The Yellowstone logo drama is really quite bizarre

Rip Wheeler from Yellowstone pointing at two logos
(Image credit: Paramount/Free Rein Coffee/Bosque Ranch/Future)

We've seen plenty of logo disputes over the years, and a surprising number of them have involved members of the entertainment industry. From Kanye vs Walmart to Drake vs Belroy, it seems brands are often wont to take on celebrities engaging in extra curricular activities. But this is the first time we've seen two figures attached to the same hit show go to war over a logo.

The star showrunner of hit Paramount show Yellowstone is suing the star of hit Paramount show Yellowstone for "trademark infringement". The former claims that the latter's logo for his coffee brand is too similar to the logo for the former's coffee brand. So: two people, two coffee brands, two logos, one TV show. Got it (I think). 

Show creator Tyler Sheridan owns Bosque Ranch, which launched a coffee brand earlier this year. Actor Cole Hauser, who plays Rip Wheeler in the show, launched his own coffee brand, Free Rein, this October. Both do indeed feature remarkably similar logos, with the respective initials B and F overlapping diagonally with a large F.

Bosque Ranch and Free Rein coffee logos

(Image credit: Bosque Ranch/Free Rein coffee)

Now, normally when we see a dispute like this, there's little resemblance between the actual logos – often it's the big brand's legal teams getting overzealous in claiming the need to protect its brand identity. But here, the two logos are arguably remarkably similar. And what makes it odd is that the two main players are clearly known to eachother. It's hard not to wonder whether the Free Rein designers were indeed familiar with the Bosque Ranch logo. Also, is it common for multiple people from a single show to independently launch their own vaguely cowboy-themed coffee brands? News to me if so.

And then of course there's the awkwardness of what is essentially one colleague taking another to court for, they claim, having their homework copied. We can imagine that made for one or two heated encounters on set (or do showrunners and actors always communicate via their legal teams?). Indeed, an attorney told CNN it's "a little surprising to see" such a dispute between colleagues, since there was  "clearly an opportunity for settlement discussions to take place." 

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.