze-producing rebel just trying to do his thing on his own little base on Yavin IV. "It’s kind of a ‘big dog against small dog’ thing," he told Syracuse.com. "We’ve had this beer for seven years, and we did this [trademark attempt] because we don’t want to infringe on any other beers or anyone else’s trademarks." 

That's all well and good, but his company is the one called Empire, so doesn't that kind of make him the Emperor in this situation?

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(by Dennis DiClaudio)

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