Representatives of the Boston Beer Company, brewers of "Samuel Adams" beer, sent a letter last week to two radio hosts in Portland objecting to their registration of two Web addresses that used the name "Sam Adams" (also a company trademark). The letter demanded that they surrender the addresses to the company.
It turns out that the radio hosts registered the Web addresses in support of a mayoral candidate — who happens to be named "Sam Adams" — and promised to give them to Adams if he appeared on their show. He did. The campaign apparently has not been contacted directly yet, but Adams’ staff said they were consulting attorneys. "They say they’ve been using this trademark since 1984," Adams said today. "I’ve been using it since 1963."
A spokesperson for Boston Beer said the company did not know there was a real "Sam Adams" running for mayor of Portland when it sent the letter. Upon learning of the reality of Sam Adams, she suggested that the company would be willing to discuss the real Adams’ use of his own name on his Web sites "for the length of the time the election is being held."
The station has responded by broadcasting what it said was the sound of a listener pouring a bottle of Samuel Adams into a toilet.