Godzilla’s owners, N.O. brewery, settle case over beer _lowres

Associated Press file photo -- A tap for the MechaHopzilla brand beer made by NOLA Brewing Co. in New Orleans is among the images Tokyo-based Toho Co. Ltd. attacked as a trademark infringement on its Mechagodzilla copyrights and trademarks.

A New Orleans brewery has agreed to change the name of one of its beers after it was sued by the company that owns the rights to movie monster Godzilla.

Attorneys for Toho Co. Ltd. announced Wednesday it had settled a trademark infringement lawsuit with New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Co.

The deal requires the brewery to change the name of its MechaHopzilla beer by the end of the year.

Chad Grand, an attorney for the brewery, said it would shorten the name to Mecha and continue to use a lizard-like creature to market it.

Toho will have to approve the changes, company attorney Chuck Shephard said.

Toho sued the brewery in September, claiming the name and logo of the beer were copycats of Godzilla’s mechanical doppelganger, Mechagodzilla, which has appeared in five films since its debut in 1974.

The brewery’s attorneys argued the beer was a parody. The case, filed in a New Orleans federal court, was settled before a judge ruled on its merits.

Toho has filed more than 30 lawsuits since 1991 over unauthorized uses of Godzilla and related characters.

NOLA Brewing’s beer label features an art deco-style mechanical monster leaning against a skyscraper about half its size. The back of the can describes the brew as a “Hop Monster” and states, “Not for the faint of heart or palate. Hop heads, this one’s for you!”

The lawsuit said NOLA Brewing was using MechaHopzilla “to take advantage of the goodwill and public familiarity with the Mechagodzilla character, and to create an association in the minds of customers that its product is somehow affiliated with, or sponsored, endorsed or sanctioned by, Toho.”