If you have not heard, The Crowned Heads are involved in a legal dispute over the name Headley Grange. Here is the article that brought it to my attention: Nashville cigar company in legal dispute over Led Zeppelin inspired product.
After reading the article, I decided to do some research on the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. After reading about them I decided to voice my opinion regarding their stance in this dispute.
Here is my email to them in its entirety:
Dear Mr. Luttrell and Mr. Watson,
I am writing this letter in response to your dispute with The Crowned Heads in regard to their new premium cigar named Headley Grange.
I have been a premium cigar smoker since 1985 and until two days ago, I had never heard of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, even though I am sure I have lived in states that have registered members of your organization.
To be fair, I had never heard of the name Headley Grange until The Crowned Heads announced it as the name of their new product in August. I understand the name Headley Grange was chosen by The Crowned Heads as a reference to a recording studio in England. Even after learning of the very famous bands that had recorded at Headley Grange, the name was still not familiar to me even though I have been listening to many of those bands for decades.
I took the liberty of searching for your organization on the internet. I did this because after reading your organizations name, I was still unsure of your function.
After learning that you are an agricultural organization, I fail to see how the name of a premium cigar could be confused with an agricultural entity. Even if some of your members are cigar smokers and came across the Headley Grange brand by The Crowned Heads, I doubt those people would think their agricultural representative had gotten into the cigar business.
The way I see it, the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry and The Crowned Heads have nothing in common whatsoever.
What I do see is a large agricultural organization taking advantage of trademark laws to go after a small premium cigar maker. Is this how your membership wants you to represent them? How many of your members are small businesses trying to survive in this current economy?
Part of your Vision Statement reads: “The Grange will be a relevant, caring and involved part of the community in which its members are located. “ How many members do you have in the Nashville, TN area? How many of these members are small businesses? If one of these members were in a similar situation, wouldn’t you be rushing to their aid?
Somehow, it doesn’t seem very “caring” to go after a company that has used a centuries old word as part of their brand name, just because you have the same common word in your name brand.
Why don’t you take the time, money and resources that you are using on this legal issue and use it to educate, engage and enrich the lives of your members in the Nashville, TN area. That truly is a caring and involved “vision” for any organization.
Their response, if any, will be posted here for all to read.
If you have an opinion on this subject, I urge you to write to “The Grange” and let them know how you feel.