Less than a month after filing a trademark infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, Shire City Herbals has announced a settlement with Temple Turmeric regarding the brand’s use of the term “Fire Cider” in a recent product launch. According to a Shire City Herbals press release issued Monday, Temple Turmeric’s ‘Pure Fire Cider’ will now go by the name of ‘Pure Fire Tonic’, and be referred to as such in all branding, marketing and advertising. As part of the agreement Temple Turmeric will be allowed to continue selling its existing products as is before making the switch in future production runs.
“We’re pleased that our company was able to reach this agreement with Temple Turmeric and it’s a win for our customers,” said Amy Huebner, co-owner of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts-based Shire City Herbals. “Our Fire Cider tonic is now sold in more than 40 states and we’re excited to continue to introduce the power of organic whole foods to people across the United States.”
Temple Turmeric founder Daniel Sullivan discussed the settlement in a call with BevNET Monday, saying that while he was confident in his company’s case – pointing to a judge’s rejection of a Shire City Herbals restraining order against Temple Turmeric as well as Shire City’s classification as a class 5 supplement rather than a beverage – he elected to avoid a costly and time-consuming legal fight with the company by agreeing to the aforementioned name change.
“When we looked at the overall business and the cost of litigation we decided not to fight this and to take the high road,” said Sullivan. “We would rather invest in our great products than our great legal team.”
Others have decided to fight Shire City Herbals on the matter. A group of herbalists have collected more than 11,000 signatures on a petition seeking to revoke Shire City Herbals’ trademark of the term, which they argue, is the intellectual property of famed herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, who they say coined the term in her books and recipe videos.
“Fire Cider is a historical recipe, a common flavor profile name, and everybody should have the right to make this product and use the name ‘Fire Cider’,” Sullivan added. “It’s just like Golden Milk, a brand descriptor used by many brands nationally.”