If Kevin Costner’s exit from Yellowstone isn’t providing you with enough behind-the-scenes drama, then wait until you hear this latest development. Yahoo! reports that Yellowstone creator Tyler Sheridan is suing Cole Hauser’s coffee company, Free Rein, for trademark infringement and false advertising. Sheridan, whose Bosque Ranch previously partnered with Community Coffee to make his own coffee brand, Bosque Ranch Craft Coffee, is suing Hauser for allegedly using a brand mark that bears a striking resemblance to his own.
Taylor Sheridan Sues Cole Hauser’s Company
Bosque Ranch, which is owned by Sheridan, has been featured throughout Yellowstone’s run, and has also been used as a filming location for the series’ various offshoots, like 1883, and 6666. And the ranch has a very distinct registered trademark; two overlapping letters (BR). Free Rein has a very similar brand mark involving intertwined letters (FR).
Did Hauser Copy Sheridan?
Though this could very well be a coincidence, Sheridan’s team has reason to believe that Hauser knew what he was doing, and came up with a brand mark that would deliberately deceive Yellowstone fans into thinking they’re the same company. It goes without question that the brand markings look quite similar, but legally speaking, Bosque Ranch and Free Rein aren’t the only companies out there that use overlapping letters as a logo.
But when you consider the fact that they’re both coffee brands, boast a Western theme, and are related to a series that both the plaintiff and defendant are involved with, the question of impropriety has been raised in the form of a lawsuit.
Similar Happening In Better Call Saul
We’re reminded of the Better Call Saul episode “Hero,” in which Jimmy McGill puts up a billboard so he can compete with rival law firm Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill. The billboard in question featured McGill with highlighted hair that resembled Howard Hamlin’s look, used the same stylized lettering, as well as the trademarked color, “Hamlindigo Blue.” Though this is an example of blatant trademark infringement, we’re probably going to have to wait until the Yellowstone-related case further develops to confirm whether such branding on Hauser’s part was deliberate, or merely a coincidence.
More Behind-The-Scenes Issues
This also raises the question of whether Yellowstone needs any more bad press. Fans of the series are wondering if Sheridan is justified in filing his lawsuit, as ranches and farmers alike use similar branding on their cattle. What’s more, Cole Hauser’s Rip Wheeler is a fan-favorite character, and we’re already losing Kevin Costner, who has butt heads with Sheridan over scheduling and production commitments. In other words, Yellowstone’s production really doesn’t need any more behind-the-scenes drama, and Sheridan suing one of his stars may not be the best way to go about things before a production run.
Yellowstone Coming To An End
As we all know, Yellowstone will come to an end once part two of season 5 sees its release on Paramount Network. As of this writing, the final episodes of the series are expected to be filmed this coming spring and will debut in November 2024. Between the ongoing drama with Kevin Costner, and this new development involving Cole Hauser, we can only hope that all parties involved can set their differences aside, and end the series on a high note.