A legal battle is brewing, over some coffee.
Taylor Sheridan, the creator and showrunner of the hit Paramount show “Yellowstone,” is suing one of the show’s stars, Cole Hauser, over the logo for his coffee company, Free Rein.
The suit, filed last month by Bosque Ranch, the equine facility where the show is filmed, which is owned by Sheridan, accuses Hauser’s Free Rein of “trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising.”
Hauser, who plays Rip Wheeler on the Western series, has a logo for his newly launched coffee company which depicts an F and an R intertwined. Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch, the filming location for both “Yellowstone” and “1883,” has a logo with the letters B and R, also intertwined.
Both the ranch and the coffee company are based in Texas.
The suit alleges Hauser’s logo is “strikingly similar” to Bosque Ranch’s registered trademark, and is purposefully used to “mistake or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association” with the ranch.
Bosque Ranch also launched its own line of coffee with Community Coffee, a Louisiana-based brand, back in June. Hauser’s Free Rein coffee company debuted four months later, in October.
The lawsuit comes in the wake of news that the fifth season of “Yellowstone” will be its last. The first half of the season, which ended Jan. 1, marked the end of Kevin Costner’s time at the helm. The second half of season 5 is set to debut in November 2024.
Sheridan had previously said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he was “disappointed” that Costner was leaving the series, citing Costner’s desire to pursue a series of Western films in which he would write, direct and star.
“I’m disappointed. It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it,” Sheridan said.
But in September, during one of Costner’s divorce hearings with his wife Christine Baumgartner, the actor said he was owed $12 million from the show and that they might end up in court over it.
“We tried to negotiate, they offered me less money than previous seasons [and] there were issues with the creative,” Costner said.