THE SELF-STYLED punks of the craft beer scene have won a David and Goliath battle with the king of rock and roll’s estate after being given permission to use the name Elvis in a flagship beer.

Aberdeenshire-based BrewDog had attempted to trademark the names Elvis Juice and BrewDog Elvis Juice but was last year turned down by the UK Intellectual Property Office after an intervention from Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE).

It has now successfully appealed that decision and, while it cannot register Elvis Juice as a trademark, has been given permission to register the name BrewDog Elvis Juice.

The dispute arose when EPE, which manages the late singer’s Graceland home and licenses Elvis-related products across the world, claimed that consumers would be confused as to who produced BrewDog’s grapefruit infused IPA if the applications were granted.

Hearing officer Oliver Morris agreed and in refusing the applications last July said that “the average consumer will assume that the brand Elvis Juice is from the same or economically linked source as the brand Elvis”.

However, after BrewDog appealed, the lawyer overseeing the case said that Mr Morris had been partially wrong in his assessment of the marks.

While he agreed with Mr Morris that “at the very least the average consumer would consider Elvis Juice and Elvis beer to come from the same stable”, appointed person Phillip Johnson added that “the average consumer will not mistake BrewDog Elvis Juice for Elvis”.

It brings an end to a dispute that in 2016 saw BrewDog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie change their names to Elvis by deed poll to see off what they called the “petty pen pushers attempting to make a fast buck by discrediting our good name under the guise of copyright infringement”.

Despite this, BrewDog has also taken action to enforce its own intellectual property rights on a number of occasions.

Last year it threatened a bar owner in Birmingham and prospective bar owner in Leeds with legal action over the potential infringement of its Lone Wolf and Punk trademarks, both of which it has registered in relation to alcoholic drinks.

At the time the firm blamed its “trigger-happy lawyers” for threatening to take legal action against the alleged infringers and noted in a blog that it would only seek to enforce its trademarks if “something really detrimental to our business is happening”.

“We own trademarks just like we own our buildings, our brewing equipment, and our dogs,” it said.

“If someone stole our dog or our bottling machine we would not be happy, intellectual property is no different.”

It added: “People criticising us for defending our trademark is like people criticising us for not letting someone walk into our offices and steal our computers.”

Like many craft-beer businesses, BrewDog prides itself on the strength of its brand and regularly applies to trademark the names of its beers and other products. In 2011 it even registered the names of its founders in the mark Watt & Dickie.

Following the Intellectual Property Office’s original ruling over the Elvis Juice name it made an application to trademark the name Elf Is Juice, but that was withdrawn earlier this month.

The firm currently has 10 applications outstanding, including Clockwork Tangerine, Spontaneity, True Independent Craft and Canning Line to Fridge.

Earlier this month BrewDog passed the £10 million target set in the fifth round of its Equity for Punks crowdfunding initiative, which gave the company an implied valuation of £1.8 billion.

It came after the business was last year valued at £1bn when it sold a 23 per cent equity stake to San Francisco-based TSG Consumer Partners for £213 million.

Despite the valuation, the thousands of investors who have bought in via BrewDog’s various crowdfunding rounds can only sell their shares on a single trading day each year.