There’s more drama emanating from the Yellowstone universe, and it’s brewed to the point that a lawsuit’s been filed in the Northern District of Texas.
The legal drama involves Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan‘s company, Bosque Ranch Headquarters, which is suing Yellowstone star Cole Hauser‘s coffee company, Free Rein, claiming that the actor’s company is infringing on the company’s trademark. Bosque Ranch is also suing for unfair competition and false advertising. ET has reached out to Sheridan and Hauser’s reps for comment.
According to the court documents obtained by ET, Sheridan created the Bosque Ranch name almost 20 years ago and has since slapped the name to his various business and personal endeavors. The company claims that one of the first to bear that name in 2005 was Sheridan’s burgeoning production company, Bosque Ranch Productions. Since then, the company claims Sheridan has also applied that name to the company managing horses used in his shows (Bosque Ranch Performance Horses), an event management company (Bosque Ranch Events) and the company managing his Weatherford, Texas, ranch (Bosque Ranch Headquarters).
Early on, the company claims the Bosque Ranch name was paired with the unique branding mark overlaying the letters “B” and R” (the “BR Brand”). On occasion, the court documents state, these marks appeared in Yellowstone — emblazoned on Sheridan’s horse trailer and on his character’s cowboy wardrobe. The company goes on to claim that Bosque Ranch Productions obtained the federal registrations for its design mark in January 2020.
What’s more, the company claims Bosque Ranch collaborated with Community Coffee Company in early 2023 to launch Bosque Ranch Craft Coffee, which also features the “BR Brand” lettering. The company announced the collaboration on June 21 and promoted the craft coffee as reflecting “the Cowboy way of life.” The company claims it applied to register the coffee’s trademark last month.
Enter Cole Hauser.
Bosque Ranch Headquarters claims the actor launched Free Rein Coffee “a little over three months after Sheridan announced Bosque Ranch Craft Coffee.” The company claims Free Rein then “began selling ‘Free Rein’ coffee, ‘Born from the Cowboy tradition.'”
The company also claims that, “like the ubiquitous Bosque Ranch trademark, Free Rein created a branding mark with two overlapping letters — this time F and R (the ‘FR Brand’).” Bosque Ranch claims “neither Hauser nor [Free Rein] asked or received permission or authorization of Sheridan or Bosque Ranch to use a mark confusingly similar to the BR Brand for virtually identical goods.”
The company claims that Free Rein’s “use of the confusingly similar FR Brand is likely to deceive or cause confusion or mistake as to the source or origin of [Free Rein’s] goods and services.”
Sheridan’s company is suing to get Hauser’s Free Rein’s coffee company to grind its operations to a halt and fork over its profits and cover its legal costs for having to file the lawsuit.
This is the latest Yellowstone drama since Kevin Costner hinted back in September that he may explore legal options following his tumultuous exit from the hit Paramount show, which will finally film its last episodes in late spring 2024.